These Are The 10 Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New York For 2018


We used science and data to determine which amusement parks and water parks in New York are the best to spend a day or weekend with the family.

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Just imagine:

You get off your favorite ride, jazzed up by the excitement, and on your way to get a uniquely American snack at your favorite amusement park.

Alright, now, open your eyes and come back to me for a moment as we go into where best to have that same experience in New York. These are the water parks and amusement parks in {state} that have everything you could hope for in a day out with the family.

Using data from The Park DB, we were able to take a look at over 250 amusement and water parks across America, which includes New York of course. After pouring over reams of data, The Great Escape emerged as the best park in the Empire State by a hefty margin.

Here’s a look at the best amusement parks and water parks in New York for 2018:

  1. The Great Escape
  2. Splish-Splash
  3. Playland Park
  4. Madame Tussauds New York
  5. Great Wolf Lodge
  6. Enchanted Forest Water Safari
  7. Darien Lake
  8. Martin’s Fantasy Island
  9. Playland Park
  10. Seabreeze

There are a whole lot of smiles and good memories wrapped up in those parks. Not to mention corn dogs, popcorn, roller coasters, and water slides.

Before you go out and buy your ticket to {first}, let’s take a look at how we ranked the parks on this list and what each of the top dogs has to offer.

If you’re looking for other family friendly things to do, check out the best farmers markets in New York or the best cities for families in New York.

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How We Ranked The Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New York

If you haven’t check out The Park DB, we recommend it. It has all kinds of data on amusement parks big and small throughout the world.

Fortunately for us, they opened up their data set and let us take a look. So how do you rank the best amusement park in New York? We looked at the following criteria:

  1. Size (How big is the park and how many rides are there)
  2. Price (Perhaps counter-intuitively initially, we did the higher the price the better. More on that)
  3. Age of the park (The newer the better)

We know your probably thinking ‘why is more expensive better?!’

Well, we believe in supply and demand and a higher price means that people must really want to go to the amusement park. It normally also means there’s either a strong brand associated with the park and/or plenty of things to do.

We also recognize that many water parks and amusement parks get renovations and additions throughout the years, but we still think newer is generally better.

If you disagree with our criteria, no offense taken. We are just trying to get the ball rolling on great places to spend a day or weekend in the Empire State.

So, with that out of the way, we ranked each park from best to worst for each of these criteria with one being the best. (If a park was missing criteria, it got the lowest score for that criteria).

We then averaged the rankings of each criteria to create an amusement park score and normalized it to 100.

For New York, The Great Escape took the top spot with a score of 71.4.

Here’s a bit more on what the top parks have to offer.

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1. The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Score: 71.4

Great Escape (sometimes referred to as Six Flags Great Escape) is an amusement and water park owned and operated by Six Flags Entertainment Corp. It is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Albany, in Queensbury, New York, but is advertised as being in Lake George, New York, a popular tourist and vacation spot nearby. It is one of two Six Flags parks not to be officially branded with the ‘Six Flags’ name (La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec, Canada being the other).

2. Splish-Splash

Splish-Splash

Score: 67.3

Splish Splash is a 96-acre (390,000 m2) water park in Calverton, New York. It features 30 rides and runs from May through September. Travel Channel ranked Splish Splash the third best water park in the United States.

3. Playland Park

Playland Park

Score: 55.1

Playland, often called Rye Playland and also known as Playland Amusement Park, is an amusement park located in Rye, New York. It was owned and run by Westchester County, who will operate the park until 2018, when it is expected that Standard Amusements LLC will take over operations.

4. Madame Tussauds New York


Score: 51.0

Madame Tussauds New York (UK /t??s??dz/, US /tu??so?z/; the family themselves pronounce it /?tu?so?/) is a wax museum located on 42nd Street close to Times Square in New York City. Madame Tussauds was founded by the wax sculptor, Marie Tussaud, and is now operated by the United Kingdom-based entertainment company, Merlin Entertainments. The Madame Tussauds New York location opened in November 2000 with five floors of attraction space and over 200 figures; it has quickly become a popular destination in New York City.

5. Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge

Score: 44.9

Great Wolf Resorts is a chain of indoor water parks. The company owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand. In addition to a water park, each resort features specialty restaurants, arcades, spas, fitness rooms, and children\xc2\x92s activity areas including Yoga and bowling. Great Wolf Resorts is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

6. Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Score: 36.7

Enchanted Forest Water Safari (originally, The Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks) is an amusement park in Old Forge, New York.

7. Darien Lake


Score: 33.1

Darien Lake is a theme park resort in New York, Located in Darien, New York, United States. It is owned by EPR Properties and operated by Premier Parks LLC. In addition to the amusement park, it features a campground, water park, and an on-site lodging.

8. Martin’s Fantasy Island

Martin

Score: 33.1

Fantasy Island is an amusement park located on Grand Island, New York.

9. Playland Park

Playland Park

Score: 33.1

Playland, often called Rye Playland and also known as Playland Amusement Park, is an amusement park located in Rye, New York. It was owned and run by Westchester County, who will operate the park until 2018, when it is expected that Standard Amusements LLC will take over operations.

10. Seabreeze

Seabreeze

Score: 33.1

Seabreeze Amusement Park, known locally as Seabreeze, is a historic amusement park in Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, New York, United States.

Seabreeze is in northeast Irondequoit, where Irondequoit Bay empties into Lake Ontario. It opened on August 5, 1879, and, according to the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA), it is the twelfth-oldest operating amusement park in the world (fourth-oldest in the United States). Its most celebrated ride is the Jack Rabbit, an ‘out and back’ roller coaster, and the fourth-oldest operating roller coaster in the world (opened 1920). It is owned and operated by the Norris family, many of whom lived on the property for years.

Closing Out The Souvenir Shops In New York

There you have it — a look at some of the best amusement parks and water parks that New York has to offer. The Park DB constantly updates their data, so we’ll update the data as they update theirs.

Now go out there and have as much fun as humanly possible — your favorite ride is always waiting for you.

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