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The Most Amazing Theme Park Attractions You’ll Want to See in 2020

Buckle your seat belts and hold on to your hats: Big thrills and amazing innovations are coming to theme parks across the nation in 2020.

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amusement parks to visit in 2020Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Get ready for excitement in 2020

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), nearly 400 million people visited an amusement park this past year, so we’re guessing there’s a good chance you did, too. With 421 theme and amusement parks in North America, there are plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping or just want to check out the newest entertainment options, but what’s truly worth a special trip in 2020? We’ve got the hot list of top picks across the United States. Of course, you’ll also want to know the best amusement park in every state.

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must see attractions 2020Courtesy LEGOLAND New York Resort

LEGOLAND New York Resort

When it welcomes its first visitors on July 4, 2020, LEGOLAND® New York Resort will be the first major theme park to open in the Northeast in more than four decades. Not only that, but this epic 150-acre theme park located in the Hudson Valley will be LEGOLAND’S largest park in the world and feature seven themed lands and more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions geared to families with children ages two to 12. One highlight we’re particularly excited for: The LEGO® Factory Adventure Ride which will utilize the world’s most advanced motion tracking and facial detection technology to “shrink” guests down into mini LEGO figurine versions of themselves for a journey through the process of becoming a LEGO brick.

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star wars rise of the resistanceCourtesy Disney

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disneyland and Disney World

Rise of the Resistance, the second ride for Disney’s dual new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land, launches into hyperspace at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and at the mirror Star Wars-themed land at Disneyland in Anaheim just as the new year rings in. The immersive ride is being touted as a game-changer for Disney combining cutting-edge technology with movie-like storytelling to transport guests through an escape from The First Order that turns into an all-out battle complete with slashing lightsabers and a new simulator experience that gives the sensation of falling from space. The Force will definitely be with you at this and all these other amazing Disney Star Wars attractions.

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jersey devil coaster six flagsCourtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

The Jersey Devil Coaster, Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey

Hold on to your hats, and your stomachs: New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure is launching the tallest, fastest, and longest single rail coaster in the world in 2020. The Jersey Devil Coaster soars 13 stories high, reaches speeds of 58 mph, and speeds along 3,000 feet of track. Did you know that the story of The Jersey Devil comes from The Pine Barrens, one of the most haunted forests in the world?

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secret life of petsIllumination/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Secret Life of Pets Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood

The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! ride will debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2020 allowing riders to become stray puppies traveling the streets of New York City, with encounters with the popular movie’s furry characters, including Max, Snowball, and Gidget.

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mickey and minnie railroadCourtesy Disney

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Although it’s hard to believe, when Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Spring 2020 (in the old Chinese Theater Great Movie Ride space), it will be the first-ever Mickey-themed ride- attraction. Guests will enter the world of classic “Mickey Mouse” animated shorts using new technologies to bring the flat cartoon world to life. These vintage Mickey Mouse photos will really take you back.

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epcot walt disney RatatouilleCourtesy Disney

Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Walt Disney World’s Epcot is undergoing one of the biggest transformations of any Disney park in history, bringing a host of new attractions and experiences in 2020, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, an attraction in the France pavilion, where guests will shrink to the rodent size of the Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure. A Mary Poppins attraction in the United Kingdom pavilion is also opening in 2020 that will allow guests to “step in time” down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where adventures will begin. Also coming in 2020, Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular HarmonioUS, the largest evening show ever created for a Disney park, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and massive floats. Before you go, make sure you know these 14 insider secrets from a Disney World super-fan.

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six flags aquaman attractionCourtesy Six Flags Over Texas

Aquaman: Power Wave, Six Flags Over Texas

The first-of-its-kind water coaster in North America, Aquaman: Power Wave at Six Flags over Texas stands an impressive 148 feet tall and launches riders backward across more than 700 feet of track at 63 mph. As the ride completes its action-packed cycle, riders are launched forward from a 90-degree angle for an ultimate splashdown, Aquaman style. Find out the scariest roller coaster in every state.

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cheetah chase santa claus indiannaCourtesy Holiday World

Cheetah Chase, Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Billed as the “world’s first” first full-circuit racing, launched water coaster; this wet and wild Cheetah Chase slide at the festively themed Holiday World features head-to-head dueling zones and flying saucer elements on a 1,700-foot track; racing slides; we’ve heard we should expect “strong G-forces” and “maximum curving speed and centrifugal force”—we’ll sum it up by saying, you’ll go very fast and get very wet! Don’t miss our roundup of the coolest waterpark in every state.

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avenger campus disneylandCourtesy Disney/Marvel

Avenger Campus, Disneyland, California

At Disneyland’s California Adventure, the upcoming Marvel-themed area Avengers Campus will let guests meet their favorite superheroes like Ant-Man, The Wasp, Iron Man, and the casts of Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther, to name a few. To start, there’s one amazing new attraction: The Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB). WEB is a Spiderman-themed attraction that takes place in an organization where young genius inventors gather to create technologies to give people superpowers; riders will get to sling webs just like Spidey!  (Stay tuned for another attraction coming down the road that will center on a battle in Wakanda, inspired by Black Panther.) Find out the differences between Disney World and Disney Land you never knew existed.

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candymonium hersheyparkCourtesy Hersheypark

Candymonium, Hersheypark, Pennsylvania

Sweet surprises are in store at Hersheypark’s new Chocolatetown, a $150 million, 7-acre expansion filled with candy-themed spots to play, eat, and shop. We think the tastiest will be the Candymonium hypercoaster, zooming to 76 mph along a 4,636-foot track (the equivalent of 10,279 Hershey Bars), making it the tallest, fastest, longest coaster at Hersheypark. And with the addition of this 15th coaster, it also means Hersheypark will have the most coasters of any park in the Northeast. Find out the longest, fastest and scariest roller coaster in North America.

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tsunami surge six flags great adventure chicagoCourtesy Six Flags Great America

Tsunami Surge, Six Flags Great America, Chicago

Clocking in at sky-scraping 86 feet, the Tsunami Surge water coaster at Six Flags Great America in Chicago will be the tallest-of-its-kind in the world when it opens in summer 2020. Riders will hit a top speed of 28 mph while traveling along 950 feet of enclosed tunnels and open-air slides with three gravity-defying blasts and five drops. Now that you know the newest attractions, find out the oldest amusement parks in the world.

Melissa Klurman
Melissa is an intrepid explorer and award-winning travel journalist with more than 25 years of experience. She covers topics ranging from family travel and Disney to honeymoons and romantic beaches, and everything in between.