Texas Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

The Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's a big state. With big everything. So it should come as no surprise that Texas has plenty of theme parks and amusement parks with lots of big coasters.

Among the biggest of the parks is Six Flags Over Texas, the original Six Flags park. Its claims to fame include The New Texas Giant, a legendary coaster that got a makeover in 2011 and catapulted back into a beloved ride.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which offers lots of music and shows, is quite different from most of the other parks in the Six Flags chain. Its neighbor, SeaWorld San Antonio, is another standout among Texas parks and is especially noted for its Aquatica water park.

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    The Tilt-a-Whirl on Galveston Island's Pleasure Pier.
    IsleShire / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    The small seaside amusement park includes a coaster, thrill rides, family rides, and kiddie rides. The pier also offers restaurants and shops.

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    Joyland

    joyland in lubbock texas

    Larry Pieniazek/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5

    Joyland in Lubbock is a medium-sized, traditional amusement park with a small Galaxi steel coaster, a Mad Mouse coaster, a log flume, a gondola ride, spinning rides, thrill rides, kiddie rides, and a couple of "dry" wet rides (no bathing suits required).

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    Kemah Boardwalk

    Richard Cummins/Getty Images

    An entertainment, amusement, shopping, and restaurant complex, the rides at Kemah Boardwalk include the Boardwalk Bullet wooden coaster, a double-decker carousel, and a Ferris wheel. There is also a stingray reef and rainforest exhibit and the Boardwalk Beast speedboat thrill ride.

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    Morgan's Wonderland

    Morgan's Wonderland entrance

    Druidhills/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

    This unique park in San Antonio is designed specifically for children and adults with special needs, their family members, caregivers, and friends. The attractions, which include a carousel, a pirate-themed playground, a Ferris wheel, and a splash park, all have been built with accommodations. Guests with special needs receive free admission. Reservations are required.

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    Kiddie Park

    Kiddie Park San Antonio

    Kiddie Park

    The charming park in San Antonio dates back to 1925. Its owners bill it as the oldest children’s amusement park in the country. Attractions include an antique carousel, spinning helicopters, a Ferris wheel, and other classic rides. There are also live pony rides, carnival games, an arcade, and face painting.

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    Sandy Lake

    The train at Sandy Lake Amusement Park

    Sandy Lake Amusement Park

    The traditional picnic grove amusement park in Dallas features a couple dozen rides, including bumper cars, a Tilt-A-Whirl, a Scrambler, a small-scale train, and a classic Rock-O-Plane. There is also a pool for swimming, paddle boats, mini-golf, and an arcade.

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    SeaWorld San Antonio

    Killer whale show at San Antonio SeaWorld

    Buddy Mays/Getty Images

    Part of the SeaWorld chain (there are locations in San Diego and Orlando as well), the marine life park offers shows and exhibits along with rides and the Aquatica water park. Themed rides include Wave Breaker, the Rescue Coaster.

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    The Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
    Arthur Levine

    The major theme park in San Antonio is known as much for its stage shows as its rides and features rock, soul, oldies, and other genres. Among its standout attractions is Iron Rattler, a wonderful hybrid wooden-steel coaster. Included with admission are the water park rides at White Water Bay. 

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    Six Flags Over Texas

    Justice League: Battle for Metropolis Six Flags ride

    Six Flags

    One of Six Flags' flagship parks (and the original park in the chain), it is loaded with coasters and many other rides. Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington boasts the industry's first log flume ride, the first mine train coaster, and the first hybrid wooden-steel coaster. It also features Six Flags' first Justice League: Battle for Metropolis interactive 4-D ride.

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    Wonderland Park

    Wonderland Park Texas

    Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    The classic amusement park in Amarillo features three major roller coasters, including the looping Texas Tornado. It also offers a great collection of water rides such as the Big Splash log flume, the Shoot the Chute splashdown ride, and the Rattlesnake River raft ride. Wonderland also has a sky ride and mini-golf.

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    Western Playland Pharaoh’s Fury ride Texas

    Western Playland

    The medium-sized amusement park in El Paso offers the Hurricane roller coaster, a spinning coaster, the Tsunami splashdown ride, a drop tower ride, kiddie rides, and additional thrill rides.

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    Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park

    Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park Texas

    VisitDallas

     

    Instead of roller coasters, carousels, and other traditional amusement rides, the extreme thrill ride park in Dallas offers bungee jumping, freefall experiences, and other wacky attractions.

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    ZDT's Amusement Park

    ZDT's Amusement Park coaster

    ZDT's Amusement Park

    The small amusement park in Seguin offers the unique wooden coaster, Switchback. it also has other rides, go-karts, water park attractions, and the unique wooden coaster, Switchback, a climbing wall, and an arcade.

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