The Best Indoor Theme Parks

Most theme parks are outdoors and are only open during warmer times of the year. A few indoor theme parks, however, offer roller coasters, carousels, dark rides, and other amusement park fun year-round in a weatherproof, enclosed environment. A number of facilities may describe themselves as indoor theme parks, but the modest Chuck E. Cheese's-style attractions often have a handful of small rides, arcade games, and other features that would be better characterized by the industry term, “family entertainment centers.” Let's run down the best indoor theme parks.

01 of 08

Ferrari World

Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Pascal Deloche /GODONG / Getty Images
Address
Yas Island - Yas Leisure Dr - Yas IslandYas West - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Phone +971 600 511115

Location: On Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates

At an impressive 925,000 sq. ft. (that's over 20 acres, folks), Ferrari World is the world's largest indoor theme park, and arguably the best. It showcases the legendary Italian automaker through sophisticated attractions and leading-edge theme park technology. It also plays off of Ferrari's racing prowess with coasters and other thrill rides, including the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.

02 of 08

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe theme park in New Jersey

Angela Pham/BFA.com

Location: Inside the the massive American Dream mega-complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The 300,000-square-foot theme park boasts five roller coasters, including TMNT Shellraiser, a surprisingly potent ride that includes a magnetic launch that will take your breath away. It also has seven inversions, a141-foot climb up a vertical lift hill into a pop-up tower, and–get this–the world’s steepest drop on a coaster at 121.5 degrees,. The park claims that another ride, The Shredder, is the world’s tallest (85 feet) and longest (2,247 feet) free-spinning coaster. The park includes a bunch of other attractions themed to the popular Nickelodeon children’s TV network. 

03 of 08

Nickelodeon Universe

Ferris Wheel at Nickelodeon Universe

minnemom/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Address
5000 Center Ct, Bloomington, MN 55425, USA
Phone +1 952-883-8800

Location: Inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (near Minneapolis)

There is a second Nickelodeon Universe (which is actually older than the one in New Jersey) at the equally massive Mall of America. The full-fledged amusement park offers three coasters, a giant Ferris wheel, and a slew of other thrill and kiddie rides. Sure, the coasters aren't of the extreme, bugs-in-your-teeth variety (then again, there are no bugs inside the mall). But there's plenty of fun to be had –especially if, like us, you'll take a ride on a roller coaster over a mall shopping spree any day.

04 of 08

The Adventuredome Indoor Theme Park at Circus Circus

Inside the Adventuredome in Las Vegas
David Wall Photo / Getty Images
Address
2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-794-3939

Location: At the Circus Circus Hotel Casino on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Adventuredome packs a fair amount of attractions into its 5-acre footprint. The highlights are the two steel coasters, Canyon Blaster and El Loco. Other attractions include Lazer Tag, a 4-D theater, the Sling Shot freefall tower, bumper cars, and kiddie rides. The Adventuredome is not a full-day experience, but it can be a fun diversion from the casino action.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Galaxyland Indoor Theme Park

Galaxyland, West Edmonton Mall

Martin Lewison/Flickr/CC BY-SA 3.0

Address
2784-8882 170 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5T 4J2, Canada
Phone +1 780-444-5300

Location: Inside the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Hey, it's cold in Canada! That's why this park is tucked inside the climate-controlled West Edmonton Mall (one of the world's largest, by the way). Among its highlights is the Mindbender, billed as the world's largest indoor triple-loop roller-coaster (as if there are many -- or any other? -- indoor triple-loop roller-coasters). The park offers 28 other rides.

Another attraction at the mall is World Waterpark, a massive indoor water park.

06 of 08

Lotte World Indoor Theme Park

Ice Rink, Lotte World, Jamsil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea
Topic Images Inc. / Getty Images
Address
240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-220, South Korea
Phone +82 1661-2000

Location: Seoul, Korea

A massive indoor theme park, Lotte World features Pharaoh's Fury, a sophisticated dark ride, Atlantic Adventure, a themed coaster/flume hybrid ride, and Gyro Drop, a freefall tower ride. Each day, the park presents World Carnival Parade, a 30-minute show with music and dancing from around the world.

07 of 08

Parthenon Indoor Theme Park at Mt. Olympus

The Parthenon indoor theme park

Royalbroil/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.5

Address
1881 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy F, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, USA
Phone +1 800-800-4997

Location: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

The Parthenon indoor theme park is comparatively small, but it does offer year-round, weatherproof rides on its mini coaster, bumper cars, and go-karts. Mt. Olympus is also home to Medusa's, a 55,000 square-foot indoor water park, Neptune's outdoor water park, and Zeus' outdoor theme park, which offers a great collection of wooden coasters and go-kart tracks. The Mt. Olympus resort also includes two themed, on-property hotels: Hotel Rome and Mykonos Village.

08 of 08

Indoor Water Parks

Cars lined up for check-in at Great Wolf Lodge, Village West area.
Lonely Planet / Getty Images

While there aren't a heckuva lot of indoor theme parks, there are tons of indoor water parks. Some of them are enormous and provide as many attractions as major outdoor water parks. Indoor water parks offer another way to have weatherproof park fun. The majority of indoor water parks are connected to hotels and are packaged as self-contained resorts.

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We Found the World's Best Indoor Theme Parks