This is a guide to the best amusement parks in Texas.
Believe it or not, some of the country’s best theme parks are in Texas! The best amusement parks in Texas have some of the most thrilling roller coasters and attractions in the world. If you’re looking for a place to spend hours of family fun, check out this list of 14 of the best amusement parks in Texas.
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Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Located in San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is as diverse as the city it’s in. The park is divided into five geographically themed sections each with its own premier thrill ride or feature. Los Festivales, a Spanish-themed area in the park has several theater venues that host year-round shows that are a hit with guests. There’s also the 1920’s Texas Boom Town that has the park’s tallest roller coaster- after all, everything’s bigger in Texas – the Iron Rattler. If you’re feeling mighty, then visit their German village where you’ll find the Superman: Krypton Coaster. It’s one of the world’s first floorless roller coasters.
Rockville is another area in Six Flags Fiesta Texas modeled after a fictional 1950’s town complete with a themed high school. In this section, you’ll find Batman: The Ride. Fiesta Bay Boardwalk is home to the Pandemonium, a spinning roller coaster [don’t ride this one after lunch!]. As a bonus, this best amusement park in Texas is attached to White Water Bay water park with tons of aquatic fun. With live entertainment, plenty of restaurants and food stands, and rides for all ages, Fiesta Texas can easily provide multiple days of fun for the family.
Morgan’s Wonderland is not only one of the best amusement parks in Texas but, according to Time Magazine, it is one of the best amusement parks in the world. Designed with special needs individuals in mind, Morgan’s Wonderland aims to make inclusive play accessible to everyone of all ages and all abilities. It is the first “Ultra Accessible” park of its kind. This San Antonio theme park features over 25 wheelchair-accessible attractions, including a Ferris wheel and wheelchair swings.
Developed by former home builder Gordon Hartman, the park was inspired by his daughter Morgan, whose struggles with special needs gave Hartman and his wife a heart for helping children and adults with special needs. Morgan’s Wonderland also features live entertainment with a focus on inclusion. As a show of their commitment to their cause, admission to the park is free for those with special needs.
Six Flags Over Texas
Just 15 miles outside of Dallas, Six Flags Over Texas is the original Six Flags theme park. It’s also home to several of the state’s most popular and thrilling roller coasters, such as the Batman-themed coasters, which include The Joker, Batman, and Mr. Freeze. Other thrilling rides include the massive Texas Giant, the ultra-fast and looping Shock Wave, and the spinning Pandemonium.
The park isn’t just roller coasters, however. Be sure to try out the 200-foot drop of the Superman ride. If you have smaller kids, Six Flags Over Texas has options for them too! Visit the Looney Toons themed area for attractions specifically designed for their younger visitors. Food stands located throughout the park and a picnic area make this a great way to spend a day.
In the Game Funtrackers
If you’re visiting Corpus Christi, In the Game Funtrackers is a great destination with fun options for everyone in the family. Play a round of 18-hole miniature golf or try your luck in their large indoor arcade. Looking for more interactive experiences in your hunt for the best amusement parks in Texas? In the Game Funtrackers also has go-karts, laser maze, bumper boats, ax throwing, bowling, batting cages, and even a miniature roller coaster!
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
If you’re visiting Galveston, when you’re not laying out on the beach, you have to visit Pleasure Pier. Located on an old-fashioned pier over historic Galveston water, Pleasure Pier is home to several thrill rides that make it worthy as being one of the best amusement parks in Texas.
One of these is the Iron Shark roller coaster which boasts a 100-foot vertical drop at over 50 miles per hour. The 60-foot-tall Cyclone coaster is a treat too with tons of twists, turns, and upside-down moments. Spin on the Texas Star Flyer, get soaked on the Pirate’s Plunge or fly across the water on The Revolution. Pleasure Pier doesn’t leave the little kids out either. Smaller kids can ride the fun Texas Tea Cups, the Frog Hopper, carousel, or Big Wheelin’ ride.
Kemah Boardwalk overlooks Galveston Bay just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. Take a ride on the train that circles the boardwalk, ride the Ferris wheel, or swing over the boardwalk on the zip line. Or ride the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster, which has 42 track crossovers. You can also ride the Boardwalk Beast four miles out into Galveston Bay while getting hit with water and wind at 40 mph. The boardwalk is also home to several shops and waterfront restaurants. Admission to the boardwalk is free, but you’ll need to purchase all-day passes or individual tickets for the rides.
Read more about Kemah in this post about 14 Fabulous Weekend Family Getaways near Houston!
The Houston Aquarium theme park is located right in the middle of downtown Houston. This place is indeed one of the best amusement parks in Texas but is very unique in nature. Its primary premise is a restaurant [with pretty good food] and as the name would suggest it also features a large aquarium with all sorts of marine life. But if rides are what you’re after, the Houston aquarium has those too! The most prominent of them all is the Diving Bell Ferris Wheel that offers panoramic views of downtown Houston [visit at night for a unique view of the city]. There’s also a carousel, a 65-foot drop thrill ride, a bouncing ride, and even a mini Ferris wheel for the kids.
Kiddie Park in San Antonio was built in 1925 and is the oldest children’s amusement park in the United States. Though there have been many updates, such as arcades and more modern rides, many of the original rides are still running today. These include a mini Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a flying saucer ride. The carnival-like atmosphere makes this a great place for parents to bring their children. Also, despite their name, there are several rides that are suitable for adults and older children as well.
ZDT’s Amusement Park
ZDT’s Amusement Park is located on 10 acres in Seguin, TX. If you’re curious where they got their unique name, the owners took the first letter of the names of each of their children [Zac, Danielle, and Tiffany] to create the name. Their first roller coaster, Switchback, opened fairly recently in 2015 so ZDT’s is a fairly new addition to the list of best amusement parks in Texas. There are plenty of other activities at this Texas theme park if you aren’t interested in roller coasters. The park also features go-karts, a rock wall, an arcade, and several water rides. Please note that while the park is open year-round, the water rides are only open seasonally.
Wonderland Amusement Park
Wonderland Amusement Park is a family-owned amusement park located in the beautiful Thompson Memorial Park in Amarillo. The park is considered a regional landmark and features rides and attractions for all ages. The Texas Tornado, the double-loop steel roller coaster, is one of the most popular roller coaster rides at the park and even in the country. In addition to all of the fun rides at the park, visitors can play mini-golf or one of the video games in the arcade. The park is open on weekends between the end of April and the beginning of September, as well as during the evenings from June 1st until back-to-school.
Wonder World Park
Wonder World Park in San Marcos, TX is an unconventional option for this list of best amusement parks in Texas. However, its unique features are why it is one of the best theme parks in Texas! It was already well known for its cave show – the first one of its kind in the state- but now the caves are accompanied by a full theme park. There are no roller coasters at Wonder World Park but there are plenty of other attractions. Take a tour of the underground cave to view fossilized prehistoric life, ride the passenger train through an interactive petting zoo, or play in the dynamic arcade room. If you’re seeking a small thrill at the theme park, check out their Observation Tower that lifts you 190 feet off the ground. Guests exit the caves via the Stratavator at the bottom of the cave and quickly ascend to the top of the tower with awesome skyscraper views of the area.
Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
Ever wanted to visit a “thrill amusement park?” Then stop by the Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park in Dallas! It is the only of its kind in the world and aims to be the most extreme thrill park on the planet. They have 5 main attractions – all of which are high-intensity, high thrill rides. For example, their “Nothing but Net” ride takes guests up 16 stories and then drops them. Without a cord, without any straps, and without a parachute. You simply have a net to meet you at the bottom of your 130-foot drop. Their rides aren’t for the faint of heart but that’s what makes them one of the best amusement parks in Texas.
Update [March 2021]: Zero Gravity, unfortunately, closed its doors at the end of February. They hope to reopen in a new location in the future. Because of that, I will keep them on this list of the best amusement parks in Texas. Please be sure to check their website for updates prior to planning your visit.
Joyland Amusement Park
Lubbock, TX is where you’ll find another of the best amusement parks in Texas: Joyland Amusement Park. This park has over 30 rides for everyone in the family to enjoy. Unlike most smaller amusement parks, they even feature a dedicated area just for the smaller thrill-seekers. There are water rides, thrill rides [including the new Sandstorm that reaches 30 feet], and rides that everyone can ride together as a family.
Grand Texas [Opening Summer 2023]
Grand Texas, located outside Houston, TX, is a bonus entry on our list of the best amusement parks in Texas. This monumental theme park has been in the works for years and is guaranteed to be a show-stopper. Not many other amusement parks in Texas can claim over 630 acres big. Once it is complete, it will feature a racing park, a Gator Bayou, a water park, a sportsplex, and a theme park. There will also be several restaurants, an RV park, and a few hotels. Everything is bigger in Texas and Grand Texas aims to be the biggest of them all!
Update [March 2021]: The amusement park is still underway but the Big Rivers Waterpark part is open!
Have you visited some of the best amusement parks in Texas? Which is your favorite?