Disney alternatives: Must-visit theme parks beyond the mouse


By Krista

Travel & Tech Writer

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When you think of a theme park, it’s without question that Disneyland or Disney World is an obvious go-to answer. And for families, young children, and lovers of their fairytale remakes, of course it’s a great option for a holiday destination.

However, if you’re open to a little extra adventure, if you’ve outgrown Disney, if you’re a thrill seeker, or even a fairytale purist, there are plenty of incredible, outside-the-box Disney alternatives for an amusement park holiday. 

Best Roller Coasters: Canada’s Wonderland (Ontario, Canada)

Wonderland offers a variety of thrilling rides and family-friendly attractions, making it a perfect park for those seeking excitement and fun. As one of the best Disney alternatives, it caters to thrill seekers and adventure lovers alike.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • Leviathan: One of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters.
  • Behemoth: A “hyper coaster” with a thrilling ride.
  • Ghoster Coaster: A wooden roller coaster that isn’t too big or too scary—just perfect for older kids who aren’t big enough for adult rides.

Unexpectedly Macabre: Efteling (Netherlands)

Efteling is a magical park filled with fairy-tale wonder, making it perfect for those who love classic stories and charming rides. The fairytale characters are a little unusual and potentially unnerving but those with a good sense of humour and appreciation of nostalgia will have a ton of fun. This is definitely the park to have an aloSIM eSIM loaded to capture all the interesting statues and installations.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • Droomvlucht: A dreamy dark ride through a magical forest.
  • Baron 1898: A thrilling dive coaster that’s accompanied by an enchanting story.
  • Fairy Tale Forest: A walk-through attraction with creative scenes from famous fairy tales.

Forward Thinking: Futuroscope (Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, France)

This park is perfect for those fascinated by technology and futuristic experiences. It’s filled with innovative attractions and shows that seek to provide an innovative glimpse into the future.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • The Time Machine: A 4D adventure with the park’s mascots, the Rabbids.
  • Arthur, the 4D Adventure: An exciting ride based on the characters of Arthur and the Invisibles.
  • Dancing with Robots: A high-energy robotic dance show.

Maximum Nostalgia: Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Tivoli Gardens combines thrilling rides with a charming, historic theme. Families with an interest in history and appreciation of craftsmanship should head here.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • The Roller Coaster: One of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation.
  • The Flying Trunk: A delightful dark ride that takes you through Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.
  • The Pantomime Theatre: Traditional pantomime shows in the great outdoors.

Excitement in Nature: Gardaland (Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy)

This part offers an enchanting blend of thrilling rides and natural beauty. Nestled by Lake Garda, it’s a great destination for those who appreciate the great outdoors.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • Raptor: A wing coaster with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
  • Blue Tornado: An intense inverted roller coaster with plenty of loops.
  • Jungle Rapids: A white-water rafting adventure through lush landscapes.

Movie Lovers: Warner Bros. Movie World (Gold Coast, Australia)

This movie-centric theme park is a paradise for cinephiles and thrill-seekers alike. With rides and attractions based on popular Warner Bros movies, it’s an exciting destination for all ages looking for Disney alternatives.

Worth the Price of Admission:

  • DC Rivals HyperCoaster: The tallest, longest, and fastest hyper coaster in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Justice League 3D: The Ride: An interactive dark ride where you can join DC’s Justice League characters.
  • Hollywood Stunt Driver: A live-action stunt show featuring high-speed car chases and thrilling pyrotechnics.