Travel search engine KAYAK.sg reveals the best theme parks in Asia to visit with your family and travel hacks to make the most of your visits!
Whether you want to immerse yourself in a magical fictional world brought to life or are a thrill-seeker looking to try out the most exciting rides, chances are there’s a theme park for you. A visit to one will surely make a memorable addition to any family holiday (although kids will remember the rides, parents might remember the queues!). The travel experts at KAYAK.sg have done the legwork for you to unveil their favourite theme parks across Asia-Pacific to visit with your family, along with tips to enjoy them to the fullest.
Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan
Universal Studios Japan is one of four Universal Studios theme parks in the world, and while we do have one here in Singapore, Osaka’s main attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, draws massive crowds and is sure to provide an enchanting experience for fans of the Harry Potter series with recreations of iconic landmarks and streets from the movies, and Harry Potter themed rides. Other famous attractions include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Hollywood Dream – The Ride.
Tips: Buy an express pass online. Express passes are typically sold out at the ticketing booth even before the theme park is open for the day as visitors are willing to go very early to procure express passes. To avoid queuing over 3 hours for popular rides, purchase an express pass from a partnering travel agency from their website.
How to get there: We found flights to Osaka from S$586. From Kansai International Airport, take a JR airport rapid train to Nishikujo Station and transfer to the JR Yumesaki line to Universal City station.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Hyatt Regency Osaka start at $386.
Lotte World Adventure, Seoul, South Korea
One of the world’s largest indoor theme parks, Lotte World also offers an outdoor amusement park called Magic Island, an artificial island in a lake. Lotte World Adventure offers plenty of rides with different thrill levels, for all people of all ages to enjoy. The outdoor amusement park is connected by monorail to indoor shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, restaurants and movie theaters, ensuring parkgoers have nothing short to do.
Tips: Visitors tend to make multiple visits to the park so that they can experience as many of its 40 amusement rides as possible. Save time and avoid the crowds by taking the rides at Magic Island early in the day, before retreating to the indoor theme park in the afternoon for food, shopping and child rides.
How to get there: We found flights to Seoul from S$565. From Incheon International Airport take the subway to Jamsil station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 8) and Exit 4. Lotte World is directly connected to the station.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Lotte Hotel World start at S$429.
Warner Bros. Movie World, Queensland, Australia
Movie World is a popular movie related theme park on Australia’s beautiful, beach-laden Gold Coast. The park contains 10 movie-themed rides ranging from motion simulators to roller coasters and slow river rides. Other attractions include stunt shows and 4D shows in theatres. The star parade features Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo characters strutting down the streets, alongside vehicles and floats where visitors can get their pictures taken with them.
Tips: Movie World offers ‘Parents Swap’ – a service for parents or guardians who need to look after a child who is too frightened or unsuitable for the ride. One person can enjoy the ride while the second one looks after the child. Once the first person has completed his or her ride, the second person can go to the front of the queue and take the seat of the first person. This helps minimise delays and time spent queueing for rides as a family. Note that each ride operates differently so please check in with the ride attendant first!
How to get there: We found flights to Gold Coast from S$1038.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Mantra on View Hotel start at S$251.
Disneyland, Shanghai, China
Disney’s sixth theme park resort, the recently opened, colossal 963-acre Disney Shanghai Resort consists of Disneyland, two resort hotels, a shopping and entertainment district, a 98-acre park, and a 1,200 seat Broadway-style theater that will feature the first production of The Lion King in Mandarin. Some of the attractions that distinguish it from the rest are The Enchanted Storybook Castle (the largest and tallest Disney castle ever designed), Treasure Cove (an entire land dedicated to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise), and TRON Lightcycle Power Run, the roller coaster in Tomorrowland.
Tips: Study the map of Disneyland for Fastpass locations. Shanghai Disneyland offers Fastpasses exclusively at three Guest Services locations in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Adventure Isle. The distance between these three locations are spread far apart, so plan to visit these counters early in the day.
How to get there: We found flights to Shanghai from S$460. A convenient way to get there is by taking the Shanghai Metro rail service on Line 11 to the Terminal Station Disney Resort. The station is just a few steps away from Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Novotel Shanghai start at S$216.
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Go fast at the one and only Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi. Located on Yas Island, it holds the record for the largest space frame structure with a 200,000 square metre roof. Experience mega speed on one of the world’s fastest rollercoasters, Formula Rossa, like a true F1 driver. Not all rides at Ferrari World are car-themed: join The Flying Mantuan in an adventure to scale through fiery volcano, or speed across the desert and blast through icy caves. Be part of the ultimate racing challenge at the Karting Academy – a 290-metre-long track inspired by the iconic Yas Marina Circuit.
Tips: For younger children, watch out for rides that are labelled as ‘Junior’- these rides are not as exhilarating (or nervewracking) as the speedy rollercoasters. Try Junior GT, a driving school for young children with expert instruction, where children will be taught road safety essentials before they go on the track (kids must be at least 1m tall).
How to get there: We found flights to Abu Dhabi from S$612. Ferrari World is a short 20-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport via Yas Leisure Drive. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle bus service that picks up passengers at these locations in Abu Dhabi.
Where to stay: Nightly prices for a room for three at the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi start at S$420.