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20 Awesome Amusement Parks

Show your family a screaming good vacation at Disney, Universal, or one of these other gravity-defying destinations.

By Ellen Parlapiano

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Journey to Atlantis, SeaWorld
Courtesy of SeaWorld
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SeaWorld

Best known for its marine shows, this park also offers some really rockin' rides.

Thrill: Get seriously soaked on Journey To Atlantis, a combination flume/water coaster. Then take a stormy simulated helicopter journey to the top of the world on Wild Arctic attraction and view real belugas, walruses, and polar bears. At the new Blue Horizons spectacular, check out aerialists, dolphins, bungee jumpers, high divers, exotic birds, and pilot whales. Seaworldsandiego.com; $69 for a seven-day pass, $59 for a one-day pass, ages 3-9 $59.

Chill: Adjacent to SeaWorld, the waterfront Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina has three lagoon pools, each with a waterslide, plus nighttime s'mores and dive-in movies through Labor Day weekend. Missionbay.hyatt.com; Adventure Package starts at $239 per night and includes 20% off on up to four tickets to either SeaWorld, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, or Wild Animal Park, and 20% off hotel restaurant meals; 619-224-1234. The intimate Porto Vista Hotel is located in downtown San Diego's Little Italy, about four miles from SeaWorld, and minutes from the zoo, historic Gaslamp quarter, and Petco Park. Portovistasd.com; nightly rates start at $110; 619-544-0164.

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