Seeking a Thrill: 7 Great Amusement Parks with Nearby Campgrounds

Photo Credit: Schlitterbahn Kansas City

Photo Credit: Mt. Olympus Zeus Village and Camp Resort

Photo Credit: Hersheypark Camping Resort

Theme parks and campgrounds are a perfect pairing for family activities. Imagine spending all day speeding around in rollercoasters, flying down a towering waterslide, or showing the world of Planet Snoopy to your children, then being able to keep the family bonding time going by roasting marshmallows and watching the stars above. Here are just a few suggestions for you to enjoy the theme-park-campground combination.

Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif.

Knotts Berry Farm really did start as a berry farm, but is now 160 acres of rollercoasters, water rides and family entertainment. The park has five themed areas including Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, Camp Snoopy and Indian Trails. Best of all, it’s less expensive than nearby Disney World. The park’s largest attraction is GhostRider, a wooden roller coaster that takes riders on a thrill ride through a mine.

Where to stay:

Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif.

This RV park offers spacious pull-throughs, free wi-fi and a complimentary continental breakfast. It’s pet friendly and close to Knotts Berry Park, Universal Studios and Disneyland. The Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) stops at the park every 25 minutes.

Orangeland RV Park, Orange, Calif.

Built on the site of a working orange grove, Orangeland has citrus trees from which guests are encouraged to pick fruit. It features extra-large, pull-through sites, mini-golf, a year-round heated pool and Jacuzzi, shuttle service, and more.

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point, located on a mile-long stretch of beach property on Lake Erie, calls itself the roller coaster capital of the world. It has 17 roller coasters, including Millennium Force, voted best steel roller coaster in the world, and kid-sized coasters. It also includes a waterpark, live entertainment, and a Dinosaurs Alive exhibit, which features more than 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.

Where to stay:

Sandusky KOA/Bayshore Estates, Sandusky, Ohio

Four miles from Cedar Point, this park offers RV sites, tent sites and deluxe one- and two-bedroom cabins. Family-friendly activities include a catch-and-release pond, snack shack, jumping pillow, gem mine, and movie nights.

Camp Sandusky Cabins, Sandusky, Ohio,

Camp Sandusky is 10 minutes from Cedar Point, has level, shady sites, and two pools. It offers three types of tent sites (premier, electric and primitive), RV sites with picnic tables, charcoal grills and fire rings, and
seven types of cabins.

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Mt. Olympus, the world’s largest theme park and water park resort, has four areas including Zeus' Playground, Neptune's Water Kingdom, The Parthenon, and Medusa's Indoor Waterpark. The outdoor park has 44 slides and water rides, five rollercoasters and eight go-kart tracks, plus golfing in the fall and skiing and tubing in the winter. The indoor park has water slides, go-karts and other attractions year-round.

Where to stay:

Mount Olympus ‘Zeus’ Village and Camp Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

This park offers RV sites, camping sites with tents, and amazing tree houses. Best of all, registered Mt. Olympus resort guests and their families receive free all-access passes to all four indoor and outdoor water and theme parks!

Wisconsin Dells KOA, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

This top-rated KOA is located in a peaceful, wooded area on a quiet country road one mile from downtown Dells and attractions. It accommodates all RV sizes and camping styles and has nightly movies, Candy Bar Bingo, and sing-alongs around the campfire.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Kansas City, Mo.

The Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City is home to the brand new, world’s tallest waterslide called Verruckt (German for “crazy”). This 168 ft. 7 in. tower gives riders a thrill of their lives while strapped into a three-person raft. The waterpark also offers a mile-long, interconnected river, water coasters, 13 mini slides, and a beach with private cabanas, heated pool and swim-up refreshment bar.

Where to stay:

Walnut Grove RV Park (Kansas City), Merriam, Kan.

If you’re looking for an in-town location near Kansas City attractions, all paved roads lead to this park’s shaded sites. It doesn’t have all the amenities in the world but it does have all the basics, allowing you to park your RV and explore the city.

Basswood Resort, Platte City, Mo.

This award-winning RV resort is more secluded from the city with lakeside accommodations including deluxe and large pull-thru sites and a tent area. It includes a heated pool, country store, pizza parlor, and a play structure and splash pad for kids.

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa.

Originally founded as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, Hersheypark now includes roller coasters, water rides, and other family rides from mild to wild. Signs at each ride entrance let you know if a ride is right for you based on your brand (i.e. height). Brands include Jolly rancher (over 60 inches tall), Twizzlers, Hershey’s, Reece’s, Hershey’s Kiss, and Miniatures (kiddie rides).

Where to stay:

Hersheypark Camping Resort, Hershey, Pa.

At this resort, you can bring your tent or RV or rent a log cabin. As an official resort of Hersheypark, it offers such cool advantages as savings on tickets, complimentary shuttle bus service to the park, and early access to select rides.

Hershey RV and Camping Resort, Lebanon, Pa.

This resort, eight miles from Hersheypark, is set on 200 acres of rolling farmland in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It’s enclosed in a natural valley of grassy fields, sloping down to a small fishing lake, and offers a variety of unique activities.

Busch Gardens, Tampa, Fla.

Busch Gardens is a 19th century African-themed animal theme park and zoo with a tropical landscape and more than 12,000 animals! The park offers thrill rides, live shows, and exclusive park experiences including a Serengeti Safari—a trek across the wild African Plain in an open-air touring vehicle, where you can get up close to exotic animals and feed some by hand.

Where to stay:

Lazydays RV Campground, Seffner, Fla.

This RV campground is eight miles from Busch Gardens and includes a restaurant, a screened and heated pool with hot tub, and fun activities for kids of all ages. It also provides shuttle service and complimentary premium coffee and morning newspaper delivery.

Tampa East RV Resort, Dover, Fla.

Nestled in a country setting and shaded by live Oaks, this resort is just 15 minutes from Busch Gardens and 45 minutes from Disney World. It has RV sites and spacious one-bedroom cottages that accommodate two to four people.

For more campground locations near theme parks, check out GoCampingAmerica.com Find a Park page.