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China is a world-renowned destination for exciting theme parks. China's theme parks usually offer a mixture of Western and local culture, exciting rides, theater or circus performances, and hotel resorts. Here are the top 10:
China's first and second most popular theme parks according to attendance are in Hong Kong according. Ocean Park has about 7 and a half million visitors a year and ranks as the 13th most visited in the world. Young people in the region like going there for the rides and animals.
It's main attractions are the dolphin and sea mammal acts. It also has pandas to see. It has one of the world's largest aquarium domes with thousands of sea animals.
China's second most popular theme park in on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. It also gets about 7 and a half million visitors a year and ranks as the 15th most visited in the world. Children like the rides, acts, and the cartoon characters.
It is the fifth Disneyland built in the world. It also has hotels where guests can stay. The park is relatively new, and it is still under construction with new areas and rides opening or planned.
Read more on Disneyland>>
This theme park is new, opened in 2004, and it already ranks as the third most popular in China and the 20th most popular in the world with about 6 million visitors each year. It is twice the size as Ocean Park. It too is still under construction, but it already has the world's largest aquarium and one of the world's longest roller coasters. You might be amazed watching the miniature sea. It has high quality amusement rides, entertainment, hotels, and theater facilities.
It is a complete entertainment resort meant to attract Macau visitors. A new bridge connecting Macau with the area facilitates travel.
How to get there: From Guangzhou, the high speed train goes from Guangzhou South Station to the Gongbei Station in about an hour. Reaching the park takes about 40 minutes from Gongbei Border Bus Station on bus K10 (3 yuan). You can also take a bus from Jida Bus Terminal.
In terms of attendance, this is one of China's top theme parks. About 6 million go there annually. It is unlike the others though because there are no big rides or huge aquariums. It is a big park built on the theme of the Song Empire with big theatrical acts, buildings, performances, restaurants, and stores meant to show what life was like at that time about 800 years ago. It is one of the seven most popular tourist attractions in Hangzhou according to TripAdvisor in 2016.
The main attractions are a big theatrical/acrobatics/dance performance and a Chinese haunted house. The nearby West Lake is also an attraction to visit at the same time.
Read more on Songcheng Park>>
The park stretches from the coast to high up a mountain in Shenzhen. It currently serves about 4 million visitors each year. Ecoventure Valley and Tea Stream Valley are the main park areas. OCT features outdoor sporting activities, science education facilities, ecotourism, and leisure facilities. This beautiful theme park is the city's tourism model district, and they use advanced environmental management practices.
Read more on Overseas China Town>>
This cultural park has a dinosaur theme, and it features more than 70 tourist attractions including Dinosaur Island, hot springs, green gardens, a water park (open July and August), and high-tech facilities. Funny Dinosaur Town features arcade gaming facilities and exhibitions.
Dinosaur Island integrates ecological and environmental themes and offers a variety of attractive and adventurous activities for children including forest climbing, dinosaur hunting in the bushes, obstacle courses, mountain adventures and cable sliding. Dinosaur Island features a variety of stage performances, model rockets, model guns and men in military garb.
Rides: In addition to having rides suitable for adults, the park has kids rides. Lubara has bizarrely-themed pirate ships.
How to get there: The address is 1 Hanjiang Road, New Area District, Changzhou. Take bus 26 or 302.
Window of the World is actually a part of the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT). It is near Happy Valley in Shenzhen that is also in the top 10. It has no big rides, but it is known for replicas of famous buildings around the world and for its theater and performances.
About 3 and a half million people visit it each year. Many people visit it along with Happy Valley or Splendid China and the Chinese Folk Culture Village that are also in the same OCT area and either across the street or within walking distance.
Read more on Window of the World>>
Guangzhou Changlong (or Chimelong) Holiday Resort is by far the most popular place in Guangzhou for foreign tourists. It features a combination of attractive and entertaining facilities all in one place: animal safari park and zoo, water park, thrill rides, hotel, art/theater, circus gaming and golfing facilities.
Read more on Guangzhou Changlong Holiday Resort>>.
The Beijing Happy Valley is owned by the same company that owns Shenzhen Happy Valley. The park features a variety of attractions in an area of 1 square kilometer. It offers more than 50 landscape themes, 10 themed shows, 30 theme rides, and over 20 gaming and business support facilities.
In 2016, it is ranked 34th in the world per annual visitorship. About 3 and a half people visit each year.
Thriller coaster rides: Six world-class rides include the 'Snow-Covered Gold Wings' — the largest suspended roller coaster in Asia, the Titan Car — Asia's largest pendulum ride, 'Heaven and Earth Shuttle — the only twin towers shuttle in Asia, and the Apollo Wheel — the world's tallest Ferris wheel.
Read more about Beijing Happy Valley>>
Shenzhen Happy Valley theme park occupies an area of 350,000 square meters, and it was built at a cost of 2 billion yuan. It is one of the most advanced parks in China today, and it offers business and entertainment facilities including Theater Ballet in the evenings and big thrill rides.
As of 2016, about 3 and a half million people visit each year. It rounds out the top ten theme parks in China.
Read more on Shenzhen Happy Valley>>
Want an itinerary crafted by a family tour expert? See our recommended tour itineraries below for inspiration: