The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

The list of the best amusement parks for families in 2017 include:

  • Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
    What’s New: Cedar Point Shores, an 18-acre waterpark located along Lake Erie with 17 water attractions for all ages, VIP cabanas, restaurants, shopping and live entertainment.
  • Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
    What’s New: Drop Line, a 230-foot tall drop tower, with a spinning gondola that offers riders a breathtaking view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Also joining the park in 2017 is Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster positioned as a great first-coaster for younger park visitors.
  • Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)
    What’s New: Hershey Triple Tower offers three drop towers for park guests to choose from – Hershey’s Tower, the tallest at 189-feet high; Reese’s Tower, is the second tallest at 131-feet high; and Hershey’s Kisses Tower standing at 80-feet tall.
  • Kings Island (Mason, OH)
    What’s New: Mystic Timbers, a 3,265-foot long wooden coaster with a 48″ height requirement – making it an ideal coaster for riders of various ages.
  • Silver Dollar City (Branson, MO)
    What’s New: New Silver Dollar Food Days run from July 31 – August 20, highlighting favorite festival food like funnel cakes, kettle corn and milkshakes, and taking them to new levels.
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL)
    What’s New: For guests visiting the park, plan a trip to Universal Orlando Resort’s newest water theme park, Volcano Bay – a 25-acre park featuring 18 unique attractions including a wave pool, winding river, raft rides, body slides and more.
  • Universal Studios (Hollywood, CA and Orlando, FL)
    What’s New: Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon brings guests a simulated race through New York City – a history of The Tonight Show, Hashtag the Panda and the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet also join in the fun.
  • Six Flags (Nationwide)
    What’s New: Six Flags is unveiling new rides at each of its parks across North America, including Warner Brothers and DC Comics-branded rides and attractions.

About Family Vacation Critic
Family Vacation Critic® is a comprehensive online travel resource for families that offers reviews of family hotels, resort and destinations. The site features vacation ideas, family travel tips and an online forum for family travelers. Family Vacation Critic is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

New Fun Debuting At Dorney Park as it Opens For Its 134th Season

New Fun Debuting At Dorney Park as it Opens For Its 134th Season

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, the center of summer fun and family entertainment in the Lehigh Valley, will officially open the gates for the 2017 season on Saturday, April 29th at 10:00 AM. Season Passholders will have the exclusive opportunity to participate in a Special Preview on Friday, April 28th from 5:00 – 9:00 PM. New rides, new shows and new fun will debut this season, including two new family rides, new live entertainment, a new catering pavilion, new food & beverage offerings and enhancements to Wildwater Kingdom.

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3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.

The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.

At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.

Weekday Travel Restrictions on I-95 in Bucks County Pennsylvania

?Weekday travel restrictions are scheduled on Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 in Bucks County next week for pavement repairs, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced.

The work schedule, which is weather dependent, is:

• On Monday, February 1, and Tuesday, February 2, from 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, lane closures are scheduled on northbound and southbound I-95 between the Route 132 (Street Road) and Route 332 exits in Bensalem and Middletown townships, for a moving patching operation; and

• On Tuesday, February 2 through Thursday, February 4, from 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, a slow moving patching operation will restrict travel on northbound and southbound U.S. 1 between Rockhill Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in Bensalem, Middletown, and Falls townships.

Motorists are advised to allow additional time for travel on I-95 and U.S. 1 during the weekday operations.


For more I-95 information, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide

I-95 Nighttime Lane and Ramp Restrictions Scheduled in Philadelphia

Nighttime travel restrictions are scheduled this week along Interstate 95 for construction at the Cottman Avenue (Route 73), Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue and Girard Avenue interchanges in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced. Lane restrictions also will be in effect on Aramingo Avenue at the Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue Interchange.

Construction is associated with contracts underway to improve the ramp system at the Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue Interchange and to rebuild the Cottman Avenue (Route 73) and Girard Avenue interchanges and reconstruct and widen more than three miles of I-95 adjoining those interchanges.

Through Saturday, February 6, the Princeton Avenue on-ramp to I-95 north will be closed from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning for overhead bridge construction. Motorists will be detoured north on State Road, then left on Linden Avenue, then right on the ramp to I-95 north at the Academy Road Interchange.

Through Saturday, February 6, the I-95 north off-ramp to Cottman Avenue (Route 73) will be closed from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning for overhead bridge construction. Motorists will be detoured north on I-95 to the exit at the Academy Road Interchange, then right on Linden Avenue, and right on State Road to Cottman Avenue (Route 73).

On Tuesday, February 2, through Thursday, February 4, motorists using the ramp from I-95 north to Aramingo Avenue at the Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue Interchange will encounter lane restrictions and periodic traffic stoppages of up to 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning for installation of construction barriers on the ramp.

On Tuesday, February 2, through Thursday, February 4, lane closures and periodic traffic stoppages of up to 15 minutes are scheduled on Aramingo Avenue in the vicinity of the Betsy Ross Bridge/Aramingo Avenue Interchange from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning for beam setting operations on the overhead ramp.

I-95 and Aramingo Avenue motorists should expect slow moving traffic and possible delays when entering the work zones. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.


For more I-95 information, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide