Ferrari world, Abu Dhabi
What: An indoor Ferrari-themed park the size of seven football fields that is pretty much in the middle of the desert.
Highlights: The Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster and the park’s focal point, gets up to 240 kilometres per hour and has the same G force as a Formula 1 car braking at maximum speed. For people seeking something a little more low-key, Bell’Italia is a peaceful car ride around a detailed miniature replica of Italy.
Best for: Petrol heads and people who can’t afford the real thing.
What: Yep, Dolly Parton has her own theme park. It embraces the Smoky Mountains frontier-feel of Tennessee and is also home to a number of musical events each year.
Highlights: The Wild Eagle, a roller coaster designed to make you feel like you are soaring like a bird through the sky. Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is another unique feature, housing a large collection of bald eagles.
Best for: Country music fans and little kids.
Coney Island, New York
What: Retro in the truest sense of the word, hitting the boardwalk at Coney Island is like taking a step back in time.
Highlights: The vaguely creepy arcade games and calorie-laden Americana food joints populated by eccentric locals.
Best for: Nostalgia.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Florida
What: A pretty perfect replica of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and things the boy who lived located within Florida’s Universal Studios.
Highlights: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a thrill ride allowing you to navigate the depths of the goblin-run vault.
Best for: Diehard fans.
The Holy Land Experience, Florida
What: Trust Americans to translate Christianity to a theme park. The park is more educational than exhilarating, with “exhibits” of various locations and events from the Bible. The Holy Land Experience’s official website describes the park as one which “brings together the sights and sounds of the world of the Bible in a unique and interactive way unlike anywhere else.” We don’t doubt that.
Highlights: An exact replica of the Garden Tomb, where Jesus was laid to rest and the Scriptorium, holding various religious artefacts.
Best for: Christians and the curious.
What: The name says it all: It’s a land, made out of Lego. Basically a little boy’s dream.
Highlights: Miniland USA, containing Lego versions of American icons like New York, San Francisco and the Las Vegas strip (just be thankful your kids aren’t going to the real thing…yet).
Best for: Lego-mad little kids and parents who want to tire them out.
Fairy Park, Victoria
What: Located just outside of Geelong, this is essentially a glorified playground featuring a cast of mystical creatures.
Highlights: Fairytale Land, an area containing hand-created scenes from favourite fables like Red Riding Hood and Snow White. Unfortunately, although the characters are sweet and well-intentioned, they’re also incredibly creepy.
Best for: Fairy-loving little girls (and boys!)
What: Like a smaller, Japanese version of Disneyland populated by a host of Sanrio characters including the globally recognisable Hello Kitty.
Highlights: Kitty castle, the home of the famous cat, is delightfully pink-saturated and kitschy to the hilt.
Best for: Girly girls and Kitty lovers.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong
What: Combines thrill rides with wildlife conservation and was the first place to inseminate bottle-nosed dolphins. What’s weirder than that? Jokes aside, the park’s location overlooking Repulse Bay is striking and its zoo components make it unique.
Highlights: Home to the world’s largest aquarium dome, you can mingle with over 5000 fish from behind a huge glass viewing panel. The park also houses arctic foxes, penguins, alligators, otters and red pandas.
BonBon Land, Denmark
What: A park created by a crazy candy company, filled with quirky characters, toilet humour and innuendo. A messed up Disneyland.
Highlights: Ride names like The Horse Dropping and Dog Fart Switchback. Delightful.
Best for: Your most immature friends and family members.
Angry Birds Land, Finland
What: Located within Särkänniemi, a larger theme park, this colourful, kids-centric adventure park is the first to be inspired by an iPhone application.
Highlights: An adventure course with ladders, tunnels and slides is the heart of the park – sort of like a giant, themed McDonalds playground.
Best for: Those who crave more than just the on-screen version of these furious, bulbous red avians.
What: Sometimes the weirdest things are right on your doorstep. Billionaire federal MP Clive Palmer made the controversial decision to instal over 160 life-size, moving dinosaur replicas in a family resort.
Highlights: Jeff, the T-Rex artfully placed on the golf course.
Best for: People who haven’t moved on from the Prehistoric age.