Family Thrills: Favourite UK Theme Park Rides for Families
Most people associate summer with beaches, water and ice cream but if you’re a thrill lover, you know summer is also the main theme park season. From the big scary roller coasters to the kiddie rides - there are plenty of theme park rides in the UK that you can do with your family, whatever age your kids are.
We’ll help you plan your next theme park adventure by sharing with you our favourite theme park rides that we think every adrenaline-loving family should experience together. We’ve picked a couple of our favourite rides at some of the most-loved theme parks in the UK, so you can have something to look forward to whichever theme park you’ve chosen to explore next. Just to give you a taste of what’s in store, our list features Thorpe Park rides, Drayton Manor rides, LEGOLAND rides, Paultons Park rides and more.
Alton Towers Rides
Alton Towers offers the best of both worlds - it’s not only home to some of the UK’s most extreme theme park rides, but it’s also a kids’ favourite, thanks to the widely popular CBeebies Land.
Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop
Launched in March 2019, Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop is the latest Alton Towers ride to be added to CBeebies Land. You’ll be invited to take a look at Mr McGregor's garden from above to try and spot Benjamin Bunny. You’ll “hop” up and back down on two mini drop-towers. You can ride alongside your kids, so it’s a great ride to enjoy with the youngest members of your family.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 0.9m; Up to 1.1 m to be accompanied by an adult
The Wicker Man
There are plenty of contenders for the top pick in the Best Roller coasters category at Alton Towers but we simply love The Wicker Man! This six-storey, fire-breathing wooden attraction is fun, thrilling and wonderfully-themed. Plus, the height restriction on the ride is only 1.2m - the average height for 6-7-year old, which makes The Wicker Man a proper family coaster.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.2m
Thorpe Park Rides
Thorpe Park is the home of thrills in the UK. If your family likes riding on the dangerous side of life, this is where you’d want to be. However, this doesn’t mean that younger kids will be forgotten - there are plenty of tamer family attractions too.
Carrying the crown of the UK’s fastest roller coaster, Stealth simply had to make it on our list of the best theme park rides in the UK. It shoots you up 205ft high, with speeds rising from 0 to 80mph in under 2 seconds, and you’ll experience brake horse power equal to two Formula 1 cars. It’s a treat for any adrenaline junkie out there!
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.4m, Maximum Height 1.96m
A sure family favourite, Flying Fish is a kids’ roller coaster designed to give even the tiniest adrenaline seekers something to talk about. It’s an electrically powered ride, so there are no super scary gravity drops, which means the experience shouldn’t be too intense for your little ones.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 0.9m, Under 1.1m must be accompanied by 16+
Drayton Manor Rides
OK, every parent of a train-loving child knows, Drayton Manor Theme Park is where Thomas Land is. Here your budding engine drivers will be choo-chooing their way to fun all day long. But if you’re a thrill-loving adult with daredevil teens on your hands, you’ll also have enough big Drayton Manor rides to get the rush you crave.
The Troubles Trucks Runaway Coaster is a kids’ roller coaster perfect for first-time riders. It twists and turns, and tilts along the track just enough to have the tiniest riders excited without making them feel uncomfortable. We recommend this one as a first coaster for your little ones.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.0m, Under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult
If you’re into big thrills, you’ve probably seen everything from giant drop towers to super fast spinning roller coasters. However, Shockwave stands above the rest by being the only coaster in the UK that will have you riding standing up AND it’s the only stand-up roller coaster with a zero-gravity roll in the world!
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.4m
LEGOLAND Windsor offers 55 rides and attractions designed for kids aged 3-12, so your kids will most probably love all LEGOLAND rides they go on but we had to choose and here are our favourites!
LEGO NINJAGO The Ride
LEGO NINJAGO is our top pick out of the bunch because you can ride in groups of four which makes it a great ride to enjoy as a family. In a nutshell, it’s an interactive 4D experience which places you in the midst of a ninja battle where you have to wave your hands (in the most ninja-like way imaginable, of course!) in roder to take down your enemies.
Height Restrictions: No Minimum, Under 1.3m must be accompanied by an adult
If your kids are too small to go on any of the bigger rides, The Dragon is just the ride to give them their first kids’ roller coaster experience. The ride will take you on a wild adventure through the Castle and you’ll even meet The Dragon himself!
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.0m, Under 1.3m must be accompanied by an adult
Paultons Park Rides
Paultons Theme Park is a wonderful theme park designed for kids under 5. A great spot for families with adventurous tots, what makes Paultons truly unique is the incredibly popular Peppa Pig World - the world’s first Peppa Pig- themed attraction, exclusive to the UK.
A toddler roller coaster with a dinosaur twist to it - what more could you want? Dino Chase is a ride with no minimum height restriction. As long as your little one is at least 1-year-old, you can enjoy this prehistoric ride together.
Height Restrictions: No minimum height, Must be at least 12 months old
Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club
Our second pick from the Paultons Park rides just had to be located at Peppa Pig’s World! Try something different - go on a spinning boating adventure at Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club and see some of your favourite Peppa characters. With four people in each boat, this is a gentle and relaxing family ride.
Height Restrictions: No minimum height, Must be at least 12 months old
Gullivers World Rides
If you’ve got kids of different ages, Gullivers World is a great place to take your next family outing. All Gullivers World rides are designed for ages 2 - 13, so your whole experience will be centred around the little ones (as it should!).
Flight of the Pteranodon
How do you feel about having a go at flying? The Flight of the Pteranodon will have you strapped in in a horizontal position in a tandem spinning ride. It’s different than your usual standing or sitting theme park rides, plus little dino lovers are sure to be super excited.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 110, Under 140 must be accompanied by an adult
The Wriggler is a fun, caterpillar-shaped toddlers’ roller coaster which does exactly what the name advertises - it wriggles joyfully around the track, putting smiles on kids faces. It’s the perfect choice for your youngest ones’ first theme park ride.
Height Restrictions: Minimum 0.9m, Under 120 must be accompanied by an adult
Blackpool Pleasure Beach Rides
Blackpool Pleasure Beach not only boasts a stunning seaside location, but it’s also packed with exhilarating theme park rides. There you'll find everything you need to make unforgettable family memories together.
ICON at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The ICON is considered an iconic theme park ride for a reason - it’s the UK’s first double-launch roller coaster. You’ll accelerate as fast as a Formula 1 rider while speeding across the park and even interacting with other rides. Exciting!
Height Restrictions: Minimum 1.3m
Wallace and Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic
If you need to take a break from all the adrenaline-filled action, a family ride such as Wallace and Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic is what we’d suggest. It isn’t a fast or bumpy attraction - it’s an enthralling journey for four through scenes from different Wallace and Gromit adventures. Stunning scenery, amazing special effects and lots of fun await!
Height Restrictions: Minimum 0.92m
Of course there’s plenty more to explore in the world of theme parks and thrills but we hope that our top picks have given you enough information about the most exciting family theme park rides in the UK to get you started on your next theme park adventure. Enjoy!