Dutch Wonderland Theme Park

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This time of year, one of the best ways to escape the summer heat (and tedium if you are home with kids) is a day at a theme park.  One of our semi-local favorites is Dutch Wonderland, home to Duke the Dragon (whom my son loves). Located in Amish County, in Lancaster PA (another favorite place of ours) it’s a great place to spend a holiday as well.

6 20 14 and waterparks 102Dutch Wonderland has tons of rides and games, as well as many food and drink stands. Some favorites are the “Panda Party”, which is an adorable ride in which the kids ride in Panda Bears and go around the beehive in circles, the Leapin’ Frogs, which bounce around causing the kids to erupt in giggles until the ride hops to a stop, and the Double Splash Flume, a classic ride with two drops (but not too scary or steep that would frighten the kids).

6 20 14 and waterparks 101New this year is Exploration Island, where you can walk among more then 20 dinosaurs the roar and move as you view them.

“Exploration Island is a rediscovered island of adventure and fun where guests will have the opportunity to walk with over 20 lifelike dinosaurs, dig for fossil remains, take a spin on the newly relocated and lengthened Turnpike ride and travel the Island canals on the classic Gondola Cruise.
This once under-utilized area of the Park has been re-purposed to house not only our dinosaur families, but our Turnpike ride as well. The Turnpike was one of the four original rides at Dutch Wonderland when it opened in 1963. We have moved this classic ride to Exploration Island and more then doubled the ride length in the process giving guests more spectacular views of dinos and the surrounding farm landscape.
We’ve also discovered dinosaur fossil remains and set up a permanent archeological dig at Dino Dig, where young explorers can unearth the fossil remains of dinosaurs. Brushes, buckets and diggers are available for use.”

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Other things to try while at Exploration Island are;

-Dino Dig- Young explorers will “dig” this open air site where dinosaur fossils are unearthed. Grab a brush and dust off the past to discover fossilized T-Rex footprints, as well as Triceratops and Stegosaurus skeletons buried in the sand – waiting to be found!
– Prehistoric Path- Experience dinosaurs close- up as you explore the lush island pathways at your own pace. Along the way, you’ll meet a dozen animatronic dinosaurs and their families who come to life as you look on. Each dinosaur has a story, so be sure to check out the facts and trivia posted throughout the walkway.
– Turnpike Ride- Relocated and more than doubled in length, our iconic Turnpike has been relocated to Exploration Island and dino-sized to bring guests more turns, straightaways, and snap-worthy picture ops during the journey! Putter along the outer rim of Exploration Island at a furious pace of 5 mph while you keep an eye out for dinosaurs (and speed traps!).
– Gondola Cruise- This classic ride invites guests to embark on a picturesque canal cruise around the inner rim of Exploration Island. Snap photos of dinosaurs as they peek out at you as you float by.

6 20 14 and waterparks 122But there is so much more to Dutch Wonderland!  Make sure you see one of the many live shows offered at the park, including water shows. Choose from shows like “Really Royal, the story of Princess Brooke”, “Adventures of the Frog Prince” a show that combines the high dive and fairly tale, and “Dutch Wonderland’s Royal Friends”, where you can meet and greet costumed performers of the park’s mascots. There are more to choose from- go to https://www.dutchwonderland.com to see more options, times, and rides.

6 20 14 and waterparks 128Bring your bathing suit and visit Duke’s Lagoon, sure to be everyone’s favorite on hot summer days.  With several different play areas (and larger water slides nearby) including one for the smallest park goers, there will be a place for everyone to enjoy.  Even mom and dad0 they provide plenty of lounge chairs and tables to relax at- if you are really lucky, you might even score an umbrella!

6 20 14 and waterparks 143Duke’s Lagoon was the perfect way to end our day- although in all honesty, we also hit up the Turtle Whirl and Space Shuttle on the way back to the car.  There are changing rooms provided, so you can swap your suits for dry clothes.

6 20 14 and waterparks 147Enjoy your day, and get your tickets soon at the park or at https://www.dutchwonderland.com . Did I mention free parking?  Yep, gotta love that.  I hate when places charge you to park, such a rip off.  But not at Dutch Wonderland. This is one of our favorite spots for summer fun.  Spend the night in one of the local hotels and enjoy Lancaster a bit while you are there, too- you won’t regret it.

6 20 14 and waterparks 137Follow Dutch Wonderland on Social Media!   Twitter: @FunatDW
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DutchWonderlandPA
Instagram: @DutchWonderland


  1. vickie couturier says

    looks like everyone had tons of fun,,my grandsons would love going to a place like this

  2. Heidi Daily says

    We love “Duck Wonderland”, as my daughter says. It is such a great amusement park for kids, there is so much for them to do there without it being too overwhelming.

  3. I’ve been seeing commercials for Dutch Wonderland. We haven’t made it up to PA yet, but it would be a fun weekend getaway! That high dive looks awesome to watch!

  4. exploration island looks like a blast

  5. Uplifting Families says

    This looks like a great place to visit. Thank you for sharing.

  6. That looks like so much fun!

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