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Top 10 theme parks; Holidays.

Byline: Gill Williams

Looking for a holiday? Each week I'm going to pick my Top 10 best trips and deals, whether it's a cruise, B& B or beach holiday. I'll do the hard work for you! This week it's thrills all the way as we look at the world's best theme parks...

To book today or for more Travel Top 10 ideas simply go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

1. ALTON TOWERS, STAFFORDSHIRE

RIDE if you dare Nemesis, Air and Oblivion and hang on tight on the Runaway Mine Train. Alton Towers Resort is packed full of white-knuckle rides, nerve-racking pitch-black drops and speed-driven vertical Gs. There are gentler rides for younger children, along with a beach-themed water park, crazy golf and picnic areas in the Tower and Gardens. New for this summer is Sharkbait Reef.

HOW MUCH: Play-and-Stay.co.uk has a short break with overnight stay in a local hotel where kids go free (under-11s) with every adult paying. Prices between September 1 and 30 start at pounds 31.50 per night. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

2. CHESSINGTON WORLD OF ADVENTURES

FLY on the Vampire rollercoaster, take a spin round Dragon's Fury or discover the mystery of Tomb Blaster. Then come face to face with sharks and stingrays in the Surrey park's Sea Life Centre. Or hit the Ice Age 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs Adventure.

HOW MUCH: The Roar & Snore break at Chessington, staying on site at the Holiday Inn, gives you character breakfasts, early park entry, plus B& B from pounds 169 for a family of four. Check out www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

3. FUTUROSCOPE, POITIERS, FRANCE

ENJOY SCIENCE and moving image-related thrill rides as well as images in giant-screen format, breathtaking shows and interactive adventures. They are all aimed at thrilling the senses, including a futuristic safari.

HOW MUCH: Stay within the park at the Hotel du Futuroscope for pounds 55pp per night when two adults share plus pounds 25 for kids. The price includes entry to the park and an evening show. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

4. UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT, FLORIDA

HANG out with Homer and the gang on the Simpsons Ride, come unravelled on Revenge of The Mummy and other scary coasters like The Ride and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. White-knuckle thrills cover two theme parks - Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, plus the Universal City Walk. There are great shows, from the Blue Man Group's multimedia theatrics to Beetlejuice's Graveside Revue, starring all your favourite ghouls and demons from the other side. And for sheer musical fun go to The Blues Brothers' revue on an outdoor stage in the New York backlot.

HOW MUCH: Staying inside the park at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort means you can jump the queues with a VIP pass. Stay in a room sleeping up to five from pounds 160 per night. See www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

5.PARC ASTERIX, PICARDY, FRANCE

WHIZZ back in time to see the prehistoric Gauls, then take a stroll through Le Moyen-Age (the Middle Ages). Inspired by the globally-popular cartoon series, Parc Asterix cleverly mixes animation with history. There are lost of special shows and offers this summer to celebrate Parc Asterix's 20th anniversary. The park is just an hour's drive north of Paris and has 31 attractions and big live shows, all staged in six worlds decorated with Gaulish humour.

HOW MUCH: Book your tickets on line at discount prices for pounds 17.20pp. Go to www.parcs-d-attraction.com/parc-asterix-entrance-special-offers-459.html; stay at the two-star Companile Hostel Senlis form pounds 27.50pp when two share. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10.

6.WALT DISNEY WORLD, ORLANDO, FLORIDA

YOU won't need to wish upon a star to have a fab time when you take the kids to the ultimate Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Storybook fantasies come to life with rides like the Mickey's PhilharMagic, a fab 3-D adventure, the Wishes Nighttime Firework Spectacular, the rollicking high-speed rollercoaster of Space Mountain and the ghostly, ghoulfilled Haunted Mansion. Allow plenty of time for Epcot, Disney's science and discovery park, that makes education so entertaining, kids don't realise they're learning!

HOW MUCH: A week in a villa with its own pool costs pounds 679pp this month and next or from pounds 489pp departing between September 9 and March 10. Price includes flights, hire car and a week's villa rental. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

7. DISNEYLAND RESORT PARIS, FRANCE

THREE hours from London on the Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) brings you into the magical world of Disneyland Resort Paris. The most famous theme park in Europe bursts with attractions to suit all ages, from children's favourite It's A Small World to action-packed thrill rides including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and the out-of-thisworld Space Mountain: Mission 2. Try to stay within the parameters of the park - it's usually cheaper and you can give yourself and the kids a break at the hotel between shows, rides and parades.

HOW MUCH: Three nights half-board with park tickets at Disney's Sequoia Lodge from Saturday October 7 costs a total of pounds 640 excluding travel. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

8. PORTAVENTURA, COSTA DORADA, SPAIN

GO around the world in a single day when you take the kids to Universal's PortAventura on the Costa Dorada. It spreads across five lands with rollercoasters and other scream-inducing rides. There's also Caribe Aquatic Park, with the world's highest water ride, plus three new golf courses.

HOW MUCH: Stay at four-star Villa Romana, within walking distance of the park. The hotel has lively entertainment programme a freeform pool and kids' club. It's also just half-a-mile from the beach at Salou. Seven nights' half-board from pounds 555 per adult, pounds 345 for the first child and pounds 405 for the second, based on two adults and two children sharing, departing from Stansted on August 4. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

9. SEA WORLD, ORLANDO, FLORIDA

THE powerful underwater swimming of manta rays has inspired the latest big attraction at Florida's Sea World this summer - a roller-coaster ride strictly for white-knuckle fans and not for anyone prone to seasickness! But it's not all rides at the park. You can also experience oceanic life up-close as you walk around exhibits that are home to sharks, penguins, dolphins, manatees and orcas. And try out other aquaticthemed rides such as Journey to Atlantis.

HOW MUCH: Sea World and Aquatica 2 park ticket, pounds 65. Two weeks at the Quality Inn, International Drive, room-only from pounds 944 adult, pounds 550 first child, pounds 700 second. Prices based on two adults and two kids sharing, flying from Bristol August 16. See www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

10. DUINRELL, HOLLAND

GO for white-knuckle or watery thrills at Holland's Duinrell Amusement Park and the Tiki waterpark. Both are free if staying on site. While older kids ride the Mad Mill or do toboggan runs, you can take younger ones to the Fairytale Wonderland. Tiki Park is the largest covered waterslide park in Europe with 1,000m of slides and shoots. The campsite has themed eateries and a supermarket. There are also woodlands and dunes - and you're only 30 miles from Amsterdam. The parks are open until November 1 (passport photos required for entry tickets).

HOW MUCH: A half-term week at Duinrell (from October 25) booked through Eurocamp costs pounds 386 for a three-bed mobile home (sleeps eight max), accommodation-only. Go to www.sundaymirror.co.uk/travel/top10

CAPTION(S):

Hold on tight! Thrills on the Nemesis ride... The incredible Oblivion at Alton Towers
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Aug 2, 2009
Words:1280
Previous Article:EXPERT ADVICE.
Next Article:INSIDE GUIDE.


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