Two of the top ten amusement parks in the U.S. for 2024 are right here in the Midwest! USA Today's 10Best has named the best theme parks of the year, courtesy of votes from their readers.

In first place for 2024 is a park that isn't too far of a drive from Iowa. It's Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri!

According to Wikipedia, Silver Dollar City is a 61-acre amusement park that is located at Marvel Cave, which is one of the oldest attractions in the Ozarks. It first opened to the public on May 1st of 1960. The park pays tribute to its roots with an 1880s mining town theme. USA Today says that Silver Dollar City "attracts some 2 million visitors annually with its combination of entertainment, festivals, 100 resident craftsmen, and more than 40 rides and attractions."

Some of the notable rides at Silver Dollar City include The Flooded MineOutlaw RunFire in the HoleThunderation, and Time Traveler, which is "the world's fastest, steepest, and tallest spinning coaster." Other attractions include live music and shows, ten annual festivals, and 100 craftsmen that demonstrate everything from glassblowing to baking to candle-making!

And no theme park would be complete without FOOD! Silver Dollar City is home to 18 different eateries and a wide-variety of options. An article from Tripster says that the park "is known worldwide for its mouth-watering skillet meals," which can be purchased at Buckshot's Skillet CookeryDockside Grill, and Lumbercamp Falls Skillet. There's also some delicious BBQ to try at Rivertown Smokehouse, hand-dipped corn dogs, and Tater Twists, aka fried potatoes spiraled around a stick.

If you're in the mood for something sweet, you can grab a funnel cake from Farmers' Market, ice cream from Hannah’s Ice Cream Factory, or one of the baked goods available at Eva Delilah’s Bakery. Eva Delilah’s Bakery is a park staple, serving up different flavors of cinnamon rolls and bread.

For more information on Silver Dollar City, the number one amusement park in the U.S. for 2024, you can check out the official website HERE.

The other Midwest theme park to make the top ten list is my personal favorite. Coming in at number ten is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio!

Growing up in Michigan, Cedar Point was the place to go every summer. Thanks to its 18 rollercoasters, the park calls itself "the roller coaster capital of the world." According to USA Today, "the park's history dates back to 1870, making it the second-oldest continually operated amusement park on the continent, and it's managed to maintain that classic park feel, complete with a generously sized midway and one of the only operating D.C. Muller carousels in the world."

My favorite ride at Cedar Point is HANDS DOWN the Millennium Force. When it arrived in the year 2000, it broke records as the tallest roller coaster and the first to top 300 feet, and it also had the longest drop and the fastest speed (93 mph).

The Raptor is another coaster that has a special place in my heart. It was the first rollercoaster I ever rode at Cedar Point, mainly because it was the first one I saw when I walked into the park for the first time. I also recommend the Maverick, the Corkscrew, and maXair, which isn't a coaster, but it's still SO FUN.

For more information on Cedar Point, you can visit the park's official website HERE.

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin