Theme parks and attractions are a fun way to indulge your inner child and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To celebrate these thrill seekers in every corner of the planet, Booking.com has compiled a list of the world's weirdest and most wonderful theme parks and attractions, and where to stay when visiting them.
Florida, United States.
Take a trip to Weeki Wachee Springs and meet a real-life mermaid. This unique park offers kayaks, paddling adventures, river boat cruises and of course mermaids who swim in cool, crystal clear waters. It also features the Buccaneer Bay, Florida's only spring-fed waterpark, with a sandy white beach, swimming area and thrilling waterslides. You can also take a trip to the educational Animal Show or the 400-seat submerged Mermaid Theatre.
Where to stay: Offering an outdoor pool and fitness centre, the Microtel Inn & Suites are located in Weeki Wachee, perfect for visiting the Mermaid Park. Other nearby sites include Hernando Beach and the Weeki Wachee Springs.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tierra Santa translates to Holy Land. It's a religious theme park in Buenos Aires with large-scale reenactments of biblical scenes, including the amazing Noah's Ark and the streets of Jerusalem. Make sure you look out for the 18-metre Jesus statue which rises from beneath the rocks every hour.
Where to stay: You won't need a crib for a bed at this place. Have a cup of coffee while relaxing in the garden or on the sun terrace of the Villa San Gimignano. Chill by the pool during the day and sample food made by your hosts in the evening. The villa is a short drive away from popular landmarks including the Hippodrome and Colon Theatre.
Dusseldorf is home to Wunderland Kalkar - a theme park built on an abandoned nuclear plant, where even the cooling tower has been turned into a giant swing. This impressive theme park includes more than 40 rides and customers will be pleased to know that fries, ice cream and drinks are all included in the ticket price. The Dusseldorf city centre is also perfect for the budding fashionista or culture vulture, with its array of shops and rustic architecture.
Where to stay: Dusseldorf has a place to stay for every budget, from bed and breakfasts to grand castles. The Romantik Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt is just a short drive away from Wunderland Kalkar, as well as other landmarks such as the Moyland Castle. Guests can enjoy the stunning views of the castle's grounds while dining in the restaurant or on the terrace.
Kyushu is not only home to Japan's most active volcano, it also features Harmonyland a theme park dedicated to the characters of Sanrio, including the much-loved Hello Kitty. Along with shows and parades, you can also immerse yourself in the experience by visiting the Kitty Castle and taking a ride on the Sanrio Boat.
Where to stay: GAHAMA Terrace is a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) in the heart of Kyushu, great for a relaxing holiday or spa break. The ryokan is complete with a hot spring bath for guests to unwind after a day of theme park rides. You can sample the local cuisine by enjoying the traditional Asian breakfast.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A great destination for both a city and beach break, Abu Dhabi offers the best of both worlds. It's full of things to do, including a visit to Ferrari World. Ferrari World is not just for the car buff but for all members of the family. There's rollercoasters, simulators and optical illusion shows that bring the world of Ferrari to life.
Where to stay: Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is set half on land and half on water. It's perfectly located for sightseeing in with a selection of attractions within walking distance - including the Formula 1 circuit which can be seen from your room.
If you want to have a pool or activity day you can benefit from the wide range of treatments on offer at the spa as well as a beach club, golf course and two rooftop pools, with an incredible 11 restaurants and cafes serving international cuisine.
Experience a taste of the Australian outback by taking a trip to Crocosaurus Cove to feed the crocodiles (or even swim with them) as well as a trip to the reptile house. There's even an aquarium and the World of Crocs full of crocodile wax works.
Where to stay: Darwin Waterfront Luxury Apartments are ideal for appreciating the scenery. All apartments are available with a private balcony and there is a restaurant onsite for convenient dining. The apartments are in walking distance to the beach and a short drive away from a casino, water park and museums with plenty of scenery to take in along the way. It's a deal well worth snapping up.