As some of you know, I blog for the U.S. Family Guide. I was beyond thrilled when they offered my family complimentary passes to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. Annapolis is only 2 hours from the park, so it was hard to say no! I actually had gown to Dutch Wonderland as a child myself, though I had no visited since I was maybe 5 years old. I remember it as an amusement park geared towards kids, so I was excited to take my son.
After scheduling conflicts, I finally was able to visit the park with my son and my parents last weekend. Pulling up, I could tell Dutch Wonderland did some awesome updates since I was there 20 years prior. When you walk over the draw bridge and through the castle gates, you find yourself in a “small village” setting where you can purchase tickets, visit Merlin’s Restaurant, head over to guest relations, or stop in the gift shop! Once in the park, the first ride we saw was the Wonderland Special train. I remember this ride from when I was a kid! Since the train was loading, we immediately hopped on.
The train travels through out the park, so it was nice to see a preview of the attractions. I liked being able to pick out what rides ahead of time that I thought my son would be able to ride and not ride.
The train also traveled throughout the woods and along a lake in which the park backs up to. Those parts were quite relaxing and serene. I noticed Dutch Wonderland was starting to decorate for their Winter Wonderland later this year. It was a pleasant surprise to spot Rudolph in the woods!
Now after the train, we were ready for some rides! First we had to see what level of gemstone the little guy was. Even though he was the lowest level, there were still plenty of rides for him to enjoy.
One of my son’s favorite rides was the Choo Choo Charlie. Now this ride is “hand-powered”, but at just 17 months, my son didn’t really understand what he was suppose to do nor was strong enough to power the train. Dutch Wonderland thankfully has these long sticks (similar to a broom handle) that parents can use to push the train along the track for kids who may not be able to power the train themselves. My son had a blast on this and wanted to keep going around. Since there was no line, we did this ride quite a few times!
Some of my son’s favorite rides included the Panda Party, Duke’s Doozers, Sky Fighters, Off-Road Rally, and the Merry-Go-Round! I love that he really enjoyed himself on the rides. Previously, he had only ridden a Merry-Go-Round so I wasn’t sure how he would react. However, he LOVED the rides and had so much fun.
There were lots of other rides (many that I didn’t photograph) my son was too young for. There are two roller coasters: the Family Coaster and the Kingdom Coaster. As a kid, I never had the chance to ride the Kingdom Coaster. So yes, I rode the coaster all alone, but it was still fun! I was excited to see they still have the Fun Slide too.
I was happy to see that Dutch Wonderland still had some of the staples that were present when I was a kid. Yes, the giant pretzel, the cow you can milk, and the Amish couple are still in the park!
As for food, there are many dining options throughout the park. We opted to dine in the Millstream Eatery. Since it was a hot day, I especially liked that it was air conditioned! The eatery offers everything from Noble Romans Pizza to Nathan’s hot dogs, to burgers, chicken, salads, fresh fruit, jello, Asian cuisine, macaroni & cheese, and more. Various beverages were available as well.
Not in the mood for a whole meal? There are snack options throughout the park if you just want a quick bite!
I did notice that Dutch Wonderland has a party facility for birthdays! There wasn’t a party going on at the time I passed by, but it looked like a nice facility. I later looked at their website, and it sounds like Dutch Wonderland provides everything you will need for your special little one’s party!
Don’t forget to stop in the Gift Shop on your way out! We stopped in to use the rest rooms (which were very clean!) before we hit the road. The plush Dukes were just too cute! There were also many fun personalized gifts that could be purchased in the shop.
Overall we had a fabulous time! There were plenty of rides for my son’s age. I found the park to be quite clean compared to other amusement parks I’ve visited in the past. There were plenty of dining and entertainment options. I’m sad that we didn’t quite get to catch a show. We did stop by a Princess Story Time show, but my son showed no interest. Hopefully when we visit next year, he will be the next level up and can enjoy even more rides!
Visit: The regular season of Dutch Wonderland sadly ends on October 7th. However, Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland will be open from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from October 13th to the 28th. Be sure to check their website later this year when they release the dates for their Winter Wonderland hours. Ticket prices vary upon age and season. Children ages 2 and younger are allowed in for free. Single Day Royalty Admission (ages 3 to 59) is $36.99. Seniors discounts are available. Group discounts and season passes are also available.
I received complimentary Royalty Admission for my family and I through the U.S. Family Guide Blogger program. The opinions and views are 100% my own and I was not influenced otherwise.