**NOTE: When my blog changed hosts, the photos for this blog post were lost in the move. Please be patient while I redo the photos to add back into this blog post. Thank you.**
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.
This looks really fun! We may have to drive up next weekend! :)
I wish we had places like this where I live! What a great place to spend the day with family!!
Looks like someone liked the merry-go-round!
I was wondering if my kiddo would be too small for the rides. She’s almost 2 but it looks like they have some rides she might want to try. Thanks for the inside scoop!
Mallery Schuplin says
It looks like you guys had fun! Michael is 14 months so he will be more than ready to do things like this when Summer comes back around.
Wow – I had heard about this place but have to admit I did not expect it to be as with the times or as fun looking as it is here! I will definitely have to reconsider when we do our East Coast trips. Thanks for sharing!
Emily @ Baby Dickey says
This looks like a ton of fun, I wish we lived closer! I need to find something like this near us!
michelle @AThriftyDiva says
Your son is so good and sits in the rides. My 19 month old would be climbing out. Looks like a lot of fun, I love amusement parks.
Hehe, well, he normally is a wiggle worm. So I only put him on rides where there was a seat belt to hold him still :)
Wow! I would love to go there! That train looks super fun!
Looks like you had a great time…Love the pic with your little one and the giant pretzel.
Meagan Paullin says
I’d never heard of this before – but it looks like SO much fun!
Heather @ We Think Pink 365 says
One of my favorite places as a little girl!
Great write- up and beautiful photos! We are regulars at DW and are thankful we live close enough to enjoy it. It really is a treasure. I have fond memories of being there when I was little and now I love seeing my daughter grow to love it, too!
It is a great amusement park for little ones and families. There are many rides that the family can all ride together. The diving shows are my sons’ favorites.
Adelina Priddis says
Oh that looks like so much fun! My kids would be having a blast on those hand powered trains. Wish we lived closer to something like this.
I use to go as a child! I need to bring my son there.
looks like an awesome trip so fun
Danielle Royalegacy says
What a darling place to visit! I have never heard of it before, but that’s not too surprising. This California girl has not been to Pennsylvania before. Would love to travel the Eastern US and see the rest of our beautiful country.
Tammy Klain says
I want to go there..thats the little kid in me screaming. Great review with some nice pics!
I had no idea a place like this existed in PA. When I go to visit a friend up there we will have to make a trip with my little boy to Dutch Wonderland!!
We love the Lancaster area, such a fun park! I hope I can visit again someday!
I really wan’t to go here. Looks awesome!
Kelli Avery says
Wow, I am from PA and didn’t even know this place existed. I am definitely going to check it out and possible plan for a trip next summer. Looks like it was a lot of fun. I have bookmarked their site for later reference. Thanks so much for a great review.
I love how you can figure out which rides your child can go on. No guessing when you get up to the ride and checking the height restrictions and height measurer at each ride. That always makes for a disappointed child when they are just shy of the height restrictions for a ride.
The park looks like a ton of fun for all ages. I added it to our list of things to do if we ever get to the other coast. That list certainly is growing and I might just have to break down and finally visit the other coast.