Nobody would mistake the gritty seasonal park for Disneyland. Its landscaping consists mostly of black asphalt, and many of the rides, games, and concessions have the slapdash look of a traveling carnival. But Family Kingdom does boast the wonderful Swamp Fox wooden coaster. Reaching a height of 75 feet and a top speed of 50 mph, the circa-1966 figure-eight woodie provides just enough out-of-control moments and airtime to deliver decent thrills, but doesn't scare away guests who might skip some of the behemoth extreme coasters that tower over some park midways.
Other highlights include the Pistolero Roundup shoot-em-up dark ride, a lovely antique wooden carousel, and the Sling Shot drop tower ride. Attractions also include the usual suspects, such as a Yo-Yo swing ride, Dodgems, a Tilt-A-Whirl, and a log flume. Family Kingdom offers go-karts and a bunch of kiddie rides as well.
The adjacent Family Kingdom Water Park (which, unlike the amusement park, does require an admission) features plenty of wet fun, although the public beach on the other side of the park's fence offers free wet fun. In addition, many of the hotels along the Grand Strand include their own lazy rivers and other water park attractions as complimentary amenities for guests.
Since the amusement park has an open gate, guests can come and go to take a ride whenever it suits them. Since lots of Grand Stranders like to spend the day beach bumming, the open-door policy syncs up well with Myrtle Beach's vibe. In fact, Family Kingdom often doesn't open until late in the afternoon, even during the height of the season.
Family Kingdom Location:
Family Kingdom Admission Info:Family Kingdom is one of the few remaining free-admission parks in the U.S. Individual ride tickets are available as well as unlimited ride passes. Combo amusement park and water park passes are available.
Hotel Info:Compare rates for Family Kingdom-area hotels at TripAdvisor.
Family Kingdom Directions:The park is located on Myrtle beach's Grand Strand. The physical address is 300 South Ocean Blvd.
From Garden City: Business 17 North to Myrtle Beach. At 3rd Avenue South, turn right. Right at Ocean Boulevard.
From North Myrtle Beach: Business 17 South. Bear right onto 17 Bypass to Highway 501. Right onto 3rd Avenue South to Ocean Boulevard.
See Family Kingdom:
Family Kingdom Features:
- Swamp Fox Roller Coaster
Classic wooden coaster
- Sling Shot
Drop tower ride
- Pistolero Roundup
Interactive dark ride
Antique hand-carved wooden carousel, built in 1923