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Family Kingdom

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Family Kingdom

The Myrtle Beach seaside amusement park Family Kingdom is a riot of colors at night.

Family Kingdom, 2008. Used with permission.
Once a staple of coastal vacation spots, traditional seaside amusement parks are now an endangered piece of Americana. Family Kingdom is among a few survivors (the nearby Myrtle Beach Pavilion dispatched its last coaster train in 2006), and the white-lattice coaster, drop tower ride, and Ferris wheel that dot its kitschy skyline offer a reassuring counterpoint to the hotel towers and pounding surf of Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand.

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:

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Phone:

843-626-3447

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.

Airport Info:

Myrtle Beach International Airport

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
  • Carousel
    Antique hand-carved wooden carousel, built in 1923

Family Kingdom Water Park:

The adjacent Family Kingdom Water Park requires a separate admission

Official Web Site:

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