Most theme parks are outdoors and are only open during the warmer months. A few indoor theme parks, however, offer roller coasters, carousels, dark rides, and other amusement park fun year-round in a weatherproof, enclosed environment. A number of facilities may describe themselves as indoor theme parks, but the modest Chuck E. Cheese's-style attractions often have a handful of small rides, arcade games, and other features that would be better characterized as family entertainment centers. What follows is a list of the major indoor theme parks.
There aren't a heck of a lot of indoor theme parks, but Ferrari World, at a whopping 925,000 sq. ft. (over 20 acres), is the world's largest. A hybrid Epcot-type pavilion/Six Flags-type amusement park/corporate hospitality center, Ferrari World showcases the legendary automaker through sophisticated dark rides and other cutting-edge theme park technology. It also reinforces Ferrari's racing legacy with coasters and other thrill rides, including the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.
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Location: At the Circus Circus Hotel Casino on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Adventuredome packs a fair amount of attractions into its 5-acre footprint. The highlight is the Canyon Blaster steel coaster. Other attractions include Lazer Tag, the Rim Runner splashdown ride, a 4-D theater, the Sling Shot freefall tower, bumper cars, and kiddie rides. The Adventuredome is not a full-day experience, but it can be a fun diversion from the casino action.
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Nickelodeon Universe is a full-fledged amusement park with three coasters, a giant Ferris wheel, and a slew of other thrill and kiddie rides. Granted, the coasters don't come close to breaking any records, and the rides are mostly off-the-shelf models (although there is a nifty log flume ride and a fun shoot-em-up dark ride). But the rides offer plenty of fun. And I don't know about you, but I'll take a spin on a Ferris wheel over a spree in Macy's any day.
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Hey, it's cold in Canada! That's why this park is tucked inside the climate-controlled West Edmonton Mall (one of the world's largest, by the way). Among its highlights is the Mindbender, billed as the world's largest indoor triple-loop roller-coaster (as if there are many--or any other?--indoor triple-loop roller-coasters). The park offers 28 other rides.
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The Parthenon indoor theme park is relatively small, but it does offer year-round amusement rides, including a mini coaster, go-karts, and bumper cars, regardless of the weather. Mt. Olympus is also home to Medusa's, a 55,000 square-foot indoor water park, Neptune's outdoor water park, and Zeus' outdoor theme park, which offers a great collection of wooden coasters and go-kart tracks. The Mt. Olympus resort also includes two themed, on-property hotels: Hotel Rome and Mykonos Village.
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A massive indoor theme park, Lotte World features Pharaoh's Fury, a sophisticated dark ride, Atlantic Adventure, a themed coaster/flume hybrid ride, and Gyro Drop, a freefall tower ride. Each day, the park presents World Carnival Parade, a 30-minute show with music and dancing from around the world.
Indoor water parks info: