The hustle and bustle of the daily grind can be so exhausting so quickly that many of us entertain the idea of being a kid again. It’s all wishful thinking but we just can’t help but reminisce the good ol’ days when everything was much simpler and the important things in life involved villains to be slayed, heroes, princesses, and knights in shining armor.
While it’s impossible to channel Benjamin Button and age backwards, these theme parks all found in Luzon provide us with a temporary reprieve from life within its colorful, noisy, and fun-filled walls.
1. Enchanted Kingdom
Sta. Rosa, Laguna
The magic really does live forever at Enchanted Kingdom. Opened to the public in 1995, Enchanted Kingdom has given use 21 years (and counting!) of fun, unforgettable memories. Whether it’s a family trip, a fun weekend out with the barkada, or even a class field trip, Enchanted Kingdom has been a witness to multiple moments we’ve had in life.
From kid-friendly rides and exhilarating attractions to multiple dining options while in the park, Enchanted Kingdom has got you covered. Classic theme park rides like Anchors Away, Grand Carousel, Wheel of Fate (one of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the country), and roller coasters Space Shuttle (it flips you upside down six times!) and Roller Skater mix with newer attractions that keep parkgoers coming back for more.
Have you heard of the Disk-O-Magic or the Air Race? Or have you gotten over your fear and tried EKstreme? If your answer is no for either of those questions, it’s all the more reason you should head back to Enchanted Kingdom.
Not fond of extreme rides? Enchanted Kingdom has rides such as the Flying Fiesta, Rialto, and Rio Grande Rapids for those who like the excitement minus the stomach-turning rush. Kids will have a field day at Enchanted Kingdom with rides such as Stone Eggs (a mini ferris wheel), Dodgem (bumper cars), and the “Dinosoarus” to keep them entertained.
Rates: For the complete list, including rates for the regular day pass, junior day pass, and rates for PWDs and Senior Citizens, check this.
Enchanted Kingdom is located at San Lorenzo South, Santa Rosa, Laguna. For directions on how to get there, head to their website. The park schedule varies depending on the season so be sure to check their website first before planning your trip.
2. Star City
Pasay City, Manila
For those unwilling to brave SLEX traffic, Metro Manila has its own amusement park at the heart of the CCP Complex. People of all ages and sizes will enjoy their family-friendly rides such as the Grand Carousel, Telecombat, and the Giant Star Wheel (another ferris wheel on the list of the tallest ferris wheels in the country). Kids get a taste of the adult rides with Mini Pirate Ship and Kiddie Bumper Car.
Teens and adults get to have their share of fun on rides such as the Tornado, Blizzard, and two kinds of bumper cars, Bumper Car Smash and Bumper Car Rave. Looking to add a healthy dose of thrill (or fear) to your experience? Extreme rides such as the Star Flyer, Jungle Splash, and the Surf Dancer are all available for you.
What sets Star City apart are its Attractions, which brings fantasy and entertainment to a whole new level. Be like Jack Sparrow and get on a boat as you sail the high seas at Pirate Ship or relive the tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up over at Peter Pan. Test your fears at Dungeon or at Gabi ng Lagim. Kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy seeing life-sized toys at Toy Chest and playing with snow at Snow World.
Rates: Some of the attractions and rides at Star City require separate fees. To view the complete price list of their park entrance fees and attractions, head over here.
3. DreamPlay by DreamWorks
City of Dreams Manila, Parañaque, Metro Manila
City of Dreams didn’t forget about the little kids when they planned the integrated resort. Your favorite DreamWorks animated films and characters come to life at DreamPlay. An interactive play center where children can have fun while learning, DreamPlay’s attractions are inspired by movies such as Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda.
Train with Kung Fu Panda’s Po to be a kung fu master at Fast as Lightning Kung Fu Fighting or help Shrek find his keys before you can tour his home at Shrek’s Swamp Stop. Kids can learn how to bake a gingerbread man in Gingy’s Kitchen and build their own “Reptools” at Dinotrux.
The physical activities can get tiring so the kids can sit back, relax, and enjoy at the DreamTheatre where 4D animated films are screened or at DreamTales Library where storytelling kicks up a notch with a puppet show.
Rates: A weekday pass is priced at ₱680 while the weekend/holiday pass is at ₱880. You can also avail of a VIP pass at ₱1,500 and an annual pass at ₱4,900. Children below 80 cm can enter DreamPlay for free.
DreamPlay by Dreamworks is located the City of Dreams Manila, Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque.
4. Kidzania Manila
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Remember those days when you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? How about those days you’d be asked to go to school in a costume and you came maybe as a doctor, a firefighter, or even an engineer? Or those times you’d pull together all your cooking toys and pretend you had a restaurant complete with customers to serve? Those were such fun times!
Today’s kids can get to experience that but in a whole new level at Kidzania Manila. Kidzania is an interactive kid-sized city (complete with its own currency!) where children ages 4-14 get to take part in role-play activities while the adults can only supervise and chaperone.
There’s a wide range of roles that kids can try while at Kidzania. Whether it’s to be a pilot or a member of the cabin crew at the Aviation Academy or a paramedic at Hospital: ER, there’s something for everybody. For those who want to try something different, roles such as cable service installer, logistics officer, urban farmer, and arborist are all available.
Rates: For the complete list of ticket prices, click here. Take note that role-play activities are only for children 4 to 14 years of age. Those who are 15 years old and above can only enter the city when accompanying a child.
5. Dinosaurs Island
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga and Baguio City, Benguet
Who said you can see a dinosaur-themed park only in Jurassic World? Head up north and prepare to meet the Tyrannosaurus and other dinosaurs over at Dinosaurs Island. There are two locations where you can find Dinosaurs Island. The closer one to Metro Manila is at Clark, Pampanga, while those willing to make the trip farther up north can check the one in Baguio.
There’s a whole lot you can do at Dinosaurs Island aside from coming face-to-face with the life-sized replicas of these Jurassic-era creatures. Learn more about the different dinosaur species to ever walk the planet or try and fit yourself in one of the large dinosaur eggs or in the mouth of the dinosaur itself for that perfect Instagram shot.
Be sure to drop by the Dino World of Fun to see these creatures come to life as they walk and even run right before your eyes!
Dinosaurs Island is located at Baguio Eco Park, Tuba, Benguet, and at Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
6. Carron Dreampark
San Isidro, Nueva Ecija
Carron Dreampark brings the amusement park experience to the people and visitors of Nueva Ecija. Along with the standard rides such as the carousel, ferris wheel, and roller coaster, Carron Dreampark also has a water version of the bumper cars, Bumper Boats, an airplane-themed ride called Smash, and a haunted house, Nightmare.
Rates: Paying ₱50 will grant you entrance to Carron Dreampark while the VIP Pass (their ride-all-you-can fee) will cost you ₱300. If you wish to experience selected rides, each ride has its own corresponding fee. For the complete list, click here.
Carron Dreampark is located at Sto. Cristo, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.
7. Fantasy World
What would’ve been our own version of Disneyland, the colorful castle of Fantasy World is visible when you pass through Diokno Highway. Its developer wanted it to be a resort, residential complex, theme park, and country club when construction first began. Sadly, the construction of Fantasy World was halted due to financial problems and what has already been built up is currently managed by the residents living in the residential complex.
While it cannot be a full-fledged theme park for guests to enjoy, you can still catch a glimpse of Fantasy World. Its colorful facade and the awe-inspiring design of what would’ve been the rides of the theme park are certainly perfect for photos. You can also tour the grounds or go for a swim at the pool.
Rates: Here’s the tricky part. It’s highly recommended that you know or ask a member of the homeowners’ association to take you inside Fantasy World. Visitors of the park who’ve tried to enter without the endorsement of a member were asked to pay ₱1,000 for a group of 10.
Fantasy World is located along Diokno Highway, Lemery, Batangas.