10 Perfectly Delightful Reasons Why Dutch Wonderland Is Perfect For Young Kids!
Dutch Wonderland is the perfect first amusement park for your kids. Here are 10 reasons why you will love it!
The screams of laughter mixed with sheer terror as a roller coaster starts its descent. The roar of a log ride splashing down. The bell that dings when there is a winner. The nostalgic sights and smells of an amusement park.
You remember visiting amusement parks as a kid and being overwhelmed with awesomeness. The anticipation was unbearable because you knew you would spend the entire day having more fun than you could imagine.
But you also know that amusement parks can be totally overwhelming in a bad way too. 90 minute waits for rides. Hot sun beating down. Tons of walking. If you have young kids that is a recipe for temper tantrums, frustration, and meltdowns. That is a recipe for disaster.
This is why Dutch Wonderland is so incredibly magical. Everything about Dutch Wonderland caters to families with young kids. Dutch Wonderland is literally THE perfect first amusement park for kids. Read on to find out why!
Related: Check out the Kid Friendly Maryland comprehensive resource for parents: Things To Do In Maryland With Kids!
1. A Park Full Of Kiddie rides!
Dutch Wonderland is totally full of rides that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Honestly, this is the biggest reason why Dutch Wonderland is the perfect first amusement park for kids. Granted, not every ride is for wee ones, but there are 16 rides that are dedicated to kids 36″ and under. Taller kids can ride these rides too but they are designed specifically for the youngest of park goers.
Your 2 or 3 year old will feel so important driving their own bulldozer!
Or killing space aliens as they pilot a rocket ship.
2. Tons of Family Friendly Rides
Dutch Wonderland, at its heart, is a family park. Pretty much all the family favorites have a place here. There is a gorgeous carousel, gondola rides, a train, and more.
Many of the family rides are also suitable for very young kids, with adult supervision. But depending on how tall your kids are, older preschooler and early elementary aged kids are able to independently ride some of these rides too!
RARRR! Prehistoric Path is a must do stop during your day at Dutch Wonderland. There are over 20 dinosaurs that come to life as visitors walk by. Your kids will love the interactive features that allow them to ‘turn the dinosaurs on.’
There are plenty of super cute photo spots too! Next to the Prehistoric Path, your kids will love taking a break to dig up fossil treasures in the Dino Dig.
4. Meet a Princess
If you aren’t committed to bringing your 2 year old to that other princess mecca down south, Dutch Wonderland offers a great (and much more economical) alternative! Parents, meet Princess Brooke!
Princess Brooke rules over the Kingdom with kindness and joy. My daughter was 2 years old when she first met Princess Brooke and she was completely enamored.
Each day Princess Brooke puts on a few super cute shows that are funny, tons of singing, and will completely charm your kids.. and let’s be honest.. you too!
5. Great Shows
Dutch Wonderland puts on a number of super fun shows every day. In addition to hanging out with Princess Brooke, there are water shows at The Aqua Stadium (do you dare sit in the splash zone?), as well as a comedy show and chances to meet other characters.
Basically, the shows are geared towards.. you guessed it.. younger kids. They are really delightful and not overwhelming.
6. Very Young Kid Friendly
If the thought of going to an overcrowded amusement park with your 2 or 3 year old brings on heart palpitations (it did for me. ha!), Dutch Wonderland is set up to make your experience truly wonderful.
The park is not large and is very walk-able, even with kids. Still, if you bring a stroller you will absolutely be in good company (see the picture below). The walkways are relatively flat and wide.. perfect for your stroller.
Also, the park has tons of shade and many places to sit and rest.
We have visited Dutch Wonderland at least 1-2 times a year since my daughter was 1 1/2 years old.. and I have never felt the park was too crowded. Sure, there are a few rides that had a line, but for most of the rides, we didn’t wait more than a few minutes. This is perfect if your toddler or preschooler gets antsy.
7. Fun Games
The fun for younger kids extends well beyond the rides and shows. Even the games are set up to delight your kiddos.
Instead of taking your money for a one in a million shot of winning a prize, many of the games are set up so your child plays until they win. This is a nice perk that avoids meltdowns.
And some of the game stations give out really cute prizes too. Check out that pretty fish my daughter won!
8. Kid Friendly Versions of Amusement Park Faves
There are mild to moderate thrill rides (or what would be considered thrill rides at most amusement parks). However, even those rides are scaled down a bit so that young kids can get in on the action too!
The log plume ride is super fun, just not super tall. There are bumper cars, a swing ride, and a version of the pirate ship ride that you see at other parks. This is also great if you have older kids with you. That way, the older kids aren’t bored with all the kiddie rides.. they can ride some bigger kid rides too!
9. Roller coasters!
No amusement park would be complete without a few roller coasters. Dutch Wonderland delivers for families with young kids here too! Younger kids can try out a smaller roller coaster made just for them! Seriously, the Joust Family Coaster (pictured below) is the best first roller coaster ever!
But for older kids there are two roller coasters that are pretty thrilling as well. The Kingdom Coaster has been thrilling families for a while and in 2019, Dutch Wonderland unveiled a new roller coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem (pictured below).
What I love about this roller coaster is it is less scary version of some of the super thrilling roller coasters at bigger parks. But, like everything else at Dutch Wonderland, it is scaled down a bit so younger kids can be thrilled on it too! This roller coaster actually is built to accommodate kids 39 inches and up!
10. Duke’s Lagoon
Don’t forget to bring your swim gear to Dutch Wonderland! Why? Because Duke’s Lagoon is a blast and the perfect way to cool off after hitting the rides for a few hours. There are two main areas of this water park, which is also geared for families with younger kids. The first area is the Pipeline Plunge, kid friendly water slides that are super fun! These water slides are good for pretty much kids of all ages (including toddlers with an accompanying adult).
The Duke’s Lagoon splash playground area is fantastic as well. We spend most of our time here. As with every other part of Dutch Wonderland, this is a young kid friendly version of larger water parks. That doesn’t mean it is short on fun though! On the contrary, you and your kids can definitely get buckets of water dumped on your head, fire the water cannons, and everything else.
The difference is that there are tons of water play features that will appeal to the youngest visitors. Small water slides, water sprays, and squirting fountains are literally all over the surface of Duke’s Lagoon. This is such a fun part of the park you will not want to miss!
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