Family Fun Destination: Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park

We take the kids to various fun destinations during the summer every year since our daughter was little. Last year, for obvious reasons, we didn't get to go on our road trips. Which is why this year we have planned out a lot more family trips and fun days to do with the kids. One of our destinations this summer was Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

 This post is in partnership with Dutch Wonderland. 

This is technically my third year being a Dutch Wonderland Royal Ambassador and being hosted by the park, but the first year we were actually able to make the trip to the park and spend a full day. We decided to go on the first available weekday of the season, which was a Thursday. I was surprised to find that it is actually located right next door to The Cartoon Network Hotel as well as across the street from Tanger Outlets, so there is plenty to do if you decide to stay a few days. 

There were a lot of people considering it was a Thursday morning, but it was the first open weekday of the season and a lot of schools were now officially out for the summer. When we got to the park, they had three lines for bag check that went very quickly. Season pass holders have a different line to go through, and get in a bit quicker. Once your through the front (where the gift shop is located), getting through ticket scanning was really quick and easy. One thing I have noticed about Dutch Wonderland is how efficient they are. Lines moved quickly no matter where in the park you were. 

The unique thing about Dutch Wonderland is the castle and royalty theme through out the park. The Mascot is a purple dragon named Duke. The park overall is a family park with rides for all ages, but I will say that it's main focus is for the younger crowd. I would say between the ages of 2-12. My two are 9 and 14 and they still had a ton of fun. Since my two are older, we went on most of the family rides for older children. When you enter the park, you can see which rides your kids are tall enough for by using the handy Precious Gems chart. Each ride has this somewhere around the entrance along with a thrill level between 1-4. To see the full list of rides check out the Dutch Wonderland Attractions page.  There's also a fairly nice size water park area called Duke's Lagoon. 

When we got hungry we decided to grab something to eat at the Mill Stream Eatery. Here, I was impressed to see how quickly they got people in and out and kept the tables cleaned and everything stocked. Initially when we entered the eatery, I thought we would never find a table with as many people that were in there. However, the flow was really steady. They made sure they had someone out there cleaning everything at all times. The cashiers were quick and since it's a grab and go type eatery, you just grabbed a tray and whatever you were hungry for and went to checkout. They kept the food fairly well stocked with a variety from pizza, to salads, burgers, chicken tenders, and fries. There was even a place called Bean Sprouts inside the eatery where you can find healthier alternatives for kids and adults. 

The eatery is where we got our souvenir cup. I highly suggest grabbing a couple of these while you are there. There are discounts the more cups you buy and each refill is 99cents. We shared one cup among 4 of us, but we maybe only spent $5 on refills total. Considering that most places you go, one large beverage is close to that alone, it saved us a lot of money. The food was really good. We loved the fries and chicken tenders. My son enjoyed a hot dog and my daughter loved her mac and cheese. The mac and cheese is rather small for the price, but both of my kids easily shared my fried and chicken tenders. So a family of 4 could absolutely share two meals. 

On a little section of the park they call Exploration Island, you will find a gondola ride, turnpike cars, and a fun section with pretty realistic dinosaurs that move and make sounds. You can walk through and see the dinosaurs and also get information on them. I thought this part was pretty cool. In addition to just seeing the dinos on Exploration Island, there's a dino dig area and a shop where you can get items to mine your own geode, dino plushies, and more. 

Lines for rides moved along rather quickly. The water rides had longer lines since it was hot outside but the wait wasn't that long. Some rides barely had a line at all and you could walk right up and get on the ride. There are also games scattered through the park as well as plenty of places to refill your cup or get a snack. I also really loved that they have a special corner of the park for nursing mothers to go and have a private place to nurse or pump if they need rather than having to do so in a restroom. 

While you are there, make sure you check out one of the shows! We caught part of one while we were in line for Double Splash Flume. 

Honestly, there's just so much to see and do there, that you really have to go check it out for yourself. Both kids had fun and were exhausted by 5:30pm. 

Learn more about Dutch Wonderland (as well as see upcoming dates for fun holiday events), by visiting


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