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Why Dutch Wonderland is the Best First Amusement Park

If you live on the Mid-Atlantic East Coast, undoubtedly you have heard of Dutch Wonderland. Located only 2 hours from Washington, DC, this family theme park is geared towards families with young children. While we have friends who have been to Dutch Wonderland, their kids are much older than our 2-year-old Remy, so we dismissed the theme park as something to do eventually in a few years. However, we learned that Dutch Wonderland is especially perfect for toddlers. So imagine our excitement and we planned our trip right away! Remy had the time of his life and we are planning to come back soon. Read on to see why Dutch Wonderland is the best first amusement park!

Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own. 

Save $5 off your ticket just by reading this blog post! https://www.dutchwonderland.com/BlogReader

A Kingdom for Kids

With over 35 rides sprawled over 43 acres, Dutch Wonderland is truly a kingdom for kids. These rides range from a calm and serene train ride on the Wonderland Special to being suspended in the air on the high-flying roller coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem. The rides are well-spaced out, but the park itself is compact. Thus, there’s not too much walking involved for those little feet. Dutch Wonderland is very stroller friendly with wide walking paths and tons of designated “parking lots”. In addition, plenty of restrooms were scattered throughout the park with changing tables and/or family restrooms. Dutch Wonderland definitely keeps young families in mind in the design and layout of the park.

Character Breakfast

One of the activities that Dutch Wonderland offers (at an additional fee) is a character breakfast. This is a great way for your child to have one-on-one time with Princess Brooke, the Knight of Safety, Duke, and Merlin! The buffet-style breakfast takes place an hour before the park opens and offers a variety of breakfast staples, including fresh waffles, pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage links, and fresh fruit. There’s even a made-to-order omelet station! 

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Remy enjoying the delicious breakfast selection at Dutch Wonderland’s Character Breakfast

The character breakfast is ideal for older children as they can interact more and some kids even dressed up as princesses or knights! Remy was a little young for interacting with the characters, but he loved sneaking up on Duke and running away and squealing when Duke turned around! 

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Remy got to meet Merlin, the Knight of Safety, Duke, and Princess Brooke!

Another perk of the character breakfast is that you have prime selection of parking spots before the park even opens and the line to get in is non-existent! Check out the availability of character breakfasts before going. They are only offered for a few months in the summer and require reservations.

Fun for All Sizes

What makes Dutch Wonderland unique is that it is truly made for kids (and adults!) of all sizes. The theme park assigns a gem color to each height category: under 30” (aquamarine), 30-36” (amethyst), 36-42″ (emerald), 42-48” (amber), 48-54” (sapphire) and 54” and above (ruby). This gem assignment makes it easy to walk through the park and identify which rides are appropriate for your child as there is a sign posted for each ride with height requirements and and health restrictions.  We were genuinely surprised at the number of rides even Remy could ride, at just 31-ish inches tall. For example, out of 35 attractions, Remy could’ve experienced 21, but there were some rides that were temporarily closed. That’s over HALF of all of the rides available! That’s pretty impressive for an amusement park. There were even some rides that he could ride by himself!

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This differentiates Dutch Wonderland from other amusement parks in that other amusement parks have only a small section dedicated to younger children. Dutch Wonderland, on the other hand, is an entire park dedicated to the little ones!

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Remy inching just above the 30″ inch mark! 😉

Live Entertainment

Rides are not the only thing included with your Dutch Wonderland ticket. You and your family can also enjoy live entertainment and shows! This can include reading a story with Princess Brooke or watching an amazing dive show with trained divers as they splash and swim. 

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Story Time with Princess Brooke! Image Credit: Dutch Wonderland

We were not able to catch any of the live entertainment because Remy only wanted to go on the rides! However, we definitely plan on visiting again and will make a point of watching one of the shows. 

Exploration Island

One of our favorite parts of Dutch Wonderland was Exploration Island, which included the Dino Dig and the Prehistoric Patch. This “island” is a great way to relax in the shade and catch your breath in between rides. The Dino Dig is a few sand pits that allow little explorers to uncover fossils with brushes and shovels. The Prehistoric Path offers a glimpse at 20 lifelike dinosaurs in a shaded walking path while also teaching interesting facts about dinosaurs. For example, did you know that experts believe that if the T-rex had survived and was allowed to evolve, their tiny arms would’ve disappeared altogether! Remy loved mimicking the sounds all the dinosaurs made. 🙂

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The Dino Dig was great for fossil digging!
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Remy was fascinated with the dinosaurs while walking the Prehistoric Path

Exploration Island also includes a Gondola Cruise and the Turnpike, but Remy was too short to ride these this year. Hopefully he grows by next summer! 🙂

Duke’s Lagoon

Duke’s Lagoon was the perfect way to end our visit at Dutch Wonderland. This water attraction area is a water play paradise! It featured multi-level waterplay playgrounds, where little ones can slide down water slides, aim spray nozzles, and duck under tipping water buckets. What we especially like about Duke’s Lagoon is the dedicated toddler section with a splash table and smaller water fountains. This allows for little kids to play safely with other little kids without having to worry about bigger kids running them over. 

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There is a huge water slide, the Pipeline Plunge, that Remy was even able to ride with my husband. While the wait was long, Remy had so much fun that he wanted to go again! 

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The Pipeline Plunge at Dutch Wonderland

Duke’s Lagoon has plenty of shade and seating for adults or kids taking a break from all of the fun. To be honest, we didn’t have a chance to sit down as Remy was dragging us all over the water park. There is also the option of renting a private cabana for a fee, but you get to enjoy all-day access with food and drink service. 

Last Thoughts

After spending an entire day at Dutch Wonderland, we can say that Dutch Wonderland is truly the best first amusement park! Even though Remy is 2 years old, there were so many rides that he was able to enjoy and we know that list will grow as he grows taller every year. This family theme park is very toddler- and kid-friendly and it should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit! 

Save $5 off your ticket just by reading this blog post! https://www.dutchwonderland.com/BlogReader

Have you been to Dutch Wonderland before? Would you like to visit one day?

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