We received tickets in exchange for our honest review.
One thing that I really love about staying so close to home is being able to share memories from my childhood with my boys. One of those is Dutch Wonderland. We went (what felt like) rather often when I was young with Girl Scouts or just because. This was Charlie's second time and Owen's first.
Located in Lancaster, PA, Dutch Wonderland is just a short drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C.
I think the park is best for ages 2-10, but there's plenty that Owen could enjoy at 20 months. It's not just for the kids though, there are rides that mom, dad, grandparents and older siblings can ride with the little ones, too!
NEW FOR 2015!
Debuting spring 2015, Bon Voyage Balloon Chase will take families on a magical ride in one of eight hot air balloons, where every seat has a view. The ride soars to lofty heights of 20-feet while rotating. As the balloons ascend and descend, the wheel at the center of each gondola basket let riders control the direction and speed of their spin. Bon Voyage!
This was actually our first ride this year. Charlie loved it! Owen could have ridden this one with one of us.
Exploration Island is still pretty new to Dutch Wonderland. This is where you'll find the gondola cruise, Sunoco Turnpike, Dino Dig and Prehistoric Path. The Dino Dig is another great place to just let the little ones loose and play in the sand. They can even use tools to try to find fossils.
Prehistoric path is really cool, even for adults! Owen found the dinosaurs especially funny!
Some of our favorites:
Owen's first ride was Duke's Dozers! The first time we let them ride together, but later in the day, they each got their own dozer to drive!
Charlie thought Panda Party was pretty cool. We put Owen on it, but after about 2 rotations, they stopped it to let Owen off. He liked it much better from the outside!
And who doesn't love a train ride that goes through the park?
Another ride that we love is Dragon's Lair. Up to 4 people can ride together, so it's perfect for our little family.
While Daddy and Owen went out to the car to get our swim bag, Charlie and I rode the Sky Ride! Daddy doesn't do heights so well and Owen's too little, making it the perfect time to get our ride on!
When we got to the other side of the park via Sky Ride, Charlie and I rode the Joust Family Coaster. Last time we came, Daddy had to ride with Charlie because I was pregnant with Owen. Daddy doesn't do coasters either, but Mommy has always loved them!
We took the Sky Ride back and I found a sleeping Owen and Daddy waiting for us!
It was time to hit the water park! Duke's Lagoon is included in your park ticket, so there's really no reason not to go! There are changing rooms, lockers, bathrooms, tables, chairs and food available in Duke's Lagoon. You can also rent a private cabana, but we didn't do that.
Owen had about an hour and a half snooze before waking up to play a little in the splash area. I love that the kids are just free to run around and enjoy. If you have kids that need to get that energy out, this is a great place to do it.
Playing in the water for almost 2 hours will make you hungry! We opted for dinner at Mill Stream Eatery. It was about 6pm, but we were the only ones there! I had heard from friends that the park clears out around dinnertime, but didn't quite believe it would be this much. Being able to sit down and enjoy dinner in a nice air-conditioned room was the perfect break from the day. Food is priced similar or slightly less than most other amusement parks. We spent about $28 on dinner: 3 cheeseburger sliders, macaroni & cheese, a hot dog, a slice of cheese pizza, french fries, a fruit cup and a soda refill. I don't think that's too shabby at all!
After we had dinner, we went back to ride the gondolas. It's a really nice 10-15 minute ride of peace and quiet. I do think I liked it better before they moved the cars down there, but it's still a great ride!
The boys enjoyed the ride, I promise. Charlie may have almost fallen asleep!
Important Info For Your Trip:
What's Included In My Ticket?
All rides, shows and Duke's Lagoon are included in your ticket. There are pony rides available for an additional fee.
Can I bring food into the park?
The park's policy is Personal food, beverage items and coolers are not permitted and must remain outside the Park. There's a great little picnic area before you get inside the park. We've previously packed a cooler and walked back to the car to get it for a picnic. It creates a nice break in the day. The picnic area also has bathrooms available.
What if I have food allergies?
Taken from the park's policy page: “In any event, guests may bring personal foods into the park, to the extent that they are medically necessary (e.g., for diabetics, baby formula for infants, gluten-free foods, or allergy-safe foods for allergies).”
Can I bring in bags and strollers?
Bags are checked upon entering, but you're free to bring in your bags! Strollers are certainly welcome! Even if you think you might not want to bring one, bring it! Your little one (or big one) may want to take a rest. There are places to park strollers at pretty much every ride and we've left them while the entire family was on a ride. Just be sure to take anything important with you, just in case.
What if my kid absolutely hates it?
There is a 45 Minute Shopper's Pass – If you purchase a ticket to Dutch Wonderland and don’t plan on staying for more than 45 minutes from the time of entry into the Park, we will refund your ticket. Everyone entering the Park must have a valid admission ticket. This program is only valid on tickets purchased at Dutch Wonderland on the day of your visit. You must visit Guest Services (located in the castle at the front of the Park) on the day of your visit to obtain your refund. This program is meant for first time visitors who are unsure how their children will respond to an amusement park and guests who want to purchase food and beverage items from inside the Park. We will not process refunds for this program over the phone or by mail. You must purchase your ticket, visit for less than 45 minutes and obtain your refund all on the same day. 45 minutes based on when your ticket is scanned at entry.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably! You'll be doing quite a bit of walking and you'll probably be sweating. Revealing or offensive clothes are not considered appropriate. While in Duke’s Lagoon water play area, modest swimwear may be worn. String bikinis, thongs, and men's bikini bottoms are not appropriate. Swim diapers are required on infants and toddlers while in Duke's Lagoon. When exiting the water attraction area, we ask that you change to more appropriate attire (i.e. shoes, shorts, and shirts).
What if I'm pregnant?
The first time we went to Dutch Wonderland with Charlie, I was 8 months pregnant. I wasn't able to do anything, but there was plenty I could still do- giant belly and all. Rides are clearly marked for certain conditions, pregnancy included.
What if I'm breastfeeding?
First off, awesome! You're free to breastfeed wherever you'd like to in the park. There are plenty of shady areas with benches you can stop at to enjoy or maybe even take a gondola ride. There's a mother's nursing room near the entrance you can relax in while nursing.
We have a special page to share with you that includes Advanced Ticket options, available to purchase May 16 through September 4, 2015. Tickets include admission into Dutch Wonderland and Duke’s Lagoon, and are good for any day during the regular 2015 operating season.
• Gate price: $39.99
• Discounted price – 7 Days in advance: $33.99
• Discounted price – 3 Days in advance: $36.99
Connect with Dutch Wonderland
Have you been to Dutch Wonderland?