Everything is bigger in Texas, which includes amusement park rides. Reach new dizzying heights on roller coasters and drop towers. From Galveston to San Antonio, there are an abundance of thrilling coasters to experience. When you feel ready to defy gravity, book a stay at one of many Texas vacation rentals situated near these incredible amusement parks.

1. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio

Six Flags Fiesta Texas comes with its own tweaks to make you shriek, including BATMAN: The Ride, a free-flying, 4-D coaster designed to disorient and delight you. Two more rides for nerves of steel include an inverted coaster, Goliath, that lets your feet dangle while it whips you through five inversions, as well as the Iron Rattler that launches you into a mind-blowing 171-foot drop. Less and intense rides include go-karts and bumper cars, and there are lots of rides geared toward the little kids. Look for plenty of refreshment stands and other attractions to make it a great family outing.

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2. Joyland Amusement Park, Lubbock

Joyland Amusement Park operates a family-oriented venue March through September, featuring thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides, and water rides. Over a dozen thrill rides to test your mettle include Trabant, which spins and lifts, causing weightlessness, and the Dare Devil Drop, which is a daring tower ride that reaches almost 50 mph as you plummet 140 feet. Challenge the kids to a slap-dash contest in the bumper cars or take everyone for a spin on the carousel. The little kids love the boats, big trucks with big horns, helicopters, and more built just for them. Fly down the flume, zip down the water slides, or slither through the vortex water coasters for some wet-and-wild adventures on the water rides.

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3. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Galveston

Your Galveston Beach vacation rental is just minutes away from Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Check out the rides and attractions on this old-fashioned pier, which features the Iron Shark roller coaster with its 100-foot vertical drop, and the 60-foot-tall Cyclone coaster that swoops back and forth. Go low on the Gulf Glider swing carousel, or soar 200 feet into the sky on the Texas Star Flyer. The whirling Texas Tea Cups take the kiddies for a pint-sized spin, and they can laugh themselves silly playing whack-a-mole.

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4. Sandy Lake Amusement Park, Carrollton

Sandy Lake Amusement Park is a family-oriented center with over 20 rides and attractions for all ages. It includes Shetland pony rides, an 18-hole mini golf course, a swimming pool, a lake with paddle boats, and a video arcade. Families like the classic rides, including the Scrambler, Paratrooper, and Tilt-A-Whirl. For the little kids, the carousel and the Little Dipper roller coaster remain favorites. Mid-March through mid-September, the park operates the attractions and refreshments stands.

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5. Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington

From March through December, throw your hands up and shout for joy on the Six Flags Over Texas roller coasters; all 13 of them, if you dare in one day. Find yourself going head over heels on the Joker, the free-flying roller coaster that includes greater-than-90-degree drops and six inversions. Home to the most roller coasters in the Southwest, this park also features the Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast. This breath-taking ride flings you backward and forwards up a 236-foot tower. The little ones like El Sombrero, the spinning hat ride, the Roaring Rapids, and lots of other rides geared especially for the wee folk. Arlington vacation rentals give you options for hanging around to spend a couple of days at Six Flags and get over to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the giant water park.

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6. ZDT’s Amusement Park, Seguin

No matter what the ages in your family group, bring them all to ZDT’s Amusement Park where everyone plays, from toddlers to teens to adults. The popular Switchback wooden roller coaster whizzes through and around the park’s buildings, chilling and thrilling riders with amazing speed and a nearly vertical Grand Spike at the end. The new Maxflight roller coaster and flight simulator lets you design your own adventure with a partner or solo, featuring Jet Flight, Roller Coaster, and Bobsled experiences that you control. Experience the roaring, soaring, flipping, racing, and rolling with over 38 billion possible ride combinations. Be sure to take this adrenaline-pumping ride before you eat. Speed-junkies like the multi-level go-kart racing track that features Thunder Volt electric cars, which accelerate more quickly than gas-powered vehicles. Younger kiddies enjoy the climbing wall, jungle playground, and the water park rides. Enjoy this park year-round with special hours during winter months.

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7. Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah

The fresh sea breeze wafting off Galveston Bay adds a seaside ambiance to the 40-acre waterfront amusement park along the Kemah Boardwalk. Just 20 miles from Houston, this charming park operates daily, with something for everyone including waterfront eateries, shops, street entertainers, and rides. Kids love riding the pint-size version of a Ferris wheel as well as the colorful assortment of creatures on the two-story carousel. Besides the classic family-friendly Ferris wheel, visitors queue up for the Boardwalk Bullet. It’s a unique wooden roller coaster that boasts 42 track crossovers, the most ever built into a wooden coaster design. Most unusual for an amusement park, the Boardwalk Beast takes you about four miles out into Galveston Bay. This cruise experience blasts you with water, wind, music, and excitement as the crew unleashes the Beast at speeds up to 40 mph.

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