12/02/2011 12:58 pm ET | Updated Dec 20, 2011

Amusement Parks Near Kansas City: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Amusement parks in Kansas City offer visitors a fun-filled way to spend a few hours or an entire day. From roller coasters to thrill rides to water rafting adventures to award-winning entertainment, there's always something rewarding for families, the young and the young at heart. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Kansas City amusement parks.

Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun promises more than 40 rides for all ages, including seven world-class roller coasters. But there's plenty more beyond the roller coasters. Worlds of Fun has rides designed to make you scream, rides perfect for families and groups and rides that children will enjoy. Also expect top-notch live entertainment, a wide variety of food and drink options and the opportunity to meet the gang from the "Peanuts" comic strip.

Loops, Rolls And Curves

Do you have a need for speed? Satisfy that hunger on the Patriot, the longest and tallest inverted roller coaster in the Midwest. The Patriot features a 149-foot summit, and its cars zip along at speeds greater than 65 mph on tracks that cover 3,081 feet of fun. Patriot riders will experience two loops (including an 89-footer), a roll, two different curves, a corkscrew and a blazing-fast spiral.

Other Coasters

The roller coaster lineup includes the Prowler, Boomerang, Mamba, Spinning Dragons and Timber Wolf. Thrill rides include the Bamboozler, Detonator, Fury of the Nile and RipCord. Family rides include the Autobahn, Finnish Fling, Fjord Fjarlane and Flying Dutchman. Live entertainment includes a musical tribute to the "British Invasion" of the 1960s, a dog show and characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip.

Park Food And Fare

Worlds of Fun guests can dine on typical park fare like corn dogs, popcorn, pizza, funnel cakes, ice cream, burgers and fries. Also available are Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, gyros, Dippin' Dots, taco salads, nachos and more. Sit-down restaurants feature Subway sandwiches, barbecue, 1950s-style fare at Coasters Drive-In and sports pub dishes at All Stars Grill.

Safety Record

In June 1995, a 14-year-old girl died after falling from the Timber Wolf roller coaster.

Address: 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave., Kansas City, MO 64161
Phone: 816-454-4545
Hours: The park is typically open from mid-April through October. Opening and closing hours vary widely throughout the year, and the website even warns that dates and times can change. So always check the website when planning a visit.
Price: Regular general admission, $44.99; seniors (62 and up) and kids under 48 inches, $22.99; kids 2 and under, free. There also are specials available. Parking ranges from $12 to $17.

Route 66 Carousel Park

Just down Highway 71 is Route 66 Carousel Park, which bills itself as a destination so exciting that it has "More Than You Can Imagine!" Besides providing thrills and chills with its lineup of rides and attractions for all ages, the park also hosts private birthday parties and corporate events.

Bounce Away

The Jumping Pillow allows guests to jump, skip and hop to their heart's content no matter their age or physical condition. It's safer than a trampoline and more exciting than a traditional bounce house.

Other Attractions

Route 66 Carousel Park prides itself on offering something for every guest, from the tiniest thrill-seekers to adults. Cool off on the bumper boats, satisfy your need for speed on the go-karts or perfect your putting stroke while playing miniature golf. Other fun options include a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, batting cages, train and the Go-Gator roller coaster. Need more? Try the Tiger Terror roller coaster, Whirlwind or Light Tower.

Picnic And Snack Options

Food options at Route 66 Carousel Park include the basics like popcorn, hamburgers, peanuts, hot dogs and ice cream. A variety of cold drinks are available, and candy/dessert items are for sale to satisfy any sweet tooth. There are also two covered picnic pavilions that can accommodate up to 150 guests.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Route 66 Carousel Park.

Address: 3834 W. Seventh St., Joplin, MO. 64801
Phone: 417-626-7710
Hours: According to the park's website, it is typically open from spring break weekend until the end of October. However, it does warn that operating hours can change due to a variety of factors. Be sure to check the park's website when planning a visit.
Price: Admission to the park itself is free, but rides and activities require payment. Visitors can buy a $10 bracelet for access to the carnival rides, play unlimited mini golf for $5 and zip around on the go-karts for five minutes for $6.25. Other prices include $5 for five minutes on the bumper boats, $3 for five minutes on the Jumping Pillow or the Crazy Time Unlimited package for $22.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near Kansas City

Silver Dollar City
Six Flags St. Louis
Miner Mike's
Joyland Amusement Park

What's your family's favorite amusement park near Kansas City?

Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.

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