July is the perfect time to head to amusement parks; not only is it a perfect summer outing, but July is Recreation and Parks Month. The parks are usually packed, the lines are long, and the sun beats down on you.
When I go to a park, I like to plan on which ride or area I’m hitting up first. Now, I fully admit that I like the tamer rides: the Scrambler, the Carousel, the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney World, or the rides where you float off into a magical land. I hate being scared, which is why I almost never go on roller coasters. Sometimes my husband guilts me into it. At those rare moments everyone’s screaming with glee except for me; I’m screaming in terror.
But I realize I’m one of the few non-ride thrill seekers. Just in case you’re like me or just in case you want to have the adventure of going to an amusement park, without going to the park itself, here are a few thrilling books to enjoy.
Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne
Megan got a summer job at Thrill Ride! Amusement Park for the summer, leaving her new boyfriend Nick behind. He’s not happy about it. She’s thrilled to be one of the few chosen for the job, even though she’ll miss Nick. Will the fight she has with Nick just before she leaves make her feel guilty the whole summer?
Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
Five teens were models for the Disney Hologram tour guide programs, but they receive an unexpected surprise when they wake up in the park during the night. Finn isn’t sure if he’s dreaming or if it’s real. Then he meets Wayne. Wayne explains that the villains crave power. They want not only to rule the park, but to rule the world. Finn must lead the other four teens to battle against the villains and save the park from utter destruction.
Roller Coaster: A Thrill Seeker’s Guide to the Ultimate Scream Machines by Robert Coker
This book has amazing, breathtaking photos (several made me want to throw up just by looking at them) with descriptions of some of the biggest, baddest, and fastest roller coasters on the planet. Coker talks about the history of roller coasters and thrill seeking rides. It’s absolutely fascinating.
Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams look at Making the Magic Real by the Imagineers
An in-depth look at how the Disney Empire came to be. This fascinating book is filled with sketches, ideas that haven’t come to life, maps, and behind the scene photos of the Disney empire.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
Build your own roller coaster rides and ride them! I played this game on the big screen with teens, letting them each have a turn at building a section of the coaster. We tested the coaster after each portion built. They had a BLAST.
- Devoured by Amanda Marrone
- Dunk by David Lubar
- The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie ViguiÃ©
- Animal Attraction by Jamie Ponti
- Roller Coasters: An Illustrated Guide to the Rides in the United States and Canada, with a History by Todd H. Throgmorton
- Building a Dream: The Art of Disney Architecture by Beth Dunlop
— Jennifer Rummel, currently reading The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky