I recently wrote about America’s Wackiest Theme Parks which was based on an article from Yahoo Travel. While I don’t enjoy rides and am not much of a theme park fan, a few parks from the list sounded like they could be a lot of fun.
A couple of days after writing my post, I was happy to get invited to a park from the list that (I’d probably say) I most wanted to visit. Best of all, it happened to be only around a 2 hour drive from home!
This past Saturday, Kim, Lucas and I headed to Diggerland USA to see just what this “Construction Theme Park” was all about.
After showing Lucas Diggerland’s website, he asked Kim and I multiple times, everyday if he could go. It was something like (Lucas) “I want to go Diggerland”, “Diggerland!” and other variations like that. He even talked about it at camp, so yes you could say he was very excited for the upcoming visit.
When we pulled into Diggerland’s parking lot, you could see some of the equipment, especially the creative (yet nauseating looking) Spindizzy. Check it out in the photo at the top of the post.
Once we got inside, it was time to play! We started off the fun with Lucas getting to take a ride around the park in the Barrel Train which starts out just past the entrance. He really enjoyed the ride, especially playing with the steering wheel, making believe he was the driver. Lucas liked it so much that he took the ride again before we left.
Diggerland is easy to navigate since it is set up in a big loop. You could pretty much just head one direction and make your way around while stopping at whichever rides you choose. It would be pretty much impossible to get lost there.
There are around 20 different rides offered including a Kid Zone area. Getting on rides and driving/ using the machinery is based on a height requirement. It was great that Lucas was able to be a lap rider on the machines since he clearly isn’t big enough to operate them on his own. The minimun height for most of the rides and to be a lap rider on the machinery is 36 inches.
Kim and I had some good laughs watching little kids getting a chance to drive and operate the machinery. Some kids handled it like pros while others were getting stuck and even crashing into walls! Like I stated above, in order to be the driver, it all comes down to your height. The minimum height to operate machinery ranged from 42-56 inches.
I had a lot of fun driving the Skid-Steers and Dumper Truck around their courses. Neither machine moved very fast but it was still a blast to ride them. Even though Lucas couldn’t drive the vehicles he was still a very happy passenger!
I took a break from the fun and Kim took a ride with Lucas on the Dig-A-Round, the park’s version of a carousel. I thought this was a very creative spin on the traditional version. Instead of sitting on a horse, you get to sit in the bucket of construction machinery!
I then took a ride 5 stories up in the air (50 feet) on the Sky Shuttle. (Unfortunately, Kim and Lucas had to sit this one out due to Lucas being too short.) We moved slowly getting amazing views of the park as we went up higher and higher in the air. This was definitely fun and well worth it for the views.
Lucas had a lot of fun at the Kid Zone. He played in the humongous jungle gym set and also liked going on the bouncy make-believe machinery! If he had his way, he may have played over here the whole day!
Before heading back to the heavy machinery we took a leisurely, family ride on the Turnpike Tractor. These tractors are custom-made for Diggerland and were definitely interesting to drive due to a lack of power-steering.
We tried out all three of the Mini-Diggers, which each had an activity. You can try to pull ducks from the water, go bowling and find a treasure… using the arm of the mini-digger! This was actually a lot of fun with our favorite being catching the ducks from the water.
I’m not sure how it worked out this way but we ended up saving the best for (pretty much) last!
Moving dirt with the Giant Digger was a big rush. Lucas loved it too and since the machine is in a fixed location, I let him play with the controls on a couple of occasions. We spent a good amount of time moving dirt all around our area and this is a definite must do activity at the park!
Some things we didn’t try out:
If we weren’t so tired I would’ve liked to have taken a climb up the Rock Wall. The Ropes Course also looked like a lot of fun and something I will definitely try out when we return to the park in the future.
We also skipped the stunt show since we wanted to use our time trying out the different pieces of machinery. I’m not sure what the show entails but I’d like to see it some other time.
Otherwise, Diggerland also offered a bunch of other rides in some interesting vehicles and machinery. Again, if we weren’t a bit pressed for time we would’ve tried them out too.
We all had a great time at Diggerland and it is a park that we plan to return to in the future. Being that I don’t like theme parks, this one really hit the mark for me. We got to drive and try out different kinds of “big boy” toys in the form of construction equipment which was a real blast. Another thing that I love about the park is that it isn’t small but it definitely isn’t a huge, overwhelming park. I think most of the activities could be done in around 4-5 hours which (to me) is the perfect amount of time to spend at a theme park!
Diggerland is located in West Berlin, New Jersey. I can’t say that I had heard of this area before but it is a great place for a day trip (or spend a night in the area like we did) since it is a little under 2 hours from NYC. Philadelphia is just 40 minutes away and Washington, D.C. is around 3 hours away.
While Diggerland was nice enough to invite Kim, Lucas and I for a visit, the prices at the park seem pretty fair.
Here are the costs to visit:
Find out more about Diggerland here.