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Myrtle Beach amusement park still a thrill more than 40 years later

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Once upon a time in America, you could find seaside amusement parks in virtually every beachfront resort town from Maine to Florida.

Today, fewer than 20 oceanside parks dot the entire East Coast.

One of them is Family Kingdom Amusement Park just down the coast in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which is still providing family thrills after more than 40 years.

Family Kingdom Amusement Park at 300 S. Ocean Blvd. is literally the amusement anchor for the Myrtle Beach oceanfront. The town itself entertains more than 14 million visitors each year, and Family Kingdom is at the core of “what to do” there.

For many years, Family Kingdom was second place in the hearts of visitors who favored the fabled Myrtle Beach Pavilion. But when The Pavilion closed its doors in 2006, it heralded a new beginning for the family-run Family Kingdom. The park ascended to its new position and began to tell its story like never before.

Family Kingdom is a modern amusement park in every important sense. Yet it successfully projects a welcoming atmosphere of days gone by and the nostalgic charm and character of historic seaside carnivals.

Family Kingdom delivers on atmosphere and excitement. It is home to the legendary Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, as well as the largest Ferris wheel in South Carolina. More than 30 other rides and attractions are available for all ages, as well as midway games, family entertainment and traditional park temptations such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and corn dogs.

Unlike theme parks, there is no general admission to Family Kingdom. This budget-friendly policy enables families to stroll the midway affordably, buying tickets by the ride or by purchasing all-day wristbands that allow for unlimited rides. Family Kingdom also has its own water park pacross Ocean Boulevard from the amusement park. The water park features three serpentine water flumes, each with a drop of greater than 100 feet, two speed slides and two intermediate rides, all offering a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. A Lazy River measuring more than 400 feet meanders around splash pools and beside a waterfall. Splash pools feature two rain trees, a multi-tiered waterfall and eight kiddie slides.

With a Combo Pass for $32.35 per person, a family can have a day at the water park and spend the evening sampling the rides and games at the amusement park; all for about half the cost of admission to Disney World.

For more information about Family Kingdom, got to www.family-kingdom.com or call (843) 626-3447.