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Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Just realized I was thinking of Santa Monica, which would be odd in a top ten. D’oh. Haven’t been to Santa Cruz but it looks like the kinda place I’d enjoy.
God no. I've been to Santa Monica Pier, but spent about an hour there, so I didn't rank it. Even if I did, it would get nowhere near the top10, hah. :p
 

Sandman

Active Member
Please explain why Brean is so high, that ranking has been messing with my mind since I first saw it hahah
 

Peet

Member
My ranking is based very much on the coaster line-up. The theming and atmosphere can make a big difference to your day, but after all I'm a coaster geek not a theme park geek.

I'm finding it hard to give parks without a wooden coaster (Garda, Thorpe, Energylandia) a good ranking, it just feels like they have a huge gap in their line-up. Maybe I'll change my mind when I visit Phantasialand!

1. SF Magic Mountain
2. Europa Park
3. Alton Towers
4. Port Aventura
5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
6. Liseberg
7. Heide Park
8. Energylandia
9. Efteling
10. Grona Lund
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Please explain why Brean is so high, that ranking has been messing with my mind since I first saw it hahah
It's my 5th least liked park. I put it in the group of parks that 'I hated' (this might be a bit of a strong word, but eh..), why is everyone so puzzled with that? :p

Or was that sarcasm? It's hard to recognize it like that. :)
 

reed2play

New Member
I found this quite a challenge to rank a Top ten list, I’ve based my opinion chiefly on quality and range of coasters, but also atmosphere of the park, theming of rides, dispatch times, park officiency, friendliness of staff and overall park beauty all play a massive part to. So here is my top ten in no particular order:

. Cedar Point
. Europa Park
. Alton Towers
. Port Aventura
. Liseberg
. Efteling
. Phantasialand
. Dollywood
. Tokyo Disney Resort
. Busch Gardens Tampa
 

TMCoasters

Member
After visiting all of my new parks for the year here is an update of my top 10 parks (I was only able to stay at SDC for ~4 hours, given more time it may rank a bit higher. I loved the park in the time that I had.)

1) Liseberg - Especially by my third day at Liseberg I knew for sure it was my number one park. The decision didn't come when one might expect it. Not when I decided Helix was my number one coaster, not when I rode Balder, or attended the ribbon cutting event for Valkyria (although all were great memories). On my third day I decided to really get to know every nook and cranny of the park, such that I had the best possible experience. I wanted to spend some time photographing as I took a hiatus from my Helix marathon. I walked behind Helix' brake run and beyond the Ferris Wheel. There I found the least walked portion of the park. A series of beautifully landscaped thin trails wound around the wooded hillside. Here, I sat in a quaint grassy patch next to a tranquil stream. I felt totally separated from the park, the city, and in tune with the beautiful land that is Scandinavia. Never have I had such a moment in a park. I relaxed and walked around the area for about a half hour and no one ever crossed my path. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE IN A BUSY THEME PARK!? So, if it wasn't enough that Liseberg has my all time favorite coaster, a great supporting cast of coasters, perhaps the best collection of flat rides, exquisite theming, good food, incredible operations, a surreal atmosphere, and friendly staff, then this sealed the deal. I have never been happier at any park, and for that Liseberg is my favorite park on Earth, which I hardly see changing any time soon.
2) Cedar Point - Cedar Point really is its own world. Plopped on a peninsula in the middle of Lake Erie, the drive onto it is quite the spectacle. I will always remember the feeling as I emerged from a wooded area of road and saw the intimidating skyline that is the roller coaster capital of the world. It definitely lives up to it as well. The coaster collection is phenomenal as are the flat rides. Operations are great too. Cedar Point does lack in some areas with theming however and is a bit too big. I am myself a long distance runner, but there's too much time spent walking across the park rather than enjoy the other things that it has to offer.
3) Hersheypark - Hersheypark has one of the best coaster collections on Earth in my opinion. Skyrush is just brilliant and Storm Runner is extremely underrated. Really every coaster at the park was underrated for me besides Great Bear. Some areas of the park (namely, the Hollow) are absolutely stunning. While the park does lack in theming and flat rides, it has a great overall atmosphere and it's just incredible overall.
4) Silver Dollar City - I really wish I had more time in SDC as it may rank higher than Hershey, but alas I did not and instead it ranks fourth. SDC is probably the best themed park that I have ever been to. Every section fits with the theme and tells a story. Every ride coincides with the theme and the park is very friendly for the most part (barring a couple really poor employees). I found Time Traveler and Powder Keg to be two of the most underrated coasters out there (with Time Traveler being my favorite at the park). The flat ride line up is great as well. My main concern is the lack of a true world class coaster (Outlaw Run was unbelievably underwhelming). For me, an upper tier almost always needs a world class coaster that I can reride all day and never get tired of, all other parks in my top 5 have a coaster in my top 4 (Helix - 1, Boulder Dash - 2, Maverick - 3, Skyrush - 4).
5) Lake Compounce - Lake Compounce is my second most visited park and was one of the first that I ever went to. For that it does have a bit of a special spot in my heart, but this park really is underrated. First off, Boulder Dash is here. I can't get enough of this coaster and there's a reason it's my number two. Much of my time at Lake Compounce is spent on Boulder Dash and it's not uncommon for me to ride in 20+ times in a day. Phobia is also underrated and the park has a good collection of flat rides. The location is beautiful, nestled between a lake and mountain. I am just in love with the way that this park feel like another world. You enter through a tunnel and are transported to an 1800's style world. The atmosphere is fantastic and the park has a lot of awesome little features. I truly never get tired of it.
6) Knoebels - Knoebels really is one of the friendliest parks out there. The coasters are great, the flat rides are great, and the free admission is great for quick stops at the park (but trust me, you won't want to leave). Phoenix is a gem and my personal 8th favorite wooden coaster (15th overall).
7) Grona Lund - Grona Lund manages to pack so many rides on top of one another which is incredible. I had seen pictures and aerial views, but it is magnificent that they can have 7 coasters here (with another on its way). There isn't a star coaster here, but it does have my favorite drop tower in Ikaros and Twister still makes my top 30 despite its small stature. This is just a fun park to be at, and I wish I had more time here. Operations are great, food is great, and so are the staff (I love that they have a flag of the languages they speak on each name tag). The park is also stunning, located on a little island in Stockholm. The architecture in the area and the Baltic Sea surrounding it are both spectacles.
8) Tusenfryd - This park is so underrated in my opinion! They have an incredible wooden coaster in Thundercoaster, my 5th favorite wooden coaster (11th overall) as well as Speed Monster which makes my top 20. Spin Spider is an amazing flat ride. The park has next to no theming but it is an attractive park, it is Norway so how could it not be? The staff were really friendly and I had a great time here overall.
9) Six Flags New England - Not many places out there have a better top 2. Superman The Ride is my number 6 and Wicked Cyclone my number 7. Harley Quinn is also my third favorite flat ride only to Uppswinget and Ikaros. NESS is another really fun ride. That's about it. It's not a particularly charming or well themed park. There's quite a bit of downtime and the staff aren't that great, but I still really enjoy my time at my home park.
10) Kemah Boardwalk - Kemah is a tiny park, only one coaster, a handful of flats, an aquarium, and shops, but I loved it here! It's a lovely boardwalk park with my 9th favorite coaster overall in Boardwalk Bullet. Their Larson drop tower is also ridiculously forceful. The park has a great atmosphere and the aquarium is nice although there are a couple annoying policies around the park.
Honorable mentions: SFGAdv - An awesome coaster in El Toro and some other good coasters supporting it, but this park is way too massive to have such an atrocious layout. Downtime is far too common on rides, the atmosphere isn't great, and it's a pretty ugly park apart from the entrance to Kingda Ka's area and the area by the log flume.
Kolmarden - This park is absolutely stunning given its location next to the massive lake system of Eastern Sweden. It is perched up above a massive lake and has incredible views. The star coaster, Wildfire, is absolutely insanity and makes my top 5. The staff are very friendly and the various animal exhibits are great. The park is massive which came as a huge surprise to me. Despite the many great things about the park I simply didn't have as much fun here as at other parks.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Right, I've had a bit more of a think about this topic recently, and I've ranked every theme park I've ever visited. What I've found that I really like in a theme park is a balance between thrills and theming/atmosphere, and my rankings should reflect that. Now, may I just say; I enjoyed my time at each and every one of these parks. These rankings are entirely relative; each and every park I've visited has its positive attributes, and I'd happily revisit any of them! So, without further ado, have my personal theme park rankings of all 16 theme parks I've visited (but be warned, some of them may be a tad controversial!):
Matt N's Theme Parks Ranked
  1. Alton Towers - Alton Towers was the first theme park I ever visited, and no matter what happens, it will always mean a huge amount to me. But even taking my personal attachment to the park out of the equation, Alton Towers has so much going for it, in my opinion! Firstly, it's an utterly beautiful park, and has a certain sense of grandiose about it with its lavish natural surroundings. The theming is excellent and the park has a very good selection of rides, in my opinion! There's something to amuse just about everyone at Alton Towers, from the smallest kids right through to the biggest thrillseekers! For those reasons, Alton Towers still sits as my favourite theme park all these years on!
  2. Universal's Islands of Adventure - If there's any theme park that would ever be my favourite theme park instead of Alton Towers, it's this one. Islands of Adventure has some of my favourite attractions I've ever experienced within its gates as well as some of the best theming I've ever seen in a theme park! Even excluding Hogsmeade, the attention to detail within Islands of Adventure is nothing short of breathtaking! Add to that the great selection and quality of attractions and it's easy for me to see why Islands of Adventure is one of my top theme parks of all time!
  3. Universal Studios Florida - Even though I like it slightly less than its younger sibling across the lake, Universal Studios Florida is still a top-notch theme park, in my opinion! It's very nicely presented, and it has a fantastic selection of things to do, if you ask me! As with Islands of Adventure above, I personally find the park to have some absolutely world-class attractions, and some of the rides are incredibly immersive with simply breathtaking theming! Overall, Universal Studios Florida is an outstanding park, in my opinion!
  4. Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Even though it's not a themed park per se, I absolutely adore Blackpool Pleasure Beach! It's one of the most unique theme parks I've ever been to, and it has a fantastic selection of attractions, if you ask me! Might I also add that even though there isn't loads of theming in this park, it is just a feast for the eyes wherever you look; there's so many rides crammed into such a tight space that the park is just a marvel to look at! Add in the wonderfully charming atmosphere and you have an absolutely fantastic theme park!
  5. Disney's Animal Kingdom - The sheer scale of Animal Kingdom is quite something! The park is absolutely wonderful to look at; the detail and authenticity of the park's themed environments is stunning, in my opinion! Animal Kingdom also has some excellent attractions, in my opinion; even though it may not be the most ride-abundant park in the world, the quality is certainly there in most of the attractions they have!
  6. Epcot - This park was probably one of the biggest surprises of my April 2019 Florida trip! I hadn't heard much praise for Epcot before visiting, but I absolutely loved the park! Admittedly the park probably wouldn't sit as high if it only consisted of Future World, as I admit that that section feels a little dated in portions, but I found World Showcase such a fantastic area! I loved exploring each of the different countries on offer; each one has fantastic theming, and I genuinely found the whole park to have a really nice, relaxing atmosphere! Despite what I may have said about Future World above, I did find it to have some very good attractions, a nice atmosphere and a very positive message on the whole; Test Track was a particular standout attraction for me! So overall, Epcot was a hugely positive surprise; a very underrated park, in my opinion!
  7. Busch Gardens Tampa - I must admit that I do not think quite as highly of this park as many enthusiasts do, but I still thoroughly enjoyed Busch Gardens Tampa! It probably has one of the best coaster lineups I've ever seen; Montu and SheiKra are both 10/10 coasters for me, and the other rides here are certainly great too! Even though I wouldn't say the park has a huge amount of theming, the landscaping is certainly quite nice for the most part! Overall, I'd definitely recommend a visit to Busch Gardens Tampa if in Florida!
  8. SeaWorld Orlando - SeaWorld Orlando is a lovely park, in my opinion! Given its key focus is on its marine life, the park has a surprisingly good selection of rides! It has my present number 1 coaster Mako, for starters, but there are also other great rides within the park! I also think that SeaWorld has some very nice theming and landscaping in places and has a lovely, relaxing atmosphere, if you ask me! Overall, I really like SeaWorld Orlando, and I'd personally say it's another one that I find very underrated!
  9. Disney's Magic Kingdom - I can sense that this one might be a little controversial. When I went to Magic Kingdom for the first time in April 2019, I really liked the park. The theming is brilliant, and it has such a nice atmosphere, as well as quite an abundance of things to do. But I must admit that I was a tad underwhelmed by the park after all the hype. Don't get me wrong, I really liked many of Magic Kingdom's attractions, but I kind of felt as though it lacked a true standout attraction (this may well change with Tron, however!). However, I felt like I was somewhat above Magic Kingdom's target demographic when I was there, and I'm not entirely sure if it's the sort of park I really love in general, so that probably plays into why I think that a little. Still, Magic Kingdom is a lovely, lovely park; I very much liked it, and I'd certainly recommend a visit!
  10. Thorpe Park - I personally feel that Thorpe Park is quite underrated amongst the UK theme park community! Even though I don't think the park is really a themed park as such, areas of it have some fantastic theming, in my opinion; in particular, the likes of The Swarm's area, Saw and Amity Cove are brilliantly themed. I also feel that Thorpe has an excellent selection of thrill rides; The Swarm is one of my favourite UK coasters, and there are so many other great things at this park, in my opinion! Overall, I always really enjoy a day at Thorpe Park!
  11. Disney's Hollywood Studios - Now, I must admit I'm not entirely sure if I can give Hollywood Studios a fair ranking, as when I visited in April 2019, a large amount of the park was either a construction site or undergoing some sort of refurbishment. However, when I went to the park, I must admit that I didn't feel that the attraction selection or the theming & presentation were quite as strong as in Disney's other 3 Florida theme parks. Still, Hollywood Studios has some nice theming in places and it does hold some of my favourite Disney attractions; Tower of Terror is just outstanding, I find Rock'n'Rollercoaster to be very underrated and Slinky Dog Dash is also a very fun, underrated family coaster! Star Tours is also good fun! I'm also sure that I will enjoy the park much more when I revisit once all the construction's complete!
  12. Oakwood Theme Park - Don't let the rural location put you off Oakwood, because it is a real hidden gem of a theme park, in my opinion! Megafobia is a brilliant wooden coaster with some fantastic airtime, in my opinion, and the park has a certain charm about it, even though it isn't the biggest or most themed park in the world. I also feel that Oakwood is a very pretty park; areas like Neverland and Spooky Street have some very nice theming, in my opinion, and the park as a whole is very green with a real natural beauty about it! Overall, don't miss out on this little gem of a park if ever in South Wales!
  13. Chessington World of Adventures - Chessington is a very nice little park, with some very nice themed areas, in my opinion! However, as with Magic Kingdom above, I kind of feel that Chessington lacks a standout attraction in terms of quality, but I am somewhat above the park's target demographic, so I'm not entirely sure if I can fairly assess the park. Still, Chessington is a nice park with lots to do!
  14. Drayton Manor - Drayton Manor is a very nice theme park with some good attractions, if you ask me! Areas of it such as Thomas Land are nicely done, in my opinion, and the park has some fun rides; Apocalypse was probably my favourite! Again, I raise the point that I feel it lacks a true standout attraction in terms of quality, but the park still provides a very fun day out, in my opinion!
  15. Fun Spot Kissimmee - I'm not sure if I can truly assess Fun Spot Kissimmee that fairly, as I only rode one attraction there. From what I saw of it, it was a perfectly pleasant park with some good rides, albeit a somewhat smaller scale operation than most parks I've been to! It doesn't really have much theming, but I don't think Fun Spot aims to be a themed park as such. I must say, the one attraction I rode at Fun Spot (Mine Blower) was excellent, so if I'd ridden more rides, I might rank the park higher! Overall, Fun Spot Kissimmee is definitely a fun place to kill some time!
  16. Legoland Windsor - I always hate placing anything last, but out of the parks I've visited, I'm afraid it has to be Legoland. The park is perfectly pleasant for the most part with some nice theming, but I think I'm way above the target demographic, so I'm not sure if I can fairly assess it. Might I also add that I visited on a very busy day and only rode 1 ride, so I didn't visit the park in its best circumstances! One point I would like to raise about Legoland is that the paths are quite small, so the park felt very crowded as I was walking around. Even though it's last on my list, I'd definitely recommend Legoland, especially if you have small children!
So, there are my theme park rankings!
 

mo237

New Member
I haven't visited a huuuge amount of places, but the top five or so are really special in my humble opinion.

1. Efteling Spent two days here last spring and wow, what a park! Everything here is just so damn good. Sure, the rides may not be hugely intense, but they all boast so much character and charm. I'm a sucker for theatrical style attractions, and Efteling is just *oozing* with them. Stand out for me is Symbolica- although the common opinion is that there are better trackless rides, this is the only one I've experienced and it's just so damn beautiful. Could easily spend another few days here as the park was very busy when I went, so ended up missing out on things such as Droomvlucht, Carnaval Festival and the whole of the Fairytale Forest.

2. Grona Lund I usually favour large parks with lots of greenery and space to breath between rides, but Grona Lund is just a prime example that it's how you use the space that matters. Whilst the park doesn't have a huge coaster to make everyone go wild, the way everything is intertwinned and literally stacked on top of each other is just flawless. Most people would look at the site and thinkg "yeah, no park here, just some more affordable housing", but Grona literally achieved the impossible. It's criminal that this park doesn't recieve as much attention as it does.

3. Phantasialand Shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone who's visited. The park isn't exactly big, and that's what really makes it special. It's amazing that not only can they fit in the rides, but theme them as well as they can. Rides like Chiapas are what I look for in an attraction- fun for a wide demographic and incredibly detailed. Then there's Taron next door- yeah, I don't need to mention this thing. You all know how perfect it is. I think the only thing lacking from the park for me is a huge dark ride- sure you've got your Hollywood Tour and your Maus au Chocolat, but the former is literally falling apart, and I'm not interested in screen/shooter rides. But that aside- Phantasia is just an amazing park.

4. Europa Park This was the first foreign park I visited, and what a place to start on. I don't remember a huuuge amount of my weekend here, but from what I do, this park is really something. Everything is so clean and detailed, and despite its size, it's a struggle to not be surrounded by a show or attraction. Europa also introduced me to wooden coasters, and Wodan was a great way to start me off. But what really stuck with me is the sheer speed of their operations! On a busy August weekend, we never queued more than 40mins. Genuinely insane. Like Efteling, I feel like there's huge chunks of the park that I didn't get to see, so a return is definately on the cards once I've visited Italy and Poland.

5. Toverland Whilst I visited before Avalon opened, I think Toverland is another park that gets overlooked quite a bit. On paper the park may look like a bit of a filler that you'd only do if you were in the area, but man this place is charming. Sure, the ride lineup isn't huge, but everything here is just so much fun. Their logflume is so much fun, and it's pretty weird. I think that sums up this park in general actually! From the weird animations outside to that terrifying powered-bobsled-thing, Toverland is just a really pleasant park to visit. I look forward to returning at some point to check out Fenix.

6. Alton Towers I owe a lot to this park for getting me into rides and parks in the first place. Sure, the park has seen better days, but Alton have a generally good collection of coasters. Yet it's the Heritage that really interests me. It's just crazy to think that a theme park built within a Gothic Estate exists! It's actually surprising that there isn't as much focus on that aspect as the ruins and gardens are stunning, as it's a really nice break from the madness of the rides.

7. Liseberg Now, I feel like this park should be higher up on my list. The park is gorgeous with it's hillside location and the little gardeny bits, but Helix (the main reason I headed to Sweden in the first place!) was closed, and that did cast some rather large shadows over my weekend there. So in that sense, I feel like I can't judge the place all that fairly. With that said though- Liseberg has a great collection of rides and a really fab walkthrough that makes it a nice park to visit.

8. Kolmarden Not a park, but this zoo is great. Animals don't really interest me that much, but it was really nice to see that they seemed really well looked after here. The enclosures are huge and they put on several great shows. But of course, this is a coaster forum. Delphin Express isn't the best coaster if I'm honest as it sits somewhere towards the bottom of my rankings, but I'm willing to forgive that, because it sits next to Wildfire. The only RMC I've experienced, and whilst overhyped, the location of such a coaster really is stunning.

9. Thorpe Park Bit of a quality drop occuring here. Thorpe... it's alright I guess. I think they have a solid and well varied coaster lineup as well as some nice flats, but as a place, it's just not the nicest to be at. Everything feels so dirty and broken! There is certainly fun to be had but the park really needs work to keep me visiting. It's such a shame that one of the UKs Biggest Parks is one that I'm not hugely fussed about.

10. Adventure Island There must be a million parks with this name- I'm on about the one in Southend. I used to have family close by, so whenever we visited them, we'd take a detour to the sea front and just walk through. I visited last in 2017 and there's fun to be had here as a nice little seaside park, but it's nothing to go wild for. Definately pop in for a few hours if you're down that way, but you'd be mad for going out of your way just for the creds on offer.
 
sure you've got your Hollywood Tour and your Maus au Chocolat, but the former is literally falling apart, and I'm not interested in screen/shooter rides.
I'm not much interested in shooter rides either but Maus au Chocolat is fabulous. It's even worth doing just to check out the incredible detail in the queue line.
 

L3XiC

New Member
1. Cedar Point
2. Six Flags Magic Mountain
3. Canada's Wonderland
4. Kings Island
5. Six Flags Great Adventure
6. Universal Studios Island of Adventure
7. Six Flags New England
8. Universal Studios Florida
9. Dorney Park
10. Laronde

I have only been to 16 parks
 
1) Phantasialand - Because it’s Phantasialand!!!

2) Alton Towers - There’s no place like home!

3) Walibi Holland - This place only gets this high because it has my favourite coaster line up of any park visited so far. 3 top ten coasters, that can all be easily marathoned 😍

4) Liseberg - Beautiful setting, Helix, Balder and I suppose Valkyria isn’t bad either.

5) Portaventura & Ferrari - counting these as one, because they should be. Operations not nearly as bad as I expected and a great collection of rides. Shammy B 😍

6) Thorpe Park - Great coaster line up, if this was an independent park and not Merlin, it’d get much more love. Even if nothing else was different to how it is under Merlin... You’re all just Merlin haters 😝

7) Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Consistent, always have a good time here, but my god, some of those rides now hurt ☹

8) Toverland - Nice little park, with a nice atmosphere that I’m sure would be much higher if I’d chosen a different day to visit. And TROY

9) Movie Park Germany - Genuinely had a great day here, had very low expectations to begin with, so I think I rated it so highly because it exceeded those expectations by such a huge amount.

10) Efteling - Beautiful park, deserves to be in anybody’s top 10. Would be higher with a decent coaster or 2. No Baron is not the answer!!! Did not enjoy our day here, very very overcrowded and stupidly hot. So this park could easily move up after another visit.

That’s my top 10, some of the positions could definitely change if I visited on different days (Toverland, Efteling for example.) But, I’m happy with this list for now.
 

TPSou

New Member
1. Six Flags Magic Mountain -The coaster lineup is superb, some of the views are incredible and the food is even ok for a Six Flags park!
2. Disney's Californian Adventure - In my mind this has some of the best theming of any parks ever, especially the area around the rapids, It has some really unique themes and some great rides and food.
3. Phantasialand - I live Taron, Talocan, River Quest, Mystery Castle and Black Mamba so much, plus there's some amazing food if you don't mind spending a bit more, although the cheap pizza is good too
4. Liseberg - Helix is simply incredible. We went here for Halloween last year and the atmosphere was even better with some amazing scare mazes. It's really unique, easy to get to and a beautiful city.
5. Animal Kingdom - the first time we went to Orlando this was my least favourite park, but Pandora has changed all that. Incredible theming, some great food and drinks and a wide range of stuff to do.
6. Cedar Point - we hated the food and the theming is almost non existent other than the new area, but there's some fantastic rollercoasters here.
7. Toverland - this might not have the best rides, but it has an incredible atmosphere and is surprisingly huge given the status as a smaller park. Can't wait to see what they build next. This just snuck in above Disneysea purely because of Troy.
8. Tokyo Disneysea - it's a shame there aren't more rides as the theming, food and staff are all word class. There's just not quite enough to do to spend more than a day or two here compared to some of the others.
9. Europa Park - Europa do everything well but nothing is the best. The rides are great, the food is great, theming is great, maybe the operations are the best in the world, but we always have a good time here. Just a shame it's quite expensive and a bit of a pain to get to.
10. Busch Gardens Tampa - we were really surprised by this place. Sure none of the rides are in my top 10, but there's a lot of good ones and the park looks absolutely beautiful.

As you might be able to tell, theming and food sometimes wins out over rides for me!

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 
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Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Took some time to list everything out since I'm a slut for list threads...

  1. Dollywood - The park has a near perfect formula: world class coasters, BEAUTIFUL setting, friendly staff and clientele. I hardly ever hear complaints about the park either.
  2. Busch Gardens Tampa - Similar to Dollywood, the park has excellent rides and is extremely well landscaped.
  3. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - It's been a minute since I've been there but I did love the place on all three of my visits. Tampa has a slight edge over it due to their landscaping.
  4. Kentucky Kingdom - I touched on this in my recent trip report but it's such a low key park where one can go, ride some great rides at a much slower pace than other parks. It's a very easy going park that cares about their guests and has an unmatched social media department.
  5. Holiday World - Similar to Kentucky Kingdom: world class rides without the crowds at a park that genuinely puts their hearts and souls into providing a fantastic experience during every visit.
  6. Silver Dollar City - Love the place as it's so similar to Dollywood, but it just doesn't quite have the same charm as Dollywood.
  7. Knoebels - Same trend: fantastic rides, light crowds, beautiful setting.
  8. Cedar Point - It's my home park and it has world class coasters. I tend to rant about the place with increasing frequency as the park gets more crowded and lines get longer...but it'd be wrong to rank it any lower.
  9. Islands of Adventure - Universal is a park chain that matches with my demographic nicely. The experience I've had in somewhat recent visits have been excellent.
  10. Universal Studios - Same as above, but with different rides.

I'm a bit surprised by my overall rankings as some parks, like California's Great America or Six Flags St Louis ended up ranked much higher than I thought they'd be. What ended up happening is that I've been to way more one-and-done's, like fun centers or standalone coasters, than I realized (Sylvan Beach, the Vegas coasters, Timber Falls, CJ Barrymore's, Kokomo's, etc)...and of course they're all near the bottom of my list. This ended up pushing a ton of mediocre parks much higher up in my list. I am also a bit surprised to see so many mega-parks hovering in the 11-30 range, like the bigger Six Flags parks, Hersheypark, Carowinds, and Canada's Wonderland - my recent thoughts have touched on the mega-parks just being way too crowded to have a truly enjoyable time, but I guess the volume of thrilling rides is enough to offset that.
 

Alex B

Member
As of 2019 I’ll do all my parks ranked
1. Cedar point-obvious choice
2. Six flags great adventure- 1 word toro
3 knoebels- very charming park with gr8 rides
4 Disney world -nice place
5 dorney park -ok rode collection
6 moreys peirs -exceeded expectations and very unique
7 steel pier -lesser known has a wild mouse and a kiddie coaster
8-jenkinsons boardwalk-more of a random jersey shore park then a actual park only a kiddie creed and a broken down (when I was there) sbf spinner
 

Pear

Active Member
  1. Dollywood - The park has a near perfect formula: world class coasters, BEAUTIFUL setting, friendly staff and clientele. I hardly ever hear complaints about the park either.
  2. Busch Gardens Tampa - Similar to Dollywood, the park has excellent rides and is extremely well landscaped.
  3. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - It's been a minute since I've been there but I did love the place on all three of my visits. Tampa has a slight edge over it due to their landscaping.
  4. Kentucky Kingdom - I touched on this in my recent trip report but it's such a low key park where one can go, ride some great rides at a much slower pace than other parks. It's a very easy going park that cares about their guests and has an unmatched social media department.
  5. Holiday World - Similar to Kentucky Kingdom: world class rides without the crowds at a park that genuinely puts their hearts and souls into providing a fantastic experience during every visit.
  6. Silver Dollar City - Love the place as it's so similar to Dollywood, but it just doesn't quite have the same charm as Dollywood.
  7. Knoebels - Same trend: fantastic rides, light crowds, beautiful setting.
  8. Cedar Point - It's my home park and it has world class coasters. I tend to rant about the place with increasing frequency as the park gets more crowded and lines get longer...but it'd be wrong to rank it any lower.
  9. Islands of Adventure - Universal is a park chain that matches with my demographic nicely. The experience I've had in somewhat recent visits have been excellent.
  10. Universal Studios - Same as above, but with different rides.
Not sure why you think BGT is better landscaped than BGW. BGW is by far the prettier park and has the beautiful terrain and river running through it. BGW has a better lineup overall than BGT as well.

You do you, but I would never ever rank Islands of Adventure and Cedar Point under Kentucky Kingdom and Knoebels.
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Not sure why you think BGT is better landscaped than BGW. BGW is by far the prettier park and has the beautiful terrain and river running through it. BGW has a better lineup overall than BGT as well.

You do you, but I would never ever rank Islands of Adventure and Cedar Point under Kentucky Kingdom and Knoebels.
I recall BGT doing a better job at concealing various portions of their rides with clever landscaping, theming, or decorations. I can't recall anywhere at BGW where I could say the same, but with that being said, I haven't been there in a number of years.

Regarding Kentucky Kingdom and Knoebels, it's all a matter of value. You won't catch me dead at Universal or Cedar Point on a Saturday due to the certainty of insane crowds. Last Saturday, we were at Kentucky Kingdom and managed to ride almost everything at both the dry park and water park. Compare it to Cedar Point this past Tuesday where we waited for Gemini and Magnum - something that I haven't done since prior to Top Thrill Dragster. And from a price standpoint, it costs only $30 to get into Kentucky Kingdom. Doing the same (ride and slide) at Cedar Point costs $50 dollars more. My preferences are changing, and I'd much rather spend less money on a smaller park with much smaller crowds to ride Storm Chaser, Voyage, or Phoenix many times over waiting another 90 minutes for Valravn or Millennium Force.
 

GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
In no particular order, here's my updated list after my big trip...

- Dollywood
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg
- Knoebels
- Epcot
- Animal Kingdom
- Six Flags Great America
- Silver Dollar City
- Cedar Point
- Kennywood
- Islands of Adventure
 

hendrixmarshall

New Member
If I lived right next to a great park, I could see how Antino's preferences would change. Whenever we go, it's a major ordeal. So I made this list of where would I want to go back to (already been) if the park(s) above the next slot available were shut down. The moose out front should've told me...

Cedar Point
BGW
Knott's
BGT
Universal Orlando
Hershey
Dollywood
Carowinds
SFMM
KD
SFGAm
Kennywood
SFGAd
Magic Kingdom Anaheim
KI
Magic Kingdom Orlando
Water World
Silver Dollar City
Holiday World
 
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