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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.
 
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