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Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks

Zek_Teh_Kek

Member
I don't think I can come up with a solid top 10, but I can easily come up with a top 5.

1. Cedar Point: I've been going to this park since 2007-2008. While there is a lot of bias, going to Cedar Point never gets old for me.

2. Disney's Animal Kingdom: Phenomenal theming, and it's home to 2 of my favorite dark rides ever; Flight of Passage and Dinosaur!

3. Hersheypark: Something about this park is just so cool to me. Tons of shade, and many phenomenal rides! A great atmosphere too.

4. Knoebels: Definitely on the weirder side of parks, but it's so charming! The many unique rides there are great. It's really cool how you can just walk right in as well! One of the most shaded parks I've ever visited as well.

5. Kings Island: It's a good park, but it can definitely be better. Barely any shade, but there are some great rides. I don't know what else to say about it though.
 
1. Cedar Point
2. Dollywood
3. Silver Dollar City
4. Holiday World
5. Knoebels
6. Six Flags Magic Mountain
7. Busch Gardens Africa
8. Kings Island
9. Carowinds
10. Knott's Berry Farm
Honorable Mentions: Kings Dominion, Hersheypark, Six Flags Great America/Great Adventure, Alton Towers
 

Us3rmane

Member
1 - Phantasialand
2 - Europa Park
3 - Tripsdrill
4 - Toverland
5 - Parc Astérix
6 - Efteling
7 - Fraispertuis City
8 - Holiday Park
9 - Nigloland
10 - Plopsaland

Honorable mentions : The three Walibis when their expansion plans will be over, right now it's good but after that it will be great ! And Energylandia if they continue on the theming route.
 

Kw6sTheater

Member
1. Knoebels
2. Kings Island
3. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
4. Cedar Point
5. Islands of Adventure
6. Busch Gardens Williamsburg
7. Six Flags Fiesta Texas
8. Hersheypark
9. Six Flags Over Georgia
10. Carowinds
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
I have not actually visited that many ‘Major’ parks, so my list will contain some that wouldn’t get near other lists. Also, my top parks are for the most part decided by where my favourite coasters are. Although I appreciate all aspects of theme parks to an extent, theming etc is not as important to me as it is to other people, it’s all about the coasters. That said, 2 identical rides, one on a car park, and one the full package, the full package wins every time.

Tldr... Theming plays a small part, coasters more important.

1) Phantasialand
2) Alton Towers (a bit of home park favouritism / fanboyism here)
3) Liseberg
4) Walibi Holland
5) Portaventura
6) Toverland
7) Blackpool Pleasure Beach
8) Efteling (Wouldn’t be this high if the place wasn’t so damn beautiful, the coasters are mediocre)
9) Thorpe Park
10) Bobbejaanland (was a choice between here, Movie Park, Ferrari Land or one of the many smaller UK parks, Bobby gets it for Fury 😍 and the fun we had on the recent live)
 

rctneil

New Member
Can't decide an order for these but these are my favourite ten parks.

Knoebels
Silver Dollar City
Dollywood
Alton Towers
Toverland
Tokyo DisneySea
Cedar Point
Europa Park
Phantasialand
Disneyland

Also, just out of my top ten would have to be Ocean Park.
 
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Scott Lannigan

New Member
1. Islands Of Adventure
2. Universal Studios Florida
3. Portaventura
4. Busch Gardens Tampa
5. Thorpe Park
6. Seaworld Orlando
7. Alton Towers
8. Ferrari Land
9. Disney Hollywood Studios
10. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
 

TMCoasters

Member
This is a tough one, but I think my top ten is:

1) Liseberg
2) Cedar Point
3) Silver Dollar City
4) Sunac Land Nanchang
5) Holiday World
6) Hersheypark
7) World Joyland
8) China Dinosaur Land
9) Grona Lund
10) Lake Compounce

Honorable mentions to: Happy Valley Wuhan, Haichang Ocean Park, Kennywood, knoebels, and Tusenfryd
 

TMCoasters

Member
Gonna bring this thread back. New parks in bold.

1) Liseberg
2) Silver Dollar City
3) Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - They don't have a true super-star coaster for me, but Montu and Cheetah Hunt are awesome, followed by one of the deepest coaster collections. The park is immaculate and beautifully themed. They manage to hide roadways that the park crosses over and everything feels so well laid out. I can't even imagine how good this park will be with the pending opening of Iron Grazi. I also love the wildlife as sad as it makes me to see them in captivity.
4) Cedar Point
5) Sunac Land Nanchang
6) Universal Islands of Adventure - First off, I am so in love with the entire Harry Potter section of the park. Hogsmeade is just incredible and is highlighted by a top 25 coaster for me in Hagrid's. I can't even gush over this ride enough, it's just perfect for what it is. Hulk is a great compliment as well and the dark rides throughout are awesome, especially Forbidden Journey which is my all time favorite dark ride. They have great water rides too and the park is beautiful. I will be back as soon as possible once the Intamin blitz opens.
7) Holiday World
8) Joyland
9) China Dinosaur Land
10) Grona Lund

Honorable mentions:
Hersheypark
Kennywood
Haichang Ocean Park
 

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
Just thinking about making a list for this thread makes my head hurt. So difficult.

EDIT:
Despite what I just said, I just scribbled out a list without too much thought.

Magic Mountain, Disneyland, and Knott’s were my home parks growing up, and they’re drenched in nostalgia for me, so I’ll recuse them from this list as too sentimentally entangled.

1. Phantasialand
2. Knoebels
3. Europa Park
4. Efteling
5. Dollywood
6. Kennywood
7. Cedar Point
8. Hersheypark
9. Busch Gardens Williamsburg
10. Hansa Park
 
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HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
1) Liseberg
2) Universal Studios Singapore
3) Europa Park
4) Universal Studios Japan
5) Efteling
6) Hong Kong Disneyland
7) Everland
8) Fantawild Dreamland Zhengzhou
9) Hansa Park
10) Tivoli Gardens
Wow, it's been 2 years and 136 parks since the last post, have an update.

1) Liseberg
2) Dollywood
3) Universal Studios Singapore
4) Universal Studios Japan
5) Oriental Heritage Changsha
6) Europa Park
7) Efteling
8) Motiongate
9) Hong Kong Disneyland
10) Everland

There's a bit of a split in the top 5 now where I can openly admit I've had an 'emotional moment' in the park,
It suddenly hits me either halfway through the day right at the end with how much I like where I am right now and how I don't want that to change.

The other half I still love and are objectively very good, just didn't ignite that spark on a park level.
 

Hixee

Flojector
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Surprised to see Motiongate that high up the list - I'm not aware of many others who have it that high up. What made it Top 10 material?
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
^I think it was quite circumstantial. It was on that work trip so didn't have the buildup and intense planning that goes into other trips, I didn't really look into much at all. Buy a ticket, quick list of attractions off the website, job done.
So it then massively surpassed my expectations.

The whole indoor Dreamworks area was gorgeous to look at and really pleasant to be in. I remember just chilling in one of the areas for a while taking it all in - always a good sign for me.
I remember animatedly describing how I felt about the whole How to Train your Dragon area + ride in the trip report so that stands for itself.
Many other properly wonderous dark rides that made me really happy - Shrek (perhaps the biggest curveball of them all) and Hotel Transylvania in particular.
A respectable cred selection - it does lack something really killer but I could comfortably spend a day bouncing between the Mack and Gerts launchers.
Good operations.
Friendly staff.
Good music.
Pleasant crowds.
The food was really good - I don't normally don't care at all for that but if it stands out, another good sign for me.
All in all, fond memories.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
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^I think it was quite circumstantial. It was on that work trip so didn't have the buildup and intense planning that goes into other trips, I didn't really look into much at all. Buy a ticket, quick list of attractions off the website, job done.
So it then massively surpassed my expectations.

The whole indoor Dreamworks area was gorgeous to look at and really pleasant to be in. I remember just chilling in one of the areas for a while taking it all in - always a good sign for me.
I remember animatedly describing how I felt about the whole How to Train your Dragon area + ride in the trip report so that stands for itself.
Many other properly wonderous dark rides that made me really happy - Shrek (perhaps the biggest curveball of them all) and Hotel Transylvania in particular.
A respectable cred selection - it does lack something really killer but I could comfortably spend a day bouncing between the Mack and Gerts launchers.
Good operations.
Friendly staff.
Good music.
Pleasant crowds.
The food was really good - I don't normally don't care at all for that but if it stands out, another good sign for me.
All in all, fond memories.
Fair enough - I won't deny that a particularly good day at a park can elevate it. Same goes for certain cycles on certain rides, they can be something really special.

Always felt like all the parks out there were a bit... lifeless. Ferrari World and IMG, at least (they hadn't bothered opening Motiongate by the time my assignment came to an end, even though it had been completed for weeks).
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
^Definitely agree on the lifelessness of the other two. Being completely void of guests can often contribute to that but I'm definitely no stranger to it. They're also completely indoors rather than a nice half and half split.
At Motiongate you get to wander outside in the cooler evening air, ride the rapids, have some night rides.
Plus the indoor bit is so intensely themed it's anything but lifeless.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
DisneySea
Phantasialand
Europa Park
Island Of Adventure
Port Aventura
Busch Gardens Willamsburg
Motiongate
Universal Studios Singapore
Six Fiesta Texas

Thats a rough 5 mins list but all these parks were excellent. For me Disney Sea stands a country mile above the rest. I also agree Motiongate is a lovely park and easily the best in the country.
 

Howie

Active Member
For some reason I don't think I've ever posted in this topic before. Wad up wid dat? 🤔
So here goes then, not definitive by any means, and compiled totally off the cuff, but here are some of my faves:

1. Cedar Point.
Yeah I know, feels kinda basic and obvious but... it's Cedar Point innit. Glad I waited til 2018 before visiting though. 10 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago, Cedar Point wasn't actually at the top of my bucket list, but the most recent additions - Gatekeeper, the Rougarou conversion, Valravn and finally my boy SteVe made it irresistible. And it certainly didn't disappoint. Amazing park.

2. Universal Resort, Orlando.
Yeah I'm counting the Studios and IOA as one place because, well... it kinda is one place really. Old opinion this, haven't been in a while, but I'll never forget the 'magic' I felt on my first visit (circa 2003). My first proper 'pinch me' moment.

3. Port Aventura. Bloody love this place I do! I stayed on site for 5 whole days the first time I went and didn't get bored once. DK challenged Nemesis for my number 1 coaster at the time. Templo Del Fuego blew my mind.
The second time I went (2011) was when I saw the donkey in a hat.
The third time I went (just over 2 months ago) and Shambhala & Red Force have joined the line-up, soooo... yep. Love the place even more now.

4. Silver Dollar City. Soooo good. Beautiful park, great rides brilliant atmosphere and some of the best food options of any park anywhere. Nigh on perfect.

5. Six Flags Magic Mountain. My first taste of the Six Flags experience back in 2010 and I was blown away by the bewildering array of huge coasters on offer. Loved it! At the time, I'd say it had a more interesting line up than Cedar Point, although CP has clearly surpassed it since then.

6. Six Flags Great Adventure. My second taste of the Six Flags experience in 2014. Had a great day here, again blown away by the sheer volume of coaster excess. Low crowds, lots of rerides and no spites. It's also where I met @Ian and @ECG for the first time, which is what started me on this whole, crazy CoasterForce thing. :)

7. Glenwood Caverns. Yep, I have no qualms whatsoever about including Glenwood Caverns in this list - it's brilliant, a very special park indeed. When you visit, it will make your Top 10 list too, I promise. You have to get to it by cable car, ffs! It's got 2 of the most outrageous flat rides in existence (Giant Canyon Swing & Haunted Mine Drop) it's got the charm, atmosphere and attention to detail of a mini Silver Dollar City and it's got some of the best scenery of any theme park in the world. It's brilliant!

8. Europa Park. Just the operations and efficiency of this place are enough to grant it a place on the list, but the sheer size of it, the ride line up and the theming are all pretty much on point too. Great park.

9. Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Beautiful, lush, green, massive coasters, great food... what's not to love?

10. Liseberg. Such an elegant, classy theme park. Great location, great rides plus, y'know, Helix. Durr.

Honourable mentions to:
Efteling. Really wanted to squeeze this in to the top 10, it was either this or Liseberg. In the end I decided that Liseberg just edged it out.

Busch Gardens Tampa. Much like BGW, but I just felt like Williamsburg was the slightly better of the two, at least for now.

Canada's Wonderland. My first taste of one of the BIG Cedar Fair parks, and I was very impressed. Had a great day here, literally everything was walk on despite Leviathan being less than 2 weeks old. Lovely stuff.

Holiday World. Free drinks, free sunscreen, amazing waterpark, Thunderbird, Voyage and it's Christmas all year round. Just a few reasons why Holiday World rocks!

Walibi Holland. Always had a soft spot for this place, but things like their Halloween event (The Clinic! 😲), Lost Gravity and, of course, the fantastic Untamed, have all raised it up a notch.

That's your lot.

"Wot no Disney?" I hear you cry. Nah, not really into the Disney thing. Too schmaltzy, too pricey and far too many spoilt fat kids throwing tantrums.

"Wot no Phantasialand?" I hear you cry. Nah. Sh*thole. ;)
 
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Edward M

Well-Known Member
Wow, haven't posted here in a good bit. This post is long, too long.
  1. Tokyo Disneysea - During the summer of 2017, I spent 5 days at this park. I really got to know it: all the best rides, its best (and worst) snacks, the best spots to have a cigarette (easily in the Arabian Coast followed by a walk-on ride on Sinbad), and, most of all, some of its smallest details. My favorite moments here were just wandering and finding new things in the same places. There's a real artistry to this park that I haven't found anywhere else. I've never been to a park so transformative; the level of escapism in each land is unparalleled. My favorite aspect of theme parks is the ability to explore them, get lost in their world. Not only does it have one of my favorite attraction rosters, but it also has my favorite food at any park I've been to. If you want to hear me gush about this place in an essay's length, check out my trip report. To conclude I'll just reiterate what @roomraider said, wins this by a country mile.
  2. Silver Dollar City - This is a park that really warms my heart. It helps that it acted as my local park for my high school years, being close to my father's work. My favorite parks are ones I simply want to be in. Could I go to this park, not ride a single thing, and still have a good day? With this park, it seems a good amount of park goers do exactly that! It has so much more to offer than just its rides. It's got shows, live music, demonstrations, and that wonderful foliage. Not to mention some of the best food you can find at a park (god do I miss southern food sometimes...). Plus, as someone from Mississippi, I used to not really like the overt "southern-ness" of the park, but now, after 3 years in NYC, its southern charm is what really makes it special to me. I haven't been since they added Time Traveler, and, with the insane-looking rapids being added, it seems the park is only getting better. Also it's got one of RMC's best creations, which helps.
  3. Disneyland - I think I prefer this park to Silver Dollar City, ever so slightly. It's got the better atmosphere and ride collection, and it also has a rich history as a cultural landmark. There's an aura to this park that's unlike any other. It's charming and inviting in a way no other park is. Plus, and I really want to reiterate this; that ride collection is next level. Indiana Jones, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and, now, Rise of the Resistance?!? However, something pretty big is holding it back from the number two slot, and that's the price. I've been trying to get to Disneyland for a year or two now, and it's gotten outrageously expensive. One day at peak pricing is $154. On a college student's budget, that's hard to justify. This is as compared to $70 for both Disneysea and SDC, less than half that price! I'll get to Star Wars Land eventually, but my trips to Disney are rare now, which saddens me as such a Disney park fanatic.
  4. Liseberg - Agh, this place is just lovely. Its hillside setting is unique, and the park utilizes it better than any other I've seen. Helix is probably the best coaster in Europe, and that's supported by a fantastic lineup with Balder, Valkyria, and even some old school thrills with Lisebergbanan. Plus, they have a great collection of flats. I don't know how to sell the park on paper; it's just a great place to be.
  5. Tokyo Disneyland - This being so high surprised me because it's a park that doesn't necessarily excel in one specific area. Instead, it delivers on all fronts. From theming, ride collection, food, clientele, staff, it's consistently amazing. When I was there, I had almost no trouble, not a single ride had a broken effect. Everything moved like clockwork. I don't want to oversell it though. Tomorrowland was rather pathetic and thematically confused. Fantasyland was obviously in a transitional phase and seemed stuck in the past. However, the left side of the park is really well done, flowing better than most castle parks I've visited. Also, its ride collection is fantastic, with the better versions of Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Splash Mountain, and Jungle Cruise as well as unique attractions in Pooh and Monsters Inc. I feel mixed putting it this high, but I'm sticking with my gut on this.
  6. Islands of Adventure - I count the two Universal Orlando parks as different parks, since I gotta pay for a park hopper to visit both of 'em. My favorite of the two is IOA, which has two of the best dark rides in the world with Spider-Man and Potter. It also has a nice supporting cast with a classic B&M looper and the best water ride collection in the world. I can only imagine that the addition of Hagrid has bolstered the park further, and with a Raptor coaster (no not that kinda raptor) on the way, it seems the park's still improving. The atmosphere of the park is great in some places (Hogsmeade) and a bit "cardboard-cutout" in other places (Marvel Island), but its overall impact works well. Biggest issue for me is the dining, had nothing but bad experiences, but that may just be my own experience.
  7. Knoebels - This is the kinda park I'd love to have right by me. It's oozing with charm in every corner, and you can tell the locals love it there. The rides are cheap and great. The food is cheap and great. Hell, people just brought their family and dogs here, just to be there. I wish I could've spent more time here, but it really left an impression on me.
  8. Dollywood - Take what I said about Silver Dollar City and lessen the enthusiasm a bit. The park doesn't have as much nostalgia for me or as much beautiful landscaping. However, it easily makes up for that with amazing food, one of the best coasters ever, and a solid supporting cast. It really should be equal to Silver Dollar City, but it's missing... something. It lacks the intimacy and thematic cohesion of Silver Dollar City. I also dislike the odd layout, with most coasters pushed into one area of the park. Still though, it's fantastic. Also I love Dolly Parton. Then again who doesn't?
  9. Cedar Point - No park can compare to this lineup; no one comes near. Would I wanna be here without riding a ride? Probably not, but it's the coaster capital of the world. That's what I'm really there for. They could've gone in a Six Flags direction, not caring at all about landscaping and how the grounds look, but they take great care of the park on all fronts. It looks great. Also, SteVe
  10. Phantasialand - This should perhaps be higher, but I had a bad day here. Very long waits, packed walkways, and a general feeling of disappointment. People rave about the theming here, and it's good. Klugheim is nearly Disneysea levels of amazing, and ERT on Taron was one of my best experiences at any theme park. However, the other areas were... eh? It has flashes of brilliance, like on Chiapas or Colorado Adventure, but its theming was inconsistent almost everywhere. Some corners look great; others look horribly dated. More importantly, I felt that simply being in the park was unpleasant. The crowds fed into this, but it was more than that. I don't want to come off overly negative though. It was just that I completely changed my trip to Europe just to go here. I likely set my expectations too high, but people seem to praise this place like no other. Still Taron and Chiapas are some of the best attractions of their type.

Honorable mention to Animal Kingdom. I think I may actually prefer it to Phantasialand, but I can't deny Phantasia's more unique/interesting. Also, Magic Kingdom for nostalgia's sake.
 

SeanC

New Member
Hi all - new poster here in the forum. Haven’t gone to as many parks as most of you but for me...

1. Cedar Point - best roller coaster collection and great old school amusement park atmosphere. Super scenic too. Wish it was easier to get to from the West Coast.

2. Islands of Adventure - haven’t been in almost 10 years but has my favorite combination of roller coasters and dark rides

3. Disneyland - sort of my home park... and I’d put Magic Kingdom in WDW as 3a but I like Disneyland better because of Indiana Jones dark ride and Star Wars area. Also Disney parks got me into rides, etc.

4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - best looking park and I have fond memories of going on Alpengeist as a kid the year it opened. Not a roller coaster there that I don’t really like.

5. Dollywood - Made my first trip there recently and thought it was the best non-Disney Park atmosphere I’ve experienced. Not too many great rides but lightning rod is my favorite... especially at night.

6. Carowinds - Decent atmosphere and Fury is a top 5 coaster for me. Really dig after burn, intimidator, and copperhead. Not much great to do beyond that for me personally.

7. Six Flags Magic Mountain - one of my other home parks. It has some great roller coasters but I can’t say any of them are in my top 10. Atmosphere has gone down hill over the years.

8. Six Flags Great Adventure - I thought it was just okay when it was my home park as a kid but it has gotten exponentially better since then with el toro, nitro (which i like way more than most people do), and kingda ka. Hope to ride Jersey Devil soon too.

9. Hersheypark - haven’t been here in many years but loved it as a kid and I hope to make it back this summer if possible.

10. Universal Hollywood - I met my wife on the lot here so I probably should include it.
 
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