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Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks

LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

I'm not doing these in any order, because in some cases it really is apples to oranges.

Disneyland- I know it's not a thrill seeker's paradise, but it really is magical for young and old alike. The atmosphere is amazing and authentic, and there's so much to do there! It truly does feel like another world when you're there, not to mention that there's not a shortage of rides, even if they're not the most intense on the planet. Everything is so immersive, and that's what's so fantastic about it.

Alton Towers- I really liked the atmosphere of this place. It has the massive gardens which makes it unique to most other theme parks, well themed coasters and areas, and some interesting other bits and bobs that aren't really found over here in North American parks. A lot of the coasters are very good as well, with both Nemesis and Oblivion ranking pretty high in my top creds. I also believe Air is very under rated (argue with me all you'd like, it actually simulates flying better than a lot of other flying coasters).

Islands of Adventure- Like someone else said in this thread, I don't lump this together with Universal. They have separate entrances, separate concepts, and thus in my opinion, are separate parks. I was SO overwhelmed and blown away by the amazing detail in every nook and cranny at the park, and I was very surprised because I didn't really have high expectations for it. Couple that with some of the greatest rides I've ever been on, and one of the most ridiculously well-themed areas in any park I have ever been to, and there's no question that this ranks in the upper echelon of my park list!

Port Aventura- A park I have always wanted since I first learned of it back when I first became an enthusiast at age 11 or 12, and needless to say I was not disappointed. Although I found that the creds really left a lot to be desired, with Dragon Khan being incredibly meh and Baco being a headband eating experience I'd rather forget (despite the top notch launch), Shambhala and the overall atmosphere of the park more than made up for it. Well themed areas, lots to do, and overall, I believe it is well deserving of all the praise it gets.

Magic Kingdom- For the same reasons as Disneyland, but on a lesser scale, I think Magic Kingdom deserves a spot on this list.

Busch Gardens Tampa- I'm not a huge fan of Busch Williamsburg, which is strange because it gets so many great reviews, so I didn't go to Busch Tampa with very high expectations. Despite the limited riding time I got there due to a horrible storm, and the fact that it closed early, really isn't enough to deter me from putting it in my top ten parks! The zoo/park combination is quite nice, the rides were far better than I had hoped (Kumba, and especially Montu, were way better than I thought they'd be), and there's not a shortage of things to do, that's for sure!

Hersheypark- Although I don't think the atmosphere is quite as good as some of the other parks I have on this list, I have always had a soft spot for this park. There are many rides there that I consider above average, one of which is in my top five and the other ones are probably in my top thirty. It's a nice place to spend the day with a lot to do, in a decent setting that doesn't look like creds were plonked carelessly on a parking lot.

Blackpool- Sue me, I love it. I love the seaside park atmosphere, probably because we don't have much of anything like it over here, so it was a really different experience for me. The only thing comparable that I have been to would be Indiana Beach. I had a great day here, despite the weather, and even though there really isn't any theme to it (unless you consider tacky seaside resort a theme), it's different.

Universal Orlando- I love simulators, and this park is full of really great ones! Although it's not really a full day park, and the parade leaves a bit to be desired, I had a great time there back when I was a kid and loved it just as much last year.

And no list would be complete without...

Cedar Point- A stupid amount of coasters and creds in a crappily themed chain park.

I think that California's Adventure, Chessington, Canada's Wonderland, Prater Park, and Indiana Beach almost made this list as well, so honorable mentions to them!
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

After thinking about this a lot, I have finally found a top 10 list that I am fairly happy with. Going further down than ten was pretty much impossible, so I will just stick with this for now.

1. Phantasialand - The best mixture of great theming and quality rides I've found in a park. Most parks struggle to do both.

2. Six Flags Magic Mountain - So many coasters, of which at least 5 are great. There's no park which makes me more excited.

3. Europa Park - Consistently good European theming over a large space. Every little detail about this park just works so well.

4. Busch Gardens Tampa - I love the African theme a lot and there are also some great coasters.

5. Port Aventura - My home park away from home. Its absolutely beautiful, even though some of coasters are starting to age or were just terrible to begin with.

6. Parque Warner Madrid - A cross between a Six Flags and Islands of Adventure. Some great rides, with a fairly high standard of theming

7. Islands of Adventure - Theming is out of this world incredible. Its a shame it lacks a great coaster.

8. Alton Towers - A very unique park that I love walking around. The terrain has allowed for some interesting coaster layouts.

9. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Doesn't stand out in any category, but was just a very pleasant park to be at.

10. Kings Dominion/Six Flags Great Adventure - Can't decide between these two. SFGAdv has a better overall coaster selection, but KD is a nicer park and has my favourite coaster.
 

Edward M

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

After a recent visit to Disney World I have rearranged these,

1. Magic Kingdom - I have a very strong connection to this park because it played such prominent role in my childhood and is the main reason why I love parks today. It is one of those few parks that actually feels magical. There is just such a feeling in the air there that can't be explained only felt. It has an amazing atmosphere where you can slow down and take it in but also has an amazing ride lineup where you can run from ride to ride. Whenever I'm there, I'm happier than I am at any other park and that alone makes it my favorite park.

2. EPCOT - This and Islands of Adventure are practically interchangeable because I enjoy them both immensely just for much different reasons. At EPCOT, I love it less for the rides and more for the atmosphere. The World Showcase just has a very nice feeling to it. Exploring each pavilion and taking in the feeling of each one can be very special. My most vivid memorie there is walking in the World Showcase being one of the last people in the park. I love Soarin and Spaceship Earth and enjoy Mission Space and Test Track, but I will admit, its collection isn't amazing. Still, I love this park and love to spend a relaxing day here.

3. Islands of Adventure - This park I love for a much different reason. It is beautifully themed and put together but also has an amazing ride collection. Spiderman is arguably my favorite ride anywhere, but they also have great water rides, roller coasters, and another great simulator. One of the best things about the park is the single rider lines which allowed me to barely wait for anything. It looks a bit dated in some areas and isn't the best park to relax in and soak it up, but it is still an amazing park with an amazing ride lineup.

4. Silver Dollar City - Finally leaving Orlando, we get to Missouri. I'm shocked this isn't higher than 4 because this park seems to have it all. It has my favorite roller coaster as well as a rich atmosphere. The park has such a wonderful feeling to it. Walking around it is an experience. It is also just beautiful in the mountains. It isn't quite to the standards of the Disney parks but it is about as close as you can get to Disney in a seasonal park. Just an amazing park.

5. Cedar Point - Couldn't leave it out. I had a serious obsession with this park as a kid and my visit was just amazing. I had never been to a place with so many great coasters and haven't since. It was the most exciting day for me as a kid and that day will always hold a special place in my heart. Love this park and I doubt Cedar Point will ever leave my top 10. (I write this with Cedar Point posters in my room)

6. Disneyland - Went here in 2006 when I was only 7 so my memory is very foggy however I do remember loving the park. I think it deserves a place in my top 10 however this only a temporary place. I hope to visit the park soon where I imagine it will take the #2 or #1 spot.

7. Port Aventura - Another great park with some amazing theming. This place was just amazing to walk around, there were so many great touches everywhere and it had a great atmosphere. It also has a stellar lineup with one of my favorite roller coasters, Shambhala. The park isn't quite as amazing as the ones above but it is still an amazing park.

8. Animal Kingdom - This park is all about the atmosphere. Walking through this park is just such a visual treat. It is truly unlike any other park I've been to and is really what I was wishing to see in Busch Gardens Tampa. The Tree of Life is an amazing sight and each land feels very similar yet so distinct. However, it has many faults with a pretty small ride collection as well as the park itself being a bit tiny. Plus it has Disney's worst land, Dinoland USA. However, the feel of the park more than makes up for that. Not to mention how amazing Kilimanjaro Safaris is.

9. Universal Studios Florida - I love this park more for its ride lineup. While IOA has an amazing feel and look to it, USF feels much more concrete and not as atmospheric. However, with the new Transformers as well as the amazing Diagon Alley, it is a very much improved park. Diagon Alley is an amazing place to explore and find new things to see and Transformers and ROTM are amazing rides. Wish it didn't feel as much like a Studio park but, take it as it is.

10. Six Flags Fiesta Texas - This park took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting much, but this park is far above the standards of most Six Flags parks. It is very well themed and has an incredible feel to it with the entire park being surrounded by a quarry. The way the rides interact with the quarries makes the park and its ride collection seem very unique. By far, the best Six Flags park I've visited.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2013 Edition

nadroJ said:
I don't know what an actual thought out top 10 would look like, but I can list 10 parks that I love.

1) Europa Park (for the reasons stated above)
2) Efteling - pure magic, everything has that European weirdness to it that I adore, it has a fairytale forest and just mental things going on and it breathtaking to look at. Love Efteling.
3) EPCOT (Why does every park begin with E?) I freaking LOVE EPCOT. It's mad. Like, as a park it doesn't make ANY sense. 2 halves that have pretty much nothing to do with each other. OK, Future World is getting a bit dated now but I love how unique the place is and World Showcase is just <3
4) Phantasialand - I love parks where I think I know what a ride is going to do and then it just goes NOPE. That's Phantasialand. Oh, and it's super pretty.
5) Alton Towers - Even though I wish Alton had some of the more nostalgic attractions left to enjoy, I really love what the park has become. It's pretty, has good coasters and a weird, almost haunting atmosphere? <3
6) Disneyland - because it was everything I wanted it to be and more. The place is just ridiculous.
7) Tivoli Gardens - as you can see, I enjoy parks that are pretty, and Tivoli Gardens it probably one of the most gorgeous settings for a park I've ever been to. And it has all of those kooky old rides that I have a soft spot for. And the everything on top of each other layout. Yes.
9) Hersheypark - Everything was good. And Skyrush lives there.
10) Busch Gardens Williamsburg - is pretty much the ideal park, no? It has a perfect blend of intense thrill rides, family rides, a few animals, shows, good food and is beautiful.
God has it really been that long since I updated this?! So much to add! Again, in no particular order:

1) Europa Park
2) Efteling
3) EPCOT
4) Phantasialand
5) Alton Towers
6) Disneyland
7) Silver Dollar City
8) Six Flags Fiesta Texas

9) Hersheypark
10) Busch Gardens Williamsburg
 

peep

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

In no particular order...

Efteling
Phantasialand
DisneySea
Disneyland Paris
Silver Dollar City
Islands of adventure
Universal Studios Japan
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Parc Asterix
Nigloland
 

Jer

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

I guess I could update now

1. Knoebels
2. Cedar Point
3. Hershey
4. Lake Compounce

Still only enough for 5, but my bottom 3 would be, in order from "best" to worst

Waldameer
Quassy (i had a pretty poor experience the last time I was there, enough to ruin it completely)
Six Flags America
 

Hutch

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

Don't think I've updated this in over a year.

1. Cedar Point
2. Hersheypark
3. Alton Towers
4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg
5. Thorpe Park
6. Islands of Adventure
7. SeaWorld Orlando
8. Six Flags Great Adventure
9. Universal Studios Orlando
10. Canobie Lake Park

I don't necessarily rate these on the quality on the parks, but more so based on the visits themselves. Cedar remains #1 because I went with my entire family (siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) with some relatives that I don't normally see. Thorpe Park is also #5 because the visit didn't have any bad operations, resulting in a pretty good visit.

Hersheypark was amazing! Awesome coaster selection (one of which is my new #1), pretty landscaping and an interesting park layout.

Great Adventure was a lot better than New England with some pretty good coasters, but the awful park layout, El Toro being down, and it just being Six Flags in general made it somewhat lackluster.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

I don't really get all the love for Hershey Park. Admittedly, it does have 4 great steel coasters, but apart from that the park is quite bland and sorely lacking in good rides of other types.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

CookieCoasters said:
I don't really get all the love for Hershey Park. Admittedly, it does have 4 great steel coasters, but apart from that the park is quite bland and sorely lacking in good rides of other types.
I don't get it either. It has no atmosphere, a cramped layout and a horrible zoo. However it does have some great wooden coasters as well as steel, I loved Lightning Racer <3

My current top 10 parks:

1. Efteling
2. Parc Asterix
3. Phantasialand
4. Islands of Adventure
5. Alton Towers
6. Six Flags Great Adventure
7. Djurs Sommerland
8. Hansa Park
9. Chessington World Of Adventures
10. Toverland
 

ThomVD

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

I've noticed that many people who love Efteling rate Phantasialand high as well and vice versa which interests me, since they are quite different parks. I guess the fact that they both invest a lot of money in both the big and small things make them some of the best parks when it comes to the full experience. But aside from that I really can't find too many similarities. Phantasialand is cramped and full of 'artificial' theming, while Efteling is massive and relies more on natural beauty. Efteling is also much more of a family park, while Phantasialand is more of a thrill park. I don't think Phantasialand is nearly as magical or atmospheric as Efteling, but equally beautiful and wonderful in its own way. One thing they do have in common is their creativity. No other park I've visited even comes CLOSE when it comes creativity.

I find it hard to pick a favourite. I feel like I have much more of an emotional connection with Efteling, but because I've been visiting my entire life it just doesn't blow me away like Phantasialand does. I think the latter park has a much better ride selection and more impressive theming, and it just excites me more. But it's definitely really close.

My current park list (excluding +1 dumps). New for 2015 in Bold

1. Phantasialand
2. Efteling
3. Europa Park
4. Liseberg
5. Gröna Lund
6. Toverland
7. Plopsaland De Panne
8. Holiday Park
9. Bellewaerde
10. Walibi Holland
11. Plopsa Coo
12. Movie Park Germany
13. Walibi Belgium
14. Bobbejaanland
15. Hellendoorn
16. Duinrell
17. Drievliet
18. Plopsa Indoor Coevorden
19. Plopsa Indoor Hasselt
20. Slagharen

Looking at the parks I'm planning to visit this year, I think only Alton Towers (and maybe Tripsdrill) has a chance of landing in my top 5. One thing that amuses me is that from the first seven parks I've visited (Efteling, WH, Tover, Phantasia, Europa, Gröna, Liseberg), all of them but Walibi Holland are still my top parks. I've been so spoiled :p

Another fun fact. After I've visited Holiday Park on my way home from Tripsdrill (and if I will), I have visited all Plopsa parks in one season.
 

Darren B

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

In no particular order;

Heide Park
Cedar Point
Liseberg
Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
Djurs Sommerland
PortAventura
Alabama Splash Adventure
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Silver Dollar City
Familypark Neusiedlersee
 

ThomVD

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

Baron 1898 is the tie-breaker for me, so Efteling reclaims the spot of my favourite theme park. This will likely change when Taron is built though :p Efteling is still the most beautiful and atmospheric park I've ever been to, with a great ride selection.
 

LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

^ That was my bad... I think my boyfriend was lurking on here and must have made an account, and I posted under his.

Anyway, in no particular order:

- Alton Towers
- Busch Williamsburg
- Busch Tampa
- Disneyland/Magic Kingdom
- Port Aventura
- Islands of Adventure
- Hersheypark
- Holiday World
- Alabama Splash Adventure
- Dollywood
- Silver Dollar City
 

Jarrett

Most Obnoxious Member 2016
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

1. Cedar Point
2. Holiday World
3. Busch Gardens Tampa
4. Canada's Wonderland
5. Dollywood
6. Busch Gardens Williamsburg
7. Kings Island
8. Kentucky Kingdom
9. Carowinds
10. Kings Dominion
 

ThomVD

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

1. Efteling
2. Phantasialand
3. Europa Park
4. Liseberg
5. Gröna Lund
6. Tripsdrill
7. Toverland
8. Plopsaland De Panne
9. Holiday Park
10. Bellewaerde

What an amazing park! Surely the circumstances helped my view on the park. The weather was flawless and the amount of people just right (walk on for everything but enough people for a nice atmosphere). But that aside, it was just one of the loveliest, quirkiest and nicest parks I've visited. The amount of detail, theming and animatronics is bizarre, and it has such a unique charm. It has a couple of good quality rides as well, with Karacho as the big highlight. Loved it <3
 

andrus

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

ThomVD said:
I've noticed that many people who love Efteling rate Phantasialand high as well and vice versa which interests me, since they are quite different parks. I guess the fact that they both invest a lot of money in both the big and small things make them some of the best parks when it comes to the full experience. But aside from that I really can't find too many similarities. Phantasialand is cramped and full of 'artificial' theming, while Efteling is massive and relies more on natural beauty.
I totally agree! I absolutely love Phantasialand, but find Efteling a bit "meh" tbh. This is a bit odd though, since I generally tend to like natural beauty over artificial theming :p But I guess it's just down to pure ride quality; while Phantasialand continously add world class rides Eftling only got a couple of "OK" rides, and the rest is crap (imho).

ThomVD said:
Efteling is also much more of a family park, while Phantasialand is more of a thrill park.
I do however not agree on this one! Apart from one fierce coaster (Black Mamba) and the suspended topspin Phantasialand only got family rides. While Efteling used to only got family rides; they now also possess a thrilling B&M dive machine. It just happens to be that Colorado Adventure, Winjas, Chiapas, River Adventure etc are really great rides enjoyable for families and enthusiasts alike! :--D
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

In no particular order...

Islands of Adventure
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Alabama Splash Adventure
Disneyland CA
Phantasialand
Alton Towers
Port Aventura
Liseberg
Busch Williamsburg
Hersheypark
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

CookieCoasters said:
After thinking about this a lot, I have finally found a top 10 list that I am fairly happy with. Going further down than ten was pretty much impossible, so I will just stick with this for now.

1. Phantasialand - The best mixture of great theming and quality rides I've found in a park. Most parks struggle to do both.

2. Six Flags Magic Mountain - So many coasters, of which at least 5 are great. There's no park which makes me more excited.

3. Europa Park - Consistently good European theming over a large space. Every little detail about this park just works so well.

4. Busch Gardens Tampa - I love the African theme a lot and there are also some great coasters.

5. Port Aventura - My home park away from home. Its absolutely beautiful, even though some of coasters are starting to age or were just terrible to begin with.

6. Parque Warner Madrid - A cross between a Six Flags and Islands of Adventure. Some great rides, with a fairly high standard of theming

7. Islands of Adventure - Theming is out of this world incredible. Its a shame it lacks a great coaster.

8. Alton Towers - A very unique park that I love walking around. The terrain has allowed for some interesting coaster layouts.

9. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Doesn't stand out in any category, but was just a very pleasant park to be at.

10. Kings Dominion/Six Flags Great Adventure - Can't decide between these two. SFGAdv has a better overall coaster selection, but KD is a nicer park and has my favourite coaster.
I've done a little bit of shuffling and adding since I last posted mine. I've dropped Alton and BGW in favour of Tivoli Gardens (which I wrongfully neglected from the above list) and Power Park (new to me since then). The ranking of the top 5 are very solid, but a little less so from 6-10.

1. Phantasialand
2. Six Flags Magic Mountain
3. Europa Park
4. Busch Gardens Tampa
5. Port Aventura
6. Parque Warner Madrid
7. Islands of a Adventure
8. Tivoli Gardens - stunning park <3 I really liked the ride selection and the atmosphere was fantastic, especially at night.
9. Kings Dominion
10. Power Park - I was really charmed by this park. Lots of fab rides, really well-maintained, quiet (but not atmosphere-less), friendly staff. Just really enjoyable, despite not being a major park.

11-15 would probably be (in no particular order):

Alton Towers
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Mirabilandia
Liseberg
Six Flags Great Adventure
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Re: Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks: 2015 Edition page 6

Ben said:
In no particular order...

Islands of Adventure
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Alabama Splash Adventure
Disneyland CA
Phantasialand
Alton Towers
Port Aventura
Liseberg
Busch Williamsburg
Hersheypark
What makes Alabama Adventure so good? I haven't been yet (nor I plan to go anytime soon), but it doesn't really look like much. I know it's now operated by Koch and their approach to the costumers is friendlier than in almost all of the main US parks, but it's still only a water park with a few amusement rides stuck in for a good measure. :)
 
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