What's new

Top 10 Theme/Amusement Parks


Strata Poster
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
Wow, I knew I was due for an update, but I didn't realize it's been 5 whole years since I posted here?! God, look at that list. What was I thinking with Great Adventure? Get that **** outta here. Lol and Thorpe Park at number 5?

Okay, obviously I've updated my repertoire since then. Gonna need a rethink here.

1. Dollywood - By far the nicest park I've ever been too. Beautiful area, friendly people, and lovely theming and overall feel help put this on top. And of course, it has a pretty solid coaster selection. I'd probably re-ride all the major coasters too.

2. Cedar Point - I still think this has the best coaster selection in any theme park. But it's not just a big corporate park with big coasters. It has top notch operations, nice landscaping, and the peninsula setting is really cool. Only minor drawback is that it's usually pretty crowded and their rides are temperamental, but there's so much to do that it's never really a huge issue.

3. Busch Gardens Tampa - Another great coaster selection with some really pretty landscaping. I don't think I have any issues to say about it either? I went on a pretty quiet day and had a great time.

4. Knoebels - Love this place. It might have the most charm out of any theme park I've been to. I wouldn't say it's the best in terms of rides, but honestly Phoenix, which might be the most pure fun coaster out there, and the Flyers, my favorite flat ride, are all I need. Especially when the rides are never too crowded to begin with.

5. Hersheypark - Pretty similar park to Cedar Point honestly. It has a top notch coaster selection, solid staff, and some good landscaping, but it falls a couple spots due to the back end of the park not being as nice as the front half.

6. Alton Towers - Might actually be the prettiest park I've ever been to. I know a lot of you seem to take this park for granted, but I was honestly blown away by the country estate setting, especially when I got lost in the gardens. It just needs another really good cred or two, because for such a big park, there's not much else there besides Nemesis to draw me back across the pond.

7. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Of all the parks I've been to, this should be top of the list for a revisit. It's been 7 years, but again, really solid area with some good coasters (see a pattern here?).

8. Islands of Adventure - It lacks that one really good coaster (something that all the other parks in this list have at least one of, although that's obviously set to change with Velocicoaster), but it makes up for some amazing worlds and high quality dark rides.

9. Holiday World - Another lovely park (and free drinks!!), but the reason it's this low is that both of my visits I spent time waiting for Voyage to open back up after downtime.

10. Kennywood - I actually really enjoyed this place. It's similar to a Holiday World or a scaled up Knoebels. I don't like the delayed ride opening they do every day, but all the coasters were good.


Strata Poster
hmm, 7 years after my last post in here, guess I can do an update although I found it oddly hard.

1 - Liseberg
2 - Phantasialand
3 - Silver Dollar City
4 - PortAventura Park
5 - Alton Towers
6 - Busch Gardens Tampa
7 - Kennywood
8 - Busch Gardens Williamsburg
9 - Six Flags Magic Mountain
10 - Six Flags Great America

Matt N

CF Legend
I’ve had a little reshuffle of my park rankings since last time I posted in this thread. So without further ado, here’s the updated ranking of all 17 theme parks I’ve been to as of July 2020:
  1. Islands of Adventure - Oh my, where do I even begin with IOA? Everything at this park just feels on point from the second you step inside; the theming is immense and wonderfully detailed around every corner, and the rides are absolutely fantastic too! Jurassic Park River Adventure and Bilge-Rats are easily my two favourite water rides, and Spider-Man is probably my favourite dark ride! The coaster lineup is not the strongest, I admit, but Hulk is still a very good coaster, in my opinion, and the park definitely looks to be improving in this regard with additions that have been made since my last visit in 2016! On the whole, when you put all the different elements of it together, my memories from Islands of Adventure are probably the nicest times I’ve ever had in any theme park, and some of the nicest of my entire life. Many say that Disney is their primary source of theme park magic, but when you combine some of the most amazing rides I’ve ever experienced with some of the most breathtaking theming I’ve ever seen, Islands of Adventure is the closest I’ve personally come to feeling true magic in a theme park, and that makes it truly stunning in my eyes!
  2. Alton Towers - Alton Towers might be my most visited theme park of all time, but that still doesn’t make me love it any less! I still get giddy with excitement every time we drive through the country lanes of Alton towards the park, and the place has been such a special one to me for many years! The coaster selection is excellent, with Wicker Man being a particular highlight for me, the theming and landscaping are really nice, and the whole place just has a wonderful atmosphere! My love for Alton Towers has never died even after so many years of visiting, and that for me is a truly remarkable thing!
  3. Universal Studios Florida - Universal Studios Florida may not offer quite as much of a themed spectacle as Islands of Adventure next door does, but I still absolutely adore it! There is still some pretty incredible theming in this park; Diagon Alley is probably my favourite themed area of any park I’ve been to, Springfield is fantastic, and the other areas look really nice as well! The ride selection is also fantastic, with the park offering many blockbuster attractions; Gringotts, Revenge of the Mummy and Transformers are some of my personal favourites, and I do really like Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit as well! On the whole, Universal Studios Florida is a stunning park that I’ve never had a bad day at, and when combined with IOA next door, the combined product at Universal Orlando Resort provides a theme park experience unlike anything I could ever have imagined!
  4. SeaWorld Orlando - I can sense that this might be a controversial choice, so I apologise for this one, but I visited SeaWorld Orlando 3 times when I was in Orlando in August 2016, and I did not have a single bad visit! The coaster selection is probably my personal favourite out of all the parks in the immediate Orlando area, with Mako being my number 1 and Kraken also ranking in my top 10, and even though it’s not a themed park to the extent that some of the others in Central Florida are, I still think they do a fantastic job of theming & landscaping! There are some really nicely themed areas, actually; some particular ones that come to mind include the bit around Manta, Shark Wreck Reef (the bit around Mako), the whole Greek themed bit by Journey to Atlantis and Antarctica! On the whole, SeaWorld offers a really good ride selection, some nice theming and a really nice, relaxing atmosphere compared to some other parks as well! What more could you ask for?
  5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach - This park is quite a sight to behold once you’re in there! It may not be themed as such, but there’s something to view in every corner! Rides come at you from every angle here; there’s nearly 100 years of roller coaster history crammed into one park at Blackpool, and I find that absolutely astonishing, personally! I must say, apart from Icon, I don’t think that the ride selection at Blackpool personally appeals to me as much as that of some other parks I’ve been to, but there’s certainly a lot to do, with lots of more unique and historical things on offer, and I think that gives it a really unique flavour, personally! The park also has a lovely atmosphere and manages to look the part with the huge palette of colours used in its ride colour schemes, from the monochrome of Icon to the red and blue of the Big One! On the whole, Blackpool is a very unique park compared to many I’ve visited, and that really gives it its own edge for me!
  6. Disney’s Animal Kingdom - Animal Kingdom was the first Disney park I ever visited, and remarkably, I think it still manages to be my favourite! The environments created within the park are lovely, and the raw scale & detail of some of them is stunning! Admittedly, I’ve never been to any of the countries represented within the park, but they feel very authentically done from what I know about African and Asian culture, and there’s a decent amount to see and do; the ride selection is fairly good, and there’s a lot of animals to see as well! On the whole, Animal Kingdom is a lovely park!
  7. Epcot - Now I must admit; Epcot was perhaps the most surprised I’ve ever been by a theme park! I went in with pretty low expectations having heard people berate it for years, including people in my own family, but I actually ended up thoroughly enjoying it! OK, I admit that I wasn’t a massive fan of Future World (besides Test Track, which I thought was fantastic!); despite the positive message that that section tries to give which I liked, I think that bit of the park felt a little bit dated on the whole, and I’m not really sure whether I was overly enamoured with any of the attractions it offered besides Test Track. However, the reason I liked Epcot so much is because of the section that it is most widely known for; World Showcase. This area is just stunning; there may not be many rides there, but it has such a lovely atmosphere, and the theming and landscaping are very detailed! It’s an area of the park that you could leave satisfied without having boarded any rides, and I think that’s fantastic! If Epcot didn’t have Future World and had been able to do the World Showcase more justice instead with maybe more attractions or more countries, I do think I would rank it higher. On the whole, I think the park maintains a very relaxing, calm atmosphere compared to some other theme parks, with some brilliant theming, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there; a real positive surprise!
  8. Thorpe Park - This park gets a lot of flack from the enthusiast community, but I personally like Thorpe Park a lot more than the status quo; it may not be Alton Towers, but it still has a lot going for it, in my opinion! The coaster selection is quite strong, in my opinion, and there are actually some very nicely themed bits of Thorpe Park; Swarm Island, Amity Cove & the bit by Saw are themed fantastically, in my opinion, and other bits such as Lost City & The Jungle are really nicely landscaped, in my opinion! On the whole, I really do enjoy Thorpe Park; it’s got a fairly strong ride selection, it’s very nicely themed & landscaped in many areas and I do really enjoy a visit there!
  9. Busch Gardens Tampa - I do really like Busch Gardens Tampa, but I must admit I was somewhat disappointed by it when I visited for the first time in August 2016, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. The park has a lot going for it on paper; it has perhaps one of the strongest coaster selections of any theme park I’ve ever been to, there’s some very nice landscaping in places (although I’m not sure if I’d go as far as calling it a themed park), and it is a really nice park. But something about it left me a bit underwhelmed and I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s because my family did not like it at all, maybe it’s because I didn’t have an awful lot of time there and didn’t get everything done, maybe it’s because I was expecting too much. I really don’t know; a revisit is needed for sure.
  10. Disney’s Magic Kingdom - This one might be controversial. Now don’t get me wrong, the Magic Kingdom is a perfectly nice park, it does what it sets out to do very well and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. However, nothing about it really blew me away, and I did leave quite underwhelmed by it after all the hype I’d heard over the years. Now I should probably preface what I’m about to say by saying that I’m almost definitely above Magic Kingdom’s target demographic, so any review I give is likely to be very unfair; I apologise for that. Looking at the ride selection, my favourite ride there was probably either Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Splash Mountain; both very nice rides for what they intend to do, and I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but they didn’t really wow me by any stretch. The theming & atmosphere at the park are excellent, and definitely some of its strong points, but I felt that the theming in some other theme parks in Florida perhaps wowed me more. I do also think the crowds may have been a slight detractor from the park for me; Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world and it definitely shows when you’re walking along some of the paths, and the sheer crowd levels did make me a bit more nervous than I was at any of the other Florida theme parks; maybe visiting in a quieter period would help? Admittedly, it was built in 1971, so I’m probably being way too harsh criticising it and comparing it to things built far later, but I’m just comparing it to some of the other theme parks I’ve visited, and when I do that, I think I enjoyed my time at some other parks more. So before I ramble on for too long; the Magic Kingdom is a really, really nice park, and does what it sets out to do very well. However, I don’t think what it sets out to do is really my sort of thing, and I think I’m somewhat above the park’s target demographic.
  11. Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Now I may not be at liberty to give a fair review of Hollywood Studios, because a significant chunk of it was behind some sort of construction fence when I visited in April 2019, with both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway under construction. However, out of the Disney parks I’ve been to, it was my least favourite. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I did enjoy it and there are many things I liked about it, but I’m not really sure if there’s enough there to fill a full day, and I would also have said despite the park having some nice theming and landscaping, it felt more weakly themed than Disney’s other 3 parks on the whole; I personally feel that Universal Studios Florida pulled off the whole “studios” theme a lot more effectively. That being said, there are certainly many redeeming features of Hollywood Studios, because the theming and atmosphere are still nice, and while the attraction selection may not be particularly expansive, what’s there is fantastic; Tower of Terror is phenomenal, and one of my all-time favourite rides, and Rock’n’Rollercoaster and Slinky Dog Dash were probably my two favourite Disney roller coasters! Even Star Tours, while not necessarily mind-blowing, was quite good fun! And as I say, Hollywood Studios was still very much a work in progress when I visited, so I very much look forward to visiting now that the new additions have all opened!
  12. Oakwood Theme Park - For such a small park, Oakwood is really worth a visit; a hidden gem, if you like! Megafobia, arguably the park’s star attraction, is an absolutely smashing coaster, in my opinion; one of my favourites in the UK! The park also has some other fun rides, and it’s in a beautiful forest setting! On the whole, I think Oakwood has a certain charm to it that makes it a really nice park to visit; definitely worth the trek if you’re in the area!
  13. Drayton Manor - Drayton is a nice little park for what it is, in my opinion! While it doesn’t really have anything particularly mind-blowing, I don’t think it’s necessarily expected to, nor does it need to. The park is very much focused on the younger families, so if you’ve got young kids with you, then you will have a wonderful time, as there’s a lot to do for that market! However, even though I am not a young child nor did I have any young children with me when I visited, I still had a very pleasant visit in August 2018; my favourite ride there was probably Shockwave, which I must admit was a real pleasant surprise! The park is also rather nicely themed in areas, particularly in Thomas Land! On the whole, I’m probably above the target market of Drayton Manor, so I’m not really at liberty to fairly review it, but I thought it was a nice park for what it is, and I did enjoy my visit there!
  14. Chessington World of Adventures - I’m probably not at liberty to give Chessington a fair review, as I’m above the park’s target demographic, and do bear in mind that I have not visited since 2014, however despite Chessington being a perfectly nice park, it’s not one of my favourites. The ride selection is good for the target demographic if not mind-blowing, and the theming is nice. I do like the idea behind the theme, with all the different regions of the world such as Transylvania, Mystic East, ZUFARI and Wild Asia, and even though it may not be on the scale & grandiose of Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom, I do remember ZUFARI being a really nice safari ride, with some nice animals and a fun finale! On the whole, I think Chessington is good at what it aims to be (a zoo theme park aimed at families), but as with Magic Kingdom, I’m not really sure if it’s my sort of thing. And as I said above, I am above the target demographic, so I probably can’t give Chessington an overly fair review.
  15. Fun Spot Kissimmee - Now I admit I probably wasn’t in Fun Spot long enough to form a proper opinion of it, but it seemed perfectly nice for what it was! Mine Blower is absolutely fantastic, and worth a visit to the park on its own, and there is some other stuff there to do as well! On the whole, I wasn’t really at Fun Spot long enough to form a proper opinion of it, but I had positive impressions from what I saw!
  16. South Pier Blackpool - As with Fun Spot above, I probably wasn’t in South Pier long enough to form a proper opinion of it. The only reason it’s really below Fun Spot is because I didn’t enjoy the Reverchon mouse I rode there anywhere near as much as I enjoyed Mine Blower, but there was some other nice-looking stuff there; the log flume actually looked quite substantial! On the whole, South Pier seemed perfectly nice for what it was!
  17. Legoland Windsor - Now I admit I can’t give Legoland an overly fair review given that I am well above the target demographic, and I also visited in the height of the summer holidays for only a few hours, but my experience there was probably my least favourite theme park experience I’ve ever had. That’s admittedly not down to any fault of the park itself; it seemed nice for what it is, with some nice theming! Dragon was a fun family coaster, and Miniland is an interesting and surprisingly large area! However, I found my entire time there very stressful, and that’s down to a combination of the fact that it was absolutely rammed and the paths being quite narrow, meaning that being on the park made me incredibly anxious. This was admittedly exacerbated by the fact that our mum was in a wheelchair after having broken her ankle not too long before our visit. As someone who doesn’t like really crowded places at the best of times, we as a family found it very challenging to both navigate our own way through the crowds and wheel our mum around the park. I definitely didn’t experience Legoland in ideal circumstances, and I’d definitely need to go back to give it a properly fair review; as I say, my opinion is due to no fault of the park itself. However, I can only speak for the experience that I personally had, and the experience I had was quite stressful. It’s very likely that I’d like Legoland quite a bit more if I went back at a less busy time in more ideal circumstances.
So, those are my parks ranked! I wouldn’t say that there’s a single park on this list that I disliked or wouldn’t happily revisit; all of the theme parks I’ve been to have been good in their own way! However, there are definitely some I enjoyed more than others.

I do apologise, as I admit I haven’t been overly fair on certain parks in some of these reviews, in hindsight!


Hyper Poster
I used to have a steep drop off after the first 2 but got to experience so many in these last 4 years I feel I can assemble a true list

1: Cedar Point (still and forever. Not being a fanboy I just dont see what will top its quantity, quality and (for a huge park) nice feel)
2: Hersheypark (still wonderful and its really blown up its lineup)

3: King's Island (Not the greatest lineup but solid, will see how it is now w Orion but wonderful feel and it has the best ops Ive seen. Dead day, 2 trains on all and they were moving. It would rival for #2 if the lineup was stronger but a lot of their rides are just solid and Dback was lackluster)

No concrete order:

Holiday World (Quality > Quantity but dang those are good rides, great feel, well run unlike some other smaller park experiences I've had/hear about)
Lagoon (A real surprise. Pretty solid lineup (not mind blowing but good and unique) and a good feel to the park. Good blend of "small time feel" but quantity and quality)
Six Flags over GA (Good ride selection and ya know the park didn't feel too s****y! Goliath and TC are a helluva 1-2)
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Pretty solid ride lineup and not a bad park. Not great but I didn't feel grumbly there)
Universal Orlando (cheating and putting both here. Deff more of an experience than ride quality (esp with Dragons gone) but always a great great time and they do got fun rides and dat theming)
BGT (again not the best lineup BUT what's there is strong and the park is such an experience. Iron Gwazi will only boost it further)

10: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Wasnt even sure this park would make it. Sorry but the lineup here is pretty weak for its quantity and both times I've been here I kinda disliked it and felt like "just gotta get to these rides" Same as Great Adv BUT there's more here at least and they do got a sick RMC.)

I've dropped Kings Dominion (though yet to ride their RMC) SFNE (place kinda sucked and I hated being there but ya know but ya know creds) and honorable mention to Knoebels. Wonderful place, all the praise is warranted just ya know....there's not a lot there and hate to say but if I was gunna go 2 hours...Hershey is there. Hell same if I was a local. But great feel, had a blast, good rides and talk about customer service:

My phone flew out on Twister (yeah....) checked Lost & Found twice to no avail. Ah well. Got a call the next day. Someone found it in a bush, it worked still, they opened it (had no pass code) and figured "Home" wasa good one to try. They called to say they found it and they MAILED it to me. Gotta give kudos, that is truly unparalleled.

Matt N

CF Legend
Right then, I’ve had a bit of a rethink. My park count has increased to 19 since last July, with WMSP and Paultons joining the roster of parks I’ve visited, and I’ve also revisited Legoland Windsor since last doing this ranking, so I decided to have a more in-depth look at where things stand at the moment, so as is usual every time I change my rankings, some reshuffling has occurred as well, even in some cases where I haven’t revisited the park; sometimes, these things change when you give them a little thought! Before we start, though, I should clarify that I have enjoyed my time at each and every one of these parks; there’s not a single park on this list that I wouldn’t return to!

So let’s get the ball rolling, then, shall we? (New entries are in italics, movements are underlined)
  1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (4 days/2 separate Florida visits spent here, first visit was August 2014, most recent visit was August 2016) - IOA is the absolute perfect theme park for me, of the ones I’ve visited; if I could visit any park in the world right now, it would be Islands of Adventure! As is customary for Universal, the theming is absolutely spectacular throughout the park, and really makes you feel immersed for every second you’re there; no corner has been left untouched! Not to mention that the ride selection is really neat as well; as much as I don’t think the coasters are their strongest element (or at least, weren’t in 2016), they have a plethora of world-class dark ride and water ride hardware, in my opinion, and I’d argue that their ride selection is possibly the most varied of any park I’ve ever been to, both in terms of ride types and in terms of demographics catered for! I genuinely believe that there’s something for everyone at Islands of Adventure, whether you’re a thrill-seeking teenager or a young kid! Even in terms of the coasters; while I do believe that the coasters are/were not as strong relative to the other ride categories on offer at the park (the coaster lineup certainly wasn’t as world class as their dark ride and water ride lineup, for my money), Hulk is still a really solid B&M coaster that makes my top 20, and it appears the park has made significant leaps & bounds in the coaster department since my last visit in 2016! Given that the park has only lost the two Dragon Challenge inverts, which I felt were both rather forgettable ride experiences in isolation, and gained two phenomenal-looking coasters in their respective categories in Hagrid’s and VelociCoaster, I’d certainly class that as a net gain for the park’s coaster lineup since my last visit! Overall, Islands of Adventure is a park I have incredibly rosy memories of and a phenomenal amount of love for, and given the substantial gains made in the park’s arguable weak link of coasters since my last visit, I reckon it could possibly rise even higher in my estimations with a revisit! Definitely worthy of the #1 spot for me!
  2. Alton Towers (22 days/15 visits spent here, first visit was September 2013, most recent visit was June 2021) - #2 was a tough one to call (the park below was a close contender for it too!), but I ultimately opted for Alton Towers. Alton Towers was the first theme park I ever visited and fell in love with, so for that reason alone, it will always hold a very special place in my heart regardless of the parks I ultimately end up visiting! However, even casting nostalgia aside, there’s a lot to love about Alton Towers, in my opinion! The coaster lineup is stellar, with a wide variety of ride types and target demographics catered for, and there’s also some really great fillers as well; Hex is a particular favourite of mine among the non-coaster lineup! Not to mention, there’s excellent theming throughout; while the park perhaps doesn’t focus on cohesive and enveloping themed areas in the way that parks like Islands of Adventure above do, the park has lots of excellent theming throughout, and the way the park immerses you into the different rides and experiences is really inspired, in my opinion! Alton Towers is a park that pivots heavily towards immersing guests into individual attractions, and I think they do that incredibly well! Finally; I feel like the park has a certain aura about it that no other UK park can quite match. I can’t quite put my finger on what causes it, but Alton Towers has always seemed to have a very magical aura about it that few other theme parks can match, and while I may not be able to quantify it or justify it, I’ll admit that this special something does make me love the park that little bit more! Overall, Alton Towers has so much going for it, in my opinion, and it is and always will be a very special park to me!
  3. Universal Studios Florida (4 days/2 separate Florida visits spent here, first visit August 2014, most recent visit August 2016) - USF was the other park in contention for the #2 spot, and while it didn’t quite make #2, it’s still an absolutely stellar theme park, in my opinion! While the park isn’t awash with roller coasters, the ones it does have are pretty decent; Gringotts and Mummy are both absolutely superb enclosed coasters, in my opinion (albeit for different reasons), and only narrowly miss my top 10, and controversially, I actually quite like HRRR as well! The dark ride selection, however, is an area where this park really shines, in my opinion; Gringotts, while technically a coaster, is an absolutely spectacular dark ride, and the same could be said for Transformers! The park also has some really solid sideline dark rides too; I have a huge soft spot for The Simpsons Ride and the Springfield area in particular! The theming, while perhaps not to the same level of IOA, is also absolutely superb; I think they pulled off the whole “streets of Hollywood” thing rather well, in my opinion, and Diagon Alley in particular is the absolute epitome of pure theme park magic for me! As well as that, I also love the Springfield area too, as I mentioned above; it’s absolutely phenomenal, in my opinion, and it feels like it drops you straight into your own episode of The Simpsons! Overall, USF is an absolutely spectacular theme park, in my opinion, and certainly a place worth visiting if you’re in Orlando; the one-two punch of it and IOA can’t be beaten for me, and it makes me think that Universal Orlando Resort as an overall package might still be quite possibly the coolest place I’ve ever visited!
  4. Blackpool Pleasure Beach (2 days/2 visits spent here, first visit August 2018, most recent visit August 2019) - Blackpool might not be a themed park in the way that the top 3 are, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing, as this park is an institution and a marvel in its own right! I find the place simply mesmerising to spend time in; it has an atmosphere quite unlike any other park I’ve ever visited, and there’s so much to look at! This park literally feels like there’s rides everywhere; wherever you look, there’s seemingly a ton of different rides to look at, and I find that due to the way that the park has evolved and developed, it’s an utter marvel to look at and be in! And in terms of these rides; yes, the coaster selection might not be as gravitated towards my personal tastes as that of other UK theme parks on the whole, but Icon, as my favourite UK coaster, is a huge asset for me, and there are some other fun coasters too! I also value BPB because there is a huge amount to do; the ride selection is hugely varied, with loads of different types of ride and demographics catered for, and there’s so much in terms of rides to do. Even after 2 visits, I still feel as though there’s so much of BPB I haven’t seen yet! Overall, as much as Blackpool Pleasure Beach might not be a themed park, with hugely cutting-edge rides, I’ll admit I’ve had some absolutely tremendous days there, and I do absolutely love it!
  5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom (3 days/2 separate Florida visits spent here, first visit August 2014, most recent visit April 2019) - Animal Kingdom is my highest ranked Walt Disney World theme park, and it certainly deserves that position! It’s a simply stunning park; the theming is absolutely spectacular throughout, and it feels as though every corner has been themed to the hilt! The animal exhibits themselves feel very expansive and lush, and the whole park is also very green; in terms of animal attractions, Kilimanjaro Safaris is a particular highlight, as it’s genuinely quite stunning, and I’d wager it’s possibly the closest you’ll get to going on a genuine safari without going to Africa! In terms of the rides and non-animal based attractions; I’ll admit that the park doesn’t have too many, but what they do have is great, for the most part! Flight of Passage, while it didn’t quite live up to the insane amount of hype for me, is a great, great dark ride, in my opinion, and the whole themed area of Pandora is nothing short of a marvel, in my opinion! You also have other great rides too; Kali River Rapids is a really good fun rapids ride, with just the right level of wetness, excellent theming and a really good drop, and the park’s headline coaster Expedition Everest is a good fun family coaster with some cool tricks up its sleeves, even though I don’t rate it as highly as most! Overall, I think Animal Kingdom is a smashing theme park that’s absolutely enveloping, and is definitely the jewel in the Disney crown for me!
  6. Epcot (1 day spent here, only visit April 2019) - I must say that this park was a big surprise for me when I first visited back in April 2019, and I stepped out of it having liked it far more than expected! Being a park that isn’t exactly ride-focused, and not having a single roller coaster when I visited, I was unsure if I’d particularly rate it, as it’s not really my sort of park on paper, but I must say that I had an absolute stonker of a visit to this park! Yes, I’ll admit that’s it’s not perfect; Future World is a bit dated and not my personal favourite, and the park does lack rides (although one could argue that rides aren’t really what the park is about), but I think the place has a lovely atmosphere about it, and World Showcase is absolutely stunning, and that for me carries the park past its negatives! You could spend ages just walking around Epcot and taking in the surroundings (and we certainly did on our visit!); the park is just beautiful, and I feel like one could gain a lot of enjoyment from Epcot even if they didn’t ride anything! As much as the park isn’t laden with rides, there are some good ones; Test Track is excellent, in my opinion, and Frozen Ever After was also a surprising highlight! I do think that the park’s lack of rides does ultimately hamper it somewhat for me, and I feel it’s perhaps more objectively flawed than the parks above it (it’s very much a park of two halves, both literally and figuratively; while Future World isn’t bad by any means, it’s not my favourite, and it doesn’t live up to the bar that World Showcase sets for me), but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Epcot, and I think it’s a great park; it was certainly a very positive surprise for me!
  7. Thorpe Park (8 days/7 visits spent here, first visit July 2014, most recent visit July 2021) - It might not quite live up to Alton Towers, but I will always have a soft spot for Thorpe Park! Personally, I like it a lot more than most; Thorpe Park seems to have almost become a dirty phrase among British enthusiasts, and most seem to absolutely despise the park with a passion, but I’ll admit that when I visit, I struggle to understand why, as from where I’m standing, there’s a lot to like about Thorpe! For starters, the place has a very respectable selection of rides, if not an especially expansive one compared to some of the higher-ranked UK parks on this list; the coaster selection is excellent, and there’s also a surprising variety of non-coasters too, with a fair few flat rides and water rides on offer! Even though I wouldn’t say that the park is the most cohesive in terms of themed areas, the theming is truly excellent in places, with some of the rides being incredibly well themed, and the park is also surprisingly well landscaped, with a very lush, green feel throughout much of the park! In general, I think the park also has quite a nice atmosphere about it, although I think it possibly lacks the aura of Alton Towers and the vintage charm of Blackpool. Overall, however, I have a huge soft spot for Thorpe Park, and I think it’s reputation among enthusiasts is quite undeserved; ultimately, I do think the park is held back by the fact that its ride selection isn’t the biggest in comparison to the likes of Alton and Blackpool (or at least, it feels like there’s less to do) but I do always enjoy a visit to Thorpe!
  8. SeaWorld Orlando (3 days/1 Florida visit spent here, only visit August 2016) - I know that SeaWorld are somewhat controversial due to some of their past practices, but I must admit that I really enjoyed SeaWorld Orlando, and it was among the highlights of my 2016 Orlando trip! As much as the park isn’t (or at least, wasn’t in 2016) the most ride laden of parks, they had a decent selection, particularly of coasters; Mako is stunning, and still my all-time number 1 coaster 5 years on, and I remember Kraken being pretty decent as well! The park also has a decent selection of indoor attractions; while Antarctica wasn’t my favourite dark ride, it’s certainly novel if nothing else, and the penguin exhibit is excellent! There’s also Wild Arctic; while I didn’t do the simulator, the exhibit is rather nice, and not forgetting Turtle Trek, a perfectly good little 3D show! The park’s conservation efforts are admirable, and you can clearly tell that SeaWorld is now very invested in conservation; they do so much good work, and you can certainly see this in action when you’re there! I wouldn’t say that SeaWorld is much of a themed park, as it doesn’t have too much theming aside from a couple of areas, but the park is very nicely presented & landscaped, with lush greenery in many areas, and has a very nice, relaxed atmosphere! Overall, as much as I think the limited ride selection does stop me from ranking it much higher (although SeaWorld isn’t really a rides park), I’ve got to say I really enjoyed SeaWorld on my visit in 2016, and it’s certainly a place worth visiting!
  9. Busch Gardens Tampa (1 day spent here, only visit August 2016) - Busch Gardens Tampa is an odd one for me. On paper, it ticks all of my boxes, and it should rank a lot higher than it does; it has a stellar coaster selection, and it’s reasonably well presented. In terms of the ride selection; even if we’re talking exclusively about coasters, Montu & SheiKra both make my top 10, Kumba was fairly solid, and even Cheetah Hunt and Cobra’s Curse were far from bad rides! And if we expand to non-coasters too; Falcon’s Fury is quite amazing, and unlike anything else I’ve ever done, and Congo River Rapids was a fairly fun little rapids! In terms of rides, there’s not a single ride at this park I didn’t at least like based on the ones I rode, and there’s a huge amount of them; the ride selection is genuinely stellar, and the park is also quite green and well-themed in places, although perhaps not the most “themed” of parks per se. However, while I can’t quite put my finger on why, something about it meant that I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I’d hoped I would. Maybe it was because we didn’t spend the longest amount of time there and my time there felt a little rushed, maybe it’s because my family didn’t seem especially enamoured; I don’t really know. This one certainly needs a revisit for sure, as it seems like it should tick all my boxes on paper, and I certainly intend to return when I eventually go back to Florida, not least to ride Tigris & Iron Gwazi, which have been installed since my last visit!
  10. Disney’s Magic Kingdom (2 days/1 Florida visit spent here, only visit April 2019) - I was very excited to visit Magic Kingdom before going for the first time in April 2019, but while I had a fun time here, I’ll admit I was somewhat underwhelmed when I finally did visit. Let’s start with the positives; the park is very nicely presented, and very well-themed and cohesive throughout, although I feel that it perhaps lacks the raw detail of some of the other Florida theme parks in places (with that being said, that’s natural due to it being many years older!). In a sense, I almost think MK feels oddly retro (I'm not sure I'd say it feels dated, but I don't think it feels vintage either; I wasn't entirely sure what to say for this!). The park also has a very friendly atmosphere, as well as a wide selection of rides compared to the other Disney parks! However, I do feel that the park lacks a true standout attraction compared to the other Disney parks; while many of the attractions are perfectly good fun, nothing from Magic Kingdom really leaps off the page if I were to make a list of my favourite attractions at WDW. Also, I do feel like the park is aimed more at young children; while this isn't a bad thing by any means, it ultimately inhibits how highly I can rank the park. Furthermore; I know this sounds petty, but I think the crowd levels did impact my enjoyment a bit at MK; the crowded pathways did make me feel a bit anxious at times, and the park certainly feels like it gets every one of its 20 million annual guests when you're walking around it. Still, Magic Kingdom is a fun, and rather impressive, park that's definitely worth a visit if you're in the Orlando area!
  11. Disney's Hollywood Studios (2 days/1 Florida visit spent here, only visit April 2019) - This is a tough one for me to rank, because when we went, the park was a bit of a building site, with a huge swathe of it on a construction site building Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, as well as the huge Chinese Theatre building in the centre being shut to build Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. As such, I perhaps don't feel as though I can give this park the fairest review. On the whole, the park was nice enough, although it definitely lacked things to do to quite a strong extent in comparison to the other Disney parks. What there is attractions-wise, however, is absolutely excellent. I genuinely believe that Hollywood Studios has some of the strongest rides at WDW (well, it certainly has some of my favourites, anyway); Tower of Terror is an absolutely stunning, breath-taking attraction from start to finish, and easily my favourite WDW ride, as well as one of my favourite rides of all-time, and I also really enjoyed Rock'n'Rollercoaster too. Star Tours was also a really solid simulator, and while Slinky Dog Dash is easy to dismiss as a mere family coaster, it's actually really quite fab, in my opinion, and was one of my single biggest surprises of the trip! In terms of theming; the park is very nicely presented, and as this is a Disney park, the theming is of very reasonable quality, although it feels more weakly themed and less cohesive overall than the other 3 theme parks. However, it could be argued that the park isn't really about themed areas, so it doesn't really need cohesion. It feels very similar in terms of vibe to Universal Studios Florida, although I personally think that USF conveys this vibe a lot more effectively. Overall, while DHS in its April 2019 state was my least favourite WDW park, the park showed a huge amount of promise, and I'd love to revisit at some point in the future now that it's no longer a building site; pound-for-pound, I think the park's attraction quality is absolutely stellar, and Star Wars only looks to exacerbate that, so I could certainly see this park jumping up a few spots when I eventually return!
  12. Paultons Park (1 day spent here, only visit July 2021) - Paultons is another tough one for me to place. Based on the quality of day we had here, I feel like it should be higher, but when I look at what's above it, I don't really think I can justify a higher placement. In terms of Paultons, though; I'll admit I was absolutely floored by the park on my first visit! Yes, it's not really aimed at my demographic, but I think they're absolutely nailing the family demographic, and I reckon they could possibly move into thrills in the years to come! As for the park itself; where to begin? For a family park of Paultons' scale, I just genuinely think it's an incredibly solid park with an incredibly solid ride selection; for family coasters, I think the coaster selection in particular is excellent, with Storm Chaser and Flight of the Pterosaur being particular favourites of mine, and the park also has some solid non-coasters too, like Magma (I only mention Magma because it was my personal favourite), although the park doesn't have too much in terms of non-coasters. The theming is top-notch in areas (Tornado Springs and Lost Kingdom come to mind, although PPW is also really solid), and even in the older, lesser-themed areas, the presentation is immaculate, with everything looking nice! Overall, I had a brilliant day at Paultons, and the fact that it's only 12th should not be construed as a criticism at all; the only reason it doesn't place higher is simply by virtue of the fact it simply isn't on the scale of the parks above it, and doesn't have quite the same variety of ride selection. Also, it isn't really aimed at our demographic, so nothing really leaps off the page too much to me as an adult enthusiast. Give it 5-10 years and a TS-style revamp of the remaining older areas, and I reckon Paultons could be up a few spots for sure; the future looks very bright for the park!
  13. Legoland Windsor (2 days spent here, first visit August 2017, most recent visit July 2021) - I'll admit that my recent revisit of Legoland Windsor made me look very sheepish, as we actually had a very pleasant day here in July 2021; I certainly owe the park an apology! As the circumstances were stacked more in our favour this time, we had a very pleasant day, and I was able to see the park more for its good attributes, of which there are a fair few! Yes, the place isn't really aimed at our demographic, and the coaster selection is possibly a touch weak even for a family park (I think they could do with a middle-ground family coaster; Dragon is perfectly OK, but nothing spectacular even for a family coaster), but I think the non-coaster ride selection is really rather excellent, and quite possibly one of the strongest non-coaster selections in the UK, in my opinion; Sky Lion & Ninjago are two of my favourite UK dark rides, and Haunted House Monster Party is really solid, too! Not to mention that they have a lot more non-coasters that we didn't get on; there's loads, and a fairly good variety too! The theming is also very well-done, and the park is very green and pleasant to walk around, with the Lego scattered throughout adding a nice sense of whimsy and fun! I'd personally argue that when you combine the high quantity of dark rides with the theming, Legoland is quite possibly the closest thing Britain has to an Orlando-style park, and overall, we had a really nice day, although the fact that the park is aimed primarily at young children does ultimately inhibit how highly it can rank for me.
  14. Oakwood Theme Park (2 days spent here, first visit July 2016, most recent visit May 2019) - I've got to admit that I do think that Oakwood is a real hidden gem of a park, personally! It's got a surprisingly excellent ride selection for a park of its scale, and their one-two punch of coasters in Megafobia and Speed particularly shines; Megafobia is a really solid, if not earth-shattering, wooden coaster (it's especially fun up front!), and while Speed doesn't personally appeal to me too much, it's still a very impressive ride for the park! The park also oozes charm, and while it's not themed per se, I think it's in a really nice setting, with the woods really making the park feel quite charming when you're in it! Overall, while the fact that Oakwood isn't the biggest of parks does hold it back from placing any higher (we ultimately could only fill a few hours here as opposed to a whole day), it's still a really nice, fun place for what it is, and I'd certainly recommend a trip if you're in the area!
  15. Drayton Manor (1 day spent here, only visit August 2018) - Drayton was a nice park when we visited, and we had a fun day! It's very nicely presented, nicely themed in places, and Thomas Land is a particularly strong section for young families! However, from my standpoint, I don't think there was any individual attraction that really stood out to me as something I loved; don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the rides at Drayton, but I don't think any of them really strongly stood out to me as something I absolutely loved and needed to get back on. Also, it's ultimately quite a small park compared to the others on this list. Overall, though, Drayton is certainly fun, and it's a park I look forward to the future of under Looping Group!
  16. Chessington World of Adventures (1 day spent here, only visit July 2014) - Chessington was a perfectly nice park when we visited in July 2014, with nice presentation and theming and some fun rides, but I don't remember being especially enamoured with anything in particular from there. Admittedly, it's been years since my last visit, and the park is ultimately aimed at a much younger crowd than myself, but I don't remember anything there especially wowing me. I know this is a slightly unfair review, however, so for that I apologise; it's not really aimed at me, and besides, I direly need to revisit Chessington. I might finally get around to it once the B&M wing coaster opens in 2023!
  17. West Midlands Safari Park (1 day spent here, only visit October 2020) - West Midlands was a really nice little park for what it was when we got the chance to visit for the first time last October! The safari is nice, the animals are nice, the park is very nicely presented, and the funfair is good enough for what it is! Rides-wise, Venom was a particular highlight; what a superb drop tower! Overall, WMSP is a nice little park that's worth visiting, but it's certainly more of an afternoon out than a full day, in my opinion; there isn't too much there in comparison to some other parks and zoos, which ultimately inhibits how highly it can sit for me.
  18. Fun Spot Kissimmee (1 day spent here, only visit April 2019) - Fun Spot was a nice enough park for the few minutes or so we spent there riding Mine Blower, and Mine Blower is a phenomenal wooden coaster, but there's not much else for me to say past that, really, as we spent very little time there!
  19. South Pier Blackpool (1 day spent here, only visit August 2019) - As with Fun Spot above, South Pier was a nice enough park for the brief amount of time we spent there riding their Reverchon spinning mouse; it only ranks lower simply because I liked the credit I rode there a lot less than I liked Mine Blower. It is what it is, really; there's not much more I can say than that!
So, that's my ranking of all 19 parks I've been to as of September 2021! I apologise if you think I'm being unfair on any of these parks; I'll admit some of these probably aren't the fairest rankings, but I can only speak from my own experiences!
Last edited:

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
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)
Unsurprisingly I haven’t had much chance to visit ‘new to me’ parks in the precisely ‘zero’ full seasons since my last post… But having visited Europa a couple of times, and Energylandia a bazzillion times in the last 2 years… (interesting fact, I’ve spent more days at Energylandia these last 2 years than Alton Towers, Thorpe and BPB combined!) Here’s the update… Still based on the same criteria, though Europa does earn more points than most for it’s theming, ride / attraction variety and sheer beauty (I’m not overly impressed by the coasters tbh, but the overall package is what Europa is all about.)

1) Phantasialand
2) Energylandia (close second, very close)
3) Alton Towers (a bit of home park favouritism / fanboyism here)
4) Europa Park
5) Liseberg
6) Walibi Holland
7) Portaventura
8) Toverland
9) Blackpool Pleasure Beach
10) Efteling (Wouldn’t be this high if the place wasn’t so damn beautiful, the coasters are mediocre)


Giga Poster
I decided to have some fun and rank every noteworthy park I've been to.
  1. Gröna Lund
  2. Phantasialand
  3. Efteling
  4. Liseberg
  5. Tivoli Gardens
  6. Tripsdrill
  7. Alton Towers
  8. Europa Park
  9. PortAventura
  10. Fårup Sommerland
  11. Chessington
  12. Toverland
  13. Hansa Park
  14. Power Park
  15. Walibi Holland
  16. Heide Park
  17. Walibi Belgium
  18. Linnanmaki
  19. Nigloland
  20. Holiday Park
  21. Djurs Sommerland
  22. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
  23. Parque Warner Madrid
  24. Särkänniemi
  25. Bakken
  26. Bellewaerde
  27. Tibidabo
  28. Hellendoorn
  29. Plopsaland de Panne
  30. Parque de Atracciones
  31. Freizeitpark Klotten
  32. Tivoli Friheden
  33. Furuvik
  34. Slagharen
  35. Thorpe Park
  36. Movie Park Germany
  37. Duinrell
  38. Fraispertuis City
  39. Skara Sommerland
  40. Drayton Manor
  41. Walygator Parc
  42. Drievliet
  43. Bobbejaanland

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
1) Parc Astérix
2) Blackpool Pleasure Beach
3) Thorpe Park
4) Paultons Park
5) Drayton Manor

6) Chessington World of Adventures - Ride lineup / Crowds up extremely easily
7) Pleasurewood Hills - Good mix of rides and shows / Needs a bit of TLC here and there
8) Wicksteed Park - Overall good and pleasant vibes / Needs some more investments
9) Alton Towers - Ride lineup / Park layout
10) Legoland Windsor - General presentation / Lacks the 'do it more than once a visit' ride
11) The Big Sheep - Sheep puns & chilled laid back staff
12) Adventure Island - Ride lineup & atmosphere / Lack of quiet areas
13) Fantasy Island - Ride lineup / Feels claustrophobic and maze-like


Giga Poster
1. Phantasialand
2. Europa Park
3. Efteling
4. Port Aventura
5. Liseberg
6. Tivoli Gardens
7. Toverland
8. Tripsdrill
9. Walibi Belgium
10. Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Honourable mentions:
Alton Towers - Haven't been in ages and in all honesty I'm not that bothered. It has the hallmarks of a great park but seems to be lacking outside of the coaster offering.

Walibi Holland - The cursed ground. Like AT, great coaster selection, but the park layout, ambience, and the overall aesthetic is quite jarring. Walibi Belgium lacks Untamed but is a much nicer park to be in.


Roller Poster
1) Europa Park
2) Phantasialand
3) Liseberg
4) Efteling
5) Alton Towers
6) Walibi Belgium
7) Plopsaland

8) Toverland
9) PortaVentura
10) Walibi Holland

In bold are the two new editions. Not sure if it's just because I haven't been to a park in ages but I really enjoyed both these Parks.

Plopsaland was on a relatively quite Wednesday so didn't quite encounter the issue of over crowding with queues probably peaking at 30 minutes. What a pretty little park, with one bonkers coaster! Almost seems jarring RTH being there but am very grateful as it's day trip-able from where I live in the UK.

Walibi Belgium on paper didn't seem like it would be all that interesting however it was a very solid park with no glaring weaknesses other than a couple of old Vokomas but bar that it's got a great setting, is deceptively huge and has a nice collection of rides. I weirdly felt a bit nostalgic to the place even though I hadn't been there, reminded me a bit of a combination of UK parks in the early 00's. Great little trip and managed to do it on a shoestring budget getting Eurotunnel return tickets for the car £44 return and only spending one night away.


Mega Poster

1. Islands Of Adventure
2. Phantasialand
3. PortAventura World
4. Disney's Hollywood Studios
5. Universal Studios
6. SeaWorld Orlando
7. Busch Gardens Tampa
8. Magic Kingdom
9. Walibi Holland
10. Epcot

It was so tough to decide between IOA and Phantasialand! I think what gives IOA that slight edge is that more of their attractions seemed to be updated and fresh whereas there were a few areas in Phantasialand that seemed more outdated. I still prefer the charm that Phantasialand has and the themed areas are way better but IOA will always have that top spot for me I think!
Last edited:


Mega Poster
I haven't visited 10 "proper theme parks" yet, so I'll write my list down and let's see how it changes with time:
  1. Phantasialand
  2. Disneyland Paris
  3. PortAventura Park
  4. Gröna Lund
  5. Parc d'Atraccions Tibidabo
  6. Gardaland
  7. Walt Disney Studios Park
  8. Parque de Atracciones Monte Igueldo
  9. Brigton pier
  10. Winter Wonderland's Hyde Park


Hyper Poster
Just gonna include the ones I’ve been to since 2015:
  1. Europa Park
  2. Phantasialand
  3. Efteling
  4. Liseberg
  5. Parc Asterix
  6. Hansa-Park
  7. Walibi Belgium
  8. Toverland
  9. Disneyland Park (Paris)
  10. Gröna Lund
HMs: Tivoli Gardens and PortAventura Park