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Which park has the most well-rounded overall ride selection in terms of quality?

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Hi guys. I know that most people on this forum tend to care about coaster selection over most other factors in a theme park, but my question to you today is: in your opinion, which park has the most well-rounded ride selection overall? Which park has a really strong ride in each category?

I know my answer might be slightly controversial, but I'm actually going to nominate Islands of Adventure as my choice out of the parks I've visited. Now, on the face of it, Islands of Adventure does not really have that many rides. However, in my opinion, they have at least one incredibly strong ride in most categories. For example, Spider-Man is probably my favourite dark ride I've done, and Forbidden Journey isn't far off either. Bilge-Rats and JPRA are easily my two favourite water rides I've done, and I'd imagine Dudley Do-Right would also rank very highly if I ever get to ride it. Even though I wouldn't say it's quite as strong among coasters as the other rides are in their respective categories, I'd still say Hulk is a really good, solid coaster, and Hagrid's also looks like a very strong ride experience from what I've seen of it. Even in the flat rides department, which is definitely IOA's weakest department in my eyes, Doctor Doom's Fearfall is pretty good as far as shot towers go, if you ask me! Combine all of this with the wonderful theming and atmosphere and you make what is probably my favourite theme park at present, but that's a story for another thread!

But what would you say is the most well-rounded ride selection in terms of quality?
 

gavin

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For similar reasons, I'd go with Universal Studios Japan. It's perhaps "missing" the log flume and rapids that IoA has, but you've got Flying Dinosaur and Jaws which more than make up for it.

If you're taking Universal Florida as a two-park package, which you kind of have to really, then I'd say it's probably the best in the world, but looking at the parks individually, I'd give it to Osaka.

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Heth

New Member
If I was to define well-rounded I would say it meant that a park had a bit of everything with no major omissions rather than it being just 'parks I like'.

My favourite park is Efteling but I wouldn't say it's the most well-rounded because I'd say it is missing a proper log-flume. Also, though I like its coasters I'd like it to fill out the line up with a launch coaster.

Liseberg has a good line up, but I'm not sure it's got everything, as it's not got a decent dark ride...yet.

Islands of Adventure again has a great line up, but it is ultimately low on coasters.

For me I'd say Europa Park is the most well-rounded. It has coasters that range from kiddie to hyper to everything in between. It has dark rides that range from small kid rides to the more high tech Arthur ride. It has water rides from log flumes to water coasters. It is not the best for flat rides, but it does still have them, they're just not big thrilling ones. Even if it is not someone's favourite park, or doesn't have many 'top 10' coasters, it's hard to argue that it's actually missing many key ride types.
 

cookie

Member
Europa Park is one ride type away from the perfect line-up and that's a good flat or drop tower. Honestly, any park that has that many water rides always gets a bonus in my book.

Phantasialand's less on quantity, but its quality is top-notch. My favorite coaster and my favorite flume right next to one another, plus an insane rapids ride, a deceptively crazy mine train coaster, two very creative spinners, a unique drop tower, a beautifully landscaped invert, and a decent share of dark rides.

Liseberg is second in the quality stats since it has an excellent coaster and flat ride lineup but could do better with the water rides (the log flume is good but the rapids ride is very lackluster).
 

Fluorineer

Member
I would have to give this one to Phantasialand as well, even though their way of having "few, but excellent" rides comes back to haunt them in the dark ride department a little bit, because they really only have Maus au Chocolat that can keep up with other top-notch dark rides around the world, and the concept of the shooting dark ride has gained so much adoption in the past years, that it also loses some of it's uniqueness-points. I think Crazy Bats is perfectly fine as the odd one out in the coaster department, but if they sort out Hollywood Tour and Geister Rikscha, even if they only replace it with one decent dark ride instead of doing both of them, it becomes an almost unbeatable package in terms of quality.

Europa Park annoys me a little bit because I genuinely thought back in the day, that Wodan would mark the end of Europa's "Mack Rides showground" days, but unfortunately, they reckoned that 10 roller coasters will be enough for the entire decade, and really, while the park has laughably many installations of certain ride types (not even talking about water rides, they have like 3 family-boat-rides next to each other in the german area), which might I add, is certainly not a bad thing but rather a nice quirk of this place, it then completely lacks thrilling flat-rides. The ratio of good coasters to strange coasters is also not that great, and while the likes of Euro Sat and Euro Mir were doing perfectly fine in an underdeveloped german market in the early 2000s, they haven't aged particularly well as stand-out roller coasters. However, all of this would easily be fixable with another multi-inversion coaster and a good flat-ride, despite Phantasialand proving to some extent that less can certainly be more sometimes.
 

VikingsAf

Member
There is a reason that a parc becomes somebodies favourite. And for me that is also because it is the most well-rounded.
Europa Park sadly enough just misses a good thrill ride and the same would go for Efteling, although they do miss some other stuff as well.
Phantasialand does have it all. And I do agree that it lacks quality dark rides, but it does have them at least. And even though they do deserve some replacement or cleaning, I still think Geister and Hollywood Tour are quiet interesting still, and I would do them once every year.
 

Sandman

Active Member
Phantasialand has Taron and Black Mamba, 2 incredible coasters. Talocan and Mystery Castle are both great flats and Chiapas and River Quest are also some of the best water rides out there. Each of those rides have brilliant theming, landscaping and soundtracks... essentially they all have their own brilliant environment inside of a fairly small park.
 

Heth

New Member
Phantasialand does have Maus au Chocolat which is pretty great. Maybe I feel Europa Park is more well rounded because I'm not that bothered about flat rides. It is still pretty well rounded compared to most parks though.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Phantasialand is the most obvious choice for me.


However, for a more curveball option, how about Walibi Belgium? Especially come 2021 with their headline coaster

Coasters: Pulsar, Weerewolf and Pskye Underground are all decent. Vampire and Cobra, though not great examples of bad ride types, add to the park. Calamity Mine, Tiki Waka and Fun Pilot give a solid, accessible family line up. And their new Intamin completes that.

Water rides: Fun log flume and rapids. Slow boat ride too. Can even include Pulsar here.

Dark rides: Two of my favourite dark rides personally in Popcorn Revenge and Challenge of Tutankhamon, and I think you'd be hard pressed to name many better shooting dark rides in Europe personally. Madhouse and 4D film too.

Flats: Good drop tower, top spin, chair swing, Octopus, teacups and dodgems. Covers all bases.

Kids / calm family rides: They pretty much cover all bases here too.

Obviously this does count their Intamin too, but even on my visit this year, Pulsar fills the hole of 'headline coaster' nicely for me. The only thing they're reallllly missing is a live show, but even then, I don't think it particularly suffers without one.
 

zazobo

Member
For me, it's between Phantasialand and Liseberg.

Europa just can't quite cut it as it's lacking in thrill rides, three thrill rides (Wodan, Silver Star and Blue Fire) amongst a whole host of family rides is unbalanced to me (still love the place though!).
 
Although its small I'm going to say Toverland

two cracking headline coasters - one wood one steel

a cracking supporting coaster in Dwervalwind

couple of unoffensive other coasters inc one of the better roller skaters around

worthwhile rapids and log flume as well as a dingy slide that complete gamut of water rides

whilst no full dark ride - Merlins Quest's small dark ride section is still probably one of the best in Europe!

fun house, interactive wand house and interactive wand show/trail

the fab Blitzbahn

lacks thrill flats but isn't noticed - it's pirate ship gets a bonus point for having onboard sound

all tide up in a compelling thematic package!
 

Howie

Active Member
Good answers so far but I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Port Aventura.

3 of the biggest coasters in Europe. Check.
Decent-ish supporting coasters. Check.
Flat rides - spinners, swingers, multiple towers, dodgems. Check.
Water rides - flume, rapids, splash boat. Check.
Dark rides - Dino 4D thing, Sesame Street Mission, Templo del Fuego, plus the crappy simulators in Ferrari Land. Check.
Shows and live entertainment (including donkeys in hats). Check.
Theming and landscaping. Check.
Nice weather. Check.

Yeah. Port Aventura for me.
 
Knott's Berry Farm is my answer.
Coasters: a double out and back woodie, a hydraulic launch coaster, a beyond vertical infinity coaster, an invert, a rare shuttle loop, a spinner, a motocoaster, a two lift family coaster, a wild mouse, and a kiddie coaster
Water Rides: a log flume in a mountain, a river rapids through a forest
Dark Rides: a shooting dark ride, and a mine train
Flat Rides: turbo drop, top scan, revolution to name a few.
Other Rides: The train complete with robbers
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Good answers so far but I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Port Aventura.
It has a well rounded ride selection, but it's a bit ****e park, with only the landscaping separating it from [insert a bigger Six Flags/Cedar Fair of choice], especially considering their stand-out dark ride (show?), Templo del Fuego, is Summer season only.
 
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