This past weekend, my wife and I visited Dollywood and we really had a great time. It got me to thinking about some of the best theme parks I have been to. I decided to make a list of my top five theme parks or amusement parks that I have visited in my life. Now, this is my personal list based on the ones I have been to. I am not anywhere close to having visited the majority of the parks that exist in the world, but I hope to visit as many as I can.
There is really no criteria that I used for determining the best, just basically the ones I found most enjoyable. For me, that basically means having the most thrilling rides. But, I also care about other attractions, as well as food, stores and atmosphere, etc. You may be asking what is considered a theme park? Basically, any park that features rides, games and really any other form of entertainment. So, without further ado, I give you my top five favorite theme parks that I have visited. Please give me yours as well!
- Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida-OK, I just have to give a huge shout out to Universal. The virtual reality rides in this park are absolutely amazing and when you ride them, you will feel like you’re in a real location. For example, during the Harry Potter ride, you actually feel like your riding along side Harry Potter. On top of the rides, the other entertainment is amazing too. My personal favorite part of Universal is Simpson’s world. It was nostalgic for me to go there as an adult and relive some of the classic moments from a legendary show. Make sure to grab a Duff beer and a Krusty Burger. Yes, you will find them there. Also, grab a butter beer at Harry Potter world. I put Universal Studios in Florida slightly above the one in California because they have a few more rides and attractions. Honestly though, you will not be disappointed with either one.
- Disney World in Orlando, Florida-I think most people will put this number one on their list. There is certainly nothing wrong with that as Disney World is an amazing park! The rides, attractions, entertainment and food is certainly unforgettable. Disney World has four different parks and you can certainly spend a day or more at each one. Our personal favorite is Epcot and one of our favorite things to do there is visit the international section where you can experience foods and cultures from around the world. One thing I would suggest for Disney World is to go during non-peak season or shell out a little extra money for a quick pass to all of the rides and attractions. Otherwise, you will be waiting hours in line and it is just frustrating. This holds true for Universal Studios as well.
- Great America in Santa Clara, California-OK, so I have visited Great America Park in Santa Clara, California multiple times. It was really the first major park I ever went to as a kid. In actuality, it may have been the only one as the majority of the ones on my list, I had visited after becoming an adult already. Simply put, Great America has amazing roller-coasters and that is what I enjoy the most about amusement parks. My favorite ride there was called Top Gun. However, it has a different name now and I cannot remember what it is. Overall, Great America is a great place to visit.
- Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN-Yes, Dollywood makes my list. I visited the park for the first time just this past weekend and my wife and I had a great time. The rides were amazing and we had a lot of fun. The food was good too. My favorite rides there are probably the Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle. The best part about going there was that it was not too hot and the lines were not that long. If we went during peak season, it may not have been as fun. But when we went this time, it was absolutely wonderful. On top of that, it is located in Pigeon Forge, TN, which has many attractions to visit. Dollywood makes my top five list for sure.
- Disneyland in Anaheim, California-Disneyland definitely makes it on the top five list. Just barely, but it does. It is more known for its attractions and overall ambiance than the rides. Of course, there definitely are a few good rides there as well. For me though, the rides did not compare to the other parks I have put on my list. The attractions, however, will not disappoint.
These are my top five. Let me know yours and maybe I will get some ideas. Remember again that these are based on the ones that I have visited and my list may change in a few years after I visit some more. Here are some honorable mentions that I enjoyed, but did not make my top five:
- Sea World in San Diego, California.
- Volcano Bay in Orlando, Florida.
- Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado.