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15 Most Amazing Theme Parks on the Planet

Photo credit: Robert Linsdell / Flickr

Photo credit: Robert Linsdell / Flickr

A visit to the theme park is a summer time staple here in the US and for many foreign and domestic travelers they are a must see destination as well. But the theme park craze isn’t just an American pastime, instead this love of rides, games, food and fun has become an international hit spanning the world. If you’re thinking about adding a stop at an incredible theme park to your next travel itinerary take a look at these 15 amazing theme parks from around the world.

15) Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida

Officially known as Universal’s Islands of Adventure, this Florida theme park is centered around the love and thrill in the journey of exploration. With its slogan “Live the Adventure” the park offers visitors a look into 6 distinctly themed islands that all focus on adventure.

From the main port of the park visitors can travel to the Marvel Super Hero Island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, Seuss Landing and the Lost Continent.

With the addition of the Harry Potter themed island in 2010 the park upped its yearly attendance and gave fans from across the world a chance to explore the world of the witches and wizards from the book and movie franchise. Each island also features its own set of rides, coasters, restaurants and gift shops that follow the islands theme.

With the Incredible Hulk roller coaster on the Marvel Island and the Pteranodon Flyers coaster in Jurassic park, there are plenty of thrills and chills in each different area for visitors to explore. Islands of Adventure nabs a spot on our to list for its ingenuity, sense of exploration and attention to detail.

  • Roller Rider

    OK, how come Animal Kingdom gets its own listing on top of the complete Walt Disney World resort (4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a large downtown dining and shopping district, and 30 hotels)? Why is DCA on this list, but not the original Disneyland? Why isn’t Cedar Point or Great Adventure on this list?

    “The crown jewel of all theme parks in the world Walt Disney World or as
    it’s also known, Magic Kingdom, is the number 1 coolest theme park on
    our list.”
    No it isn’t!

    Walt Disney World is the entire resort’s name and not the name of any one park. The Magic Kingdom is merely the first park built in WDW. But at least this isn’t as bad as the dumb tourists who, while riding on their Disney Transport bus, which operates only inside WDW, when seeing the castle exclaim to their kids “look, there’s Disney”. But it is as dumb as the tourist on his bus from one of the Walt Disney World on property hotels inside WDW saying “We’re going to Walt Disney World.”

    YOU’RE ALREADY IN WALT DISNEY WORLD AND HAVE BEEN SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN IN LAKE BUENA VISTA!! Lake Buena Vista IS Walt Disney World.
    Pathetic, just pathetic!

    • http://batman-news.com Stacey Red

      Yep, this exactly. The Walt Disney World Resort, informally known as Walt Disney World or simply Disney World, is an entertainment COMPLEX in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The property covers 42,000 acres in which it houses 24 themed resort hotels, four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, and numerous additional recreational and entertainment venues.

      • Roller Rider

        We both forgot the 4 mini golf courses.
        Paragliding and fishing as well.
        I love boating on Bay Lake!

  • Paul Thomas

    Cedar Point is so much better than these. What a joke of a list. The writer should be ashamed of himself for omitting it.

    • Roller Rider

      Clearly you don’t understand the difference between an amusement park and a theme park. Cedar Point is NOT a theme park and it doesn’t really try to be one, nor does it market itself as a theme park.

  • JazzyJerome

    What no Great Adventure or Cedar Point???

    • Roller Rider

      The key here is “theme parks” not amusement parks.
      Six Flags and Cedar Fair do not operate theme parks. They operate amusement parks. Busch Gardens, Universal Parks, and Disney Parks are theme parks because they offer intricately themed properties and attractions.

      • JazzyJerome

        Great Adventure advertises itself as a theme park, Magic Mountain is no more a theme part than Great Adventure. Cedar Point may be a different matter.

        • Roller Rider

          JJ, I’ve been to all three of those parks. While they do have some theming, it simply isn’t on the level of the Class A theme parks (Disney, Universal, Busch). If Six Flags is able to get away with calling SFGA a theme park, let the buyer beware. At this point, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the difference is, at one of the Class A parks, you walk through the main gate and you really do feel like you’re in a different place or time.
          Now, as a dedicated coaster addict, I want monster coasters and don’t care much what the theme or back story might be, I’m there for the thrills. But when I’m in one of the Central Florida parks, I do feel like I’m somewhere other than Orlando or Tampa (well, except for the sub tropical climate). That’s why Big Thunder Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are the best in class. There is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending and the theming is what makes those rides, not so much the speed and big drops.
          Speaking of stories and rides, I have long wanted to change the pre show for Rock n Roller Coaster. I’ve been doing concerts longer than I’ve been riding coasters and I know that the absolute last thing any band is going to be doing hours before a show is hanging out in a studio remixing a nearly 40 year old song before they have to race to the gig across town.
          A better story would be you’ve won a contest to meet Aerosmith at a local radio station where they are doing an on air interview/fan meet and greet or they are going to perform a 4 song set to be broadcast live over the air and you’ve won a contest to be in a select audience.
          I actually did a show with Kenny Loggins like this back in 1991. Then you can pick up the story with Steven Tyler inviting everyone to the show and giving them VIP passes (not All Area passes!) and a super stretch limo to get everyone there on time.

          • JazzyJerome

            I don’t think any of the parks are on the level of Disney they are in a class by themselves.

          • Roller Rider

            That’s why I refer to Disney parks, Universal parks and Busch Gardens parks as Class A theme parks. Everything else is just an amusement park with some theming.
            Speaking of, I’m planning my next trip to WDW right now. And when a Disney fan says planning, it’s not meant as “well, I plan to go there sometime”. For us, it’s “I’m booking the hotel, I already have my annual pass, and I’m making dining reservations and locking in fast pass times”.
            With 4 different parks, a couple hundred unique attractions and shows, and over 100 dining venues, you simply must have a plan!

          • JazzyJerome

            I wouldn’t put Busch Gardens in that League, Universal maybe but nothing compares to Disney that’s like a WOW experience.

          • Roller Rider

            We’ll have to agree to disagree about the two Busch Gardens parks. I haven’t been to Uni LA, but their two Orlando parks are seriously themed. Some sections better than others, but I’ll put Marvel Superhero Island and Suess Landing up against any Disney land. And how about when you walk under that huge Jurassic Park entry, with the movie music playing? They could use a few more rides though.