Home » 10 Underrated Theme Park Gems That Deserve More Attention

10 Underrated Theme Park Gems That Deserve More Attention


Our list of the top 100 theme park attractions (compiled using your ratings) is filled with high ratings for such beloved rides as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Expedition Everest. But since the TPT100 lists the top 100 theme park attractions in the world, there are plenty of fun, exciting rides and shows that may not crack the top 10 but are still among the best of the best  at least as far as the thousands of rides in our theme park guides go.

So here’s a look at some of the underrated attractions that made the list. The ratings are based on your votes, so if you’re a big fan of any of the rides and shows below, you can help improve their rankings by rating them in our park guides!

1. Behemoth


TPT100 Ranking: No. 92 (full ride details)

Behemoth may not be the longest or tallest coaster at Canada’s Wonderland (those honors belong to Leviathan), but this 200-foot-tall Hypercoaster isn’t short on thrills by any means. Behemoth offers an insane amount of airtime — including a petrifying first drop that might make you regret buckling into this coaster. But once you get past that, you’re treated to a ton of other drops that are just plain fun. This ride is addictive, and its seats offer a first-row view no matter where you sit. If you’re determined to ride the best rollercoasters all over the world, this one definitely needs to be on your list (and while you’re at Canada’s Wonderland, you can also ride 14 other coasters as well).

2. Wild Eagle

Wild Eagle

TPT100 Ranking: No. 36 (full ride details)

This coaster at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has its own distinction too: It was the first ride of its kind in the U.S. The winged coaster will send you soaring through the sky like a bird, thanks to its unique suspension that leaves nothing but air above and below you. It’s a powerful ride — with an introductory 135-foot drop — but it also has some graceful swooping sensations. Dolly Parton herself introduced the coaster at the theme park that bears her name in 2012, but fans shouldn’t look for her to ever actually ride it. “I’m a wild chicken, not an eagle, so don’t think I’m going to get on that,” the singer reportedly said.

3. Star Tours — The Adventures Continue

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue

TPT100 Ranking: No. 50 at Disneyland; No. 60 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (full ride details for the Disneyland ride; full ride details for the Hollywood Studios ride)

While everyone rushes to the Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see characters like Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, a ride that excitedly blasts guests across the galaxy still sits at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as well as Disneyland).

The ride’s first incarnation closed in 2010 but reopened the following year with new technology and more than 50 combinations of opening and ending scenes. You could actually ride all day without seeing the same film segment twice. And when the droid scans the guests in the ride’s queue, two of the images depict Lucas and Pixar’s John Lasseter.

4. Test Track

Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet

TPT100 Ranking: No. 53 (full ride details)

This Epcot ride deserves some high ratings because it’s one of the fastest Disney attractions ever built. And it was actually supposed to be even faster. Imagineers wanted the cars to go 95 miles per hour on the outside stretch, but the speed was lowered to 65 mph because of the ride’s steep embankments. Each of the cars have six braking systems, while normal vehicles only have two. This is because each Test Track car is expected to last for 1 million miles (not at all like the cars we drive every day!).

5. World of Color

World of Color
TPT100 Ranking: No. 63 (full ride details)

Every night, darkness is transformed by a brilliant rainbow of shades in this Disney California Adventure show that is spectacular, emotional and unforgettable. Nearly 1,200 fountains in the park’s lagoon send water from 30 feet up to 200 feet. An array of Disney characters and movie scenes are projected on the water sprays, flames are employed and the show’s scenes can be easily changed to add new movies or event sequences and changes completely for the holidays (World of Color — Winter Dreams transforms the show into a frosty wonderland, with holiday singalongs with Olaf from “Frozen” and a rendition of “The Nutcracker” from “Toy Story” characters). Guests can even get into the fun before the nightly shows begin by playing the Fun Wheel Challenge on their mobile devices. Players who win the color-matching memory game get a chance to control the lights on Mickey’s Fun Wheel for the next 30 seconds!

6. Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

TPT100 Ranking: No. 71 (full ride details)

Among all of the wildlife- and prehistoric-themed attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there’s also a Broadway-caliber show — and you don’t even need an extra ticket for it. Dancers, stilt-walkers, acrobats and fire-jugglers bring the story of Simba to life with gorgeous lighting and musical effects. It’s such an immersive, well-produced show that at the end, you’ll completely forget you’ve been sitting on a bench for 28 minutes.

7. Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express

TPT100 Ranking: No. 29 (full ride details)

This magical train ride is the only attraction out of the more than 3,500 rides in our guides that must be listed as belonging to two different parks! Guests are transported between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida on a seven-minute journey that has a different storyline and characters in each direction. The trains share a single track but are able to pass by each other at one point in the middle, and the ride combines old and new technology to create an amazing experience.

8. SAW — The Ride

SAW - The Ride

TPT100 Ranking: No. 96 (full ride details)

Are you brave enough to tackle the world’s “scariest” rollercoaster? If you think you are, you’ll need to head over to the United Kingdom’s Thorpe Park. The ride is billed as the first coaster ever based on a horror movie franchise and it features several scenes from the “SAW” films. You begin in Jigsaw’s warehouse, where you see the Billy puppet riding on a tricycle and offering a warning of danger. Then, you’re hurtled toward swinging axes and metal spikes before diving down to escape them. You’re hung upside down over a corpse that actually squirts “blood” up at you — and then you’re sent outside the warehouse for the actual coaster portion that promises even more thrills, chills and surprises. This ride offers incredible theming both inside and out, even if it has become a little rough over the years.

9. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
TPT100 Ranking: No. 98 (full ride details)

Toy Story Midway Mania may be getting a ton of attention now at Walt Disney World, but another ride offers nearly the same competitive fun and much shorter lines! You can help Buzz and the Space Rangers defeat the evil Emperor Zurg in the Magic Kingdom building that formerly housed If You Had Wings and Dreamflight. The vehicles can spin 360 degrees and the laser technology is the same as those used in supermarkets. The guns used to be held in each vehicles by cords, which allowed you more firing ability, but they now stay in place. And if you’re lucky enough to get the top score of 999,999, don’t forget to take a picture of it and show it to a cast member in the gift shop at the ride’s exit. You might just be rewarded with a surprise!

10. Superman: Escape From Krypton

 Escape from Krypton on-ride

Image: Six Flags Magic Mountain

TPT100 Ranking: No. 99 (full ride details)

Just looking at this shuttle coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain feels intimidating. The ride will send you up 328 feet at a speed of 100 miles per hour, then send you back to earth. The coaster was changed in 2011 to include backward-facing cars, and you can choose whether you want to face what’s coming or not. You’ll also feel weightless for nearly 7 seconds in the ride’s vertical section. This coaster is one of the world’s tallest and fastest, and it has one of the longest drops ever. It’s a quick ride, but one that some readers love to go on again and again.

So how many rides have you attempted on this list? Do you think that any of them deserve a better ranking? Voting is easy — just head on over to the park guides, choose a park and make your voice heard!