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The Top 50 Theme Parks in the World

40. Hersheypark

Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
2013 attendance: 3.18 million
2014 attendance: 3.21 million (up 1.0%)


Image: Coasterman1234, Wikipedia

Originally opened in the early 20th century as little more than a picnic area for Hershey employees, Hersheypark gradually expanded into a full-blown amusement park. Although it suffered a period of decline in the 1960s, it was revived in the 1970s and has grown in popularity ever since. A series of major investments in the 1990s and 2000s helped to establish it as one of America's leading regional theme parks. More recently, the park spent some $25 million on installing a towering new roller coaster, Skyrush, for the 2012 season.

Don't miss: By far the oldest coaster at Hersheypark, the Comet was built in 1946 by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. It features a 96-foot first drop, and a series of further hills and drops.

39. Kings Island

Location: Mason, Ohio, USA
2013 attendance: 3.21 million
2014 attendance: 3.24 million (up 1.0%)

The Beast

Image © Cedar Fair

In 1969, the owners of Cincinnati's Coney Island amusement park sold it to the Taft Broadcasting Company. Eager to expand, the firm relocated the park to a new 1,600-acre site in 1972, although much of this acreage has since been sold off. Helped by appearances on "The Partridge Family" and "The Brady Bunch", the park proved to be an instant success - even spawning a sister park, Kings Dominion. A spell under the ownership of Paramount Parks led to addition of a number of movie-themed rides, but the takeover by Cedar Fair in 2006 saw many of these returned to a vanilla state.

Don't miss: Wooden coaster The Beast is notable for its terrain-hugging layout, with only its two lift hills visible from within the park.

38. Cedar Point

Location: Sandusky, Ohio, USA
2013 attendance: 3.38 million
2014 attendance: 3.25 million (down 4.0%)


The flagship park of the Cedar Fair chain, Cedar Point is second only to Lake Compounce as the oldest operating amusement park in the US. While its rides can't compete with Disney or Universal in the theming stakes, it has a staggeringly large number of them - more than 70 in total. These are spread across several lightly-themed "midway" areas, along with three separate children's areas (two of which are themed around the Peanuts characters). The park's roller coaster line-up is world-renowned, and includes fan favorites Top Thrill Dragster, Millenium Force and Maverick. 2013 saw the addition of B&M Wing Rider GateKeeper, helping to boost attendance, which fell back in 2014.

Don't miss: The much-heralded roller coaster that finally conquered the 300-foot height mark, Millennium Force is still proclaimed as one of the best roller coasters on Earth.

37. Happy Valley Shenzhen

Location: Shenzhen, China
2013 attendance: 3.28 million
2014 attendance: 3.3 million (up 0.6%)

Happy Valley Shenzhen

Image: Wikipedia

The first park in the popular Happy Valley chain threw open its gates in 1998. It boasts a total of nine themed areas, including an on-site water park. The park is home to a variety of roller coasters and thrill rides.

Don't miss: Bullet Coaster, an S&S Worldwide creation that features a compressed air launch.

36. Happy Valley Beijing

Location: Beijing, China
2013 attendance: 3.1 million
2014 attendance: 3.34 million

Crystal Wing

Image: milst1, Wikipedia

The second park to open in the Happy Valley chain, the Beijing version hosts a range of themed areas, more than 40 rides, a seven-screen IMAX theater and a shopping complex.

Don't miss: Crystal Wing, a Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster with an identical layout to Six Flags' Superman: Ultimate Flight coasters in the US.

35. Chimelong Paradise

Location: Guangzhou, China
2013 attendance: 3.20 million
2014 attendance: 3.35 million (up 4.7%)

10 Inversion Roller Coaster

Image: Jeremy Thompson, Wikipedia

Opened in 2006, Chimelong Paradise bills itself as the largest amusement park in China. It boasts a total of more than 60 attractions and can handle as many as 50,000 guests a day.

Don't miss: The aptly-named 10 Inversion Roller Coaster was the first of a number of clones of Thorpe Park's Colossus to be installed at theme parks around the world (two more are currently under construction). It features exactly the same layout (with 10 inversions), and - of course - is also manufactured by Intamin.

34. PortAventura

Location: Salou, Spain
2013 attendance: 3.4 million
2014 attendance: 3.5 million (up 2.9%)


One of Europe's most popular theme park resorts, PortAventura boasts a wide array of rides and attractions, along with four hotels. The park features a variety of major thrill rides, including the innovative winged launch coaster Furius Baco, eight-inversion coaster Dragon Khan and 330-foot drop tower Hurakan Condor. Unlike many European parks, though, it places a heavy emphasis on theming as well as rides, and its six lands are intricately detailed. Kids are well served, too, by the Sesame Street-themed SésamoAventura area.

Don't miss: Opened in 2012, Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya towers some 249-feet over the Spanish theme park. The ride has become the tallest roller coaster in Europe, hitting a top speed of 83 miles per hour at the base of 255-feet first drop. It is themed around an expedition to the Himalayas, and features extensive theming including tunnels and water features.

33. Canada's Wonderland

Location: Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
2012 attendance: 3.58 million
2013 attendance: 3.55 million (down 1.0%)

Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland covers a 330-acre plot in Vaughan, within easy reach of Toronto. It is home to a huge number of attractions spread across lightly-themed lands, including a total of sixteen roller coasters. While thrill rides are very much top of the agenda, the park is also home to two sprawling areas dedicated to children, Planet Snoopy and KidZville.

Don't miss: B&M's first foray into the world of the 300 foot giga-coaster, Leviathan is named after mythology's creature of the sea and sends riders sailing along seafoam track through twisted turns and over floating hills. It's super-smooth with plentiful forces and unparalleled views of the park.

32. Window of the World

Location: Shenzhen, China
2012 attendance: 3.25 million
2013 attendance: 3.60 million (up 10.8%)

Tah Mahal

Window of the World recreates the world in miniature, featuring around 130 reproductions of famous landmarks. Think Legoland's Miniland, but without the Lego.

Don't miss: Recreations of the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Egyptian pyramids.

31. Knott's Berry Farm

Location: Buena Park, California, USA
2013 attendance: 3.68 million
2014 attendance: 3.68 million

Image: Kevin Smith, Wikimedia Commons (license)

As its name suggests, Knott's Berry Farm was originally just that: a berry farm owned by Walt Knott and his family. In 1934, the family began offering chicken dinners in an on-site restaurant, and a number of other attractions soon followed. The iconic Ghost Town was constructed during the 1940s, with an admission fee being introduced in 1968. Following the deaths of Walt and Cordelia Knott, their children sold the theme park to Cedar Fair in 1997. Since then, the focus has been on installing major roller coasters and thrill rides such as the towering Supreme Scream drop tower, with the Soak City water park also debuting in 1999.

Don't miss: Silver Bullet is a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster. Like other rides of its type, it sees guests boarding trains that are suspended underneath the coaster's track.

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There are 4 comments.

I visited about 20 parks among the 50 and all the 12 first of these ranking. Here is my top ten :
10. Disney's California Adventure
9. Disney's Hollywood Studios
8. Universal Studios Japan
7. Port Aventura
6. Disneyland Park at Paris
5. Phantasialand
4. Disney's Animal Kingdom
3. Universal Islands of Adventure
2. Efteling
1. Tokyo Disney Sea

1. Magic kingdom at walt disney world

2. Epcot

3. Disney's Hollywood Studios

4. Disney's Animal Kingdom

How is Cedar Point not anywhere on the top 10 of this list. All Disney? Including smaller parts? I mean I like Epcot, but it in no way beats Cedar Point.

I think this list is based on # of annual visitors, not based on opinions


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