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The Top 50 Theme Parks in the World

20. Chime-Long Ocean Kingdom

Location: Hengqin Island, China
2013 attendance: N/A
2014 attendance: 5.50 million

Parrot Coaster

Image: Steven Edit, Wikimedia Commons (license)

A completely new entry to this list, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom threw open its gates in January 2014. It is the flagship park of the Chimelong International Ocean Resort, which is aiming to become "the Orlando of China" - and some estimates have put the cost of building it at some $1.5 billion. It has proven to be an instant success, pulling in 5.5 million visitors in its debut year.

The park is a SeaWorld-style hybrid of a theme park and a marine life park. It is divided into eight themed areas, each of which represents a part of the ocean. The attractions range from an enormous $50 million "5-D" cinema with a 1,500m² curved screen to a Dolphin Conservation Centre with an underwater viewing area.

Don't miss: The Parrot Coaster may have an underwhelming name, but it is an impressive Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster featuring three inversions, two tunnels and a top speed of 67 miles per hour.

19. Nagashima Spa Land

Location: Kuwana, Japan
2013 attendance: 5.84 million
2014 attendance: 5.63 million (down 3.6%)

Nagashima Spa Land

Nagashima Spa Land is home to a number of extreme thrill rides, as well as an adjoining water park. Like many of Japan's theme parks, it juts out into the sea, providing an impressive backdrop for its line-up of coasters and other attractions.

One of the park's biggest draws is the Aurora Wheel, an enormous ferris wheel that stands at an incredible 295 feet tall and offers views for miles around.

Don't miss: The enormous Steel Dragon 2000 roller coaster, which hits a top speed of 95 miles per hour and reaches a height of 318 feet.

18. Songcheng Park

Location: Hangzhou, China
2013 attendance: 4.20 million
2014 attendance: 5.81 million (up 38.3%)

Songcheng Park

"Cultural theme park" Songcheng Park is one of the most popular stops on tours of the provincial capital of Zhejiang in eastern China. It was founded in 1996, aiming to emulate an ancient city in the Song Dynasty.

Don't miss: By far the most popular attaction is live show Everlasting Love, which has welcomed some 30 million viewers so far. Performed in a 3,000-seater venue, it stars a cast of 400-500 people.

17. Universal Studios Hollywood

Location: Universal City, California, USA
2013 attendance: 6.15 million
2014 attendance: 6.82 million (up 11%)

Universal Studios Hollywood

The original movie studio theme park is still widely regarded as one of the best, and benefits from being attached to a world-class production facility. Universal Studios Hollywood first began offering tram tours of its backlot in 1964, building on walkthrough tours that started in the 1920s. Gradually, it installed additional attractions, culminating in the opening of a second "lot" in 1991.

The Upper and Lower Lots form two distinct sections of the park, which are joined by a series of escalators. Major attractions including Jurassic Park: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride and Transformers: The Ride - 3D can be found in the Lower Lot, while the Upper Lot hosts the famous Studio Tour.

Don't miss: The Studio Tour may have been running for decades, but it still offers a stunning experience. It effectively packs multiple attractions into one lengthy 45-minute ride, culminating in an impressive "4-D" encounter with King Kong.

16. Everland

Location: Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea
2013 attendance: 7.30 million
2014 attendance: 7.38 million (up 1.1%)


South Korea's largest theme park is operated by a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, and is also home to a zoo and a water park. Its attractions, which include several roller coasters, are spread across several themed lands, including European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure.

Among Everland's biggest draws are Mystery Mansion, a Haunted Mansion-style shoot-em-up ride, a log flume and the Zoo-Topia animal exhibit area. Predictably given its owner, the park also hosts several robot-themed rides.

Don't miss: T Express, one of the longest wooden roller coasters in the world at 5,838 feet.

15. Hong Kong Disneyland

Location: Hong Kong
2013 attendance: 7.40 million
2014 attendance: 7.50 million (up 1.4%)

Hong Kong Disneyland

Located on a patch of reclaimed land, Hong Kong Disneyland is based on the template of the original Disneyland in California. Guests enter via Main Street U.S.A., walking towards the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. From there, they can reach Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland, all of which feature attractions that will be familiar to fans of Disney's US parks. Toy Story Land hosts a handful of themed flat rides, while Grizzly Gulch is the park's first unique offering and is headlined by the impressive Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster.

Hong Kong Disneyland has struggled to meet its attendance targets, although visitors numbers have picked up in recent years. A major expansion plan was announced in 2009, with the first new land, Toy Story Land, opening in November 2011. A second, Grizzly Gulch, followed in 2012, with Mystic Point debuting in 2013. Unusually for a Disney park, all three new lands are located outside of the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad track.

Don't miss: Opened in 2013, Mystic Manor is a modern take on Disney's classic Haunted Mansion. Boasting a trackless ride system and cutting-edge special effects, it is the envy of Disney fans all over the world.

14. Lotte World

Location: Seoul, South Korea
2013 attendance: 7.40 million
2014 attendance: 7.79 million (up 4.2%)

Lotte World

Image: Yoshi

While it has sometimes been accused of borrowing a little too heavily from Disney's parks, South Korea's Lotte World is a hugely successful resort in its own right. It comprises the world's largest indoor theme park and a large outdoor park, based around a Disney-style castle.

The park hosts some impressive rides, including Pharoah's Fury, an enhanced motion vehicle ride that is similar in style to Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure. It even has its own Disneyesque mascots, Lotty and Lorry, a pair of anthropomorphic racoons.

Don't miss: Fantastic Odyssey, a water, fire, light and projection show that has been compared to Disney's Fantasmic!.

13. Ocean Park

Location: Hong Kong
2013 attendance: 7.48 million
2014 attendance: 7.79 million (up 4.2%)

Ocean Park

Despite growing competition from the expanding Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park remains the most popular theme park in Hong Kong. The park has continued to invest heavily in new rides and attractions in recent years, including a sprawling rainforest-themed area. This hosts a rapids ride through a jungle setting, along with an aviary and animal exhibits.

As its name suggests, Ocean Park is a SeaWorld-style hybrid of a theme park and a marine life centre. In 2011, the park opened Thrill Mountain, which features a Bolliger & Mabillard-built roller coaster, and another new land, Polar Adventure, debuted in 2012.

Don't miss: Hair Raiser, a steel floorless coaster that boasts four inversions.

12. Islands of Adventure

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
2013 attendance: 8.14 million
2014 attendance: 8.14 million

Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando's second theme park was something of a break in tradition for the chain, being the first Universal park not to be based around a movie studio. Instead, it aims to place visitors into the movies themselves, boasting six themed "islands" built around a central lagoon.

The park's popularity has soared since the 2010 debut of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which finally established Universal Orlando as a credible competitor to nearby Walt Disney World. An expansion of the land opened in 2014, adding a Hogwarts Express train that links it to a second Potter-themed land at neighbouring Universal Studios Florida.

Don't miss: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is widely regarded as one of the best theme park rides in the world, employing cutting-edge technology to bring J.K. Rowling's fictional world to life.

11. Universal Studios Florida

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
2012 attendance: 7.06 million
2013 attendance: 8.26 million (up 11%)

Universal Studios Florida

Universal's second theme park was the company's first to be designed from the ground-up as a tourist attraction. These days, not much production takes place at Universal Studios Florida, but it offers some of the most unique and original ride experiences anywhere in the world.

Spread across seven heavily-themed areas are impressive attractions such as hybrid coaster-dark ride Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride (superior to the Hollywood version), Shrek 4-D and towering musical coaster Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit.

The park received an enormous attendance boost in 2014 thanks to the debut of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.

Don't miss: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, a high tech roller coaster-dark ride hybrid that takes you deep into the vaults of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

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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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