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The world’s best theme parks: our top 100

Home to roller coasters, thrill rides and branded attractions, discover the most exciting theme parks across the globe

Here at blooloop, we’ve been reporting on developments in the theme park business for over fifteen years. From destination resorts such as PortAventura and Disneyland to family-owned attractions like Phantasialand and Paultons Park, we have covered acquisitions, new attractions, business strategies and trends in the world’s major parks.

We have created this list of the world’s best theme parks based on a number of different factors. These include attendance figures, exciting rides and attractions, aesthetic appeal, unique theming and leading intellectual property (IP).

universal orlando wizarding world harry potter magical attractions

Major developers and operators to feature include Merlin Entertainments, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, OCT Group, SeaWorld and Fantawild Holdings. Read on to discover the world’s best theme parks on the planet, in no particular order.

Liseberg

liseberg coaster

Liseberg, Sweden’s leading amusement park and one of the top theme parks in the world, welcomed its first guests back in May 1923. Rides include Europe’s longest dive coaster and highest free-fall ride.

As part of the park’s 100th anniversary in 2023, Liseberg is opening a new themed area called Luna Park, as well as the Liseberg Grand Curiosa Hotel. The €110m Oceana Water World is due to launch in 2024. Liseberg enjoyed 2.95 million visits in 2019, pre-COVID.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

ferrari world abu dhabi

Located on Yas Island and opened in 2010, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the first-ever Ferrari-branded indoor theme park. Rides and attractions include the world’s fastest roller coaster.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is operated by Farah Experiences and owned by Miral, the company responsible for the development and management of Yas Island. Other parks on the island are Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.

Six Flags Mexico

six flags mexico top theme parks in latin america

Covering 110 acres in Mexico City’s Tlalpan forest, Six Flags Mexico is the top theme park in Latin America, according to visitor numbers.

Operated by Six Flags, the attraction welcomed 2,803,000 guests in 2019, pre-pandemic. CraZanity, the world’s tallest pendulum ride, launched at Six Flags Mexico last year. Six Flags Mexico first opened in 1982 as Reino Aventura.

Universal Studios Beijing

universal beijing

Universal Studios Beijing launched as part of Universal Beijing Resort in 2021. The destination also includes two hotels, as well as Universal CityWalk Beijing. The opening came after 20 years of planning and building work.

Universal Studios Beijing covers seven themed lands, including Universal’s first Kung Fu Panda land. Officials are already planning Universal Beijing’s second phase of construction

Legoland Deutschland

legoland deutschland

Also in our list of the best theme parks in the world is Legoland Deutschland. Opened in 2002 in Germany, Legoland Deutschland is part of Merlin Entertainments.

Located in Günzburg, the park boasts more than 55 million Lego bricks and 64 attractions. Rides include the Great Lego Race and Fire Dragon coasters. The resort is home to several themed hotels, including three Legoland Castles, and the Pirate Island Hotel. 

Animal Kingdom

disney animal kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth theme park is Animal Kingdom, opened in April 1998. The animal-inspired park features exotic animals, exciting attractions and elaborate stage shows across 500 acres. It is home to 1,500 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Highlights include an African safari, two Broadway-style musical shows based on Disney films, and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Additional lands are Africa, DinoLand U.S.A., Discovery Island and Asia.

Happy Valley Shenzhen

happy valley shenzhen

Happy Valley Shenzhen opened back in 1998 as OCT Group’s first Happy Valley park. Covering an area of 350,000 square metres, Happy Valley Shenzhen attracted nearly 4 million guests in 2019.

The theme park is spread across nine themed areas, one of which is the Playa Maya Water Park.

Dreamworld

dreamworld australia

Dreamworld is a theme park and zoo situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It boasts 50 rides and attractions, including Australia’s tallest and fastest thrill rides. Dreamworld is also home to Tiger Island, the world’s largest interactive tiger facility.

Dreamworld Corroboree is an interactive walk-through experience that celebrates indigenous culture and Australian wildlife. The park opened in December 1981.

Alton Towers

wicker man coaster alton towers

Located in the Staffordshire countryside, Alton Towers is part of the Merlin family. It opened in 1980 with Britain’s first double loop roller coaster, the Corkscrew. It is now the largest theme park in the UK, boasting 10 themed areas across 910 acres.

Alton Towers features more than 40 rides and attractions, including 10 record-breaking coasters. The park is part of a resort that includes three themed hotels.

Europa-Park

Europa-Park coaster

Europa-Park in Germany was founded in 1975 by Roland Mack and his father Franz. The family-owned destination, one of the world’s top theme parks, showcases many innovative rides designed and built by Mack Rides.

Europa-Park and the €180 million Rulantica water park are home to more than 100 attractions spread across themed lands representing different European nations and stories. The resort, which has six hotels, welcomed a record 5.7 million visitors in 2019 before the pandemic disrupted attendance.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

six flags discovery kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California features animal attractions and wildlife encounters, as well as more than 40 rides and attractions. Among these are 11 roller coasters such as Batman: The Ride, Superman Ultimate Flight, and The Joker.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s sister water park, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord, is located 20 miles away. The park, which became solar-powered in 2019, opened in 1968.

Wanda Nanchang Theme Park

wanda nanchang theme park

Wanda Nanchang opened in China’s Jiangxi province in May 2016, just weeks before the launch of Shanghai Disneyland.

Attractions at the 78-hectare theme park include the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in China. It was constructed by Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Group with an investment of $3.3 billion.

Happy Valley Beijing

happy valley beijing

Operated by OCT Group, Happy Valley Beijing is spread across 560,000 square metres. It opened to the public in July 2006, offering rides, attractions and performances.

Happy Valley Beijing has seven themed areas and more than 300,000 square metres of gardens. It is one of eight Happy Valley attractions in China, with OCT Group the largest theme park developer and operator in China.

Parque Xcaret

xplor park grupo xcaret

Owned by Grupo Xcaret, Xcaret Park features more than 40 attractions amid jungles, caves and underground rivers. It is located in Riviera Maya, a tourism and resort district south of Cancun, Mexico. Grupo Xcaret’s park portfolio includes Xplor, Xenotes, Xoximilco, Xenses, Xel-ha and Xavage.

The 200-acre destination opened back in 1991 after founder Miguel Quintana Pali purchased 12 acres of land and transformed it. In 2019, the park attracted 1,960,000 guests.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

six flags magic mountain

Opened in 1971, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California is a 260-acre park with 19 coasters – more than any other theme park in the world. It also boasts the tallest, fastest and steepest coasters in the world, as well as 100 rides, attractions and games.

Wonder Woman Flight of Courage is launching in summer 2022 as the park’s 20th roller coaster. It will be the tallest and longest single-rail coaster on the planet.

SeaWorld San Diego

seaworld san diego

Opened in 1964, SeaWorld San Diego is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Rides include Emperor, the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in California, as well as the Electric Eel and Manta multi-launch coasters. Family-friendly offerings include Tentacle Twirl and Sea Dragon Drop.

In 2021, SeaWorld San Diego launched its inaugural Howl-O-Scream event for Halloween.

Drayton Manor

drayton manor

Drayton Manor is a theme park and zoo in Staffordshire, UK. The 180-acre attraction is now owned by the Looping Group. It was previously owned and run by the Bryan family. Drayton Manor opened in 1950 and now welcomes around 1.5 million visitors every year.

The park is launching a new ‘Vikings’ area in spring 2022 with the ‘Thor’ and ‘Loki’ thrill rides. In 2021, Drayton Manor opened a new nautical-themed area called Adventure Cove, which was the first investment phase from Looping Group. Highlights include family-friendly rides such as Flying Dutchman and Accelerator, and the Shockwave and Stormforce 10 roller coasters.

PortAventura Park

portaventura world

PortAventura Park is part of PortAventura World Parks & Resort, which also includes Ferrari Land and Caribe Aquatic Park. The resort is one of the largest leisure destinations in Europe and has enjoyed more than 90 million visits since opening in 1995. Located close to Barcelona, PortAventura features world-class rides and attractions. Attendance in 2019 was 3.75 million.

In 2021, PortAventura World opened the world’s first LaLiga-themed restaurant, called LaLiga TwentyNine’s

Magic Kingdom

Disney Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida opened in October 1971. Disney’s first theme park in Florida boasts six themed lands – Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

The park is home to famous rides and attractions such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world”, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion.

Sesame Place

sesame place

Until 2022, Sesame Place was the only theme park in the US dedicated to the award-winning TV show Sesame Street. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 14-acre attraction features more than 28 rides, shows, games and activities.

SeaWorld has been Sesame Workshop’s exclusive theme park partner in the US since the launch of Sesame Place in 1980. 

China Dinosaurs Park

china dinosaurs park

This dino-themed park is sometimes referred to as China Dinosaurs Land. Opened back in September 2000, the theme park is brimming with thrilling rides, prehistoric attractions, and a museum.

In 2019, Super 78 launched an immersive dark ride called Dino Tour at China Dinosaurs Park. In the same year, the park welcomed 4.4 million visitors, making it one of the top theme parks in the world in terms of attendance.

Tokyo Disneyland

tokyo disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland, part of Tokyo Disney Resort, opened in April 1983. Spread across an area of 51 hectares, Tokyo Disneyland is divided into seven themed lands. The largest expansion in the park’s history launched in September 2020 and covers Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Toontown.

In 2019, 17.9 million people visited Tokyo Disneyland.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

warner bros world abu dhabi

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, also on Yas Island, is home to rides, attractions and shows across six immersive lands. It is the world’s largest indoor theme park, covering 1.65 million square feet.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi first welcomed guests in July 2018, offering an immersive experience that brings to life some of the company’s most popular characters. The WB Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Warner Bros. hotel, was opened on Yas Island by Miral in 2021.

Chimelong Paradise

chimelong paradise

Chimelong Paradise, owned by the Chimelong Group, was founded by Su Zhigang in 2006 as the company’s first theme park. It’s just one element of Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort. Additional offerings include Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong Safari and International Circus.

The park welcomed 4.9 million guests in 2019.

Six Flags Great America

six flags great america

Six Flags Great America, which opened in 1976, can be found between Chicago and Milwaukee. The theme park is home to 17 roller coasters, a 20-acre Hurricane Harbor water park and more than 30 family-friendly rides.

Six Flags has owned and operated the park since 1984. It was originally opened as Marriott’s Great America. Six Flags Great America launched a new DC Universe area in 2022. The water park opened an innovative water coaster called Tsunami Surge in 2021.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

busch gardens williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a top European-themed park featuring world-class coasters, thrill rides, family-friendly attractions and entertainment.

Pantheon, the fastest multi-launch coaster in North America, made its debut in March 2022. The Intamin ride joins the Verbolten launch coaster and Griffon, the world’s tallest dive coaster. Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened to the public in 1975.

Legoland New York

legoland new york

Situated on 150 acres in New York’s Hudson Valley, Legoland New York opened in 2021 and is the third Legoland theme park in the US. It features seven themed lands with 15,000 Lego models made from 30 million Lego bricks. Legoland New York Resort also includes the Legoland Hotel.

The park is home to the exclusive and state-of-the-art Lego Factory Adventure Ride, created in partnership with Holovis and ETF Ride Systems.

Universal Studios Florida

universal studios florida

Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort is owned and operated by Comcast NBCUniversal. It is home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, as well as rides including Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Simpsons Ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Revenge of the Mummy.

The theme park, which made its debut in June 1990, will soon be joined at Universal Orlando by Epic Universe. Universal’s largest theme park in the US will feature a Super Nintendo World.

Paultons Park

Tornado Springs Paultons Park

Paultons Park is located on the edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire, UK. The theme park includes more than 70 rides and attractions, from thrill rides and coasters to family-friendly attractions and play areas. It also boasts the only Peppa Pig World in the UK.

Paultons Park has been owned and run by the Mancey family since it opened its gates in 1983. In 2021, it launched a multi-million pound land called Tornado Springs, which features eight rides and experiences. The £1.5m Farmyard Flyer, an aeroplane-themed coaster for younger visitors, opened in 2022.

Puy du Fou

puy du fou

Created in 1978, Puy du Fou is a unique concept in our compilation of the top theme parks in the world. The historical theme park in Les Epesses, France started life as a standalone performance called Le Cinéscénie. Now home to world-class shows and immersive experiences, Puy du Fou features four period villages, six themed hotels and 22 restaurants.

Puy du Fou España opened in Toledo in 2019. The operator is also set to open a new show concept called Saga in Shanghai in 2022, and is developing a new park in China. Puy du Fou’s first show in the US will be located in Tennessee. 

Zhengzhou Fantawild Adventure

zhengzhou fantawild adventure

Zhengzhou Fantawild Adventure is one of the parks on offer at Zhengzhou Fantawild Resort in China. It opened in 2012 and is owned by Fantawild Holdings, a culture and technology theme park developer and operator.

In 2019, the theme park hosted more than 3.8 million visitors.

Everland

everland

Launched in 1976, Everland is based in Seoul, South Korea. It is the country’s largest theme park, with five themed zones – Global Fair, ZooTopia, European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure. Everland also features a water park called Caribbean Bay.

In 2019, 6.6 million people visited the attraction.

Motiongate Dubai

motiongate dubai

Opened in 2016 as part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, Motiongate Dubai is the largest Hollywood-inspired theme park in the Middle East. Home to 27 rides and attractions, Motiongate Dubai covers 1.9 million square feet. It boasts four zones, which are Lionsgate, Smurfs, DreamWorks Animation and Columbia Pictures.

The Lionsgate zone has expanded, adding two new roller coasters based on John Wick and Now You See Me.

Shanghai Disneyland

shanghai disney

Operated by Disney parks, experiences and products and Shanghai Shendi Group, Shanghai Disneyland opened to the public in June 2016. The destination is located in Pudong and is part of Shanghai Disney Resort.

Additional offerings at the resort including the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel, and the Disneytown shopping and dining district. Shanghai Disneyland is expanding with its eighth themed land, an immersive Zootopia zone.

Six Flags Great Adventure

six flags great adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure is a 510-acre destination in New Jersey. This top theme park is home to the Jersey Devil Coaster, the longest, fastest and tallest single-rail roller coaster in the world.

Opened in 1974, this Six Flags location features award-winning rides such as Kingda Ka, El Toro, Nitro and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is one of the largest water parks in the Northeastern United States, offering more than 25 attractions.

Silver Dollar City

silver dollar city

Located in the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri, Silver Dollar City is an 1880s-style park with 40 rides and attractions. It also includes world-class festivals and events.

Record-breaking coasters are on offer at the theme park, water attractions can be found at White Water, and cruises are available aboard the Showboat Branson Belle. Silver Dollar City opened on 1 May 1960. 

Epcot

disney world epcot

Opened in October 1982 at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot features various attractions, shows and performances.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a family-friendly roller coaster opening at Epcot in 2022. Part of the theme park’s ongoing transformation, it is Epcot’s first coaster, and boasts the first reverse launch for a Disney coaster. New attractions at Epcot also include the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride.

Efteling

efteling

Since opening in the Netherlands in 1952, Efteling has grown to become one of the largest theme parks in Europe.

In addition to the park, Efteling offers two hotels and two holiday villages, and is opening another hotel in 2024. It will be the largest hotel within the Dutch theme park and is part of the ‘World of Efteling 2030’ expansion. The attraction welcomed 5.4 million visitors in 2019.

Legoland Billund

legoland billund lego movie world

Legoland Billund in Denmark is the world’s first Legoland theme park, opened in 1968. It started out as a train ride circling the first-ever Miniland, which is now a key feature at all nine Legoland parks.

In 2021, Legoland Billund opened the Lego Movie World expansion, which boasts three rides, including the first flying theatre attraction in Scandinavia. Operated by Merlin Entertainments, the park enjoyed nearly two million visitors in 2019.

Lotte World

lotte world adventure

Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea, is operated by Lotte Group. The park’s indoor area, Lotte World Adventure, offers family rides and attractions. The outdoor element, Magic Island, is home to thrill rides and roller coasters.

Legacy Entertainment celebrated a 10-year partnership with Lotte World in September 2021. Lotte World is also expanding to Busan with a 25-acre outdoor theme park.

Hong Kong Disneyland

hong kong disneyland

Located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland is a 310-acre theme park with seven themed lands and three hotels. It opened in 2005 and is owned and managed by Hong Kong International Theme Parks.

In 2019, pre-Covid, it attracted 5,695,000 guests. Seven themed lands form Hong Kong Disneyland, which is still one of the world’s top theme parks, despite being Disney’s smallest.

Beto Carrero World

beto carrero world

Beto Carrero World, the largest theme park in Latin America, is separated into nine themed areas. Opened in 1991, the park is home to more than 100 attractions, from thrill rides and coasters to live shows and amusement rides.

Beto Carrero World is located in Penha, a municipality in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The attraction welcomed 2,241,000 guests in 2019.

Legoland Malaysia

legoland malaysia

Part of Legoland Malaysia Resort, this theme park boasts more than 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions for families and kids.

Legoland Malaysia is made up of eight themed lands, from Lego City to Lego Ninjago World. It opened in September 2012. Other offerings at the resort are Legoland Water Park and the SEA LIFE Aquarium.

Six Flags Over Georgia

six flags over georgia

Home to more than 40 rides and attractions, including 12 roller coasters and the seven-acre Hurricane Harbor water park, Six Flags Over Georgia opened in 1967. The park’s renovated triple looping coaster, the Riddler Mindbender, debuted in 2021.

Nearby, Six Flags White Water boasts more than 24 state-of-the-art waterslides.

SeaWorld San Antonio

seaworld san antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas offers animal encounters, rides and attractions across 416 acres. The park opened in 1988 and is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Highlights include Texas Stingray, the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in Texas.

The world’s tallest and fastest ‘screaming swing’ ride, Tidal Surge, is launching in 2022. 

Kings Island

banshee kings island

Home to more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, Kings Island in Mason, Ohio is another park in Cedar Fair’s portfolio. Guests can experience 15 roller coasters, including the world’s longest wooden coaster, The Beast, which is set to break its own record in 2022.

Other coasters at the 364-acre amusement park include Banshee, Diamondback and Mystic Timbers. Meanwhile, Kings Island’s Soak City Water Park features more than 50 attractions, including 36 waterslides. 

Disneyland Park

indiana jones adventure disneyland

Part of Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland opened as the original Disney theme park in July 1955. It is indisputably one of the top theme parks in the world and its debut introduced a new concept in family entertainment, launching today’s theme park industry.

Disneyland’s nine themed lands include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is home to Rise of the Resistance – one of the most ambitious and advanced experiences that Walt Disney Imagineering has ever created. Highlights also include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Splash Mountain.

Chessington World of Adventures

chessington croc drop

Chessington World of Adventures, part of the Merlin Entertainments family, opened in 1931 as Chessington Zoo. The attraction in Surrey later launched as a theme park and zoo in 1987.

Chessington World of Adventures Resort includes a theme park with more than 40 rides and attractions. The zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals. In 2021, Chessington opened a multi-million pound drop tower ride called Croc Drop, its first new ride since 2013.

Parc Astérix

parc asterix

Parc Astérix launched in 1989 and was one of the first theme parks to join Compagnie des Alpes. Inspired by the comic book series by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, the attraction is home to themed attractions, shows and lands.

Parc Astérix has welcomed more than 50 million guests to date. It attracted more than two million visitors in 2019, making it France’s busiest non-Disney theme park.

Canada’s Wonderland

canadas wonderland

Canada’s Wonderland has been entertaining guests in Ontario since 1981. Located in Vaughan, the amusement park boasts more than 200 attractions, including 17 coasters, two children’s areas, and a 20-acre water park called Splash Works.

Canada’s Wonderland is owned and operated by Cedar Fair, which rejected SeaWorld’s $3.4bn takeover offer in February 2022.

Six Flags New England

six flags new england

Six Flags New England, located in western Massachusetts, has more than 100 rides, shows and attractions. It also features New England’s biggest water park, Hurricane Harbor.

Spread over more than 200 acres, Six Flags New England also features 12 roller coasters, as well as a 500,000-gallon wave pool. It opened in 1870, making it the oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

ocean park hong kong

Ocean Park opened in Hong Kong in January 1977. It is in the process of repositioning itself as a holiday resort and educational destination.

In 2021, Ocean Park issued an invitation to bidders to join the first round of the tender process for its HK$6.8bn ($876m) overhaul. Operated by Ocean Park Corporation, the attraction’s HK$4bn ($513m) Water World expansion launched in September 2021. In 2019, 5.7 million people visited Ocean Park, making it one of the top theme parks in the world.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

img worlds of adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure occupies more than 1.5 million square feet in Dubai. It is owned by IMG Group and offers themed lands featuring Cartoon Network and Marvel brands.

Until the launch of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi in 2018, IMG Worlds of Adventure was the world’s largest indoor theme park. The park has roller coasters, thrill rides and family-friendly attractions.

Cedar Point

Steel Vengeance Cedar Fair

Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, Ohio, offers 70 rides. These include the family-friendly Snake River Expedition, as well as thrilling coasters such as Steel Vengeance and Millennium Force. Highlights include beach activities, live shows, three areas for children and overnight hotels.

Cedar Point, which opened in 1870, is Cedar Fair’s flagship amusement park. In 2019, Cedar Fair announced its acquisition of the Sawmill Creek Resort, which is close to Cedar Point.

Universal Studios Hollywood

universal studios hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie and TV-inspired theme park that brings the magic of Hollywood to life. Opened in 1964, it has remained one of the top theme parks in the world.

Universal Studios Hollywood features world-class rides, attractions and events, including The Simpsons Ride in the Springfield area, Jurassic World – The Ride, and Halloween Horror Nights. The first Super Nintendo World in the US is set to launch in 2023 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal Parks & Resorts is a unit of Comcast NBCUniversal.

Legoland Windsor

legoland windsor dragon coaster

Legoland Windsor in Berkshire is operated by Merlin Entertainments. The theme park offers more than 55 rides and attractions, and the resort includes two hotels.

In 2021, Legoland Windsor launched the £20m Lego Mythica land, which is home to the UK’s first flying theatre ride, Flight of the Sky Lion. Lego Mythica is the biggest investment in the park since it opened to the public in 1996. 

Tivoli Gardens

tivoli

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark opened back in August 1843. The amusement park is home to rides, attractions, entertainment, restaurants and gardens. Rides include the Star Flyer, Golden Tower and Vertigo, as well as the Rutschebanen wooden coaster.

In 2019, Tivoli Gardens enjoyed 4.58 million visits. Walt Disney famously travelled to Tivoli Gardens for inspiration.

Disneyland Park

disneyland park paris

Disneyland Park is the flagship theme park at the Disneyland Paris resort, which also includes Walt Disney Studios Park, seven themed hotels and the Disney Village.

Disneyland Park opened in France in 1992. It is spread across five themed lands, home to magical shows, rides, attractions and parades. Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022. In 2019, the park attracted nearly 10 million visitors.

Nagashima Resort

nagashima spa land

Previously known as Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima Resort opened back in 1966. The Kuwana-based attraction boasts roller coasters, thrill rides, family attractions and a water park.

Nearly 6 million people went to the park in 2019, before attendance took a hit amid the pandemic. 

Legoland Japan

legoland japan

Legoland Japan launched in Nagoya in 2017. It is the first Legoland park in Japan, and was the second to launch in Asia after Legoland Malaysia. Legoland Japan Resort includes a theme park and hotel.

Merlin Entertainments invested approximately one-third of the funds for Legoland Japan. Family-friendly rides, interactive attractions and Lego experiences are available at the destination.

Global Village

global village dubai

With shopping, dining and entertainment, Global Village in Dubai is a multicultural festival park. It features 3,500 retail outlets, more than 300 F&B outlets, and 40,000 shows every season.

The destination, which covers 1.6 million square metres, also houses 160 rides, games and arcades. It launched in 1997 with “around 18 kiosks”, according to Bader Anwahi, CEO at Global Village.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

six flags fiesta texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas boasts more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. It opened in 1992 and was built on the site of an old limestone quarry. Coasters include Batman: The Ride and Superman Krypton Coaster.

Set to launch at the theme park in summer 2022 is the world’s steepest dive roller coaster, Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger. It is a custom-designed coaster created by Bolliger & Mabillard. 

Peppa Pig Theme Park

peppa pig theme park

Opened in February 2022, the world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park is located adjacent to Legoland Florida. Rides include a family-friendly coaster experience for kids called Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster, as well as Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride, which has accessible ride vehicles.

The new park, operated by Merlin Entertainments, also offers themed play areas, character shows, an indoor cinema, and loads of ‘muddy puddles’. It is designed to be the ultimate theme park for preschoolers, and is a Certified Autism Center (CAC).

Kings Dominion

kings dominion

Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia offers 400 acres of family fun, with more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, as well as a 20-acre water park, Soak City, which is home to waterslides, wave pools and cabanas.

The theme park features 13 roller coasters, including Intimidator 305 and Twisted Timbers. Its new attractions in 2022 include Jungle X-Pedition, an immersive area with a new coaster.

Gardaland

gardaland

Part of Merlin Entertainments since 2006, Gardaland in Italy features roller coasters, water rides, dark rides and themed attractions across 64 acres. Founded in 1975, Gardaland attracts nearly three million visitors annually.

Resort offerings include the new Legoland Water Park, the SEA LIFE Aquarium and the three hotels. In 2022, Gardaland opened the world’s first Jumanji  ride, as well as four Jumanji-themed rooms at the Gardaland Hotel.

Ningbo Fantawild Oriental Heritage

ningbo fantawild oriental heritage

Ningbo Fantawild Oriental Heritage is a technology-driven theme park in Hangzhou Bay New Zone. It launched in 2016 with state-of-the-art offerings such as lasers and special effects.

Fantawild Holdings’ theme park brands include Fantawild Adventure, Fantawild Dreamland, Fantawild Oriental Heritage and Fantawild Water Park. In 2019, Ningbo Fantawild Oriental Heritage enjoyed more than 3.5 million visitors.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

busch gardens tampa bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a theme park in Tampa, Florida, owned and operated by SeaWorld. It features thrill rides, animal encounters and live entertainment. The park, which opened in 1959, is home to nearly 12,000 animals.

The world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster, Iron Gwazi, opened at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in March 2022. Across the street is the Adventure Island water park. 

Carowinds

carowinds

Carowinds, also owned and operated by Cedar Fair, boasts more than 60 world-class rides, a water park, live entertainment and special events.

Located in both North Carolina and South Carolina, the 400-acre theme park is home to Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster. The 26-acre water park, Carolina Harbor, features waterslides, wave pools and a three-acre children’s play area.

Legoland California

legoland california

Legoland California is part of the Legoland California Resort, which also includes the SEA LIFE Aquarium, Legoland Water Park, Legoland Hotel and Legoland Castle Hotel. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments and includes more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, including the new Lego Movie World land.

The theme park, which opened in 1999, includes a cutting-edge Lego Ninjago ride, the Dragon Coaster and Driving School, and more than 30,000 Lego models made from more than 60 million Lego bricks. Set to launch in 2022 is a new Ferrari attraction, which features technology that has never been used at any other Legoland park in the world. 

Universal Studios Singapore

universal studios singapore

Universal Studios Singapore can be found at Resorts World Sentosa, an integrated resort (IR) on Sentosa Island. The only Universal park in Southeast Asia is home to 24 rides, shows and attractions.

The destination is set to expand with the addition of Minion Park and Super Nintendo World, which launched at Universal Studios Japan in spring 2021. In 2019, 4.5 million people visited the theme park.

Happy Valley Chengdu

happy valley chengdu

Launched in January 2009, Happy Valley Chengdu was the OCT Group’s third Happy Valley location. It came after theme parks in Beijing and Shenzhen, and is now one of eight Happy Valley attractions and one of the top theme parks in the world.

Before the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, Happy Valley Chengdu attracted more than 3.5 million guests.

Legoland Florida

legoland florida

Legoland Florida is part of a resort that includes a water park and three themed hotels. It is also adjacent to the world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park. Legoland Florida, which launched in 2011, boasts more than 50 rides, shows and attractions.

The world’s first Lego Movie World land opened at the park in 2019. Legoland Florida is operated by Merlin, a leader in location-based family entertainment.

Hersheypark

hersheypark candymonium

Hersheypark in Pennsylvania was originally created by chocolatier Milton S. Hershey as leisure grounds for employees of the chocolate factory. Now, the 121-acre theme park boasts more than 50 rides, from thrilling coasters to classic family rides.

The $150m Hershey’s Chocolatetown expansion opened at Hersheypark in 2020. The 23-acre land marked the largest investment in Hershey’s history. It is home to Candymonium, the tallest, fastest, and longest coaster at Hersheypark.

Bollywood Parks Dubai

bollywood parks dubai

Also part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, which features Motiongate Dubai and Legoland Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai made its debut in 2016. It is the first theme park of its kind in the world, featuring six immersive zones based on Bollywood films.

Operator DXB Entertainments revealed plans to add 10 new rides to Bollywood Parks Dubai in November 2020.

Six Flags Over Texas

six flags over texas batman ride

Six Flags Over Texas, opened in 1961, offers more than 100 rides, shows and attractions across 10 themed areas. These include 14 world-class roller coasters such as New Texas Giant and Titan.

In 2022, Six Flags Over Texas is opening a state-of-the-art attraction called Pirates of Speelunker Cave, as well as its 15th coaster, Aquaman: Power Wave. In 2019, the park opened the world’s largest loop coaster, El Diablo.

Disney California Adventure Park

disneyland avengers campus marvel

Disney California Adventure joined Disneyland Park at the resort in California in 2001, also becoming one of the top theme parks in the world. It features Cars Land and Pixar Pier, as well as Avengers Campus. The new Marvel-themed land is home to an animatronic Spider-Man flying through the air and Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy rides.

Since 1955, Disneyland Resort has welcomed more than 800 million guests.

Phantasialand

phantasialand

Germany’s Phantasialand opened to the public back in 1967. The family-owned theme park in Brühl attracted more than two million visitors in 2019.

Rides and attractions include the Chiapas log flume and the Maus Au Chocolat dark ride. Coasters include Taron and Raik, as well as the world’s longest flying coaster, called F.L.Y. Phantasialand also features two themed hotels.

Kennywood

kennywood

Founded as a trolley park in 1898, Kennywood is an amusement park near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. It boasts thrill rides and classic attractions, including eight coasters, water rides, dark rides and the family-friendly Kiddieland.

Kennywood was named a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Until it was purchased by Parques Reunidos, Kennywood was a family-owned theme park.

SeaWorld Orlando

seaworld orlando

SeaWorld Orlando is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, one of the world’s top theme park and entertainment companies. SeaWorld Orlando, which opened in Florida in 1973, features various rides and roller coasters.

Its latest coaster, Ice Breaker, launched in 2022. It is one of 11 new rides and attractions launching at 10 SeaWorld theme parks in 2022. SeaWorld’s water park, Aquatica, boasts wave pools and thrilling slides. Discovery Cove is SeaWorld Orlando’s sister theme park.

Chimelong Ocean Kingdom

chimelong ocean kingdom

This Hengqin, Zhuhai-based theme park, designed by PGAV Destinations, opened to visitors in March 2014. With rides, shows and animal exhibits available in eight themed zones, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is part of Chimelong International Ocean Resort.

The destination is owned by Chimelong Group. It attracted 11.7 million guests in 2019, pre-pandemic. The resort’s second phase involves opening the Zhuhai Chimelong Marine Science Park.

Legoland Dubai

legoland dubai

Part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park launched in 2016. With the addition of the region’s first Legoland Hotel, the destination will become Legoland Dubai Resort.

Operated by DXB Entertainments, the water park and theme park boast 60 interactive rides, waterslides, building experiences and shows. The hotel will have more than 1,300 rooms.

Knott’s Berry Farm

knotts berry farm

Located in California, Knott’s Berry Farm is a popular theme park that started out as a small berry farm. The attraction is now home to world-class roller coasters, family-friendly rides and interactive experiences.

Additional offerings include an 1800s Ghost Town, as well as the Knott’s Soak City Waterpark and Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. The park, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, opened in 1920. Knott’s Berry Farm is operated by Cedar Fair.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Hagrid motorbike coaster orlando theme parks reopen.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is part of Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. The theme park opened in 1999 and is home to world-class rides and attractions such as Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Jurassic World VelociCoaster.

Lands include Jurassic Park and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Universal Orlando also offers the Volcano Bay water park.

Thorpe Park

thorpe park swarm

Thorpe Park, owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments, opened in 1979. Located in Surrey, the theme park is home to more than 30 rides, including the fastest coaster in the UK. Thorpe Park also features roller coasters inspired by The Walking Dead and SAW.

Additionally, Merlin is planning a new coaster for the attraction, which will be its first since The Swarm launched in 2012.

Walt Disney Studios Park

disneyland paris ratatouille

Walt Disney Studios Park became the second gate at Disneyland Paris in March 2002. Its rides and attractions include the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and a Ratatouille-themed dark ride that has also launched at Epcot in Florida.

Walt Disney Studios Park has started building its new Frozen-inspired land, and the Marvel-themed Avengers Campus expansion is opening in 2022.

Universal Studios Japan

super nintendo world universal studios japan

Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, made its debut in 2001. It features lands and attractions based on Harry Potter IP, as well as Jurassic Park and Minions.

Universal Studios Japan is the first Universal theme park in the world to include a Super Nintendo World, launched in March 2021. The land is adding the world’s first Donkey Kong-themed area. In 2019, before the pandemic took its toll on attendance, Universal Studios Japan welcomed 14.5 million visitors. 

Parque Warner Madrid

parque warner madrid

Operated by Parque Reunidos since 2007, Parque Warner Madrid in Spain opened in 2002. The attraction was built in partnership with Six Flags and operated as Warner Bros Movie World between 2002 and 2004.

Parque Warner Madrid covers more than 70 hectares. It is home to 34 attractions, 10 shops and 28 F&B outlets. Warner Beach, an adjacent water park, opened in 2014. It is the first Warner Bros.-themed water park in the world.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

tower of terror disney's hollywood studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened in May 1989 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Rides include Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash and Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre expansion, launched at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019. The land is home to two major attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Six Flags America

six flags america harley quinn spinsanity

Six Flags America can be found near Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Featuring more than 100 rides, games, shows and attractions, the Six Flags park also boasts the Hurricane Harbor water park.

Its latest attraction, Harley Quinn Spinsanity, launched in 2021. The oversized pendulum ride reaches speeds of up to 70mph. The park opened back in 1974.

Window of the World

window of the world shenzhen

Window of the World was a joint collaboration between China Tourism Group and OCT Group. The park in Shenzhen, China features eight lands. Attractions include shows, rides and recreations of famous global locations.

In 2019, close to four million visitors walked through the gates.

Tokyo DisneySea

tokyo disneysea

Launched in September 2001, Tokyo DisneySea is Tokyo Disney Resort’s second park. The 49-hectare attraction boasts seven themed ports, all offering rides, entertainment, shopping and F&B.

Tokyo DisneySea’s eighth port, Fantasy Springs, is launching in 2023 with three themed areas based on Frozen, Peter Pan and Tangled. Rapunzel’s Tower, Neverland and Arendelle Castle will all feature. One of the top theme parks in the world, Tokyo DisneySea attracted a whopping 14.6 million guests in 2019.

Dollywood

dollywood firechaser express

Dollywood, a 160-acre theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is jointly owned by Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. Opened in 1986, the attraction is home to award-winning shows, as well as 40 world-class rides and attractions.

In 2021, Dollywood announced the HeartSong Lodge & Resort, the first project in a $500m investment plan over the next decade.

Warner Bros. Movie World

warner bros movie world

Found on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Warner Bros. Movie World has attracted millions of visitors since it opened in 1991. The theme park boasts rides, roller coasters, parades and attractions.

The biggest individual theme park attraction ever built on the Gold Coast, the DC Rivals HyperCoaster, launched in 2017. It is the longest, highest and fastest coaster in the Southern Hemisphere. Warner Bros. Movie World is operated by Village Roadshow Theme Parks.

Heide Park

heide park

Heide Park can be found in Soltau. North Germany’s largest amusement park was founded in 1978 by Hans-Jürgen Tiemann on the site of a former wildlife park.

Now owned by Merlin Entertainments, Heide Park welcomed 1.7 million visitors in 2019. Thrill rides include Colossos – Kampf der Giganten, Flug der Dämonen, Scream, Krake, Limit, Desert Race and Big Loop. Family-friendly experiences include Peppa Pig Land.

Sesame Place San Diego

sesame place san diego

Another SeaWorld theme park is Sesame Place San Diego, which opened to the public in 2022. The first Sesame Place location on the West Coast features 18 family-friendly rides and attractions.

The 17-acre park features an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood with the iconic 123 Stoop, as well as an award-winning parade, family-friendly roller coaster, wave pool and lazy river.

Puy du Fou España

puy du fou espana

Puy du Fou España launched with the ‘El Sueño de Toledo’ nighttime show in 2019. The full 30-hectare park debuted in 2021 with four daytime shows inspired by Spanish history, as well as four period villages.

The shows feature spectacular sets and impressive special effects and stunts. The ‘El Sueño de Toledo’ show takes audiences through 1,500 years of history.

California’s Great America

californias great america

Found in Santa Clara, California’s Great America is owned by Cedar Fair. It opened back in 1976, and is now home to thrill rides and coasters, live entertainment and the South Bay Shores water park. More than 60 rides feature at the theme park.

Cedar Fair, one of the world’s largest regional amusement park operators, acquired California’s Great America in 2006.

Futuroscope

futuroscope

Futuroscope was the first amusement park to open in France back in 1987. The attraction welcomes nearly 2 million visitors every year and features more than 40 attractions. The park’s first roller coaster, Objectif Mars, opened in 2020. Additional offerings include Futuropolis, a city of the future for children.

Futuroscope became part of Compagnie des Alpes in 2011. Futuroscope’s second theme park, known as Futuroscope 2, is set to launch in 2025.

Sea World

sea world australia

Sea World, operated by Village Roadshow Theme Parks, is Australia’s leading marine park. It covers 55 acres of land on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Opened in 1971, Sea World offers animal interactions with dolphins, seals and sharks, as well as animal exhibits, rides, and presentations and shows. Village Roadshow also operates Wet ‘n’ Wild, Paradise Country and the Australian Outback Spectacular.

Ghibli Park

studio ghibli theme park

Ghibli Park, Japan’s new Studio Ghibli theme park, is such big news that it’s the only theme park to make this list before actually opening. It is already on track to become one of the top theme parks in the world.

Ghibli Park’s lands and attractions are inspired by anime classics including My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Three of its five themed lands are due to launch in November 2022, with the remaining two opening in March 2024.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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