10 Best Theme Parks in the World
Water parks, amusement parks, fairs, pleasure gardens. Whatever name you use, theme parks form the bedrock of a huge hunk of the global tourist trade. After all, for mindless thrills, what else offers such pure escape and childlike awe as a roller coaster, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, a water slide, a log flume or a gigantic mouse?
A lot of folks seem to agree, as the numbers attest. The ten top amusement park firms by attendance took in a grand total of 300 million visitors in 2010, with one in particular (you know which one) at almost half that figure alone.
Pacific Park, Santa Monica, California – Photo credit
Tokyo DisneySea lures a cool 12.5 million visitors per annum, cost over USD 4 billion and hit the 10 million customer mark faster than any other theme park in history.
Where to stay: Shiba Park Hotel Tokyo
One must, however, see both sides of the spectrum in metro Los Angeles and that includes a trip to Disneyland. The paragon gamechanger in the history of the theme park industry welcomes over 15 million visitors a year.
Where to stay: Anabella Hotel Anaheim
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
A Ferrari themed amusement park on Yas Island that covers an area of 30,080 acres with four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels including a campground, two spas and physical fitness centers and five golf courses. We love stats, so here are some good ones: The central park is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and is home to Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Where to stay: Yas Island Rotana Hotel Abu Dhabi
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
The Singaporeans know how to make a theme park that attracts both adults and children. They spent over $6.5 billion Singapore dollars building Resorts World, which includes one of city state’s two casinos, a Universal Studios theme park and Marine Life Park, which includes the world’s largest oceanarium.
Where to stay: Resorts World Sentosa Hard Rock Hotel Singapore
Wet’n'Wild Water World, Gold Coast
Gold Coast, Queensland, in some respects, is a giant theme park in and of itself. Wet’n'Wild Water World, however, is singular and the eighth most popular water park in the world.
Where to stay: Oceana On Broadbeach Apartments Gold Coast
Luna Park, Melbourne
The Tivoli of the Southern Hemisphere is, without question, Luna Park in Port Phillip Bay, St Kilda. The century-old park is home to the Scenic Railway, the elder statesman of the roller coaster world.
Where to stay: InterContinental Hotel Melbourne The Rialto
Pacific Park, Santa Monica
L.A. has scores of amusement, theme and water parks but we love the classic carnival and boardwalk atmosphere of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.
Where to stay: Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza
Everland, Yongin, South Korea
Samsung, that most august of South Korea chaebols, runs the ever-popular Everland in the city of Yongin in the Seoul National Capital Area.
Where to stay: Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel
Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista (Florida)
Close to 50 million people visit Walt Disney World Resort, a monster park outside of Orlando that is twice as big as Manhattan, every year. Magic Kingdom alone lures over 17 million people, which makes it by far the most popular theme park on the planet.
Where to stay: Waldorf Astoria Orlando Hotel
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Hong Kong has Hong Kong Disneyland but Ocean Park is the most popular theme park in the city by a slim margin, with 5 million visitors per annum.
Where to stay: L’hotel Island South Hong Kong