My ‘best of the best’ for theme parks.

6 08 2009

Many people often debated what’s the best of the best at parks around the world. From the best attraction the best restaurant it gets talked about, especially now so many theme park websites are available on the world wide web. So, I decided I’d put down some of my best bits from theme parks, including justifications and runners up.

1. Best Theme Park: Disneyland

The original and still the best, Disneyland has it all. It has an abundance of attractions to meet the needs of all visitors from toddlers to OAP’s everyone will find something to do in the Anaheim CA park. For me it’s not just the attractions that make this park what it is, it’s the feel of the place, the history and just the atmosphere in the park.

Another great thing is you really get your money’s worth at the original Disney Park. I could spend a whole day in the park and throughly enjoy every minute of it. Compared to Magic Kingdom, where I’m bored after around four hours, that’s some feet. I don’t know what it is, there’s not much difference in the number of attractions. Maybe it’s just that Disneyland’s  attractions are of a higher standard than those found over at it’s sister park in Florida.

Runner-up: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Worth a mention: Tokyo DisneySea, Disneyland Parc Paris, Universal Island’s of Adventure

2. Best Theme Park Attraction: The Twlight Zone Tower of Terror

Now I know what all you theme park fans out there will be saying “Which Version of Tower?”. well, I’m much more of a fan of the version found at Disney’s California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. All the versions of the Tower are brilliant, from the modern-classic in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the breathtaking version in Tokyo DisneySea they all have the qualities that a classic Disney attraction should have. I just happen to like the look of the DCA/WDS Tower better as I like they style and the drop profile a lot more.

Runner-up: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man
Worth a mention: Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Journey to Atlantis

3. Best Theme-Park Restaurant: Hollywood Brown Derby

I like good service, I like good food and I love a golden-age Hollywood theme so for that reason the Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great choice for a place to eat your main meal of the day. Whilst the menu is small it’s got enough choice for everyone and because it isn’t a huge menu it doesn’t normally take too long for food to be served unlike in other restaurants of the same quality outside of the park.

It is a little expensive but the same can be said with most restaurants at theme parks. If you get a reservation for a good time then the Brown Derby can be well worth the money you pay and don’t forget you can also take advantage of the Brown Derby on the Walt Disney World dining plan, which is currently free if you book a avaction through Disney for 5 nights or more.

Runner-up: Mythos
Worth a mention: Walt’s, Blue Bayou, Le Cellier

4. Best Roller Coaster: Kraken (does not include heavily themed coasters)

I kept this category separate from best attraction as I believe coasters and themed attractions offer two different experiences and should be based on their own merits rather than as a whole.

Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando has it all, a great initial drop, some great inversions and the smooth ride we’ve become acustomed to on a B&M coaster. Just to add to the thrills it’s floorless so you get a great view all around you no matter where you sat in the car. Personally I prefer front row on Kraken however you can be the judge of where you like best as everyone is different.

Runner-up: Montu
Worth a mention: Griffon, Tatsu, Black Mamba (There’s thousands)

5. Best Nightime Spectacullar: Reflections of Earth: Illuminations

Usually a brides maid and never the bride this time EPCOT pick up an award for best nightime spectacular with their stunning show Illuminations. I can’t describe just how good this show is, it’s simply brilliant to watch and by far the best thing to see at night if you’re staying at Walt Disney World. The show can vary seasonally which is also great as it means going at different times of year can lead you to seeing various different shows.

Runner-up: Fantasmic!
Worth a mention: Magical!, Wishes, Shamu Rocks

6. Best theme park website: Theme Park Insider

Theme Park Insider wins this one for me, there is others I like just as much (see runner-up) but because this covers all spectrum’s of the theme park world whilst offering a plethora of advice TPI takes it for me. Editor Robert Niles has doen a great job building up the site over the years and has passed on many a useful tip as well as an interesting opinions on the goings on within the industry.

Runner-up: Studios Central
Worth a mention: WDSFans, WDWMagic,

7. Best Theme Park Podcast: WDW Today

There’s plenty of podcasts around relating to theme parks now and it is hard to say which one is the best but I’m going with WDW Today. What I like about the show is that it gives sound advice to listeners about Walt Disney World but also doesn’t itself too seriously. Panelists like to have a laugh and a joke, sometimes at their own expense, and it makes it interesting for the listener in comparison to a more serious podcast.

Runner-up: NETCOT

That’s all from me for now, I hope you found my list a good read and I hope you agreed with at least some of my selections. Feel free to leave your choices in the comments section or contact me.

M. Owen




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