Six Flags Magic Mountain named Best Amusement Park

Readers voted Valencia park to the top

The United States is home to more than 400 amusement parks and attractions attracting some 375 million visitors annually, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. That's an overwhelming number of options when faced with planning that perfect family vacation. 

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
    Valencia, Calif.

    For roller coaster lovers, it doesn't get much better than Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park boasts the world's largest lineup of coasters – 19 of them – including some rather inventive offerings and record-breakers. Stars of the heart-pumping ride list include The New Revolution Galactic Attack, the first giant looping mixed reality roller coaster in the world, and Twisted Colossus, the world's longest hybrid coaster. Record-breaking CraZanity is set to debut in 2018.
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain

  • Cedar Point
    Sandusky, Ohio

    Located on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point bills itself as "the roller coaster capital of the world" with 18 thrilling coasters covering 10 miles of track (out of more than 70 total rides). The 364-acre park has a history dating back to 1870, making it the second oldest continually operated amusement park on the continent, and it's managed to maintain that classic park feel, complete with 3 miles of midway and one of the only operating D.C. Muller carousels in the world. 
    Photo courtesy of Cedar Point

  • Six Flags Great Adventure
    Jackson, N.J.

    Six Flags Great Adventure is home of the world's tallest steel roller coaster, Kinda Ka, as well as Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, the world's tallest and fastest drop ride. The park boasts around a dozen coasters in all, plus a slew of tamer rides and attractions, Looney Toons character meet-and-greets, live stage shows and a 350-acre safari park with 1,200 animal residents. The park is set to become the world's first fully solar-powered theme park.
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Entertainment

  • Silver Dollar City
    Branson, Mo.

    Stepping into Silver Dollar City is like stepping back to an 1880s mining town. Covering over 100 acres, the park is the largest family-owned amusement park in the nation, attracting some two million visitors annually with its combination of on-park entertainment, festivals, 100 resident craftsmen and more than 40 rides and attractions. New in 2018 is Time Traveler, the world's tallest, steepest and fastest complete-circuit spinning roller coaster.
    Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City

  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
    San Antonio

    Set within a limestone quarry in San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas offers thrills and entertainment for kids and adults of all ages. Among the highlights are a number of DC Comics-themed coasters, including Superman: Krypton Coaster, Batman: The Ride, and the newly opened Wonder Woman Golden Lasso, the world's first single-rail coaster.
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Fiesta Texas

  • Dollywood
    Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

    Tucked amid the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, country music-themed Dollywood has all the makings of a great theme park – thrill rides, coasters, kiddie rides and everything in between. It really shines in its other extras; live craft demonstrations, lavish stage shows and a full calendar of special events mean there's always something going on, and the Southern-inspired food offerings are a cut above the typical theme park fare.
    Photo courtesy of Dollywood

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Va.

    The European-themed installment of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg transports visitors to England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy circa 17th century, albeit a rather exciting version of the era, with more than 50 rides and attractions spread over 100 acres. Busch Gardens Williamsburg frequently ranks among the world's most beautiful theme parks, and its thrill ride options are top notch. The guest favorite? Griffon, the world's first floorless dive coaster that plunges 205 feet at 75 miles per hour.
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg

  • Holiday World
    Santa Claus, Ind.

    It's Christmas year-round at Holiday World in the town of Santa Claus, Ind. The park celebrated its 70th birthday in 2016 – it's one of the oldest theme parks in the country – with a major renovation of The Legend wooden roller coaster, which now a double-down and a fifth tunnel. Thunderbird steel roller coaster is another guest favorite, and Firecracker, one of the only remaining classic Calypso rides in the nation, opened summer 2017.
    Photo courtesy of Holiday World

  • Hersheypark
    Hershey, Penn.

    The amusement park of every chocolate lover's dreams, Hersheypark features 121 acres with 70 rides (including 13 roller coasters), five strolling shows, six stages, three additional performance areas, a waterpark and an 11-acre wildlife park, all accessible via a single admission. Fahrenheit, one of the park's most popular thrill rides, is a vertical lift coaster with a 90-degree, 121-foot lift followed by a breathtaking 97-degree drop.
    Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
    Tampa

    African-themed Busch Gardens Tampa opened in 1959, making it somewhat of a trailblazer in the Orlando theme park boom. It's since expanded to include nearly 300 acres of attractions, thrill rides and even a 12,000-animal zoo. While the park offers animal shows and interactions, as well as character encounters with the folks from Sesame Street to appeal to pint-sized park goers, the real draws are the coasters and thrill rides, including a coaster with a 70-foot vertical lift called Cobra's Curse.
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The top 10 winners in the category Best Amusement Park are as follows:

  1. Six Flags Magic MountainValencia, Calif.
  2. Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
  3. Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, N.J.
  4. Silver Dollar City - Branson, Mo.
  5. Six Flags Fiesta TexasSan Antonio
  6. DollywoodPigeon Forge, Tenn.
  7. Busch Gardens WilliamsburgWilliamsburg, Va.
  8. Holiday World - Santa Claus, Ind.
  9. Hersheypark - Hershey, Penn.
  10. Busch Gardens Tampa BayTampa

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Robb Alvey (ThemeParkReview.com), Doug Barnes (Season Pass Podcast), Austin Carroll (Fastpass to the Past: The Theme Park History Podcast), Monet Massa-Sena (The Theme Park Princess), Clint Novak (In the Loop), John Stevenson (Coaster101.com) and Josh Young (Theme Park University) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of amusement parks in North America.

Congratulations to all these winning parks!

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Robb Alvey

Robb Alvey

Doug Barnes

Doug Barnes

Austin Carroll

Austin Carroll

Monet Massa-Sena

Monet Massa-Sena

Clint Novak

Clint Novak

John Stevenson

John Stevenson

Josh Young