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Best Theme Park (2022)

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North America is home to more than 400 amusement parks and attractions with some 375 million visitors annually, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. For those looking to plan the perfect vacation, trying to pick which park to visit can be overwhelming.

  • SeaWorld Orlando

    SeaWorld Orlando
    Orlando

    Most famous as a marine zoological park, SeaWorld Orlando has made a name for itself in the world of high-octane thrill rides as well, including Manta – one of the only coasters of its kind in the world – and Mako, a hyper coaster with deep dives, high speeds and thrills aplenty. Young visitors can now walk down Sesame Street and interact with their favorite furry friends.
    Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando

  • Silver Dollar City

    Silver Dollar City
    Branson, Missouri

    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. The park debuted a new rafting ride inspired by the Ozark waterways, Mystic River Falls, in 2020.
    Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City

  • Kings Island

    Kings Island
    Mason, Ohio

    Kings Island, sister park of Kings Dominion and one of the nation's most visited theme parks, has plenty of family-friendly offerings among its 100 rides, shows and attractions, but the roller coasters are king. The park boasts 15 of them, including the world's longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast, as well as Diamondback, one of the top steel coasters in the country. Park admission also includes entrance into the 33-acre Soak City water park. Orion, the park’s fastest, tallest and longest steel coaster, debuted in July 2020 and won Best New Amusement Park Attraction 2020 in our Readers' Choice Awards. 
    Photo courtesy of Kings Island

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg

    Busch Gardens Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Virginia

    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. 
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
    Tampa, Florida

    While Busch Gardens is most famously known as an amusement park filled with thrill rides, the Tampa location is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and offers abundant animal encounters as well. Visitors can board an open-air touring vehicle on a Serengeti Safari, where it’s possible to spot giraffes, zebras, ostriches and other African animals living in wide open spaces. A nighttime version of the experience, available after the park closes, offers a glimpse of the savanna after dark.
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

  • Cedar Point

    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

  • Dollywood

    Dollywood
    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    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. 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

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain

    Six Flags Magic Mountain
    Valencia, California

    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, the world's first 360-degree looping coaster, and Twisted Colossus, the world's longest hybrid coaster. Record-breaking CraZanity welcomed its first guests in 2018. 
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain

  • Holiday World

    Holiday World
    Santa Claus, Indiana

    Located in Santa Claus, Indiana, this theme park is divided into four holiday celebration sections – the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - with unique family rides, live entertainment and shows, games, and attractions in each area. Holiday World offers guests free parking, free sunscreen, free Wi-Fi, and even free soft drinks! 10Best Contributor Robb Alvey notes, “A ‘roller coaster enthusiasts’ favorite and sometimes considered the ‘wooden roller coaster capital’ as the park features three highly rated wood coasters."
    Photo courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

  • HersheyPark

    HersheyPark
    Hershey, Pennsylvania

    The amusement park of every chocolate lover's dreams, HersheyPark features 121 acres with 70 rides (including more than a dozen roller coasters), strolling shows, five 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. Candymonium, the park’s tallest, fastest and longest hyper coaster debuted in 2020.
    Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

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

  1. SeaWorld Orlando - Orlando, Florida
  2. Silver Dollar City - Branson, Missouri
  3. Kings Island - Mason, Ohio
  4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Virginia
  5. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - Tampa, Florida
  6. Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
  7. Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  8. Six Flags Magic Mountain - Valencia, California
  9. Holiday World - Santa Claus, Indiana
  10. HersheyPark - Hershey, Pennsylvania


A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning theme parks!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

John Stevenson

John Stevenson

John Stevenson

Robb Alvey

Robb Alvey

Robb Alvey

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Victoria Wade

Victoria Wade

Victoria Wade

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Nikky J

Nikky J

Nikky J

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith
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