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Jack Goodwin

What is your least favorite theme park in Central Florida?

Published: August 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Is it Magic Kingdom, with its lack of thrill rides and dated Tomorrowland?
Is it Epcot, with its Future World filled with dated attractions and World Showcase that has a lack of rides?
Is it Hollywood Studios, with its lack of attractions and ugly backlot?
Is it Animal Kingdom, with its broken yeti and lack of rides?
Is it Universal Studios, with its ugly soundstages and several dated attractions?
Is it Islands of Adventure, with its Six Flagsy theming in certain areas and lack of kid rides?
Is it SeaWorld, with its overrated Antarctica?
Or is it Busch Gardens, with its lack of themed rides and too much focus on rollercoasters?
If you had to pick one, what is your least favorite theme park in Central Florida?

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Replies (28)

Jason Hauck

Published: August 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Animal kingdom because of lack of rides and the crappy dinoland
James Trexen

Published: August 14, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I disagree with the criticisms regarding Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal, and Islands. Looking outside of the big companies, the worst park in Central Florida is easily Old Town.
Jack Goodwin

Published: August 14, 2014 at 8:11 PM. Edited: August 14, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Sorry James. I love all these theme parks and it was very hard to search for bad qualities. If I were to list good qualities, I would be typing forever!
Is it Islands of Adventure, with its immersive Harry Potter land, enchanting Port of Entry, state-of the-art Spiderman ride, insanely funny Dudley flume, underrated Jurassic Park, and many immersive, themed islands?
I have never been to Old Town, and I have no interest going there.
Kelly Muggleton

Published: August 15, 2014 at 8:11 AM

EPCOT, haven't been for years and never really 'got it' myself. I adore Illuminations with every fibre of my being but that, for me, is its only redeeming feature. (Might be a European thing though - I'm from England and have never come across many of my countryfolk who are mad about it).
Court E

Published: August 15, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Jurassic Park at IOA isn't underrated compared to its Hollywood counter part. It's decent and nothing more.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: August 15, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Of the Big 7?

Hollywood Studios -- Up until I rode the Tokyo version of Tower of Terror, I loved the DHS version, but now that's devolved into a mere "like." I love Animation Academy and Star Tours, but beyond that, I'd rather play Midway Mania in California, where the lines are much shorter. Everything else here is a miss for me. DHS also has the worst selection of counter-service food in Orlando, and outside the very expensive Brown Derby, none of the table-service food is worth the price or hassle. Bring on Star Wars Land!

Tyler Harris

Published: August 16, 2014 at 3:48 AM. Edited: August 16, 2014 at 3:50 AM

Either HWS or Epcot because HWS lacks rides, and the last time I went to Epcot, I got the flu for a week :(
I also looked up the Old Town website and it looks awful compared to it's neighbors.
Jack Goodwin

Published: August 16, 2014 at 5:40 AM

I noticed that the only major parks listed are the 3 Disney non-Magic Kingdom parks.
Bryce McGibeny

Published: August 16, 2014 at 2:26 PM. Edited: August 16, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Disagreed at first about the comment regarding Islands of Adventure, but then I realized how reminiscent the transition between Marvel and Toon Lagoon is to a Six Flags. The rest of the park is amazing, and it is easily my favorite park. Even above Disneyland.

My least favorite is SeaWorld Orlando.

luca ferracuti

Published: August 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM. Edited: August 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Animal Kingdom because of lack of thrill rides and a very big park for little interesting attractions
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 17, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Central Florida has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to themed entertainment. All the parks listed are top notch. Come to Kansas City some time where Worlds of Fun is your "theme" park and you'll once again appreciate Central Florida, warts and all.
Jack Goodwin

Published: August 17, 2014 at 7:40 PM

How bad is Worlds of Fun?
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 18, 2014 at 3:41 AM. Edited: August 18, 2014 at 3:42 AM

Worlds of Fun is a two - four hour park at best. It has one standout coaster (Prowler), two decent coasters (Mamba, Patriot), one or two okay flats, and little else. Come visit sometime, I'd be glad to show you around. It won't take too long. Point is, if you live in Central Florida (or SoCal, or Ohio, or even Virginia), or call those parks home, you really don't know quite how good you have it until you step back and look closely at what the rest of the US has to deal with on a regular basis. If it weren't for Silver Dollar City being just four hours away, I would have gone insane a long time ago.

When folks complain about Central Florida parks, it is like a King telling his starving peasants how tough it is to be King because he is forced to eat three huge, delicious meals each and every day.

Jack Hammond

Published: August 18, 2014 at 4:20 AM

I hear ya James. I lived in Liberty Missouri for ten years and just moved to Florida last year. World's of Fun is a fun little afternoon excursion, but nothing more. I had a lot of fun as a pre-teen- early teen, but eventually I got to where I didn't even want to go anymore.

Central Florida on the other hand is magnificent. If people were to stop, just for a second, comparing the top-of-the-lines with other top-of-the-lines, I think they would see how amazing these parks are, including the parks they consider "lacking".

If World's of Fun were in SOCO or Central Florida, it would have been out of business years ago.

Brent Moody

Published: August 18, 2014 at 7:52 AM. Edited: August 18, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Although none of these parks are bad parks by any means and all of them have some great things to offer I guess it is a toss up for me between Animal Kingdom and Sea World. But I guess if I have to pick one as my least favorite I would go with Animal Kingdom because Manta is better that Expedition Everest for me so Manta saves Sea World from the bottom.

To me Epcot and HS have some issues that need to be fixed too so I would really have no problem with someone picking any of those 4 parks (Epcot, HS, AK, Sea World) for the bottom. But I am not really sure if anyone could be trusted that put Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, or IOA at the bottom. To me these are clearly the best 3 parks in Orlando.

Tony Duda

Published: August 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Legoland is the real answer. As a grown-up, Legoland has no appeal to me and I can't see buying a ticket to walk around the old Cypress Gardens areas. Why didn't you include Legoland as a choice when Busch Gardens "Tampa" is a choice?

Remember, this is 'least favorite' and not worst.

Anon Mouse

Published: August 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Of the Orlando Disney parks, Disney Hollywood Studios is the least favorite. It has the worst theming of all the parks. It has the most dated and boring attractions. Not much to do. Nothing to get excited about.
Daniel Etcheberry
Writer

Published: August 18, 2014 at 1:45 PM

A tie between Legoland and Holy Land Experience.
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

@Jack Hammond You, my friend, hit the target squarely on the nose. Nice shooting, Tex.
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: August 19, 2014 at 8:21 PM

The Holyland Experience looks to be a bit of a mess.

For what its worth, it appears that the two parks that have not really kept up their game with new exciting attractions is Seaworld and Busch Gardens.

Tony Duda

Published: August 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Busch Gardens has done a lot over the last 10 years to improve.

Jungala
Sesame Street Safari
IcePloration
Gwazi Field Music Stage
Cheetah Hunt and Cheetah Run
Stanleyville Theater remodel
Animal Care Center
Walkabout Way
Pantopia
Falcon's Fury

And it still has the world class roller coasters-
Montu
SheikRa
Kumba
Gwazi double wooden coaster

Along with the many shows and minor rides and fabulous animal encounters, it just doesn't seem to get the respect it deserves. Or is no more 2 free beers the only thing that matters to everyone?

Court E

Published: August 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I don't think people's standards or expectations to judge and rate what their least favorite experience among the world class theme parks should be hushed due to some crappy amusement park in the Midwest. That mentality led to Disneyland becoming run down and California Adventure being born. Top of the lines should be compared to top of the lines as it leads to bigger pushes in creativity and innovation. When a park is lacking in one area or another, it should be called on it, even if it is light years ahead of some crappy regional park.

I mean I lived in Colorado for years with Elitch Gardens as my home town "theme park." But that never changed my perception of quality, nor did I feel that people living in SoCal or the Eye should be humbled just because my park got a SLC clone and Disney received another uniquely themed "dumbo" spinner.

DHS is lame by the way. Too many studio boxes and too much concrete. It's been open almost 30 years now and it's still a half day park.

Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: August 20, 2014 at 9:46 AM. Edited: August 20, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I would inject DisneyQuest into the conversation. Initially billed as the world's first interactive indoor theme park, the facility has become nothing more than a glorified arcade that you need to pay an up-front admission to enter in exchange for unlimited play on all games/attractions.

DisneyQuest continues to putter along, and still consumes a "plus" credit on a MagicYourWay pass. While I haven't been in a couple of years, I haven't heard anything to suggest it's improved one bit despite the Disney Springs renovation.

BTW, Antarctica is not "overrated" (rated a 5 here) as much as it was over-hyped.

Court E

Published: August 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

DisneyQuest can bill itself how ever it likes but it isn't a "theme park." It's nothing more than a 4 story arcade with little to no "theming." Nothing redeeming in that building...
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 20, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Fair criticism should never be hushed, but calling one of the Central Florida parks "lame" tells me someone has lost their perspective. Worlds of Fun is lame, DHS is light years better than Worlds of Fun.
Court E

Published: August 20, 2014 at 6:54 PM

I don't feel it's out of perspective at all. I feel DHS is a totally lame park and your Worlds of Fun is probably a pathetic attempt at an amusement park. Perhaps one not even worth mentioning...
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 20, 2014 at 7:06 PM. Edited: August 20, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Good thing you live on the west coast, then, eh? You don't have to visit either park. Enjoy Great America.
Court E

Published: August 20, 2014 at 8:07 PM

I was pretty critical of Great America in my trip report so I'm not sure I'll be doing that... But thanks anyways.

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