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Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the week: Favorite theme park company?

Published: July 27, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Oh, heck. Let's just skip to the big one, shall we?

What is your favorite theme park company? And please use the comments link below to tell us why.

I shall slip the asbestos shield over my keyboard as I type this one... ;-)


Replies (36)

Brian Emery

Published: July 27, 2007 at 11:43 AM

I had to Pick Busch Gardens because of the variety.
Sea World - BGT - Discovery Cove - Soon Aquatica and Free Beer…
Logan Decker

Published: July 27, 2007 at 1:00 PM

cedar fair no dought about it!!!!!!!!!!!!
yeeeeaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! haha jp
but seriously cedar fair
is killin EVERY BODY!!!!!!!!!... haha
Bradley Robertson

Published: July 27, 2007 at 1:07 PM

I have to vote for Cedar Fair simply because of the quality of coasters that they have at their parks.
Rachel Dixon

Published: July 27, 2007 at 1:19 PM

Busch Gardens (Williamsburg & Tampa) and Sea World!!!!!!!! Simply because they have great rides, shows, food, and the quality of cleanliness in their parks.
Logan Decker

Published: July 27, 2007 at 1:41 PM

If anyone votes for six
flags please tell me why????
cuase cedar fair, universal,
disney, and bush gardens blows six flags
out of the water haha!!!!
David Kildal

Published: July 27, 2007 at 2:19 PM

I would say Disney or Universal when it comes to state-of-the-art rides, stores, lockers :), etc. but when it comes to thrill rides, I have to say Cedar Fair. Although some would beg to differ, because Busch has some good thrill rides, but living in Ohio, with Kings Island, Geagua Lake, and Cedar Point in close proximity, I gotta say Cedar Fair. As for Merlin, I don't evven know what they did.

Does Merlin own Legoland?

Joshua Counsil

Published: July 27, 2007 at 2:29 PM

I wish I could split my vote between Disney and Universal.

I puked a little in my mouth when I read that Six Flags was second place. So much for "Theme Park Insider".

Iris Hernandez

Published: July 27, 2007 at 2:31 PM

I will always and forever be a Disney fan, but Universal and Busch came to a tie for second. My family thinks i'm crazy for how much i love Disney, but I dont care. I want my daughters to love it as much as I do. Everytime they go they just have so much fun, even though they are only 1 and 2 yrs old. So....DISNEY ROCKS and will always have my vote as #1.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: July 27, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Inevitably on these votes, there's a selection that places highly, but for which no one will justify his vote in the comments. The "I like it but am ashamed to admit it vote"? Perhaps Six Flags might be that option this week. But it is still very early. I wonder what the votes will look like tomorrow?
Claudine Deshaies

Published: July 27, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Busch Gardens: Because as much as I like Disney and Universal, the best days I've had, taking into account everything (food, rides, staff interaction, souvenirs & crowds) have been at Busch Gardens Parks (Tampa, Williamsburg and SeaWorld Orlando). Oh, and Hersheypark, but that isn't mentioned.
Mark Ricci

Published: July 27, 2007 at 7:07 PM

Disney is the theme park master. i don't even consider six flags parks theme parks.
Larry Zimmerman

Published: July 27, 2007 at 8:12 PM

It's a toss up between Busch and Cedar Fair. One's the theming masters, the other the ride specialists. I'll give the nod to Busch since BGA is my "home park," and because of the great food! (ps - don't eat before doing Floorless SheiKra)
Bruce Lane

Published: July 27, 2007 at 8:58 PM

No vote at all on this one because you were missing two key choices.

"None of the Above" and "Other."

Come to think of it... Here's a suggestion for a related poll -- "Least favorite park."

Have a great weekend.

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: July 27, 2007 at 10:22 PM

Bruce, Bruce, Bruce... don't give away future votes.... ;-)

No NOTA on this one, 'cause I wanted to push the leaners.

Jack Williams

Published: July 29, 2007 at 11:25 AM

While many of the companies in the vote specialize in big thrills and adrenaline rushes, when it comes to unique rides that not only thrill you, but tell a story, Disney is no. 1! It's no wonder 50 % voted for it!
Dwight Graham

Published: July 29, 2007 at 3:30 PM

There was this one time at Band Camp...Oops, I mean at Disneyland while waiting in line near the front of the Peter Pan Ride. Looking around there were small bushes on the other side of the iron fencing, next to the houseing for the ride. And within those bushes were these little mice playing/jumping in and out so very close to our feet, just as though they were real. But with the Disney Animatronics, we of course did'nt jump away. "Boy How'dee" them Disney guys are gooood. I could'ah swore thems' meecez were the real thing, but ya just can't be sure with the quality of Disney Realism.
Things like that are the reason Uncle Walt's joint gets my vote.
May all your summer time fun be like it was in your youth...But with shorter lines !
Jeff M

Published: July 29, 2007 at 5:29 PM

I have to agree with most here that Disney is the real theme park company. I can also see some valid points towards some of the others listed also. What I can't see is how Cedar Fair or Six Flags is to be considered a "Theme" park company???
Does the slight mention of the Peanuts Gang (Snoopy, etc...) make Cedar Fair a Theme park company? Or is it because they now own the old Paramont parks?
Six Flags??? Come on....last I remember, the late 80's-90's they used the Looney Tune caracters as their possible theme? Where's Bugs Bunny now when they need him??? They should be considered "Thrill" parks instead of Theme parks. Don't take things wrong, I like them just as much as the others, but fail to see them compared as theme park companies. Maybe best Entertainment Companies in the Amusement park business would have been a better vote???
I know I'm entertained by either the way a park is Themed, or the way it Thrills me. Nice to see them both combined in a way Walt Disney originally wanted and some others have followed. I see the voters have spoken they feel the same.
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: July 29, 2007 at 6:20 PM

Big Suprise!

Anyway, I am shocked that its such a split after that!

Stephen Tuday

Published: July 29, 2007 at 10:16 PM

While I do have a Six-Flags season pass and can see many improvements in that chain, my favorite theme park company is not even on the list. My vote would go to Adventure Parks, LLC, which owns Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia, one of the best themed parks I have ever seen. While they don't have the most thrilling rides, the overall experience of this park is second to none. The park is clean, family friendly and queue lines at that park are nearly non-existent.
Lawrence Smith

Published: July 30, 2007 at 3:24 AM

I voted for Disney because I grew up with the magic! Matter of fact, I'll be reliving the magic again Aug. 10-17th. I can't wait!!!
Todd Houts

Published: July 30, 2007 at 6:22 AM

Well even though the closest Busch Park for me is 1000 miles away (and I've got low end Cedar Fair and Six Flags parks within my state [Missouri - the home of AB]) - I give props to Busch for the cleaniness, theming, use of nature/shade and their mix of rides, animals and just plain fun. (With that said, my big coaster run for the summer won't get me near a Busch park. August I tour Ohio with stops at Cedar Point, Geauga Lake, my first trip back to Kings Island since 1981 and my first ever trip to Kennywood.)
James Adams

Published: July 30, 2007 at 7:45 AM

Is Six Flags even considered to be a "theme park" or simply an amusement park/ What is the dividing line between the two?

Nevertheless, Disney still provides the best overall experience - when Islands of Adventure first opened they had a chance to beat Disney in the imagination realm but they have not passed the time test (Can you do this over time and keep it up).

Is Wild Adventures really that good?

TH Creative
Writer

Published: July 30, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Disney wins this one EASILY.

They set the standard in virtually every facet of the industry. The parks have consistently surpassed the expectations of a significant majority of their guests.

They have moved into international markets in virtually every corner of the globe. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe a Disney park is up and operating at every hour of every day. That's an extraordinary achievement and it seems very unlikely that the other choices in this poll will ever make the same claim.

But even more important is that the business model(s) Disney has pursued has created conditions which has allowed the same company to own these parks since their opening. The rival park operators in the TPI poll can't make the same claim. The Disney theme parks have always been owned by the company founded by Walt and Roy Disney. In an era where corporate ownership trades hands at the speed of light, the consistent ownership of the Disney parks by the Disney company is an intangible achievment that is worthy of acknowledgement and respect.

Disney wrote the book on themepark development and operation. Regardless who is in second place it is a decidedly distant second.

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: July 30, 2007 at 11:58 AM

I see the Six Flags ballot stuffing has begun. And yet, no one seems willing to come forth and defend that vote. Any Six Flags fans?
Logan Decker

Published: July 30, 2007 at 3:32 PM

dude how is six flags
20%, that is messsed up
cedar fair is killin
six flags.
Ryan L

Published: July 30, 2007 at 5:16 PM

Disney because of the overall atmosphere of the park and the experience and of course, the theming. It's just a fun place to be that I can't really say about the other parks, especially Six Flags, which I can't understand that 20% vote...
David Kirby

Published: July 30, 2007 at 5:18 PM

Huh? How did Six Flags magically go from about 8 to 20%??
Tyler W.

Published: July 30, 2007 at 5:26 PM

I was wondering the exact same thing David. I think someone is abusing the poll.
Susan Pfeil

Published: July 30, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Disney should win easily. I don't think people understand how hard Disney (management) has worked to keep the brand alive. By no means does Disney have "unaided" awareness. They know the formula and strategy that works and have worked hard to sustain.

Getting to the top is only part of the battle. Remaining on top is the challenge. Disney has done so since the beginning. With all do respect, other theme parks can learn a great deal from the mouse! But it looks as though SeaWorld (Busch) is gaining ground.

Logan Decker

Published: July 30, 2007 at 7:22 PM

Is it a possibility that someone is cheating,
cuase I seriously do not understand how six flags can go from 8% to 20% in just a couple of hours???
David Kirby

Published: July 30, 2007 at 8:38 PM

Hmm... I'm wondering - will Six Flags pass Disney? It's a bit insulting to Busch, Universal, and Cedar Fair that they're behind Six Flags. Did Shapiro just create a few hundred different accounts for himself?
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: July 31, 2007 at 6:07 AM

Well everybody knows I voted for Disney, but I too am a Six Flags Season Pass holder. Notice the question that was asked: Favorite theme park company. Thats not saying which one is the best, but which you do you personally like. Though Six Flags has its shortfalls, it is the most prolific park chain with the most theme parks in the US. Also, they tend to be closer to people and give a ton of discounts with pop cans and season ticket holders. Theres a bunch of good deals there. The park my my home (SFGA) is on an upswing of being really good!
Ted Heumann

Published: July 31, 2007 at 9:41 AM

I voted for Disney. Although I agree with everyone else that ONLY Disney, Busch, Universal and Merlin should be on the list.
Cedar Fair is NOT a theme park company. IF they own theme parks, it's only because they haven't DESTORYED them yet. Knott's Berry Farm USED to be a theme park, but Cedar Fair has done EVERYTHING in their power to transform it into an amusement park.
Six Flags and Cedar Fair are the reason that Walt Disney built Disneyland in the first place.
Claudine Deshaies

Published: July 31, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Regarding the earlier comment: "What is the dividing line between the two?" To me, and I don't think I'm alone here, a THEME PARK is a park that tries to take you to a different world, someplace completely different from what you're used to, using landscaping, props, architecture and costumes. An AMUSEMENT PARK is a giant playground filled with really cool rides. And just because that playground may have mascots running around, it still wouldn't be called a "theme park". I'm all for both of them, but I still think there's a difference.
(Maybe another way to say it would be: If you took all the rides out of a theme park and an amusement park, one would look like a movie set and the other would look like a parking lot.)
For the sake of this survey, I'm guessing Robert's question wasn't which is which, but just "what parks do you like better?"
Mike West

Published: August 1, 2007 at 10:39 AM

Merlin(Tusseaud's) own's everything in the UK, and Legoland.
Noel Blackman

Published: August 1, 2007 at 2:04 PM

I think you have to understand that there are plenty of Six Flags around a lot of those people haven't been to Disney or Universal.

This would probably explain why they are getting a high percentage of votes.

Also, a lot more people have been to Disney and have never visited Universal Studios. We went to Disney three times and finally my wife talked me into Universal Studios.

The attention to detail at Universal far surpasses anything at any of the Disney parks in my opinion.

My 9 year old daughter and I just visited Six Flags in Gurnee yesterday. It's a great bang for the buck park with more coasters than all the Disney parks combined.

I wouldnt vote for a park I've never visited, I hear Cedar Point is spectacular and I can't wait to go.

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