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Vote of the week: Which theme parks are you going to visit in 2010?

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Published: March 5, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Many of the top Texas theme parks are opening this week, the first wave in this year's seasonal park openings. So now's a good time to ask which parks you're likely to visit (or have visited already) this year.

Hogwarts Express at Universal's Islands of Adventure
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's debut this spring promises to draw visitors to Universal's Islands of Adventure.

And I suppose it's also a good time to remind folks looking for tips on budgeting, saving money and buying tickets about our new How to get the best deals on theme park tickets page, which incorporates the best advice from our series on those topics last year.

So where are you headed in 2010? Let's try not to make this a "wish list," but instead, a list of those parks for which you've already begun to make plans, or have completed a visit already this year. If you think there's less than a 50/50 chance that you'll visit, don't check it. And if you're not planning to go anywhere this year, please check the final box in the list.

Now that you've checked your list, tell us in the comments which park you're most looking forward to visiting this year, and why. Thanks, again, for reading Theme Park Insider, and let's have a great year at the parks!

Readers' Opinions

From 68.204.7.138 on March 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM
Definitely want to see the new Harry Potter Theme Park!! And I fortunately live in the Orlando area, so Seaworld is always a given
From Tracy Bates on March 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM
I'm most looking forward to Carowinds and Kings Dominion because they have new coasters i'm looking forward to.

I also interested in the Harry Potter addition at Universal, but I don't want to put up with the crowds so I won't be there day 1.

And, of course, having been a Busch Gardens passport holder since 2000, I'll hit all the Seaworld/Busch Gardens parks on the east coast.

From Mark Migliaccio on March 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Had some extra tickets from a few years ago for Universal in Orlando for both parks, so I'll head down there this summer. I hope to get out to Busch Gardens Tampa, since I haven't been there in a while, and I wanted to swing by Sea World to try out Manta. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is my home park so I'll be going there on my season pass (and Water Country USA). I may be heading up to Kings Dominion for the Intimidator 305, but probably not until the fall after all the bugs have been worked out and there's hopefully not a 2 hour long queue.
From 98.141.17.221 on March 5, 2010 at 10:53 AM
We are adding Discovery Cove in Orlando to our trip.
From 24.167.232.232 on March 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM
Where is Mt. Olympus theme park in Wisc. as a option???
From Don Neal on March 5, 2010 at 11:16 AM
Looking forward to my second visit to Epcot this year and spending more time there. And riding Everest again at AK.
From 24.162.248.231 on March 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM
BGW passport preview day is March 20 Time to ride the Griffon and eat some ribs
From Rod Whitenack on March 5, 2010 at 11:34 AM
The one thing I haven't read much about here, that I just read about elsewhere yesterday, is that Universal has more than one card up its sleeve for 2010.

Everyone knows about Harry Potter opening at IOA, but Universal will also be debuting Peter Jackson's King Kong 4D as a replacement for the old King Kong attraction at Universal Studios. The attraction will be presented on gigantic wrap-around screens, but I don't know much else about it.

This might be just cool enough to take some of the Harry Potter traffic in IOA over to the Studios side for awhile.

From Robert Niles on March 5, 2010 at 11:49 AM
Rod, the new Kong is at Universal Studios Hollywood, in California. The old Kong building at Universal Studios in Florida is now the home of the Revenge of the Mummy ride. So if Kong is going to pull traffic from Potter, it's gonna require a cross-country plane ride.
From Rod Whitenack on March 5, 2010 at 12:00 PM
My apologies! You are correct, sir. I missed the small details in my excitement. Still, I'd love to read more about the Universal Hollywood Kong attraction if you get the inside scoop, even though my chances of affording a trip to the West Coast this year are slim to none.
From Terry O'Neal on March 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM
and Michigan's Adventure.
From Tiffany Alfonso on March 5, 2010 at 12:14 PM
It's the UO and WDW parks for me - gotta sere the twin town plaques at MK and Epcot ant the new Wizarding World of HP at UIOA!!!
From Anthony Murphy on March 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Traveling to the West Coast this summer for the joys of Disneyland, DCA, and USH!

October/November should bring the excellent Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT


And, of course, good ol SFGA!

From 70.118.44.204 on March 5, 2010 at 2:32 PM
Considering I got an internship at BGW, I will be visiting that park, as well as Carowinds on the way up, and Kings Dominion later. I also plan on hitting up Six Flags America, Freestyle Music Park (if it opens), and if I have a long weekend Six Flags Great Adventure.
From Michael Owen on March 5, 2010 at 2:33 PM
As a part of my fly-drive around California and Nevada I'll be visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain and SeaWorld San Diego.

Hopefully I should also get in a visit to Alton Towers to try out their new coaster 'Thirteen'.

From 216.64.80.82 on March 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM
I got a great deal on Sea World /Aquatica tickets as a FL resident (buy 1 year, get 2nd year half off) which costs me only $9 month so I grabbed 4 of those for my family. I know someone who works at Universal so I am definitely going there.

For Disney, I am going to hit Epcot for Flower & Garden this month and then Food & Wine in the fall plus at least one visit to each of the other parks especially during the holiday season. I did Mickey's Christmas party and liked it last year so will probably do that again this year too.

From Mike Duchock on March 5, 2010 at 3:41 PM
Hmmm, Freestyle Music Park isn't listed as a choice. Is Robert not confident that it will reopen this year?
From 75.131.80.205 on March 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM
Some left out of my schedule:
Indiana Beach Monticello, IN 1 day
Holiday World 1 day Santa Claus In
Silver Dollar City Branson Mo. 1 day
Knobels Pa. 2 days
Hershey Pa. 1 day-Dutch Wonderland Lancaster
Kennywood Pa 1 day
Fronteer City Ok. 1 day
Six Flags Over Tx. Arlington 1 day
Six Flags St. Louis 1 day
Michigan Great Adventure 1 day
Cedar Point Oh 2 days
Kings Island Oh 1 day
Greg
From James Rao on March 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM
As a season passholder for Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, and (for $49.99) Six Flags Saint Louis, I will hit all three parks several times throughout the summer. As SDC is clearly the best of the three (and the only one adding a new ride), I will frequent it most. And SFStL better be as improved as some TPI posters have intimated (Ben James, Eli Katzman, etc), or I will be pi$$ed!

In May (on the way to Orlando), I will be hitting Wild Adventures in Georgia, though it is not on the selection list above. Since it was bought by Herschend in 2007, a lot of improvements have been made, so it is definitely time for another stop. Furthermore, the "Jack Rabbit" coaster from (defunct) Celebration City is opening at the park this Spring and I am interested to give it another spin.

Also in May, I will be spending ten glorious days in Orlando just to visit the four Disney theme parks. I opted to skip out on Universal until a) I am sure all the Harry Potter stuff is good to go, and b) the potential for large crowds is diminished. Besides, it has been three LONG years since I last experienced Disney Magic, so ten days should be just about right!

In July I will make my annual pilgrimage to Annandale, Virginia, and will therefore make a side trip to Kings Dominion to ride Intimidator 305 and Dominator (which I have not yet experienced).

In late August, I will be hitting Kansas City's Schlitterbahn water park for the very first time, and testing out the new Triple Twist water slide at the nearby Great Wolf Lodge.

And in December, the emerging Rao tradition of Christmas at Silver Dollar City is the second most anticipated theme park visit of the year. I can't wait for that delicious Hot Chocolate and Wassail!

That's probably it for this year... but 2011 is shaping up to be the year of Universal and SeaWorld, with maybe a visit to the two Ohio parks, KI and CP. But, we'll just have to wait and see on that...

And who isn't planning to visit Disneyland/DCA in 2012 when Cars Land opens????

"They say he was amazing! He won three Piston cups!"
"He did what in his cup?"

From Charles Reichley on March 5, 2010 at 5:32 PM
My family is finally getting down to Florida this year, but we aren't doing Disney. We'll have platinum BG passes, so we'll hit BG-Tampa, and Seaworld, and the two associated water parks. We'll also do the two Universal parks while we are there, all in 6 days.

So it will be fun to hit some new parks, but I'll probably be stressed at the universal parks since we won't have passes and won't be able to come and go as we like.

From Robert Niles on March 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM
(Points right finger to nose and left finger at Mike.)
From Mike Gallagher on March 5, 2010 at 6:16 PM
My votes are all "hopefuls," of course. I would also have checked Indiana Beach and Michigans Adventure if they were "available"...
From 213.46.101.155 on March 5, 2010 at 6:28 PM
I am most looking forward to Epcot center, although it's a hard choice to make, since it will be my first timeto orlando.. so all will be new!

I did see the disneyland paris park many times before and the original disneyland resort.

If any of you guys ever get to europe: try the Efteling.. it's wonderfull (Netherlands)

From Erin B on March 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM
As always, I'm excited for a new season at my home park, Cedar Point. I miss Magnum something fierce. We became quite close at the end of last season, spending entire Friday nights together. I miss Maggie.

But what I'm most excited for is Holiday World! I'm excited beyond words to finally ride those woodies, especially Voyage! June can't come fast enough. I'm also trying to join some friends on a trip to Carowinds and Kings Dominion in April, but money is tight with cut hours at work and monthly student loan payments. I'm doing my best to budget some money, but it's tight.

From Mike Gallagher on March 5, 2010 at 8:08 PM
Erin, I hope to be at HW in June as part of a park trip, and will almost definitely be at KD the third weekend in April..helping a friend's son conquer his trepidation toward larger coasters AND celebrate his..I believe..11th birthday. I already took him on his FIRST coaster (Scooby) and his largest (Rebel Yell) Think I can talk him into Intimidator 305?

Mike

From Terry Hofer on March 5, 2010 at 9:18 PM
We are anxiously awaiting an "official" it's open and everything is operational before booking our summer vacation but the plans are for an on-site (to help with the crowds) stay at Universal's IOA and Studios parks...we are very anxious to get a look at the Harry Potter addition and see how they revamped the other areas of the park that the WW has absorbed.
From 71.80.23.117 on March 5, 2010 at 9:41 PM
I am a season pass holder at Dollywood so will definitely be there many times this year. We are also planning our first trip to Disneyland and California Adventure this June and I can't wait.
From Erin B on March 5, 2010 at 10:16 PM
Mike, I'd say just try to work your way up to Intimidator with him. If he really enjoyed Rebel Yell & seems to enjoy coaster riding in general, I think you stand a chance at getting him to ride Intimidator! I guess it really depends on how he takes to the coasters, haha. Once my dad got me started on them, I couldn't get enough.

Are you going to be attending Holiwood Nights at Holiday World or are you just going for a day trip to the park?

From Anthony O'Neal on March 6, 2010 at 7:13 AM
I am looking forward to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion the most. I have been to Cedar Point and Six Flags Great America (and Michigan's Adventure, which I'm sure I will also visit) several times, but this will be my first trip to the Virginia parks.
From 86.4.205.210 on March 6, 2010 at 3:09 PM
Our visits to the USA will be in Feb to Texas (rode the Broadwalk Bullet in Kemah, really good) and D.C. in Dec. I will be hitting Vegas in April and will make a visit to Desperado on the Nev/Calif border for a re-visit. Will do better next year...
From 155.91.45.231 on March 8, 2010 at 7:19 PM
You guys might not count it, but my 4-year-old does: add to my list Sesame Place!

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