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Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the week: Which theme parks do you wish you could visit in 2010?

Published: March 12, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Last week, I asked which theme parks you were planning to visit (or already had visited) in 2010. Here are the top 25 parks from results, with the percentage of Theme Park Insider readers who said that they were planning to visit that park:

1. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom 37%
2. Universal Studios Florida 35%
3. Universal's Islands of Adventure 33%
4. Epcot 33%
5. Disney's Animal Kingdom 33%
6. Disney's Hollywood Studios 33%
7. SeaWorld Orlando 20%
8. Disneyland 16%
9. Busch Gardens Tampa 16%
10. Busch Gardens Williamsburg 13%
11. Disney's California Adventure 13%
12. Cedar Point 12%
13. Kings Dominion 8%
14. Kings Island 8%
15. Hersheypark 7%
16. Universal Studios Hollywood 7%
17. Knott's Berry Farm 6%
18. Carowinds 6%
19. Dollywood 5%
   Six Flags Magic Mountain 5%
21. Six Flags Great Adventure 5%
22. Holiday World 4%
23. Alton Towers 4%
24. SeaWorld San Diego 4%
25. Kennywood 3%

Not planning to visit any parks in 2010 4%

A few interesting notes, comparing these results with the annual Top 25 attendance figures you can find on the right side of the page:

  • The Universal Orlando parks appear to be drawing more visitors in 2010, which I suppose is to be expected with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yet Universal Studios Florida still appears to be attracting more visitors than Islands of Adventure, where the new Harry Potter land will be located.

  • The California theme parks are way down in this survey. I don't think that's because attendance will be down at those parks, indeed, initial reports have them rising in 2009 and remaining strong this year. But these results support the claim that the California parks' attendance is swelled by multiple repeat visits from locals, rather than a larger number of visitors from outside the area, as go to the other parks in the survey. Remember, we just asked if you were planning to visit a park, not how many times you were planning to visit. Annual attendance data is based on unique daily turnstile clicks, not unique head count.

  • Kings Dominion and Carowinds are looking up this year, which reflects anticipation of their soon-to-debut "Intimidator" roller coasters, I'm sure.

    So let's get to this week's vote. Alton Towers was the only non-U.S. park to crack the Top 25, a reflection of the fact that more than 75 perent of Theme Park Insider's readers live in the United States. And many of those who live elsewhere come to the site looking for information on U.S. parks.

    But today I'd like to ask about parks outside the United States. Yes, I know that airfare costs make visiting foreign theme parks difficult, if not impossible, for many Theme Park Insider readers. But what if that weren't the case? What if the world's airlines announced a "fly anywhere in the world for $400-a-person, round-trip" sale? What theme parks would you want to visit then?

    So that's the assumption for this week's vote. You can fly anywhere in the world for $400 a person, round trip. You've got to pay hotel, ground transport, admission tickets and meals as always - no fantasy discounts on those. And you can take as many of those $400 trips as you want this year. (But your employer isn't giving you any extra vacation time.)

    Where would you want to go? Obviously, with these conditions and assumptions, I'm trying to dissuade you from clicking all the options. But I am giving you the opportunity to pick more than one park, if you'd have the money and time (and inclination to visit), given these conditions. You can click to read about most of these parks at www.themeparkinsider.com/reviews:

    Please tell us more in the comments about which non-U.S. theme parks you've dreamed of visiting.

  • Replies (16)

    Joshua Counsil

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Is "all of the above" an option?
    Robert Niles
    Editor

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    (Sigh)
    Anthony Murphy
    Writer

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    I thought SFGA was going to be on the list, but I guess it fell in the long stretch. I also think that most TPIers are either big fans of FL, CA, or OH parks with smatterings from other places. 75% are from North America? Thats lower that what I guessed. Good job on the international front!


    I wouldn't mind going to all of them myself either, but I pretended to be realistic a bit. I personally have a silly little goal of mine to visit all the Disney Parks around the world.

    I am also suprised (or not) on the huge lead DLP takes. If you really want to see Disney quality stuff, I think the Tokyo parks are the place to get your fill. I have been to DLPR and, while the parks and rides are fantastic, the guests and cast members are not!

    Robert Niles
    Editor

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I know we've been too light over the past few years with our coverage of theme parks outside the United States, so I'm also going to use the results of this survey to guide me toward the parks that you'd like to see covered more on the site.

    After all, the point of the site is to learn more, see more and experience more from the parks we most want and love to visit, right?

    Mostly Anonymous

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    So why did you include Lotte World and not Everland? I'd go see Everland for sure, since it's the top-10 theme park I'm least familiar with. Since it wasn't listed, I picked Lotte World.

    DisneySea of course. I've seen it once, but it was 5 years ago and I'd like to see the new additions.

    And I threw in Disneyland Paris, since that's probably the next park on my list.

    Three big trips in one year seems like enough!

    James Koehl
    Writer

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I voted for Blackpool Pleasure Beach- we've been there before, and have friends that live close enough that we could stay with them for free! It's a traditional old-fasioned amusement park along the boardwalk of Blackpool, England, with an amazing mixture of old rides (some of which would never be allowed in America) and state-of-the-art attractions. I also voted for DisneySea, because it looks to be unique in the Disney universe in its layout and many of its attractions. There are plenty of other parks I'd like to visit, but I tried to stick to Robert's concept of not voting for everything.
    M. Ryan Traylor

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I can say that after my 2011 Cedar Fair tour, there is a 2013 European trip on the horizon. Mainly brought on by my wife since the 2011 vacation is geared more towards me. But I can say that she will be completely on board for Disney's Paris parks and the British parks.
    James Rao
    Writer

    Published: March 12, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    Tokyo DisneySea without a doubt. It is the number one theme park destination I would like to visit outside of the US. And while I am there, I might as well visit Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Japan.

    Universal Singapore is also a contender.

    Michael Owen
    Writer

    Published: March 13, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    As I regularly attend Disneyland Resort Paris and I'm in the U.A.E a lot I decided not to vote for either DLRP or Ferrari World.

    Out of the options I'd have to go for Tokyo DisneySea (If I was only going for one park). Simply put, it's the most beautiful Disney Park there is and a testament to what Walt Disney Imagineering can do when given (near enough) a limitless budget.

    166.204.4.44

    Published: March 13, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    I don't know much about the park, but one overseas park that I'd like to visit or hear / read more about is Phantasialand(based on the ride footage and information on the rides I have seen on the internet). Can I ask why this park was not included in the list? Is it not a popular enough overseas park? I am asking because I am still learning about the park. The footage I have seen of some of the rides like the rapid ride and the Black Mamba there have seemed pretty unique.
    97.100.83.157

    Published: March 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    What I find most interesting about the survey is that the top seven choices are all located in Orlando.

    Go home team!

    David Brown

    Published: March 14, 2010 at 4:15 AM

    I'm amazed Phantasialand in Germany was not on this list - it has one of the most outstandingly original line up of attractions I have ever enjoyed....
    Scott Marlow

    Published: March 15, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    I have always wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan, where I would be able to ride Back To The Future again. More close to home Disneyland and USH, which I haven't been able to get to because of airfare costs. Living in Florida is nice because of the parks here, but I would love to be able to get out and explore the other park offerings that Disney and Universal have available.
    Tracy Bates

    Published: March 15, 2010 at 7:30 AM

    I would suspect the reason Universal studios florida is showing up higher than Islands of Adventure is because all the TV ads for the new Harry Potter land focus more on the Universal Studios name than the Islands of Adventure name so people are choosing the wrong one. Hopefully, they'll figure out the correct one before they go to the wrong park. ;)
    99.135.67.58

    Published: March 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Heading to Disney Sea in a few weeks! Super excited, and have a decent fast pass plan, but I wish I could get more information on the restaurant menus. I like figuring out where I'm going to eat ahead of time. Ehh, maybe I will try to take pics and translate the menus for you guys!

    Elle

    Robert Niles
    Editor

    Published: March 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Please do!

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