What's the best roller coaster park in the world?
Written by Robert Niles
Yesterday, in our post about Wildcat closing at Cedar Point, Theme Park Insider reader James Rao asked an intriguing question: "What park has the most GOOD coasters on the planet?"
James' question was prompted by the fact that Cedar Point's decision to close the Schwarzkopf roller coaster ceded the supposed "coaster crown" - for the park that has the most roller coasters in the world - to rival Six Flags Magic Mountain. Quantity is one thing, but as James asked, what about quality? Bu how can we determine which parks has the most "good" coasters?
Well, Theme Park Insider readers have been voting on that question for years. So I decided to run the numbers on our reader ratings to determine what you - collectively - think is the best quality coaster park in the world.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is Theme Park Insider readers' pick as the number one roller coaster park in the world.
I decided that to be qualified as a "good" coaster, a ride had to have an average reader rating of 8 or higher (Actually, 7.5 or higher due to rounding). But that still left a lot of coasters on the table. So I decided to look for "elite" coasters, as well. To be listed as "elite," I decided a coaster needed an average reader rating 9 or higher. (Coasters had to have a minimum number of votes to be eligible, and "kiddie coasters" didn't count.)
The spirit of this exercise was quality over quantity, so I ranked the parks by the total number of elite coasters, with total number of good coasters as the first tie-breaker. Since that still left quite a few ties, I used the average reader rating of the park's top coaster as the second tie-breaker - meaning that all else being equal, the park with the better top coaster got the higher spot on the list. If there were to be a tie among the top-rated coasters at two parks, I was going to go with total coaster count as the third tie-breaker, but I didn't need to go that far.
So here's the list - Theme Park Insider's best roller coaster parks in the world. Remember, these are your cumulative rankings before the 2012 season. I'd expect Hersheypark, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Port Aventura and Canada's Wonderland to move up the rankings after their roller coaster openings this season.
Plan your summer roadtrips accordingly! The hornet's nest is open in the comments. ;^)
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Previous article: A look at Universal's Cinematic Spectacular in soft-opening
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive