Reasons:Amazing coasters (Thunderhead, Mystery Mine, Tennessee Tornado, and even Blazing Fury is good for more of a family style coaster).FoodSpectacular showsFoodGood atmosphere (with plenty of shade)FoodFriendly hostsAnd did I mention the FOOD?
Well, I do have a trip planned to Holiday World in early June. I'm really excited - 3 great coasters, free soft drinks, free parking, water park looks cool too.
[disclaimer - I am going to Holiday World in the capacity as a writer for Orlando Attractions Magazine's "Out of the Loop" column writer, i.e. I cover news outside central Florida, but the family is coming too!]
I think that if everybody had been to some of the other parks on the list, the voting would be a little more scattered. All of these places are worth a visit and have unique things to offer.
Another park that isn't on the list that I feel deserves to be there is Kennywood in Pittsburgh. Not sure if Hershey Park fits the category of "little" theme park. If it does, then it should be here as well.
Smaller places like these tend to have things that the big boys just don't have....one of them especially is excellent customer service. They are always glad to see you at these parks.
For me, Dollywood and Silver Dollar City are tops in pops on this list. Between those two, it is a bit of a toss up as they are very similar parks, however I will go with SDC because it is only 3.5 hours from my house.
Yes, the food there is fantastic. If you've never been in the late fall/Christmas, that's a treat as well. The rides are mostly still open fairly late in the season, and it's interesting to ride a roller coaster in the cold :)
Barry from Knoxville
I agree that Knoebels is wonderful! The prices for both the food and the rides are very reasonable.If I must vote for a "small" park, I would say Knoebels.
But what about "Dutch Wonderland"? It is owned by Hersheypark, has some of there old rides, and is a traditional "little" park. Give it some love, please!
Just left an event there yesterday and it's still one of the very best out there. It's not fair to group it in comparison to a Kennywood or Dollywood.
Boo to the author.
Dennis Johnson West Mifflin, PA
By the way, a belated welcome to the folks from Legoland's Twitter feed, and hello to the folks referred by Kennywood. Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Feel free to click around; hope you enjoy the site.
I was tempted to vote for Holiday World, mainly because of Voyage, Raven, and free drinks. But Kennywood is a more complete park experience.
Although it's not on the list, I also have to give a big up to Lake Compounce in Bristol CT. Boulder Dash is one of the best coasters you could ever go on.
- Jim A. (ACES member)
Start with the free parking and free admission; add Phoenix, the greatest coaster on the planet; throw in the best Haunted Mansion, Bumper Cars, Carousel and Flyers anywhere, an awesome Log Flume, a great kiddie area, spectacular food and desserts everywhere you look; top it off with the fact dogs are allowed in (who doesn't love dogs?); and you have the best park around, big or small.
FYI I've been to most amusement parks in the US and many outside of the US.
Phoenix and Twister are great wooden coasters, and the rest of the shady, wooded park feels like you've gone back to 1964. The Knoebel family has put their heart and soul into the place. I will go back again when Flying Turns is done.
Frank D. New York