but i eventually got it: i am not a theme park fan as much as i am a roller coaster fan. so i do not really care about the theming in the different worlds. you couldn't pay me to attend magic mountain with a child or children in tow. and as long as the food is on the way to the next coaster, that's good enough for me.
and that being said, Tatsu and X2 are two of the best coasters in the world.
SFMM, CP, Hersheypark and the two Busch Gardens as the top five coaster parks in America? I can get behind that.
(All this reminds me that I need to make Hersheypark a top priority on my next US roadtrip, whenever that turns out to be.)
This list does confirm one simple fact: great coasters do not equal great attendance. Of all the parks on this list, only SeaWorld Orlando ranks in the top ten when it comes to park attendance (North America). So, all us Coaster Boys and Girls must accept one thing: we are a niche audience - but hey, what's wrong with being a little different?
I guess Dollywood just missed the cutoff. They may only have three non-kiddie coasters (four now with Wild Eagle, and excluding the hybrid Blazing Fury), but any one of them would be a must ride attraction at most of the listed coaster parks.
Doug, I was also thinking the same thing...
Now, before another common argument rears its ugly head, I want to dispel the myth that Cedar Point would somehow become the #1 attended park in the world if it was open just six more months. That CP is somehow hamstrung by its short season, and if Ohio was more like Orlando, the Point would rival the attendance of the Magic Kingdom which pulled ~17 million last year.
So, for the sake of argument, let's presume that CP was indeed open year round (six more months than today).
The Point is drawing roughly 16K a day right now. To surpass Disney's flagship, CP would need to pull in roughly 6 times as many guests as it does today (6 * 3 million = 18 million). Therefore, the former self proclaimed coaster capital of the world would need to draw in 80,000 guests each and every day for the six additional months.
Not gonna happen.
However, to your point (!), at 16k a day, Ohio's main squeeze would certainly be in the top ten at about 5.8m visitors a year. But as I said earlier, 16k a day would not continue once school was back in session. CP would probably pull numbers similar to Knotts and BGT, both very respectable, but not in the top ten.
In other words, having the greatest coasters in the world does not equate to having the greatest attendance in the world. Despite the fact that we (TPI-ers) absolutely LOVE coasters!
(Incidentally, Epcot, which has ZERO coasters, pulls roughly 28,000 visitors a day, 365 days a year).
I think the top 5 justifies being a list on your right column with attedence. Rides....
Expands your audience beyond the core Disney, Universal, Busch audience.
And I am just shocked my math actually worked out!
(FWIW, Matterhorn was supposed to be closed to rating since it's down for an extensive rehab, with new cars being installed. So I just reset its votes.)
BGW has Loch Ness Monster, which just looks spectacular and is unique (even if it doesn't feel as good as it looks). A clone of the best ride at BGT, Griffon. It has Apollo's Chariot which is a lovely coaster and the criminally under-rated Alpengeist. And that's without Verbolten.
There are so many parks here that are on my bucket list.
While I have pride in my home park, I believe that if it got crowds or press on TPI as Magic Mountain, it would be higher up. I guess thats just the way the chips fall since the website is very heavy on the CA and FL parks (cause lets face it, we have all been to those).
I agree, Raging Bull is the top coaster there!
Make sure to catch my press report on SFGA's X Flight on Friday, possibly Monday. From initial tests, I think this one may be a game changer!