Jack Williams

Published: May 28, 2007 at 8:26 PM

I found it hard to decide on the best theme park. I think several of them are very well-executed and have great attractions. Happy voting!
Mark Walker

Published: May 29, 2007 at 12:59 AM

Well, I was hoping to put in a British park in that list, but when it comes down to it, Islands Of Adventure is the best park in the world!
Erik Yates

Published: May 29, 2007 at 6:51 AM

Very hard decision. What do you base it on? Overall themeing? Thrills? Loyalty? I voted Dollywood, it had the funnest rides, very nice themeing, low crowds, good food, it was relatively inexpensive, and the staff was some of the friendliest I had ever seen. It was a tossup between them and Busch Gardens Europe.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: May 29, 2007 at 7:08 AM

I've always tried to keep the criteria a bit vague, Erik. Different people have different standards, and I like to see each individual approach each attraction's rating from his/her own criteria. That way, collectively, the ratings work out most accurately.
Larry Zimmerman

Published: May 29, 2007 at 6:41 PM

What IS a "theme park"? That is the question. Is Cedar Point a "theme" park, or is it just roller coaster heaven? (heaven!) And does that make it a "theme park"? You have to compare parks to other parks to make sense of the term. Some are heavily themed, where the theme becomes the raison d'etre for the park area, not just an excuse for somewhat related attraction names. Compare BGA (not listed) with BGE, for example. BGA does what no other park does (and even Disney tried but didn't quite get right) - mixes a theme park and a zoo. But even BGA (my home park, and so I'm a bit miffed it didn't make the list) has had to stretch theming considerably in several areas to get rides and attractions to fit. BGE, on the other hand, has so artfully blended rides and attractions with their themed areas that one can literally get lost in the experience. And, outside of Disney, they are the best at it. I have no particular affinity toward the Mouse (I successfully completed the Disney 12-step program several years ago, and can now visit for a few days at a time without losing perspective), but I find it hard not to give them credit for theming in most of their rides and attractions. After all, who can argue against the detail found in Animal Kingdom and its several lands??? With the glaring exception of the dinosaur-"themed" area, their attention to detail and level of "realism" is surpassed only by International Showcase at Epcot -- and that's because a lot of that area is authentic, not "themed." So I personally don't see how I could, in good conscience, vote for anything other than a WDW park. Given the agreed-upon concept of "theme park," then one must consider what makes a particular park the "best." What rating scale and on which elements? Parking, entrance, layout, transportation, shows, rides, food, staff, cleanliness, crowd control...and then there are sub-elements ...motion control, lighting, audio, condition, authenticity, comfort, apparent (real) danger, etc. How can any one park be the best at all aspects? The answer...it can't (or probably won't be). So how does one choose?
Drew Petzold

Published: May 29, 2007 at 6:46 PM

Of all the parks I have been to, including WDW, I think BGE is one of the best theme park, because the theming is outstanding. BGE makes the rides fit in with the theme of the country that area of the park represents, from the gardens to the restaurants and so forth.

During their Howl-O-Scream, the theming is even better, as the Halloween theme gets in high gear. And, they even fir the theming of these events with the country they are representing.

Overall, this park is wonderfully themed and kept up, and has gotten my vote.!! :)