Just came back from our first trip ever to BGE and found myself disappointed. It just was not what I thought it would be in my mind, I guess. Alpengeist was EXTREMELY rough on the body and I've never felt sick after ANY coaster before. Big Bad Wolf was worse. Griffon was all that everyone's claimed it to be. What a smooth and great coaster. I'm still glad we went because we can say that's one more park we went to, but overall it just didn't live up to my expectations, I guess. This coming from someone who's real closest theme park is in Silverwood and we've never been there. One thing I did like about it, however, were there were pretty much no wait times regardless of the time of day we went. I think the longest wait was 15 minutes on any of the rides, that was awesome. Definitely will not be going back to this park.
On the other hand, we are taking our third trip to Disneyland with some folks who have never been before and we just did a big trip there last year. We're very excited to be a part of the experience. You really seem to lose yourself in some of the bigger well themed parks. I know when we go on vacation, we love that experience of really being as far away as possible, physically (and mentally) from reality and some parks such as Univeral and Disney do it better than others.
All this to say that I truly couldn't make a choice.
No BGT either? Once again I think the choices are lacking and will be abstaining.
For my money, I stand by my comments in that thread explaining why Disney's Animal Kingdom is my favorite theme park with EPCOT taking a close second. BGE was an awesome trip, but it did not topple my love for DAK.
I guess I'll stick to Screamscape and participate on the local sites from now on.
FWIW, there are three main sections of the site:1) The "Blog Flume" front page blog.2) The attraction/restaurant/hotel ratings/reviews3) The Discussion forum (for questions and answers about park trips, attraction design, etc.)
I think Dollywood is absolutely beautiful and I'm glad to see it get recognition.
But when it comes to combining Disney-style theming with thrilling attractions, IOA wins hands down. Universal Orlando is the ultimate experience as a whole.
This park has it all:
Food (though Mythos is good too, the best counter service)
and is secret weapon.....shows!
It's exciting to see Dollywood on the map, even though there is no chance it will win. It's kind of like the indie film of the bunch. Busch is a nice option, and I'm happy that a non-Disney/Uni park is so strong.
It's also exciting to see Animal Kingdom make a bid for the best park after receiving so much negative publicity in its first few years of operation. Amazing what a fresh show and a roller coaster can do for a place. Still, I have to say, the layout and traffic engineering of the park cause so many bottlenecks that it feels more congested than the Magic Kingdom, which inhibits the length I can stand to visit. That, coupled with Hester and Chester, cause me to question how this park beat the other three WDW parks.
Even more disappointing is how IOA made it into the finals. Although it's an enjoyable park, it has diminished so much over its short run that I couldn't possibly put it in the top six parks.
Since I haven't seen BGE or Dolly, my vote is for DisneyLand or Universal Studios Florida, two parks that keep getting better in my eyes. Too bad Epcot didn't make it ...
For our 25th I took my wife to Dollywood. Everybody was so helpful, the shows were fantastic and the rides looked top notch. However, being somewhat big there was NO accommodating my 46 in waist on any ride. My wife would definitely vote for DW.
P.S. I agree that BG Africa should have done better. I've gone like 4 times this year and it never ceases to be a day well spent.
Busch Gardens Europe may not be in the same league as the Orlando parks, but then Williamsburg VA is not anything like central Florida (thank goodness!). For my money, BGE is about the best of all possible worlds - Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot, Griffon and of course the Loch Ness Monster provide all the thrills I need, while the park itself is beautiful, cool even on 100 degree days because of all the trees, landscaping and proximity to water, and the views from the top of the coasters are unparallelled. The food is good, although expensive, and other than the weekends, the lines are not unreasonably long. It is a great park to visit in the late afternoon into early evenings on these scorcher mid-Atlantic days, and even better in the evenings. Riding Griffon at night provides one of the most outstanding views of any coaster in any park I've visited. Nothing in Florida can compare.