Where Would You Visit on a Dream Theme Park Vacation?

January 27, 2016, 2:37 PM · Two questions: First, what is your favorite theme park?

And, second, of all the other parks in the world, which one would you most want to visit (or visit again) someday?

One of the great things about the Internet is its ability to connect readers all over the world. And in this way, we can see, read, and hear others' first-hand reports from theme parks in other parts of our country and other parts of the world, whenever we want. Whether you actually end up making it to other parks beyond your favorite, just learning more about the wide variety of destinations around the world is a treat for theme park fans. (Just type the name of a park in our search bar at the top of each page to see what Theme Park Insider readers have said about it!)

In my Orange County Register column this weekend, I offered a brief description of five fun trips that theme park fans here in Southern California ought to consider for whenever they vacation outside the region. My short list for the Register includes parks in the United States as well as ones abroad:

Obviously, compiling a complete list of dream theme park vacations might not be possible, and your personal list is limited only by your imagination. (An actual itinerary is limited by much more, alas — including time, money, and family considerations.) But visiting theme parks provides an excellent way for people to expand their travel habits. Parks are built to welcome and accommodate a wide variety of visitors, in ways that few other popular tourist attractions can match. You don't need to learn another language to visit a theme park, no matter where you go in the world. After all, when people climb onto a roller coaster or thrill ride, they all scream in the same language.

Where would you visit on your dream theme park vacation?

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Replies (23)

January 27, 2016 at 3:08 PM

I might be going to Tokyo Japan next year, 2017. Hurray!!! I hope Frozen Land will open soon.

January 27, 2016 at 3:23 PM

I finally made it to TDR last year. It was absolutely worth it. I think Efteling is my next dream themepark.

January 27, 2016 at 3:46 PM

I thought the Tokyo Disney expansions were put on hold for a few years.

January 27, 2016 at 4:04 PM

If I'd already been there, then Disneyland Resort California. My favorite place in the world.
If I could go anywhere I haven't been to, it'd be Tokyo Disney Resort, no doubt.

January 27, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Universal Orlando is my favorite of the resorts I've visited. My dream park would be Efteling or Tokyo DisneySea.... A future trip to Europe is probably a bit more realistic for me than one to Japan :-).

January 27, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Favorite theme park? That's a tough question because I've visited so many parks. If I had to pick one, I'd probably say Busch Gardens Williamsburg, but Cedar Point and Disneyland are very strong contenders as well (Holiday World too, but that's more for their outstanding waterpark than anything).

Most want to visit someday? If I had to pick one park, probably Alton Towers in the United Kingdom. That park has intrigued me for almost as long as I've been an enthusiast. If I can pick a region, I'd absolutely go with Florida as I've been to most other parts of the US but never Florida.

In addition to the trips suggested in the article, I would also suggest an East Coast trip. The East Coast parks have a wide variety of attractions ranging from old classics that are rarely seen in modern times to some of the best roller coasters ever built. While most of the parks are not heavily themed, all can be fun for a day. For a two week road trip, I'd do a couple sightseeing days each in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, plus visit the following parks:

-Busch Gardens Williamsburg
-Great Escape (this one is optional)
-Hersheypark (may require two days)
-Kings Dominion
-Knoebels Amusement Park & Resort
-Lake Compounce (this is a 1/2 day park)
-Luna Park/Coney Island (do this as a 1/2 day while in New York City)
-Six Flags Great Adventure
-Six Flags New England

If you've got more time, Washington D.C. can be added to the trip, or if you want more theme parks there's a few worth adding in western Pennsylvania (Idlewild & SoakZone, Kennywood, and Waldameer).

January 27, 2016 at 5:17 PM

My favorite resort is WDW, but my favorite park is Disneyland Park.

If I could do any trip, I would do a midwest trip covering Cedar Point, Kings Island, Holiday World, Knoebels, Kennywood, Hersheypark, Dorney Park, and Six Flags Great Adventure.

January 27, 2016 at 5:24 PM

Favorite theme park: Epcot. Gawd it needs some TLC, but it's still my favorite place to go. The food, the beer, the rides, the atmosphere. I love it.

Where would I like to visit? Tokyo Disney, no question. I've got to visit Disney Sea. That park just looks amazing. That's on my bucket list.

January 27, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Start off in Japan, and see USJ and TDR. Fly to SoCal, and see the originals: SeaWorld, USH, and DLR. Finish it off with SeaWorld Orlando, UOR, and WDW.

January 27, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Six Flags New England and Lake Compounce are a good combo. If you fly into Hartford, it's only about a 17-minute drive to SFNE and from SFNE to LC, about 48 minutes. I did that a couple of years ago. The parks I've never visited that interest me the most are Alton Towers and Six Flags Over Texas. Alton Towers and Thorpe Park would make for an interesting trip.

January 27, 2016 at 9:26 PM

It's been my dream for maybe ten years to visit Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. We finally bit the bullet, and will visit this spring during a nine-day Japan trip.

Thanks to other TPI readers for helping plan the trip on the discussion board ("Day and 1/2 to visit Tokyo Disney Resort").

We're Southern California residents. In the past I've been to the Disney Florida parks and Busch Gardens Williamsburgh and Northern California parks, but my favorite park in its current condition is probably Knott's Berry Farm (or historically, 1980s-era Disneyland).

January 28, 2016 at 12:28 AM

I've been to almost every park in Cali and Orlando, so Tokyo Disney is at the top of my bucket list, with a side trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.

January 28, 2016 at 1:59 AM

My favorite resort is Universal Studios Orlando.
I love Efteling (but I could visit that one every day.
Tokyo is on my list. Not only the Disney parks but all of Tokyo.

January 28, 2016 at 10:14 AM

So what's the best (read: cheapest) time to visit Tokyo Disney Sea? That's at the top of my list! And how much can I expect to spend for tickets and hotel?

January 28, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Favorite park so far: DCA
Most want to visit someday: Tokyo Disney Sea

January 28, 2016 at 1:03 PM

Clayton the flights will be the most expensive as the park tickets are reasonable compared to US parks.

January 28, 2016 at 1:05 PM

For me WDW is my favorite park and if I could visit any it would be TDR with Efteling as a second choice.

January 28, 2016 at 1:12 PM

A week's trip around Pennsylvania in the summer. Kennywood, Hershey, Dorney, Knoebel's, Ldlewild, some classic parks and classic rides.

January 28, 2016 at 1:27 PM

My favorite parks are Great Adventure, Epcot, and Universal Orlando. On my bucket list, Alton, Thorpe, the Tokyo Disney parks, Universal Japan, Cedar Point, Magic Mountain, and both Busch parks in the US.

January 28, 2016 at 2:39 PM

The WDW parks will always be number 1 in my heart, my favorite one being MK. Disneyland's a close second. And I can't decide if Universal Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa is my third favorite. From an objective standpoint, UO beats beats BGT by a landslide, but on the other hand BGT has been my home park for practically my whole life and I have much more childhood nostalgia towards it.

And there's a crapload of parks I wanna visit! The only SoCal park I've visited is Disneyland, so doing an entire SoCal theme park tour is definitely on my bucket list. I'd also like to visit some high-profile Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks. Specifically, Great Adventure, Cedar Point, Dollywood, Over Texas, King's Island, Great America, Magic Mountain and Knott's really catch my interest. My family has tossed around the idea of visiting Washington DC the last couple years, so if that idea ever materializes I hope If be lucky enough to squeeze in a day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and if I'm even luckier a day at King's Dominion! I've also pondered the possibility of doing a theme park tour of all the other states in the Southeast/Gulf Coast region: start off with Carowinds then work my way westward; Six Flags Over Georgia; then end with SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Lags Over and Fiesta Texas.

As for international parks, visiting every single international Disney and Universal park has become a life's goal for me; Japan especially has been tantalizing me with the endless praise those 3 parks get. I actually will be visiting Paris this summer, so I was begging my parents to take us to Disneyland Paris, but they kept saying no. It eventually got to the point where they were just fed up with it and became convinced that the only reason I want to go to Europe is to see DLP, so I've pretty much stopped asking. Looks like that goal's gonna have to be put on hold for now... :*(. Alton Towers and Thorpe Park also look like lots of fun, Europa Park looks awesome and Efteling blasted it's way on to my bucket list after reading about it on this website's review page.

January 28, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Favorite Resort : WDW
Favorite Park: The only Disneyland that Walt has ever walked in.
Dream Resort: WDW, it's just so beautiful and spacious. Plus, I love looking at he beautiful natural ponds that surround the resort. I just wish that transportation between the parks was more efficient.

January 29, 2016 at 12:02 AM

Favorite park: Tokyo Disney Sea undoubtedly.

My dream would be to visit the great european parks: Efteling, Tivoli gardens, and Europa Park.

January 30, 2016 at 2:45 PM

I still need to make Cedar Point.
Do not waste your time on Six Flags, Arlington.

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