Tournament 2018: Which is the best SeaWorld/Busch Gardens park?

March 10, 2018, 5:21 AM · Once upon a time, the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks were America's top quality competitor to Disney. But the loss of free beer when InBev bought Anheuser Busch and sold the parks, coupled with the invasion of Harry Potter at Universal, knocked the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens parks down a notch as Universal took its place as Disney's top rival in America.

But Busch Gardens and SeaWorld continue to offer some darned good times to fans who haven't forgotten about the chain. Even though you've got to pay for the beer now, the parks collectively offer multiple food and wine and beer festivals throughout the year, winning praise from many fans. The chain's coasters continue to rank among the nation's best. And, oh yeah, some of us continue to appreciate the opportunity to see and connect with animals from around the world in real life — an experience that no video ever can match. The chain's care and rehabilitation of animals injured in the wild is second to none, as well.

So which of these parks does the best job in entertaining and educating its guests? Here are our candidates, linked to their rating and review pages here on Theme Park Insider:

As always, your ratings and reviews of these parks' attractions on their listing pages are encouraged and welcomed. Register here to be able to leave written reviews for each ride, in addition to the ratings that are open to everyone.

Time to vote! Let's hear your arguments for each park, in the comments.

Let's wrap up the week so far: In the European region, Alton Towers has advanced as the UK's best theme park. In Asia, Shanghai Disneyland has advanced as Disney's best park in China. In the North American Regional Parks region, Dollywood has advanced among the "indie" parks. And in the North American "Big Brands" region, Islands of Adventure advanced as the top Universal Orlando park.

Tomorrow, we will continue in the European region, with Disneyland Paris taking on Walt Disney Studios Park. And on Monday, it's Universal Studios Japan versus Universal Studios Singapore up first, followed by the second half of our "America's best coaster park" vote, featuring Cedar Point, Kings Island, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Six Flags Over Texas. Thanks for voting!

Replies (10)

March 10, 2018 at 8:25 AM ·

Tie goes to the park with the best landscaping and operations, so i'm going with BGW on this one.

March 10, 2018 at 9:59 AM ·

Totally agree. The revamped food selections, landscaping, theming, cleaniness and customer service never ceases to amaze me. BGW

March 10, 2018 at 10:10 AM ·

I’ve only visited the 2 parks in Florida, but for me Busch Gardens in way ahead of Seaworld. In the next year or so I’m planning to visit BGW so who knows my vote then might change ??
I just wish BGT would add something new ... Falcon’s Fury has been there a few years now. I live in hope of a RMC conversion of Guazi ... why else would it still be standing .. ? ... :)

March 10, 2018 at 10:15 AM ·

Had DarKastle remained open, this would be easy. Thus, it was a tough choice between BGT and SWO. In the end, I went with SeaWorld because they at least have some indoor attractions, something Busch Gardens sorely needs for those rainy days.

March 10, 2018 at 6:02 PM ·

Love BGW the best. The rides, the landscaping all top notch. Visited Sea World San Antonio for the first time today and it was awful. Not a lot there and then much was broke down.

March 10, 2018 at 7:22 PM ·

BGT wins on the coaster front, but I feel that BGW is the overall superior park. I haven't been to SWSA yet, but while I enjoy the other two SeaWorlds they just don't provide as good of an experience as either of the Busch Gardens parks.

March 10, 2018 at 8:12 PM ·

BGT all the way. Animals, rides, and shows are fantastic. The park is clean and the landscaping for the food and wine festival are extraordinary. Family friendly with employees who care.

March 11, 2018 at 7:58 AM ·

I know the seaworlds won’t win but since I haven’t been to the Busch Gardens Parks yet (I’m going to Williamsburg in the spring) I’ll choose Seaworld San Diego, which is the most beautiful Seaworld that I’ve been to out of all of them!

March 11, 2018 at 1:04 PM ·

Whoever voted for Sea World San Antonio....explain yourself!!! :)

March 12, 2018 at 9:56 AM ·

BGT. Both BG parks are exceptional but BGT is the most beautiful park I've visited within the continental US. My visit to BGT a couple of days before Christmas was probably the best time I ever had at a theme park in this country. Watching cheetah run, seeing my first ringtailed lemur, getting in 18 roller coaster rides plus 2 drop tower rides, having the best pizza I've ever found at a theme park...good stuff. Also, I find BGT much easier to navigate than BGW, where I almost invariably get lost b/c the layout is not nearly as easy to follow.

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