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!Tweet
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Now open, or date announced:
Still waiting on these: