Orlando is home to TONS of theme parks! But can you guess which one was recently named the best in the country??
Thinking of planning a trip to one of the hundreds of theme parks across the United States? Well, if you’re debating which of the many possible destinations to add to your bucket list, we’ve got some news that might help you narrow it down!
USA Today recently released their latest ranking of the 10 Best Theme Parks in North America. And while the top spot did go to an Orlando park, it might not be the one you’re expecting. Taking the #1 spot in the Best Theme Park ranking is — drum roll please — SeaWorld Orlando!
In fact, none of the Disney or Universal theme parks made USA Today’s Top 10 Theme Parks list this year. As surprising as that may seem, it’s not that out of the ordinary for USA Today’s readers — last year in their Best Amusement Park poll, Universal didn’t make the top 10, and the only Disney park that cracked the list was Magic Kingdom at #9.
Here’s the full list of the 2022 top 10 winners in the Best Theme Park category:
- 1. SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
- 2. Silver Dollar City – Branson, Missouri
- 3. Kings Island – Mason, Ohio
- 4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia
- 5. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – Tampa, Florida
- 6. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
- 7. Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
- 8. Six Flags Magic Mountain – Valencia, California
- 9. Holiday World – Santa Claus, Indiana
- 10. HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania
The list is super similar to the Best Amusement Park top 10 list from 2021, the only differences are some of the placements and that the 2021 list included Magic Kingdom and Knott’s Berry Farm instead of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Holiday World.
According to USA Today, the process of deciding the rankings began with a panel of experts who partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees. Once the initial nominees were selected, the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.
Are you confused by the results? Yeah, we are a bit, too! When SeaWorld Orlando won for Best Amusement Park last year, we broke down what some of the reasons may be, including ticket prices, thrill rides, and entertainment.
We could understand why Disney might not be in the top 10 for Best Amusement Parks as these other parks on the list have more thrill rides, but when it comes to THEMING, Disney is pretty elaborate! So, it’s kind of weird that ALL of the American Disney Parks made the top 20, but none of them made the top 10.
And, Universal has both theming AND thrill rides, so what is the deal? It could just be who is actually voting in these polls. Maybe there are some super dedicated SeaWorld fans who set reminders for themselves to vote in the poll every single day.
Or, maybe there are some Disney and Universal fans whose votes got split between the different parks. For example, there could be more Disney fans voting in the poll, but the votes got split up between all of Disney World’s 4 parks and Disneyland’s 2 parks — the same goes for Universal. Whereas with SeaWorld Orlando, there is only 1 park to choose from!
We’ll continue to be on the lookout for more theme park news, so stay tuned to AllEars for more updates!
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Which theme park do you think is the best in the country? Let us know in the comments!