The Number One Amusement Park in the U.S. is…NOT a Disney Park

It’s no secret that we enjoy visiting theme parks, and sometimes people forget that Disney World and Universal Studios are not the only theme parks in the United States!

Cinderella Castle

There are many incredible theme parks to try in the U.S., but which ones are the best? If you think Disney World tops the list, a recent Tripadvisor ranking would tell you you’re wrong.

Tripadvisor just released their Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best awards for amusement parks in the U.S., and you might be surprised by this list! Five different Florida amusement parks made the top ten list, but neither Disney World nor Universal made it to number one.

10. Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens comes in at number 10 as one of the five Florida theme parks that made the list! This theme park is located in Tampa Florida.

©Busch Gardens

9. Santa’s Village

Santa’s Village, which you can find in Jefferson, New Hampshire, is number 9 on the list.

©Santa’s Village

8. Fun Spot America

Coming in at 8 is Fun Spot America, which is located in Kissimmee, Florida, not far from Disney World.

©Fun Spot America

7. Funland

Funland is number 7, found in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


6. Silver Dollar City

Over in Branson, Missouri, you can find number 6 on the list, Silver Dollar City.

©Silver Dollar City

5. Universal Studios Florida

We finally get to Universal Studios Florida at number 5!

Universal Studios Florida

4. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood, over on the west coast, ranks one number higher than its Florida counterpart.

Universal Studios Hollywood

3. Magic Kingdom

We finally get to Magic Kingdom at number 3!

Magic Kingdom

2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Universal’s Islands of Adventure, located in Orlando, Florida, is number 2 on the list.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure

1. Dollywood

According to Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best awards for amusement parks in the U.S., Dollywood is the number one winner! Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains, and it’s known for 11 different attractions and award-winning shows.

Dollywood won!

Not long ago, Dollywood was ranked number seven on the USA Today Top 10 Theme Parks, and the Dollywood Dreammore Resort & Spa achieved the USA Today list of Top 10 Theme Park Hotels. If you love to experience theme parks, you may want to consider a trip to Dollywood!

©Dolly Parton

As it turns out, Magic Kingdom is the only Disney Park to make the top ten list, with Disneyland at number 11, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 12, Blizzard Beach at 13, and Typhoon Lagoon at 18. That means Disney’s Animal Kingdom nor EPCOT made the top 25!

Disneyland made it to number 11

According to Tripadvisor, this ranking is determined from traveler reviews and ratings, as well as rankings in categories like experiences, attractions, and more. The top winners rank among the top 1% of Tripadvisor.

What do you think about these ratings? Let us know in the comments and keep reading AllEars for more theme park news and updates!

Why Disney World wasn’t voted best theme park.

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44 Replies to “The Number One Amusement Park in the U.S. is…NOT a Disney Park”

  1. How do these little regional amusements parks get on a Top 10 list and yet Cedar Point, other Busch Gardens, Six Flags…etc. are not?
    Yes I agree about Dollywood but it would seem this is one of those lists that folks vote on their local place becuase they haven’t been anywhere else. Dumb!

  2. I am a huge fan of the theme park here in my beautiful Colorado home; Elitch Gardens aka Elitches. It’s not really a theme theme park but an an experience of a theme park and we don’t shut down just because of rain.

  3. Go to Cedar Point!!! Roller Capital of the World!!! KI is not worthy? 🤔 whatever it takes to get my home park from being overloaded

  4. What happened to Knobles in Pennsylvania it’s always #1 because it’s great place to picnic bring pets and grills to cook on and it’s FREE

  5. Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, is the best theme park in America. Maybe you haven’t been to enough of them to build a top ten list.

  6. Yes Dollywood
    Disney treats you poorly
    No trams to your car after an exhausting day in the Hollywood park.

  7. Hello… Cedar point? Been going for decades that place has continuously busted records with their coasters

    1. We didn’t make the list. This is from TripAdvisor and rankings were based on reviews they received.

  8. This list is extremely mistaken if only because Cedar Point in Northern Ohio is not on the list. Cedar point is an enormous amusement park.

    1. Between massive crowds, exorbitant cost per ticket, expensive food and lodging, and the new Genie system, which I have heard nightmare stories about, I have no desire to ever go to any Disney park again, and I live in Florida! They continually find the most blatant ways to inconvenience and fleece people, which I think would definitely break Walt’s heart. There was a time that a family didn’t have to break the bank to go, but now, unless you’re wealthy, a trip to Disney is going to take a very sizeable chunk out of your budget. It’s the same with the other big Orlando parks, but they all just follow Disney’s lead.

  9. Disney is tooo expensive and became a luxury park NOT A Normal have d working family. Park
    Families used to save money and WAS able to afford it.
    Now, people are visiting cheaper more affordable parks .

  10. Cedar point should be in the top 10. Best roller coaster park in the world, let alone the US. Rides for all ages. Great pricing and good. Water park is top notch. Plus you can just beach it and rent boats or jet skis. This list is garbage for leaving them out.

  11. Dolly wood hands down. We have season passes to Disney and dollywood. After this year only Dollywood. Great park plenty of rides and shows and the staff treat you like you matter instead of just a paying customer/visitor.

  12. I’m a season passholder to Dollywood and it is amazing! Their fall and Christmas themes are the best! I’m a huge Disney fan but Dollywood is my top choice.

  13. No way can Dollywood be number one! It does not compare to the Disney parks! The Disney parks have rides for all ages and the food at the Disney parks are phenomenal! Dollywood offers very few dining options and the food is not as good as the Disney parks. The shows at Disney parks are better as well!

    1. How can u have a list without six flags magic mountain
      They have the most rollercoasters ina single theme park

    2. You’re exactly right. The crowds at Dollywood do not compare to the insane crowds at Disney. Dollywood has plenty of rides for kids and several big-time roller coasters.
      The workers are incredibly friendly, and the park is extremely clean. I’ve been to Cedar Point (should be on this list), Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Disney and Universal. Dollywood is definitely right at the top.

  14. This is coming from a DVC member but Dollywood is wonderful. They still have some growing pains but it’s a great place.

  15. These rankings are ridiculously and not to be taken seriously. I’ve been to seven of the amusement parks on the list and NOT ONE can hold a candle to ANY of the Disney parks. So the question, how much did these other parks pay to the creators of this list?

  16. How could you miss a theme park older than Disney who offers free free refills on your visit!!! HOLIDAY WORLD in Santa Claus, IN

  17. Smaller local and regional parks I feel ae going to thrive post covid even with staff shortages and such. They are generally cheaper and easier to get to and less crowded than the major parks in Florida. And many of them have a better atmosphere right now, even if they are not themed to the gills like Disney. Parks Like Knoebels in PA and Busch Gardens Williamsburg are better than the major parks. I’m not surprised to see Santa’s Village make the top 10, it’s a great park that actually does have a really good theme and is super family friendly

  18. Shhhhhhh 🤫 don’t tell anyone!! Dollywood is busy enough as it is anyway. We love Dollywood! We have season passes this year for it and we’ve had a blast!! I can’t wait to see how they do fall and Christmas. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous! ❤️ I know WDW is busier than ever and they probably don’t care. But I feel they’ve pushed out the little people (that includes me, who had an AP from 2010-19) for the almighty 💵💲💵. Guests are rude, CMs are not super happy or as friendly as they were, and this started even BC…Before Covid. 🙄 I’m sure I’ll be back sometime, but I honestly have no desire to go at all right now. 😔

    1. 😂Now Now, You Must Share now, It’s The Southern thing to do. …. ( I’ll be there In September with my Boyfriend. We’ll try to keep out the way. Haha) Actually I know how you must feel, You bought the tickets & now they’re telling everyone to go there. 😡 I hate overly packed theme parks

    2. I’ve only been once for a weekend and it was amazing there…not only the park but surrounding area…will definitely be back!

  19. Clearly Trip Advisor needs to stick with hotels and leave the theme parks to the less than 65 and up category. Also people, just because you had a great banana split doesn’t make the whole theme park amazing, wait times, rides, record breaking thrill rides, shows, crowd control, hassle, themes, and price are just a few things to think about. For instance Disney World has great food and themeing, but with all, the ridiculous amounts of people,not just people but people with nothing to do because the park is too over crowded. not to mention lines, the hassle of this horrible jenie app, parking, and ontop of it all of the price?? I’m surprised even 1 of their parks made the list. But they have great corndogs!!

    1. I question any list that puts Funland in its top 10 list. It’s a typical, unremarkable boardwalk amusement park. Since it isn’t even a theme park, it shouldn’t even be on this list.

  20. I think it is absurd that Universal Hollywood is ranked higher than Universal Florida. Hollywood is cramped and that escalator 😱

    1. No mention of King’s Island or Cedar Point? If you’re a fan of roller coasters and similar rides, those two are two of the best in the country.