Top 4 Most Overrated Theme Parks In The World

We often see discussions about best theme parks in the world, but very rarely chat about what the most overrated theme parks in the world are. Generally speaking, I like to keep a positive vibe here on my humble corner of the internet. But that said, every now and then I find myself in a feisty mood and in the need to have a little vent. Having visited more than a handful of parks, I like to think that I've got a pretty good set of criteria to judge parks up against, and for the most part I do try really hard not to let outside opinions influencer my own, however when you hear the enthusiast community going on and on and on about how amazing a park is it gets to the point where it's impossible not to visit a park without expectations. And sometimes these expectations are not only not met, they're drastically under met. You find yourself stood in this place that everybody has built up as the best thing ever for you for so long and you look around wondering what the hell everybody loves about this place so damn much?! Here's my top five most overrated theme parks in the world!

I feel like there was a time in the early noughties where Port Aventura probably was pretty damn great. We didn't really have anywhere else in Europe that delivered on those big coaster thrills combined with high level theming that the parks everyone and their nan was jetting over to Orlando to visit, so it definitely offered something unique in that aspect. My beef with Port Aventura is that once upon a time this place was probably great. The reality is that since the Universal branding is but a distant memory it feels like the park stagnated in a big way and offered nothing in the way of innovation or overly exciting investments for years and years.

Don't get me wrong, I do love Shambhala, have a secret affection for Furius Baco and think the on-site accommodation is pretty fab. I don't hate this park. But do I think it's one of the best in Europe, or the world as I've seen many a PA fan argue? Hell no. To me it feels mega dated and stuck in that noughties nostalgic boom of theme parks (which I guess is why a lot of people love the place) and I just can't get past the hideous operations, overwhelming stench of BO in every damn queueline, theming covered in gum and graffiti and generally rude clientele which the park have seemingly no control over. It'll take a pretty mega coaster investment to get me back to Salou any time soon.

Apologies if this post is coming across as a series of humble brags, but whatever. This one is a recent epiphany of mine. Before my return to the Magic Kingdom around this time last year I had managed to clock up a visit to every Disney park in the world, and as such had experienced for myself the level of detail, finesse and love poured into other Disney parks. Returning to the Magic Kingdom after experiencing the likes of Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea and even Hong Kong Disneyland was like a splash of cold water to the face. The place feels utterly devoid of magic now - like Disney got too greedy, opened the floodgates to cram as many guests as possible in the park and didn't give a fuck if we had a good experience or not.

And if there's no magic to be had inside the Magic Kingdom, then what the hell is the point? I can literally experience a 'castle' park a thousand times more wonderful about an hour's train ride from my damn house, so why would I drag my ass across the Atlantic to queue three hours for a ride I was waiting twenty minutes for just a few years earlier. The Magic Kingdom of nowadays is a sorry state of affairs, and hugely under delivers of the promise of magic and wonder the travel agents sell in to you.

I'd heard quite a lot of things about Canada's Wonderland that made me eager to visit. Incredible HUGE B&M coasters! Unique and thrilling flat rides! Essentially the Cedar Point of Canada! What's not to want right? Well the reality is, Canada's Wonderland is completely and utterly underwhelming. Lord knows I'm not the hugest Cedar Fair fan anyway, but Canada's Wonderland to me felt like the worst example of a coasters-on-concrete style amusement park, but with hardly ANY redeeming coasters. In fact I'd go as far as to say that Yukon Striker was the only coaster I would bother riding again at Canada's Wonderland. The coaster line-up is actually pretty abysmal, especially when you consider the park has 17 of the damn things! Think about that, that's actually staggering - of 17 coasters only one left enough of an impact on me that I'd be interested in re-riding.

The park itself was absolutely packed when we visited too and the operations were absolutely dreadful, with queues moving at an agonisingly slow pace making the experience even more excruciating than a park packed with terrible coasters already is. The two B&M monsters were complete let-downs in my book and I guess if you don't enjoy those coasters it's kind of inevitable that you're not going to like the place, but considering how much people bang on about how amazing Leviathan is I really was expecting more.

This isn't my first time whinging about Europa Park on this blog and it certainly won't be my last, so buckle up! I am SICK of hearing enthusiasts talking about Europa Park like it's the second coming of Christ. The park is perfectly fine. The theming is pretty good, yes. The sheer size of the place is ridiculous so it's easy to see how people manage to spend days visiting the park. But are the rides good? Honestly...I've visited Europa Park three times and whilst I will often find myself sat on the sofa dreaming of riding Taron or wishing I was wandering around the fairytale forest in Efteling, I'm being completely honest with you about the fact that Europa Park barely even crosses my mind. It's just...average, in my opinion. In every aspect (except the stellar operations, obviously).

For me, Europa Park is the perfect example that quantity should not outdo quality and for me the place feels devoid of anything particularly spectacular. I think my main beef with Europa Park is that although it does some things well, there are parks just a couple of hours away that do them ten times better. Amazing coasters? I'll pop to Liseberg. Magical dark rides? I'll head to Efteling thanks. Wonderful theming combined with thrills? Phantasialand is right there. Immersive theme park resort experience? Errm, hello, Disneyland Paris?!

I guess it serves me right for letting the opinions of others influence my own expectations, but let's face it when there's an overwhelming opinion on a place it's hard to remain neutral! Gladly the majority of my park experiences have been fun ones but I guess you're bound to visit an overrated park sooner or later.

Talk later xoxo,


CONVERSATION

4 comments:

  1. Refreshing to see someone be blunt and brutally honest! I was planning on visiting Canadas Wonderland... might think again!

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    1. I wouldn’t advise against visiting Canada’s Wonderland as Yukon Striker is excellent, just don’t go expecting it to be amazing because other than that coaster it’s pretty drab in my opinion!

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  2. I also have visited all of the Disney parks at this point and you are DEAD ON about Magic Kingdom! Even in the US you can go to Disneyland and get on mostly better versions of the same rides with much shorter queues and a more pleasant atmosphere.

    Have you done/do you plan on doing a most underrated park list?

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    1. I will probably do a most underrated parks list, but not any time soon! Too many other posts to get through first haha :)

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