7 Theme Parks That I Love

Anybody who reads my blog often knows that I strive to make this a place of love and celebration for theme parks considering how much of the enthusiast community is full of bitching and moaning. So here's another post celebrating some things I love, this time focusing on parks. I don't think I've ever done a favourite parks list on here, and if I have it's way outdated by now and in dire need of a refresh. Either way, here are some parks that I ADORE!

I swear to god whoever designed Efteling lived inside my head at some point. I'm a little bit obsessed with fairytales and whilst I do enjoy the cutesy candy Disney take on them I've always preferred mine with a little bit more of a quirky Brian Froud style edge. Efteling is fantastical but with a dark side, they don't try to gloss over the scarier parts and with that there's a much purer element of fantasy that I just can't get enough of. I'm a sucker for an old school dark ride and Efteling has them by the dozen. I love the weirdly wonderful architecture and I love how everything kind of flows nicely together despite having quite different themes, all strung together under the 'fairytale' heading. I think I could easily spend a week at Efteling and not get bored, I'd happily spend all day getting lost in Sprookjesbos!

I'm a bit of a sucker for the weird retroness of Walt Disney World, and nowhere is this more visible than at EPCOT. Think about it, that place is so bloody weird, why does it even exist? Why would anybody want to go on a boat ride through a greenhouse? Who the hell thought that annoying song Figment sings would be a good idea? None of it makes any sense and that's why I love it so much. Oh, and all the carpet, what the hell? I know parks need to update to draw new visitors but I am sad at seeing all the weird old innovative stuff disappear to be replaced with a finer polished product, takes some of the personality away! Either way, who doesn't love drinking around the world followed by a drunken ride on Spaceship Earth wondering what the hell is going on? 

What kind of enthusiast would I be if I missed Phantasialand off of this list? It's kind of the perfect theme park for me, especially with the addition of Taron and Klugheim. I adore how the park kind of closes in around you and completely immerses you in their story. The rides are unique and full of wtf moments: I love taking Phantasialand newbies on the likes of Winjas and River Quest for the first time and just watching their faces. Every attraction is well thought out and brilliant in its own way, it's one of the very few parks I visit where I pretty much want to ride every single thing at the park. There's just no dead space. And on top of that, the resort hotels are top notch, what's not to love?

I think you have to visit the original Disneyland in California to understand what I mean when I talk about the sense of nostalgia that pretty much smacks you in the face the instant you step foot inside. I've only visited once in 2012 and yet everything felt familiar and homely, like I'd be visiting my whole life. How could a place I'd never visited before feel so warm and familiar? I love the fact that Walt himself actually walked the streets of the park, you can kind of imagine him wandering around as you're making your way down Main Street. And the fact that everything is kind of...miniature? It's well known that the castle is diddy but the same goes for pretty much all of the lands, everything is on a slightly smaller scale which just adds to making everything feel more magical!

Silver Dollar City
I absolutely adore a rustic Western theme and woodland vibes and Silver Dollar City absolutely nails that rustic mountain Americana for me. The coasters are excellent and weave in amongst their beautiful setting in the Ozarks perfectly, meaning you can do some incredible nature sightseeing as you ascend the lifthills! It's got a pretty classic theme park ride line-up but thrown amongst it is some incredible food, fabulous little shops and excellent good ol' fashioned customer service. Most of the ride ops are cute old people who're just doing their job for fun, and the vibe they create is just so HAPPY! Corn bread and RMCs, it's like this park was designed just for me.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Honestly, I've never understood the hate that the Six Flags parks get. I've always had a fun day out and never had an issue with anything from operations to customer services, it's always been excellent for me! But my favourite Six Flags park and thus one of my favourite of all time is definitely Six Flags Fiesta Texas. As I've said above of Alton Towers, I love a park with a unique setting and Six Flags Fiesta Texas does its best to play with the cliffside against which it sits. I also think it has slightly more character than your usual Six Flags park, seems like a little more effort has gone into theming some of their attractions (like the fabulous Bugs Bunny log flume for example). On top of that the park has a stellar ride line-up with Iron Rattler and Superman, you'd be crazy not to love this park. 

Tokyo DisneySea
Last but most certainly not least, and top of pretty much every coaster enthusiast's must-visit park list since it opened, the stunning Tokyo DisneySea. This park has to be seen to be believed. I can't even begin to describe how insanely detailed and breathtaking the theming in this park is. You pretty much just spend the day wandering around with your jaw dropping in awe because you can't quite believe that what you're looking at is real. It really is that amazing. And it's pretty much THE place to be if you love dark rides. Every single one is incredible in its own right and so brimming with narrative and storytelling detail that you have to reride a few times to take it all in properly. My only gripe is that there wasn't MORE. Despite each attraction being absolute perfection there just aren't lots of them, so on a quieter day you may find yourself reriding the same thing over and over, which in the case of DisneySea isn't necessarily a bad thing!

Ohh, writing that has just made me super sad knowing that I won't get to visit half of these amazing parks again any time soon. Boooo! Oh well, at least that means plenty of trip ideas for the future!

Talk later xoxo,