Non-Coaster-Centric Parks I Want To Visit

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I'm very guilty of only really having attractions on my radar to visit if they have some sort of cred offering. Mostly because I use websites like RCDB, Coast2Coaster and Coaster-Count for my trip planning and park knowledge. So inadvertently I've created a bit of a blind-spot for myself when it comes to themed attractions that don't have any creds. But I am very much more of a themed attraction enthusiast as opposed to a coaster enthusiast, so I of course have a bucket list of non-coaster centric parks I'd like to visit too (they just don't get as much priority because creds take precedent). This is five non-coaster-centric parks I'd love to visit one day. 

Puy du Fou in France first appeared on my radar courtesy of the yearly TEA attraction attendance report. I was shocked to see a park on Europe's most visited that I'd never heard of, that somehow attracted millions of visitors per year. For those who don't know, the French park is described as a 'historical theme park' and whilst it doesn't have any rides as such, it has tons of themed sets across the attraction, each depicting some kind of high-action, special effects show themed around a certain era in history. Like Warwick Castle on steroids. 

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And man, the shows are ALL just absolutely mind-blowing looking. I've watched a few videos in the past when the attraction first piqued my interest to see what all the fuss was about the most visited theme park in France after Disneyland and they all look brilliant. Stand out effects include tons of pyro and explosions, a huge Viking longship literally emerging from the water as well as various choreographed battle routines all with epic soundtracks. If shows are your thing then Puy du Fou is definitely somewhere you should pay attention because it sounds like nothing else in the world. 


Recently in theme park news again after Taylor Swift attempted to sue the park for use of the name Evermore, this Utah based American theme park which opened in 2018 is all about role-playing and immersing yourself in a narrative that unfolds as your day progresses. I guess it's like a live-action Dungeons and Dragons type thing, where your choices and actions affect the outcome of your quest. Similarly to Puy du Fou, there aren't any actual rides (except a train) and the park is way more about the theming and scenery to bring the Evermore world to life. 

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I am so desperate to visit this place. I'm a big fan of that traditional 'fantasy' style theming, being a big fan of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, and a huge reason why lands like Klugheim resonate so much with me. But mostly it's the intrigue - there are very few pictures or videos from inside Evermore, just stylised concept art showcasing the magic that awaits within and honestly it sends my imagination spiralling whenever I see it. Also they do seasonal storyline including a spooky Halloween version, which obviously is a must for me at some point in my life!




A bit of a cheeky one here because yes, Siam Park is a water park so is a little different from the other attractions on this list, but as a theming enthusiast I feel like it's a bucket list park for me. Located in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Siam Park is often proclaimed to be one of the best water parks in the world, and certainly the most beautiful. Having opened in 2007, there were original plans to develop the park into more of a water/theme park hybrid including a rollercoaster! 

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As much as I wouldn't say I'm the biggest water park fan, I certainly can appreciate a gorgeous looking theme park whatever the weather, and I am partial to a good tube slide or six. The setting of Siam Park looks absolutely lush with all of the lovely foliage crowding around the various themed structure to give it a real sense of tropical wilderness. Plus the place doubles up as a mini aquatic wildlife park too with sea lions, sharks and tropical birds. 


As much as I am an atheist, the bible and Christianity in general has a wealth of amazing stories to pull from to create an endless world of storylines for a rich and plentiful theme park experience. And yes, I know this one sounds like something straight out of The Simpsons but The Holy Land Experience is indeed a real place located just fifteen minutes outside of Disney World at the heart of theme park country. Having opened in 2001, the concept is the brainchild of a Baptist priest and offers exhibits, shows and walkthrough that bring the stories of the Holy Land to life. 

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The theming looks pretty great for what is arguably a slightly larger-than-life roadside attraction as opposed to anything Orlando would identify as a fully-fledged theme park, but for me it's just the strange kitschiness of the whole thing that draws my attention. I'm a big fan of the tacky and camp things of this world, even the vulgar from time to time and The Holy Land Experience seems to toe that line from what I can tell. Sadly, it was announced earlier this year that the attraction would be closing, however it did open for a one off session about a month ago so rumours are still circulating that the pearly gates haven't closed forever just yet. 


OK now this one IS cheating because it is very much closed, dead as a doornail (Dickens fans will see what I did there.) I...honestly I no idea why I never went to Dickens World, but I think it's likely because it was in it's prime slightly before I got really into theme parks in a big way and was more pre-occupied with GCSEs and things, but this place looked very much up my street. Located in Kent, Dickens World was an indoor themed attraction focused on the life and work of Charles Dickens. It's all crooked Victorian soot-covered chimneys and bleak, dark alleyways - very much reminiscent of the Jack the Ripper scenes from the London Dungeon, in some parts even looking a little Diagon-Alley-esque. 

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And yes, the place had no coasters but it did have a few rides, including a Great Expectations themed boat ride (the attraction I'm most gutted about never experiencing for myself), a 4D movie and a haunted house as well as various animatronic scenes, themed sets, play areas, restaurants and gift shops. I'm a little bit in love with the set design to be honest - as mentioned it's very much Potter without the finesse and much more grit. What a shame it closed forever in 2016 after less than ten years in operation to become a leisure centre. Fun fact - the theming company responsible for Dickens World went on to create Peppa Pig World and Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park!

It's always worth having a dig around to see what other themed attraction experiences there are in the world, especially if you're like me and tend to use coaster-centric sites to plan where your next visit will be, as you may very well uncover a hidden gem or indeed, discover that there's a hugely popular themed attraction you had no idea existed. 

What's a non-coaster-centric park you'd like to visit? Have you been to any of the parks on my list? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,

1 comments

  1. Have you been to the Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire? It's not a theme park per se but really kitschy and bizarre! Lots of themed tunnels and surprises. We went recently and loved it!

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