Do You Agree?

New Study Says These Are The Top 10 Best Amusement Parks In the US

Ngl, the park that snagged the top spot surprised me.

Guests ride the Velocicoaster at Universal Orlando.
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Few things say summer fun like packing up the fam and heading to an amusement park. And, sure, you know the major players (cough, Disney World, cough, Universal Orlando), but with over 600 amusement parks in the United States, have you really tapped into the maximum potential of this world filled with roller coasters and carnival games? If you do go to Disney or Universal, which parks within those ecosystems should you prioritize?

Here to help: A new study that claims to have pinpointed the top 10 best amusement parks in the U.S.

Conducted by Hello Millions, the study looked at theme parks across North America to perform an in-depth analysis of seven ranking factors: Google rating, percentage of five-star Google reviews, TripAdvisor rating, percentage of five-star TripAdvisor “excellent” ratings, TikTok posts with relevant hashtags, Yelp rating, and percentage of five-star Yelp reviews. Using these rankings, Hello Millions created an index that scored each park out of 100, with the highest-scoring park taking the crown.

Not surprisingly, Disney theme parks dominate the list while, surprisingly, Six Flag Parks didn’t make the top 20 cut. So, without further ado, say hi to the study’s most highly rated amusement parks in the country, counting down to No. 1.

10. Hollywood Studios at Disney World: 78.21/100

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Am I the only one surprised Hollywood Studios isn’t higher on the list? Between Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this park is about as immersive as you can get. When it comes to rides, it boasts timeless classics (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror) and new favorites (Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway). However, it is a smaller park, clocking in at only nine rides.

9. Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio: 83.01/100

Roller coaster enthusiasts rave about this 364-acre amusement park with 18 world-class coasters. Situated on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point is considered a must-do destination if you’re looking for things to do near Cleveland. In total, it offers 68 rides, a one-mile-long beach, an outdoor water park, an indoor water park, and an outdoor sports complex. It may have gotten docked a few points due to reviewers citing long lines and pricey food.

8. Blizzard Beach Water Park at Disney World: 83.34/100

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It makes sense at least one official water park would make the list — sometimes you just want to beat the heat and have a “non-theme park” day on vacation. One of two water parks at Florida’s Disney World (where beating the heat is priceless), Blizzard Beach offers one of the world’s tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, along with a slew of other slides and attractions mellow enough for the entire family.

7. Universal Studios Florida: 83.83/100

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C’mon, No. 7?! Being at Universal Studios Florida is like being thrown into your favorite TV shows and movies in real life, and there’s nothing better for cinephiles. While I understand how this park landed lower on the list than its Islands of Adventure counterpart (fewer Wizarding World attractions), it still has some serious gems: The Simpsons Ride, E.T. Adventure (I said what I said), Diagon Alley with Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts... not to mention the entirety of Minion Land.

6. Magic Kingdom at Disney World: 87.73/100

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I’d have predicted Magic Kingdom would easily have secured the first or second spot. On 107 acres, this sprawling park is known as “the most magical place on earth” and is home to iconic attractions like Cinderella’s Castle. Plus, it offers considerably more rides than the other Disney World parks, with more on the way — a new section is under development for the area beyond Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

5. Universal’s Islands of Adventure: 89.86/100

Universal Orlando

We’re getting closer to where Universal’s parks should rank, but in my humble theme-park-loving opinion, this should be a top-three park. In addition to the kid-friendly Seuss Landing and the recently revamped Jurassic Park, Islands of Adventure houses Hogsmeade Village and the major Wizarding World attractions, including Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

4. Animal Kingdom at Disney World: 90.76/100

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Listen, I’m not mad at this. Give me an amusement park that doubles as a zoo any day of the week! The largest theme park in the world by area at 500+ acres, Animal Kingdom offers a unique hybrid of rides, restaurants, wildlife-viewing opportunities, and conversation education. It doesn’t hurt that this park is home to Avatar Flight of Passage, a Pandora-themed 3D flight simulator with a 4.8-star rating on Google.

3. Disneyland Park: 91.88/100

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Hm. Who knew? Although Disney World far outranks Disneyland in terms of visitors (58 million versus 19 million), the latter apparently ranks very highly with guests for overall experience. Fans praise it for a “classic Disney experience” and must-not-miss foods (smoked turkey legs, we’re looking at you).

2. Disney California Adventure: 92.79/100

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Located next to Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, is this 72-acre Disney park billed more for adult and teen thrill-seekers. As the name suggests, it’s designed to honor some of the West Coast state’s most notable attractions. Its eight themed lands include Cali-centric names like Pacific Wharf — inspired by the Monterey and San Francisco waterfront areas — and Hollywood Land.

1. Epcot at Disney World: 92.83/100

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Well, well, well... the Disney World park that people often ponder skipping takes the crown. According to the research, Epcot is consistently rated “excellent” by guests who can’t get enough of the park’s foodie dining experiences, drinking around the World (Showcase), and innovative new rides like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.