The largest and most famous 17 amusement parks in the world.
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Visiting an amusement park is the quintessential vacation for many families. There are dozens of amusement and theme parks around the world that showcase new cultures through walks, games, shows, parades or food. Regardless of age, you must arrive at an amusement park at least once. The adventure and adrenaline here does not compare to any other activity.
The most famous amusement parks in the world.
From classic theme parks in the United States to the famous animated theme parks in Japan, we have gathered the best theme parks in the world.
Universal Studios (Japan)
Universal Studios is one of the must-see tourist attractions when choosing to travel to Japan, especially for theme park fans. Although the park has many of the same attractions as the parks in Florida and California, there are some events and shows specific to the Japanese park.
The park was opened on March 31, 2001. More than 11 million guests visited the park in its opening year. Since then, Universal Studios Japan has had about 8 million visitors each year. Most visitors are Japanese tourists and tourists from other Asian countries, such as South Korea and China. It is also very popular with Western and expatriate tourists. In 2005, Goldman Sachs became the largest shareholder of Universal Studios Japan.
The park has an area of 54 hectares (130 acres). From the very beginning, the attractions were arranged in nine areas of the park. A tenth area, the World of Harry Potter, was opened on July 15, 2014. The area was divided into areas with the same names already existing at Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. There are also non-US attractions that are unique to Universal Studios Japan, such as Black Lake and Hogwarts Express Photo Op. An eleventh area, Super Nintendo World, was opened on March 18, 2021.
Gröna Lund (Stockholm, Sweden)
Gröna Lund brings together Swedish culture and the theme park experience in a unique and exciting way. The park offers over 30 adrenaline-filled experiences and concerts, available from April to September. After opening in 1883, it became one of the oldest theme parks in the world.
Located on the shores of Djurgården Island, it is relatively small compared to other amusement parks, mainly due to its central location, which limits expansion. The 3,8 ha (9,4 acre) amusement park has over 30 attractions and is a popular place during the summer. It was founded in 1883 by James Schultheiss. Gröna Lund offers the most common amusement park attractions, such as a Love Tunnel and seven roller coasters.
The park hosts various special events throughout the season, especially music concerts. Famous musicians who sang at Grona Lund include: Bob Marley and the Wailers in '77, '78 and '80, ABBA in '73, Europe in '84, The Cardigans in '97, Robyn in '99, Caesars in '02 , Dr. Alban in '03, A * Teens in '03, Pop Icon in '13, Tove Lo in '14, Meshuggah in '14, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Basshunter in '15, Deep Purple in '16, Ghost in '17, Zara Larsson in '17, Gojira in '19 and Sting in '19.
The park's capacity record was reached at Bob Marley's concert, which attracted 32.000 people in 1980. The record is unbeatable, as new regulations prevent such a large audience from attending Gröna Lund. American rapper Nas sang with almost 22.000 people in 2010.
Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Not to be confused with the Tivoli Gardens in Italy. Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens are a national treasure. Founded in 1843, it provided creative inspiration for Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney. The park is partly garden, part communal restaurant and partly theme park. At night, the park transforms when the colorful lights come on, creating the perfect fairytale backdrop for a fun night out with the family.
The park was opened on August 15, 1843 and is the third oldest amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken near Klampenborg (Denmark) and Wurstelprater (Austria). With 4,6 million visitors in 2017, Tivoli is the second most popular seasonal park in the world after Europa-Park and the fifth most visited park in Europe, behind Disneyland Park, Europa-Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and Efteling . It is located in the center of Copenhagen.
The park is best known for its wooden roller coaster, Rutschebanen, or as some call it, Bjergbanen (The Mountain Coaster), built in 1914. It is one of the oldest wooden roller coasters that still operates today. . An operator controls braking so that he does not gain too much speed while going down the hills. It is an ACE Coaster Classic.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySEA (Tokyo, Japan)
Tokyo Disneyland brings all the nostalgia of Disney parks in the United States and combines them with Japanese culture. Technology is what sets this park apart from all the others, with attractions like Pooh's Hunny Hunt and parades like Dreaming Up! Tokyo Disney is also home to many classic Disney attractions.
Often considered the best theme park in the world, Tokyo DisneySEA has attractions that are not found in any other Disney theme park in the world. Here you will be able to see "Sinbad's Storybook Voyage", "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "Soaring: Fantastic Flight".
Sanrio Puroland (Tokyo, Japan)
For those who love Hello Kitty, you must visit Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo, which is a theme park dedicated to Hello Kitty. The park offers a variety of parades and shows in which Hello Kitty ideals are fully exposed, including making memories and celebrating the small moments of life. You can also meet some of your favorite Hello Kitty characters, such as Cinnamon Roll and Little Forrest Fellow, along with Hello Kitty.
Opened on December 7, 1990, the theme park is run by the Sanrio company and hosts various musicals, restaurants, attractions and themed walks using popular characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Jewelpet and more. While many attractions are only in Japanese, Puroland attracts international visitors due to the worldwide popularity of these characters. Puroland also has an extensive gift shop that sells merchandise with Sanrio characters. There are three live theaters and a cinema, the park including themed attractions for candy, ice cream, bread, juice and chocolate factories.
Tourists visiting the summer will also be able to see fireworks shows. The ticket also includes a boat ride similar to "Disney's It's a Small World" in which Cinnamorroll takes riders to a party organized by Hello Kitty, passing through the houses of several Sanrio characters, including Keroppi's pond and Badtz Maru's cave. Visitors can also visit Kitty’s house, which includes renaissance-style portraits of her family, stylish furniture and a face-shaped bathtub, as well as posters of her handbags and jewelry. Her computer and TV are also in the shape of a head.
Efteling (Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands)
Efteling is a European theme park par excellence, with walks and shows that reflect ancient fairy tales and myths. It is twice the size of California's Disneyland Park and is the third most visited theme park in Europe! There is something for everyone in the family, from young children who want to explore a real forest full of characters from beloved stories, to adults looking for great sensations.
The park was opened on May 31, 1952. It evolved from a natural park with a playground and a fairytale forest into a large theme park. It now caters to both children and adults with its cultural, romantic and nostalgic themes, in addition to its wide range of fun walks, including six roller coasters.
It is the largest amusement park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. It is twice the size of the original Disneyland park in California and is three years ahead of it. Annually, the park has over 5 million visitors. In 2019, it was the third most visited theme park in Europe, behind Disneyland Paris and Europa-Park.
Alton Towers (Staffordshire, England)
Alton Towers is the largest amusement park in England and the United Kingdom and is located on the grounds of the privately owned Alton Towers. The park boasts dozens of attractions, divided between adrenaline rides and family walks. There are many coasts, but the best known is the one where visitors are asked to sit on their stomachs to be tied up to fly like a superhero.
Originally privately owned, the Alton Towers land was opened to the public in 1860 for a fundraiser. At the end of the 1980th century, it was transformed into a theme park since 2019. In 2.130.000, it was the second most visited theme park in the UK, with XNUMX visitors, placing it after Legoland Windsor. .
The park has many attractions, such as the Congo River Rapids, Rinaway Mine Train, Nemesis, Oblivion, Galactica, The Smiler and Wicker Man. It operates a total of ten roller coasters and offers a wide range of accommodation options near the park. Facilities include Alton Towers Water Park, conference facilities and a golf course.
The theme park is usually open from late March to early November, while many of its hotels and facilities are open year-round. The theme park is occasionally closed in the middle of the week in the quieter months. Special events are hosted throughout the year, including the Alton Towers Scarefest (the park's Halloween event) and an end-of-season fireworks display on the last three days of the season.
Shanghai Disneyland Resort (Shanghai, China)
Disney's newest amusement park is Shanghai Disneyland. Along the park you will find many references to ancient Chinese traditions, and in the tea rooms you will be able to learn how to prepare the liqueur according to the traditions. The park has a massive castle that is bigger than any other Disney park castle in the world and attractions that can only be found in Shanghai.
The main attraction of the park is "Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure", which brings you directly into the fight for pirate treasure with Captain Jack Sparrow! Another unmissable attraction is "TRON Lightcycle: Power Run".
An entire entertainment district with two themed hotels, leisure facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs. It covers 390 hectares (963 acres) in Pudong, or about three times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland. Walt Disney owns 43 percent of the resort, and the remaining 57 percent is owned by Shanghai Shendi Group, a joint venture of three Shanghai-owned companies.
Like most other Disney parks around the world, the park has newly created theme areas. One of the objectives of the park is the combination of Disney stories and characters with attractions specially designed for Chinese guests. An interactive castle called Enchanted Storybook Castle is located in the center of the park. Other large-scale venues are located along it. Theme areas include Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland. With the addition of the additional theme park, Toy Story Land, the park has seven theme parks. In 2019, Disney announced a new area, City of Zootopia, inspired by the movie Zootopia (2016).
Ferrari World (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Ferrari World is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and is dedicated to children and adults. It has been open since 2010. Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster on the planet, even faster than a Formula 1 car. In less than five seconds you can reach 240 km / h, immediately after climbing a ramp over 50 meters.
The foundation stone of the park was laid on November 3, 2007. It took three years to develop the park and it was officially opened to the public on November 4, 2010. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi covers an area of 86.000 square meters. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi was named “Middle East Tourist Attraction” at the World Travel Awards 2015 & 2016. In 2017 and 2018, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi was named “Middle East Leading Theme Park” at the World Travel Awards, as well as and the best theme park in the Middle East by the Council for Recreation and Attraction in the Middle East and North Africa (MENALAC), in addition to receiving the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence in 2017.
Six Flags (Texas, USA)
Here is the tallest, steepest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The amusement park is the host of "Goliath" and is ideal for families because there are many possibilities for fun.
Six Flags owns more theme parks and water parks combined than any other amusement park company in the world and has the seventh largest stake in the world. The company operates 27 properties across North America, including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks and a family entertainment center. In 2019, Six Flags properties received 32.8 million visitors.
Six Flags was founded in the 1960s and was named after the first property, Six Flags Over Texas. The company maintains a corporate office in Midtown Manhattan, while its headquarters are in Arlington, Texas.
Portaventura Park (Barcelona, Spain)
Portaventura Park is one of the largest theme parks in Europe. Here is a water park, four star hotels, each with over 500 rooms. The amusement park is divided into six areas. each area being arranged according to a certain theme: Mediterranean, China, Mexico, the Wild West, Polynesia and Sesame Street.
PortAventura Park is a theme park located in PortAventura World Resort, 85 km southwest of Barcelona, Catalonia, in the municipalities of Salou and Vila-seca, on the Costa Daurada. The park was opened on 1 May 1995 under the leadership of the Tussauds Group, which had a 40.01% stake in the park, La Caixa (33.19%), Anheuser-Busch (19.9%) and FECSA (6,7%). It was opened to the general public on May 2, 1995.
Universal Studios Orlando (Florida, USA)
The amusement park consists of two theme parks: Universal Studios and Adventure Islands. You will enter the magical world of Harry Potter and you will discover a lot of movie characters. Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure) and Volcano Bay water theme park, a nightlife entertainment complex (Universal CityWalk Orlando), eight Loews hotels (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal's Aventura Hotel, Endless Summer Dockside Inn and Suites and Surfside Inn and Suites) and a future park, Epic Universe.
In addition, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort offer free unlimited Universal Express Pass for use on participating rides at Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. There are similar products available at Volcano Bay, Halloween Horror Nights and Rock the Universe.
Universal Orlando is one of the most visited resorts in the world, with an annual participation of 21 million in 2017. Universal Orlando is the iconic resort of Universal Parks & Resorts, especially due to the competitive nature between the resort and Walt Disney World, located just 25 miles away.
Disneyland (Paris, France)
Disneyland is one of the most visited amusement parks in Europe. It is a huge park divided into two parks: DisneyLand Park and Walt Disney, both spectacular and suitable for children and adults. The amusement park can be reached in just 30 minutes by train from Paris.
Disneyland Paris, formerly Euro Disney Resort, is an entertainment resort in Chessy, France, a town located 32 km east of central Paris. It includes two theme parks, many hotels, Disney Nature Resorts, a shopping complex, restaurants and entertainment venues, a golf course, in addition to several recreation areas and spaces for the little ones. Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the resort, which opened with the resort on April 12, 1992.
A second theme park, Walt Disney Studios Park, was opened in 2002, 10 years after the original park. Disneyland Paris celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Within 25 years of opening, 320 million people visited Disneyland Paris, making it the most visited theme park in Europe. Paris Resort is the second Disney park to open outside the United States since the Tokyo Disney Resort opened in 1983 and is the largest Disney resort to open outside the United States. Disneyland Paris is also the only Disney resort outside the United States that is wholly owned by the Walt Disney Company.
Legoland (Stuttgart, Germany)
One hour away from Stuttgart, it is the perfect place for children between the ages of 2 and 14, but also for adventurous and Lego-loving adults who know how to have fun. The park has a huge area, and inside there are over 50 tourist attractions grouped in 9 themed areas for which over 56 million Lego pieces were used.
Legoland Deutschland was opened by the LEGO Group on 17 May 2002 in Günzburg, nine months earlier than planned. In the first year of operation, the park welcomed 1.35 million visitors. In 2005, the four Legoland parks were sold to Merlin Entertainments through a € 375 million deal. It is generally credited as the fourth Legoland park opened and the first in Germany, a former theme park (now Hansa-Park) in Sierksdorf used the Legoland brand under license from the Lego Group from 1973 to 1976.
The entire lighting of the park was done by Gallegos Lighting Design, which designed the lighting for Legoland California Resort, and the sound and video production of the park was done by Edward Technologies Inc. The park offers Lego exploration centers, roller coasters, water attractions and shows. When it opened in 2002, it contained 40 attractions, 7 theme parks and was made of 50 million Lego bricks. 10 years later, the park has expanded to eight areas with 50 attractions and 55 million Lego bricks. Legoland Deutschland is home to the largest Lego building in the world, representing the Allianz Arena in Munich and weighing 1.5 tons with dimensions of 5 meters wide and 1 meter high.
Isla Mágica (Seville, Spain)
Theme park built on the former grounds of the international exhibition Expo 92 in Seville. It has been open since 1997 and since then it is in the top of tourists' preferences, being visited annually by hundreds of thousands of people. The park has six theme areas and a water area called Agua Mágica 2. At the time of its opening, it was the first urban theme park in the world, as they are normally located far from urban centers.
The Agua Mágica precinct, inaugurated in 2014, contains an artificial beach, wave pool, slides, pools for families and children, slides for children and a river. In 2017, a zip line pool, a children's play area and a seating area were added.
Wurstelprater (Vienna, Austria)
The park dates back to the time of the Empire, when Emperor Joseph II allowed the public access to the park in 1766. Prater had served as an imperial hunting ground until then. Soon, the first snack bars, stalls and bowling alleys opened and thus Wurstelprater was born. The most famous attraction is the Wiener Riesenrad wheel. The park has carousels, roller coasters, shooting galleries, ghost trains, a Madame Tussauds wax museum and much more. In addition to walks, the park offers various traditional Viennese traditional restaurants (such as Schweizerhaus and Walfisch) and souvenir shops.
The park's mascot is Calafati, a 9m tall sculpture of a Chinese man standing next to the Wiener Riesenrad.
Europa Park (Rust, Germany)
Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany and the second most popular theme park in Europe, after Disneyland Paris. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in southwestern Germany, between Freiburg im Breisgau and Strasbourg (in France).
The park is home to 13 roller coasters, the oldest, which was opened in 1984, is the Alpenexpress Enzian, which is an electric coaster that accelerates through a diamond mine. Europa-Park has mountain ranges and attractions with very large capacity, which means that the park can accommodate about 60.000 guests a day. The park had 5.75 million visitors in 2019. It is also the location of the Euro Dance Festival.
The resort (park, parking lot, hotels and back stages) occupies about 95 hectares. It houses six hotels, a campsite and a cinema. In November 2019, the "Rulantica" water park of Europa-Park was opened, together with the "Krønasår" museum.
That being said, we hope that this top of the most famous amusement parks in the world will inspire you in your future travels.