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Best Theme Park Chain


What is your favorite theme park chain?  

434 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favorite theme park chain?

    • Six Flags (Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great Adventure)
      48
    • Cedar Fair (Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Point)
      81
    • Tussaud's (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park)
      17
    • Disney (Walt Disney World, Disneyland)
      132
    • Busch (Busch Gardens parks, SeaWorld parks)
      68
    • Lego Parks (legoland Cali, germany)
      2
    • Universal (Florida, Hollywood)
      45
    • Herschend Family Entertainment (Silver Doller City, Dollywood)
      19
    • Kennywood Corp. (Kennywood, Lake Compounce)
      9
    • Paramount Parks (Paramount's King's Island, Paramount's Great America)
      10
    • Star Parks (Walibi Parks, Movie World Parks)
      3


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Cedar Fair in my eyes is the best.

 

They have good operations, good maintence, friendly employees, etc.

 

They also don't clone their rides much. Six Flags clones Mind Eraser, Batman, Ride of steel, Boomerang,

 

And when you think about it, Cedar Fair really doesn't do that much at all.

And everone seems to criticize Cedar Fair because they don't theme their rides. But what would you rather have? Two thousand feet more track or themeing?

 

Personally, I would like to think that they are doing anything at all to say nothing of theming, building, etc.

 

I know that I shouldn't let one park speak for an entire holding company, but let's face it... Kings Dominion should probably be renamed "King's Depression." I know that they are still trying to retool themselves following the sale of the park by Paramount. I can forgive them some things because of that venture. Cedar Fair may very well be trying to figure out how to brand the place. Dorney redeemed the image slightly thanks to the kick ass water park.

 

Those of you on the East Coast trip will remember the Q&A that we had. I don't really think it would be appropriate for me to post my opinions in this public forum, but if you wanna know what some of the discussion was, feel free to send me a private message and I will respond in kind.

 

I voted for Kennywood Corp. David went to Kennywood on the Midwest trip and thought it kicked ass. I had the pleasure of experiencing Lake Compounce on the East Coast trip. To be such a small company with only a couple of parks, they seem to have a spirit and a drive that none of the other parks I have visited (save for Knobles) could touch. You could feel the positive energy in the park through each ride operator, each food vendor, and every ride.

 

I didn't vote for Busch, Disney or Six Flags because you expect big brands to really bitch slap the smaller operations. I'm always impressed with companies that can at least approach their bigger competitors juggernauts with way fewer resources and less money. Did I mention free Pepsi product at Lake Compounce?

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Although I found Lake Compounce to be a nice park, it was pretty typical 1 train ops on everything when its busy with 1 good coaster. The park really doesnt do much with the terrain (other than Boulder Dash) and the theming, though its there, is really cheesy. I liked it but had a pretty steep admission price for the stuff they had to do...and didnt find the employees to be any better than typical run of the mill get through the day employees. Maybe they were putting on their best face for the TPR trip.

 

I think LC is a nice park and everything but I find it kind of strange that a nice small park qualifies as "Best Theme Park Chain" considering by reading your post it looks like you havent been to Kennywood.

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I voted for Kennywood Corp., but I haven't been to most of the other chains. I've been to parks owned by HERCO, Kennywood Corp,and a whole bunch of self-owned parks.

 

AS for Kennywood Corp.,They:

Own my home parks

Have nice staff

AMAZING FRENCH FRIES!

Have Good and rare rides

Nice and Small parks, not too large to walk around

TREES!!!

 

I've never been to Lake Compounce, or Sandcastle, but I hope to soon.

As a matter of fact I'm going to Kennywood TOMORROW! I'll ask if I can post a photo TR, but I highly doubt it.

 

Oh, and to whoever said Kennywood needs a Beemer, I agree. But Where would they put it?

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Although I found Lake Compounce to be a nice park, it was pretty typical 1 train ops on everything when its busy with 1 good coaster. The park really doesnt do much with the terrain (other than Boulder Dash) and the theming, though its there, is really cheesy. I liked it but had a pretty steep admission price for the stuff they had to do...and didnt find the employees to be any better than typical run of the mill get through the day employees. Maybe they were putting on their best face for the TPR trip.

 

I think LC is a nice park and everything but I find it kind of strange that a nice small park qualifies as "Best Theme Park Chain" considering by reading your post it looks like you havent been to Kennywood.

 

No... Unfortunately I haven't been to Kennywood. Looking forward to going soon. I have to say though I have lots and lots of positive things about the park; not glowing or spectacular, but positive nevertheless.

 

The point that I was shooting for and more than likely failed at was justifying my vote based on consistency. Based on the Midwest group's take on KW and my take on LC, I would have to say that Kennywood Corp is at least trying for consistency. And I would agree with you that they might have been putting on a good show for TPR. If that was the case, at least they were. We went to at least two other parks that were just utter crap, one of which was a part of one of the big 5.

 

Also, just to be fair, I am basing my opinion of Cedar Fair on the Q&A session at King's Dominion which probably isn't entirely fair. Based on the KD experience, the Q&A, and the Dorney experience, I have elected NOT to buy stock in Cedar Fair as was originally planned.

 

Yah... I know that I am being somewhat cryptic here but, I don't want to post anything to blasting based an experience at one park because it might just be the park itself and not the company. I'd like to point out that Dorney wasn't exactly a "WOW" experience either.

 

I'm happy to discuss some of this in private messages but just don't want to do so in open forum. Not that I don't stand behind my opinion, but the debate could detract from the rest of what this thread is supposed to be about.

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With Six Flags, sure its great to have huge rides that are pushing the limits of ride technology. But Disney parks even without huge rides it has a great atmosphere that you don't find at very many other amusement parks. Also the staff at Disney are very friendly and hard working, where at some Six Flags parks you can find them on their cell phones. With that said, I have noticed Six Flags parks are starting to move in a better direction. Especially Magic Mountain with all of their improvements.

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I am very surprised that Disney is winning in this poll.

 

Disney is prohibitively expensive and not very accommodative for people with disability like me. Of course their theme is good but most of their rides are just blah.

 

Busch is a LOT cheaper and accommodates well for those with disabilities. Their rides are hardcore and theme is well done and hey, some Busch parks provides free beer! So that's a plus!

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I chose Six Flags because they have a lot of great coasters in my opinion, they let you reride them unlike Cedar Fair, and there are just some great parks in that chain. For Cedar Fair, really only Dorney Park, Kings Island, and Cedar Point in my opinion are parks that make me want to go there. For Six Flags, you have Over Texas, Magic Mountain, Great Adventure (even though I've never been to), Great America, and St. Louis. Six Flags America has great rides, but the park isn't run very well.

 

Disney, Universal, and Busch just don't have enough great rides for me to enjoy.

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  • 9 months later...

Six Flags. A few points are: A) They are placed right in populated places. B) The rides are great, you have to consider how many different designs of roller coasters they have. C) My Six Flags has GAdv, Huricane Harbor (good for very hot days), and that safari thing (haven't gone there yet, I'm riding roller coasters when I'm there.)

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  • 1 year later...

I have to go with Universal. Not only is Universal the only park I've been to that can match Disney's theming, but Universal can compete with major thrill parks as well. Therefore, Universal takes the crown in my opinion.

 

As a sidenote, Islands of Adventure is my favorite park I have ever visited by a wide margin. From the incredible theming of each land to the many thrilling and unique attractions, I'd be amazed if I ever found a park I liked more.

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^ Yes, I agree 100%. While Disney's theming may be great, I'm looking for thrills more than the family rides Disney offers. Granted, RnR and ToT are great rides, they aren't good enough to hold up to Dr.Doom and Dueling Dragons and Hulk. IOA is also my favorite

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I know Im taking the easy way out here, but Im just thankful for every chain of parks. They all set out to please thrill riders and families alike. Each park offers us something different. Some like Universal and Disney, offer such a unique thrill to other chains like Cedar Fair and Six Flags. THe Bush Garden parks combine a small but great collection of thrill rides combined with absolute beauty and nature. While Universal and Disney usually get the nod, Cedar Fair versus Six Flags seem to be the prevalent argument in these forums. However, I think the two of them push each other into offering us a better product. Sure each chain has its bad apples, but in general Im pleased to have such plentiful options to choose from. So Im taking the nonaligned stance and saying, "I love them all!"

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