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Today's Burning Question! Theme Parks or Amusement Parks?

Theme Parks or Amusement Parks?  

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  1. 1. Theme Parks or Amusement Parks?

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    • Amusement Parks

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Today's Burning Question - Theme parks or amusement parks?

VOTE above and tell us why!


**NOTE** Respond below and we will pick a random person to send a TPR Bag-O-Crap to!


EDIT: And just so everyone knows, this is not a "serious" poll, just some quick, stupid fun we like to have! It's more like a "Would you rather..." type of question. Purely hypothetical, not grounded in any sort of reality. There is no award or ceremony, just random fun!


And just so we are clear...

"Theme Parks" - Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Busch, Alton Towers, Dollywood, etc...

"Amusement Parks" - Cedar Point, Six Flags, Kennywood, Blackpool, Hersheypark, etc...

Edited by robbalvey
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I generally prefer theme parks, but that does come with a disclaimer: I would rather visit a high quality theme park than a high quality amusement park, as long as the theme park has a decent selection of attractions. However, I would rather visit an average quality amusement park than an average quality theme park or one that doesn't have enough to occupy a full day. For example, using the Southern California parks, my visit preference would be (independent of price or travel distance):


1. Disneyland

2. Disney California Adventure Park

3. Six Flags Magic Mountain

4. Knott's Berry Farm

5. Universal Studios Hollywood

6. Legoland California

7. SeaWorld San Diego

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Amusement parks.


Really, it's all about the rides for me. If you have a theme park with great rides than that's awesome! Great theming is a wonderful thing.

Theme parks tend to be smaller though and have not as great rides. So give me the corporate whores of Cedar Fair, Six Flags, and Hershey

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Amusement parks. As many have said, thematic elements are great and wonderful if done well, but often they are not and at the end of the day I'm paying for quality rides and roller coasters. So while a nicely themed ride is pleasant, I'm not there to examine finely painted plaster trees. I'm there for the rides and that makes amusement parks more enjoyable to me.

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Just a question for all those who seem to be really negatively against "theme parks" - do you realize that "theming" isn't just scenery you walk around and look at? I mean, think about a park like Epcot, it's one of the top five most visited parks in the world and there isn't a single "roller coaster" in the park. It's all themed attractions, dining, shopping, and experiences.


So all those people who are really against theming, do you not like parks such as Epcot? I'm just wondering.


--Robb "Kind of surprised to hear so many people vocally against theme parks here, considering we are THEME PARK Review!" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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My favorite "theme" for a coaster is a trip through a forest. Voyage, Raven, Beast, Apollo's Chariot, Ninja (SFMM), Mind Bender (SF Georgia), Wild eagle. I haven't been on Boulder Dash. Amusement park for me, although I don't go to parks for their beauty and quality food, it's only for the rides.


The most ridiculous forest ride on a coaster was probably the Cascade Park Comet - long gone but I rode it once as a kid. Dodging branches was part of the experience. http://rcdb.com/1882.htm


Both Outlaw Run and Iron Rattler look fantastic but Outlaw Run looks like it has a much nicer setting -- looking at the Ozarks instead of looking at a shopping mall from the top of the lift hill.

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I chose theme parks because I'm very much a visual oriented person. I love being immersed in a great themed area, like at a Disney park. I love being able to walk from the deep jungle in Adventureland to the streets of New Orleans, and then to the cartoon world of Toontown, all while enjoying excellent attractions! I do appreciate a good amusement park though!

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Theme parks. I do enjoy some standard thrill rides, but I really prefer themed rides, especially themed coasters like Everest or the Mummy. I want to immersed in another world. I just like the idea of being immersed into a narrative more than just going on a roller coaster. I don't care if the ride is themed to Sesame Street or Evil Dead. I just want to be immersed into a very well-themed adventure.

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Amusement parks. for example, I like SFMM over Europa Park

This just killed me inside.



To each his own, I guess . . . no, this is just wrong.


I've always been more of a theme-park person, although I do appreciate amusement parks such as Knoebels and Santa Cruz Boardwalk that haven't gone "corporate." I think that good theming can often improve a mediocre ride (although nothing can help a truly bad ride). Plus, a good theme park is just a more pleasant place to hang out than your standard amusement park.

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Theme parks. They are just so much more immersive and feel more like an escape from reality. When I enter a theme park, I am stepping into another world. I think back to my most fun experiences at parks and they were all at parks like Disney, Universal, SeaWorld etc. Plus, my favorite park attraction of all time happens to be Disney's Tower of Terror!


Of course, this is by a small margin. Rides are a quintessential part of any park experience, and when I want rides, I go where there are rides (amusement parks)! To me, the best part about a good ride is not its thrills or forces, it's the story. All rides, themed or not, have the ability to tell a story. Take the Beast for example. This roller coaster uses its own layout to tell a story that has a clear beginning, rise of action, climax, fall of action and resolution. Theming a ride helps the story be even more clear to riders, and that can make the experience even more amazing (if done right, of course).

And yes, I know there are a lot of rides (mostly flats) that don't tell a story and simply have a goal to get you as dizzy/high/scared as possible, and those are fun, too. I just really love seeing rides tell a story that fully grabs the rider's attention and doesn't let go til it hits the brakes.

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Theme Parks. Hands down.


I love Amusement parks too, but a Theme Park is what gets my inner fanboy excited. It's the difference between a Thanksgiving Dinner, and a quick stop at Burger King.


The moment I walk into a Disney Park I am transported to another place. A theme park ISN'T about the rides, it's about the experience.


I enjoy the rides, but heck, one of my favorite parks is EPCOT, and I could spend a full 5 day park-hopper just hanging out in World Showcase, going into every shop, looking at all the architecture, and simply "experiencing" the place.

Same is true of Dollywood, or the Busch Garden parks.


at a Six Flags, or at Knott's?.. we just run from ride to ride, and then when we are done, we are done. (Knott's gets a bit of a nod tho, because we always experience Mystery Lodge, and we *always* get chicken and Pie. . and the Ghost Town does still work as a themed area).


but still. . . my point is, I'll take a Theme Park (which will keep me entertained & enthralled the whole day), over an Amusement park (which will give me some thrills, but are basically empty calories).

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