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Most heavily themed theme park


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My thoughts are by no means novel, but I do have a rough and utterly predictable ranking of a few.

 

1. Disney is unbeatable.

 

1t or 2. Universal is either equal to Disney or just the merest touch below. The attention to detail is exquisite.

 

3. Dollywood and SDC. The immersiveness isn't quite as deep in parts, but the thoughtful attention to detail is absolutely there, and the beautiful settings help as well.

 

4. BGT and BGW (for smaller Busch parks, SeaWorld Orlando is also up there). They also didn't feel quite as immersive or detailed to me, but still wonderfully transporting.

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When it comes to the level of theming, Disney is hard to beat.

 

But when it`s about a certain style that people prefer, then parks like Phantasialand, Europa (Realistic theming) of Efteling (fairytale style) can be ahead of Disney...

 

Me for example, I see Disneyland Paris as the most themed park in Europe, but I prefer Phantasialand by a mile !

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My top five most heavily themed:

1. Tokyo DisneySea

2. Islands of Adventure

3. Europa Park

4. Disneyland Paris

5. Epcot

 

After that it's just more Disney, Universal, a few European parks (Alton, Efteling, Tivoli, Phantasialand, Gardaland, etc), the Busch parks, and so on.

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For me personally, Europa Park wins hands down, the park is so amazingly themed, they have left absolutly nothing untouched(even the toilets are themed), its amazing.

Islands of Adventure is of course a very amazing themed park, pretty much everything is themed to a very high standard, love Harry Potter Land.

Phantasialand would make my top 3, Again everything is very well themed, just look what they did for their drop tower ride, cant believe they did that just for that ride of its type, amazing.

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I also think really, that Disney is The Winner, when it comes to themeing and

disguising a coaster, big or small. There are exceptions (Calif.Screamin'; those

uuuugly mouses at DAK...) but they really try to make the ride experience NOT

like "a usual coaster ride".

 

Huge steel coasters and big wooden ones are totally impossible to do an

entire "themeing" on. Simple. Unless totally enclosed, where sight and sound

can be controlled, to an extent. But look at Exp:Everest.

 

Other parks (and franchises) are now starting to "get it", on the theory that total

environment means just that.

 

And thankfully, Disney hasn't really done many. But the few are Choice.

(Can't wait to see and ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride. And Gringotts, too.)

Goofys-Sky-School-DCA_03a.jpg.57be9b69f3a2b621ab806f94c97a260f.jpg

I mean, I really liked how Disney really tried to hide the mouse and bring out the skies, for Goofy's Sky School.

This one is actually on my bucket list, believe it!

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I'm not sure how I'd rank parks on theming. DisneySea is the top, but Europa, Epcot, Phantasialand, and the Magic Kingdoms are excellent, too. And some parks have particularly well done sections, such as Cars Land at DCA, the "old Hollywood" of DHS in Florida, and, yes, Hogsmeade at IOA.

Edited by cfc
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I want to throw out an honorable mention to Busch Gardens Tampa. For the past 10 or so years they have really been doing a top notch job refreshing all the areas of their park. Currently of course is the Pantopia theme taking place with the Falcon's Fury addition. They did a great job with Cheetah Hunt and the area around it, Jungala going in where Python used to be and Stanleyville's big overhall with the addition of Sheikra in 2005. Sea World too has done a lot of updating most recently with Manta's addition and Antarctica. The waterfront looks amazing too compared to how it used to look.

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I think it breaks down like this when it comes to theming for U.S. parks (starting with the best):

 

Disney parks in general

Universal parks in general

Dollywood/Silver Dollar City (toss up here)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Tampa (toss up here)

SeaWorld Orlando/San Diego (haven't been to San Antonio)

Legoland parks

 

Six Flags parks are variable, but I imagine that Great America, SFOT, and SFOG are the best in terms of theming. For Cedar Fair, the winner would be Knott's.

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^^^^I'd say Cheetah Hunt has the best combo of theming, landscaping and setting of any outdoor coaster I've ridden in a long time, possibly ever. Orlando Manta is another strong contender (if a wee bit tougher to enjoy).

 

^^Chuck, looks like your list is about the same as mine (and I'd definitely exclude San Antonio from my praise of the SeaWorld-branded parks).

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