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BUCKET LIST:

Okay, fair warning, this list might just be slightly biased, since I am taking a trip next week to all of these parks. This will be basically what I'm most looking forward to doing.

 

1. Knoebels

This is the reason for my trip. The legendary Phoenix, the unique Flying Turns, pierogis, and skyride up the mountain, all while camping in the Appalachians.

 

2. Hersheypark

Skyrush! Chocolate! Fahrenheit! Chocolate! Storm Runner! Chocolate! Riding three different shot towers for some reason! Also, chocolate!

 

3. Six Flags Great Adventure

The world's tallest roller coaster, and the world's best RMC that isn't an RMC. The last parachute ride, a safari, and Nitro at night. My first attempt at one of those S&S flippy coaster things. Joining the Cult of Skull Mountain.

 

4. Morey's Piers

I've never been to a legitimate beach boardwalk. Looking forward to pizza, beer, Great White, and finding out whether their SLC and Boomerang are actually as good as their reputation. Riding Coasterbill's favourite log flume.

 

5. Dorney Park

Demon Drop, the log flume, Talon, Hydra, and Chickie's & Pete's.

 

Dude I am so excited for you on this trip!!

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BUCKET LIST:

Okay, fair warning, this list might just be slightly biased, since I am taking a trip next week to all of these parks. This will be basically what I'm most looking forward to doing.

 

1. Knoebels

This is the reason for my trip. The legendary Phoenix, the unique Flying Turns, pierogis, and skyride up the mountain, all while camping in the Appalachians.

 

2. Hersheypark

Skyrush! Chocolate! Fahrenheit! Chocolate! Storm Runner! Chocolate! Riding three different shot towers for some reason! Also, chocolate!

 

3. Six Flags Great Adventure

The world's tallest roller coaster, and the world's best RMC that isn't an RMC. The last parachute ride, a safari, and Nitro at night. My first attempt at one of those S&S flippy coaster things. Joining the Cult of Skull Mountain.

 

4. Morey's Piers

I've never been to a legitimate beach boardwalk. Looking forward to pizza, beer, Great White, and finding out whether their SLC and Boomerang are actually as good as their reputation. Riding Coasterbill's favourite log flume.

 

5. Dorney Park

Demon Drop, the log flume, Talon, Hydra, and Chickie's & Pete's.

 

Dude I am so excited for you on this trip!!

Thanks! Yeah, this is going to be awesome.

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5 FAVORITE PARKS

1. Europa Park

2. Epcot - WDW

3. Tivoli Gardens

4. Liseberg

5. Grona Lund

Honorable Mentions: Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Phantasialand, The Other Disney Parks I've visited

 

5 BUCKET LIST PARKS

1. Tokyo Disney Sea

2. Tokyo Disneyland (As you can tell, I want to get to Tokyo Disney ASAP)

3. Busch Gardens Williamsberg (One of the only major parks in the U.S I still need to go to)

4. Port Aventura

5. Universal Studios Japan

Honorable Mentions: Ferrari World, All sorts of weird Japanese parks that don't look amazing, but fun and quirky, Efteling, Oktoberfest (Technically, it's a fair. Not a park. But damn it! I want to go there!), Gold Reef City (Something about this park just really grabs my attention)

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5 Favorite Parks

 

1: Busch Gardens Tampa

Besides being one of the parks I consider being my home park, this place is just awesome. There is so much this park offers for just about anyone between the rides, animals, shows, festivals and more. Ever since I visited the first time December 1, 2007, I've been in love. At the time I lived in GA and had a Platinum Pass and visited BGT, SWO & Universal Orlando on my first theme park trip to Florida. BGT turned out being my favorite from that trip, and has remained my favorite since. My favorites here are Montu, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra and Falcon's Fury. I like Kumba, but lately has been a bit rough to me no matter where I sit so that's the only reason I don't rank it higher. Usually after a refurb it moves back up (which it will have next month). I also love being able to take a break from the rides and take in all the animal exhibits. I particularly love tigers and other big cats in general. Here I can see a good bit of them (when they are active of course).

 

2: Dollywood

This park blew me away when I first visited in 2014. It was just so inviting and well put together overall. It's location in the mountains doesn't hurt either. The place was very clean, well landscaped and employees were just pleasant, helpful and seemed to really enjoy being there. The park has a very good blend of coaster types and flat rides. My favorite rides here are Thunderhead, Wild Eagle, Mystery Mine, Tennessee Tornado and Barnstormer. I didn't see any shows while I was there, but I'm sure I'll be back to catch one eventually. I may be able to squeeze in a day next year on my way back from Ohio and get a ride on Lightning Rod. I'm just surprised I never visited sooner. I lived in Charlotte up until 2006 and it would have been easy to take a day trip. Much easier than the 9 hours from where I live now.

 

3: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I first visited BGW in 1997; the year Alpengeist opened. It was also the 2nd park I had ever visited (after my original home park Carowinds). It was really like I had stepped into another world. It was as if I had been transported across the ocean and stepped into Europe. The park itself is just beautiful. You really sometimes forget you're in a theme park while enjoying a stroll through all the different areas. My favorite rides here are Alpengeist (first invert I ever rode), Apollo's Chariot (first hyper ridden in '99), Griffon, Loch Ness Monster, Le Scoot & the Skyride. I also think I'm one of the few who actually liked Drachen Fire. I didn't think it was as bad as I see others talk about it. Maybe I just got some magical rides on my visit...lol I really miss Big Bad Wolf and didn't get a chance to ride it on my last visit in 2008 because it was down the day I went (or at least when I passed by).

 

4: SeaWorld Orlando

This is my other home park. Like BGT, I first visited in December 2007. I was very impressed with how nice the place looked. I love lighthouses and nautical theming, so this just screams the place for me. I had originally chosen to go here because of Kraken in my planning. However when I arrived I saw that it was closed for a refurb. I didn't let that put too much of a damper in my plans since all the shows and other animal attractions more than filled the void of one ride that I eventually rode 3 months later. Now that the park has added even more thrilling rides with Manta, Mako and soon Infinity Falls, it has kept this park up there in terms of favorites. My favorites are currently Mako, Kraken & Manta; all of which are in my top 10 currently. I also find many of the park's seasonal events great and try to attend when possible. I really love going during the Christmas season and have rung in the new year several times at the park.

 

5: Carowinds

This is my original home park; the first I ever went to. I've seen the park go through many changes over the years with rides come & gone, themes & lack thereof, and changes in ownership. This was where I rode my first roller coaster (Scooby Doo/Woodstock Express), first log flume, rapids & Shoot the Chute, first went upside down (Carolina Cyclone), first stood while riding (Vortex), went backwards on a coaster (Thunder Road), first flew high (Skycoaster) first coaster over 200 ft (Intimidator), and first coaster over 300 ft (Fury 325). I've also met Scooby, Fred, Dino, the Smurfs, Spongebob and the Peanuts over the years. This place hold a lot of nostalgia for me. My favorites here are Fury 325, Afterburn & Intimidator. My last visit was in 2015 and am planning to return next year for a day.

 

5 Bucket List Parks

 

1: Cedar Point

Pretty self explanatory in this is just the ultimate place I plan to visit. We are planning to go next year on a multi-park trip with Carowinds, Kings Island and possibly Kentucky Kingdom and/or Dollywood. I have been wanting to come here ever since I saw that Millennium Force was being built there. I still have the brochure that I received announcing it's opening. Besides MF, I'm looking most forward to riding Maverick, TTD, Raptor, Valravn and whatever Mean Streak is becoming. Of course I plan on getting all the other credits I can and several of the flats as well. This would be the first park I've been to that has both a screamin' swing and frisbee; my favorite types. If all goes well, I'll be getting my 100th credit here. I'm still contemplating on whether it should be MF, Mav, TTD or RMCStreak.

 

2: Kings Island

As mentioned above, we're planning to go here next year. I've been wanting to go here ever since I saw Son Of Beast on a Travel Channel show years ago. Of course since it's no more, there are still plenty of rides I just can't wait to come get on. I look most forward to riding Banshee, Diamondback, The Beast, Mystic Timbers and Bat (I loved BBW and hear this is the best Arrow Suspended left). I also look forward to riding Flight Of Fear and Firehawk so I can compare them to FOF @ Kings Dominion and Nighthawk @ Carowinds.

 

3: Knott's Berry Farm

This has been a more recent addition to the bucket list. I really love how well themed the park looks from what I've seen. I would most look forward to riding Silver Bullet (love inverts), GhostRider, Xcelerator, and Montezuma's Revenge (love shuttle loops).

 

4: Six Flags Fiesta Texas

This park has been on my radar for years, but hadn't had the opportunity to visit yet. I have seen how nice the park looks, especially with it being built in an old quarry. I would look most forward to riding Iron Rattler, Superman Krypton Coaster and Batman: The Ride (never been on a Free Spin). We would likely pair visiting this park with SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Over Texas.

 

5: Six Flags Magic Mountain

This place just screams credits to me...which is a good thing. The variety is what most interests me. If I ever get there, I look forward to riding Tatsu, Twisted Colossus, X2, Riddler's Revenge, and for nostalgia's sake: New Revolution. I would likely pair visiting this park with Knott's Berry Farm and SeaWorld San Diego should we ever make it to Cali.

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Top 5 Parks

 

The parks that stick out as my favorites are greatly influenced by the sheer fun and memories I have of them mostly even if I haven't been to a couple of them in a long time.

 

1. Islands of Adventure

IoA blew me away when I was a 13 year old kid. It was my first mega trip along with my brother, mom and grandmother. We went all out back in 2003 going to the Universal Parks, Disney, Seaworld etc. Loved that entire trip and this park was the best part. It was my first park where the rides had stories and the attendants were playing a role. Had my favorite flume ride at the time, Spiderman was incredible, Jurassic freaking park, bought some cool merch including an incredible Hulk comic. It just felt so much more adventurous that MK or other parks. It felt special. I look back at this park with the wonder of a young teen and my memories are so awesome.

 

2. Knoebels

By far the park with one of the biggest pure fun factors. This place is just so relaxed and chill with some of the best rides around. Phoenix and Stratosfear are two of my all time favorite rides. That magical feel you get in that park around dusk with the fervor of the crowd and sounds of the rides blows Disney out of the water. Love the location, love the Bavarian nuts. Best rides, best food, best atmosphere but for some reason, maybe just retrospectively I had just a smigeon more fun at Ioa.

 

3. Hersheypark

Hersheypark is up here simply because their coaster lineup is arguably the best in the world. Skyrush and Stormrunner are two of my top five coasters. I love chocolate world's cheesy tour from since I was a toddler and feel I must do it every time I'm there, and I've spend hundreds on sweets from the gift shop with no complaints. Zoo America is a cool little added bonus. The town of Hershey also plays a big role in this, nice quiet place with considerate people. Not a cluster when parking, crowds and lines manageable even though the place gets busy. Hershey has a unique feel of being a "corporate" type park but with heart and soul.

 

4. Cedar Point

Love the depth and variety of attractions, by far the best in the world. The skyline is incredible and I love just taking a minute and watching some of the rides go. Raptor with the new paint is the best looking (and sounding) ride of all time. Location in terms of the peninsula is great. Lacks that special intangible something though to rank it any higher. Also lower on the list because there really isn't much around that area besides the park.

 

5. Bush Gardens Williamsburg

Every other year or so Williamsburg was the summer vacation destination from grade school to high school. I love Appollo's Chariot and back in the day I though Alpenghiest was incredible. Loved walking around seeing the old Clydesdales and St. Bernards. Water country had always been the biggest and best waterpark I had been to at the time. Lower on the list than maybe it should be for how much I adore this park but 12 hour car rides on the 95 corridor are no fun (we always used to drive).

 

HMs Seaworld/Canobie Lake

 

Top 5 Parks I Want to Visit

 

1. Busch Gardens Tampa

Been waiting almost my whole life to ride Montu and Kumba ever since my older cousins told me how great they were back in the 90s. Icons of rollercoasting that I've seen numerous TV specials on. Not only that but there are other great rides there that are exactly my kind of style ride. A park that I know I will love 100 percent.

 

2. Liseberg

Would love to get to Europe and visit a park and this would be first on the list. Something about being in the city setting and their lineup of rides intrigues me for some reason. Likely to have 4 very solid rollercoasters in the next year that are particularly unique in regards to that setting.

 

3. Kennywood

I feel like this is a park right up my alley in terms of rides and atmosphere. Phantom's Revenge is one of the top 5 coasters that I want to get on. 3 classic wood coaster I need to ride at some point.

 

4. Dollywood

I really want to go to the Pigeon Forge area because I love touristy things that that. Lighting Rod is my most anticipated coaster and I've been very very close to going the past couple summers so I've worked myself up for this park previously. Also I love monkey bread and am assuming that their cinnamon bread will be one of the best things I've ever eaten.

 

5. Six Flags Magic Mountain

Too many iconic rollercoasters I haven't ridden for this to not be on the list. Would really love to get out there and see the west coast in general.

 

HMs to Europa/SDC/Holiday World.

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5. Dorney Park

 

Ha! Nice.

 

But really, yes. I love drop towers, and that Demon Drop is such a special ride that you really can't find anywhere these days, unless you go to Japan. I never rode it when it was at Cedar Point, so I really want to get to it before it's gone.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that Demon Drop is on the bucket list, and Dorney is where it happens to be.

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Top 5 Parks

 

1. Cedar Point - All the coasters! In fact, I'm going back there tomorrow! Seven of my top ten coasters are there (I haven't been out a lot) and I can't wait to see how Alan Schilke's magic improves what was a Dinn and Summers disaster.

 

2. Kings Island - Even though my one visit there was cut short before I got to get on Mystic Timbers, Diamondback, and the Beast, I found KI to be a beautiful park. Lesson learned: Don't go to KI on a 95+ degree day.

 

3. Universal Orlando - I'm not the biggest fan of Harry Potter, but I find the theming in both Harry Potter areas to be incredible. Bummed that they're getting rid of Dragon Challenge, but they still have the Hulk (which is #2 on my top 10).

 

4. Six Flags Great America - Haven't been there since 2005, but it wasn't bad then. Even got the ultra-rare Deja Vu credit. Need to get back now that they have Goliath and Joker.

 

5. Disney World (Magic Kingdom) - Haven't been there since 2004, but the theming is incredible all around and I would love to go back once the new things for their 50th anniversary open up.

 

Bucket List Parks

 

1. Holiday World - I've heard lots and lots of good things about this park (and their wooden coasters are likely better than any I have ridden).

 

2. Dollywood - Two things make me want to go there: Lightning Rod and cinnamon bread. I almost considered putting Dollywood ahead of Holiday World, but Lightning Rod's reliability is worse than TTD's. They still have several other good coasters not named Lightning Rod.

 

3. Carowinds - Fury 325 looks incredible!!!

 

4. Six Flags Magic Mountain - I've wanted to go there ever since I was a 10 year old playing RCT2 for the first time, even though I knew the recreation was somewhat inaccurate as Deja Vu, X, Flashback, Sky Tower, and Metro were all open at the same time (which never happened in real life). Also, they have Twisted Colossus and I've heard the park has improved in recent years.

 

5. Busch Gardens Tampa - I've heard all the praise about Kumba and Montu, yet I've never made the short drive down I-4 from Orlando whenever I'm down there.

 

Honorable mentions: Knoebels, Hersheypark, Six Flags Great Adventure, Kentucky Kingdom, Silver Dollar City

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Top 5 Parks

1) Cedar Point - For me, it has the best collection of coasters out there, plus my #1 ride (Maverick) and a most likely top 10 ride in New Mean Streak.

2) Busch Gardens Tampa - Loved just about everything there is at the park. Great coasters, the best drop ride, the Skyride, great food, the animals!

3) Kennywood - The park I grew up with, it holds that sentimental value.

4) Hershey - Wish I could say I've been there more than once, but this is great park with some really fun coasters!

5) Busch Gardens Williamsburg - last time I was at the park, Big Bad Wolf was still there. Always loved the scenery and the rides. I need to get back soon!

Honorable mentions: Knoebles, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Knotts, Dollywood.

 

Top 5 Bucket List:

In no particular order

Europa

Tokyo Disney\DisneySea

Port Aventura

Alton Towers

Phantasialand

Honorable mentions:

SFGA, SDC, SFOT, SFNE, Holiday Park

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Favorite

1. Hersheypark is my favorite park, and I haven't even ever been there with a skip the line pass. The coaster collection is excellent. Skyrush is unbelievable and is one of only a couple of coasters I've ridden that does something that no other coaster I've ridden does (its sustained and ridiculously strong airtime). Storm Runner has a great launch and some nice inversions. Fahrenheit might be my favorite inverting coaster (at least after Storm Runner), though I'd expect this to change once I have more experience with RMC. I've never ridden Tidal Force, but it looks like it would be the best ride of its kind. I've ridden Coal Cracker a few times, though, and it's a nice ride.

2. Cedar Point has the most unbelievable coaster lineup. Millennium and GateKeeper both are great. I know enthusiasts like to bash GateKeeper, but I like the sensation of flying. I found the quick roll transitions on Maverick to be too much the last time I was there, but I'd be interested in trying again. I think that if I visit next summer and buy FL+, this will retake my top spot, especially if I grow to like Maverick. I can't imagine going there next summer without the FL+, though.

3. Great Adventure is my home park. It doesn't have quite the ridiculous coaster lineup that Cedar Point has, but El Toro is my third-favorite coaster, and Nitro is in my top 10. Batman is fun when I feel like getting dizzy from positive forces. Bizarro has nice pops of airtime in the inversions. Superman has the intense positive Gs in the pretzel loop. Skull Mountain does indeed have an awesome first drop when you sit in the back row. Zumanjaro is a nice drop tower, too. I don't ride Ka very often, but I've managed to get a few rides in this year. The launch and positive Gs are great.

4. Kings Island had my favorite coaster the last time I went, and while Diamondback has been surpassed by Fury, Diamondback still is in second place. Banshee also is a great invert, and it generally was a nice park. The flying coaster here showed me that flying coasters can be pretty fun, even if most would say that B&M flyers are better than Vekoma.

5. Kennywood has tons of childhood memories from when I had family in Pittsburgh, though I haven't been here in 12-14 years. Phantom has great air moments, Jack Rabbit has the double dip, Thunderbolt has big drops into the ravine, and Racer has the high-five turns. I haven't been since Sky Rocket was added, though I'd imagine that it is a nice ride, too. The water rides all were fun for me when I was a kid.

 

Bucket List

1. Dollywood has to be at the top because of Lightning Rod, but there are a couple of other interesting rides there. Others also say that it's generally a really pleasant park, but it's at the top of this list because of Lightning Rod.

2. Magic Mountain has tons of coasters that interest me: X2, Twisted Colossus, Tatsu, and YOLO Throttle.

3. Busch Gardens Williamsburg: I can't believe I've never been, but Apollo has looked fun since I heard of it when I was 9, and some of the other coasters look pretty great, too.

4. Liseberg has Helix and Balder, though I think I won't ever get here.

5. PortAventura has Shambhala and Dragon Kahn, though I don't expect I'll ever get here, either.

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Parks I have visited:

 

6 (honorable mention). Six Flags Magic Mountain

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 pumped me up on this park, and the park did not disappoint. Twisted Colossus, when it duels, is awe-inspiring. Tatsu is what a flying coaster should be. Revolution is a masterful terrain coaster. The Arrows are top-notch. Viper and X2 pushed me to my limits in mostly the right ways, Gold Rusher is the best mine train I have ridden, actually delivering the intensity, and Ninja is a masterpiece family coaster.

 

So why does Magic Mountain fall short of the top five? The flat ride lineup is deficient, and some areas can get quite hot, especially because this is SoCal. Also, they should put VR on Scream if possible, just get it off Revolution.

 

5. Six Flags Great Adventure

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 did not sell me on the park. It looked weaker than Magic Mountain. Of course, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 came before Kingda Ka and El Toro. While their coaster lineup is smaller than Magic Mountain's, they make up for it with fewer duds (not to mention fewer filler kiddies). El Toro is my top wooden coaster, for delivering a sense of grandeur, powerful ejector airtime, and a twisting finale. Nitro is my top B&M hyper (though that is partly due to Goliath having a pretty bad rattle when I rode it), Bizarro is the original floorless with great elements and good landscaping (Scream is a sad clone), and Green Lantern has a great layout (though it delivers the leg pain). Skull Mountain earns the park points for being my number one indoor coaster. Love how, when they built the Joker, they renamed the junior coaster nearby after Harley Quinn to match. The flat ride lineup is better than Magic Mountain's, with the parachute tower, Houdini's Great Escape, and Zumanjaro as highlights. The operations are also excellent.

 

Quibble: The atmosphere does feel a little tired, a little faded. Kingda Ka is rattly.

 

4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

On appearance alone, they are tied for first with Knott's Berry Farm. I ranked them ahead of Knott's because of their coaster lineup. Whereas Knott's has more family coasters, Busch brings the heavy hitters. Alpengeist is my number one invert - the grand scale, the landscaping, and the sheer intensity set it above the rest. The edge seats on Griffon are a breathtaking experience. Apollo's Chariot deserves points for being the first B&M hyper and setting a high standard for the model. The Loch Ness Monster is simply iconic. Operations are second to none, and the pizza is very good too.

 

Quibble: The loss of the Big Bad Wolf was a huge blow to the coaster lineup. I never had the chance to ride it. If the Big Bad Wolf was still around, BGW would be my undisputed #1.

 

3. Knoebels

Ah, the advantages of being non-corporate. The atmosphere is probably the best out of any amusement (not themed) park. Phoenix and Twister complement each other perfectly, Phoenix delivering wild and free airtime and Twister delivering powerful laterals. Flying Turns is the bobsled coaster perfected. Impulse is a better Euro-fighter style coaster than the real Euro-fighters I have ridden (SpongeBob and Dare Devil Dive), complements the woodies perfectly, and is my favorite Zierer coaster. Stratosfear proves that bigger is not always better when it comes to drop towers. The best pizza at an amusement park I've ever had, just ahead of the pizza at BGW.

 

Quibble? The drive was a little much for my car.

 

2. Kings Dominion

Okay, I'm biased a little because it's my home park. Not a dud in the lineup. Intimidator 305 remains my number one steel coaster. Volcano is just behind Alpengeist on my list of inverts and just behind Storm Runner on my list of launches. Dominator has the sense of speed that other floorless coasters lack. Grizzly has a great setting and a good balance of airtime and laterals. Avalanche is a top-notch family coaster, the only Mack bobsled in North America. The Crypt is the best Top Spin, and Candy Apple Grove may be my favorite midway area at a big amusement park, with a full lineup of flats.

 

Quibble: Carowinds gets Chickie's and Pete's and the Coke Freestyle machines and not us.

 

1. Hersheypark

Among my visited parks, the coaster lineup is only second to Magic Mountain. The stars are a trio of Intamins. Storm Runner is my number one launch coaster, with an explosive launch and three inversions. Skyrush is the only coaster that matches Intimidator 305 for intensity in my experience, complementing it perfectly, delivering negative instead of positive G's. Fahrenheit takes the Euro-fighter style to the next level, with some of the best executed inversions. The fly-bys on Lightning Racer happen much more reliably than the duels on Twisted Colossus. The park also has an excellent family coaster lineup to balance out the Intamin intensity.

 

Also, Chickie's and Pete's.

 

Quibble: They really need an unlimited queue skip option, I would gladly pay good money for it. Also, the pizza was terrible. I should have gotten Chickie's and Pete's.

 

 

Parks I have yet to visit:

 

6 (honorable mention). Carowinds

The B&Ms, and the food and drink options Kings Dominion lacks, earn it the honorable mention. Fury and Afterburn look like worthy challengers for I305 and Alpie. Vortex will complete my B&M stand-up credits. Also want to ride their Top Scan since Sol Spin was closed when I was at Knott's. The non-B&M coasters at this park look rather underwhelming to be honest, so this does not earn a spot on my top five.

 

5. Dollywood

If I can make it this year, then Wild Eagle will be my first B&M wing coaster. Also excited to compare Tennessee Tornado against Viper and Loch Ness Monster, Thunderhead against other GCIs I have ridden, Mystery Mine against Fahrenheit and Impulse, and Lightning Rod against El Toro and Storm Runner. The cinnamon bread also sounds amazing.

 

4. Canada's Wonderland

Their Vortex earns them a spot on this list alone, as Ninja was one of my favorites at Magic Mountain. Having high hopes Behemoth will blow Nitro and Goliath away. Leviathan will most likely fall short of the other gigas, though still compare very favorably to most B&M hypers. Also heard good things about their flat ride lineup. Outside of the aforementioned coasters, the lineup is okay at best, though better than Carowinds minus their B&Ms. Minebuster gets an honorable mention for its Taft/KECO history. The border crossing leaves me worried, though.

 

3. Busch Gardens Tampa

Kumba may be my second most anticipated coaster, period. The Platonic ideal of loopers. Sheikra looks to be better than Griffon. Montu has an MCBR unlike Afterburn, but I still have high hopes. Cheetah Hunt is supposed to be the family friendly Maverick. Falcon's Fury may be my most anticipated drop tower. I did not have the chance to ride Acrophobia at Six Flags over Georgia, but Falcon's Fury is taller.

 

2. Alton Towers

RollerCoaster Tycoon again plays a part in hyping me up. Nemesis may be the best coaster in all of England, and better than Alpengeist or Afterburn. Seeing as I like inversions, Smiler should deliver aplenty. Just very nervous about crossing an ocean just for coasters.

 

1. Cedar Point

Having visited the East Coast and West Coast coaster capitals, I can only top that by visiting the real coaster capital. Their Intamin trio easily beats out Hersheypark's, and RMC Mean Streak may be my most anticipated coaster.

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1. Kings Dominion

This is my local park but hopefully that's not why it's here, however I do go to my local park much more than travel, and that would probably be the case for any park I found myself local to, if not terrible. So I tend to rate local park attributes over destination park attributes, and I couldn't ask for a be⊥Ter one. The crowds are reasonable and yet the coaster collection is solid. There's enough different to do that it doesn't have to be the same rides every visit (I don't ever go all day).

 

2. Six Flags Great Adventure

Once we venture into generally overcrowded hellzones, well go big go Six Flags. They lack anything like a traditional woodie, but I get that elsewhere. The view from the skyride of the park's immense skyline breaks the tie, if there was one, to the next park. Plus there's the ominous Rolling Thunder hill Creak audible anywhere nearby.

 

3. Hersheypark

Love the place and rate it high for the woodies, not just the Intamin trio, which is great. Note that while I did waste time on the Chocolate Factory, otherwise this place has nothing to do with chocolate to me, never even smelled any.

 

4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I get a great feeling just from walking around there -- If I haven't been there a while. It is possible to wear out the illusion this isn't just another theme park though. While they do have 2 smaller coasters added since my last visit, still I'm almost sure to ride their big 4 on every visit. Great destination park, but not a very good local park... but they do have the Membership plan, which offsets that some -- open InvadR for Xmas Town too and I'll be starting one up.

 

5. Morey's Piers

Location, location. Sure the top coaster is a Vekoma, but who'd be crazy enough to build a B&M there?

 

Big Bucket List -- these do sound good

1. Cedar point -- well it is the coaster capital, but if I wasn't into setting I'd be tempted to leave it off. Even though I'm contemplating driving as far, it's not in my current plans because I don't have the money to plan on throwing at the problem of overcrowding.

2. Holiday World -- such mixed reviews, but could really like it. Far away.

3. BGT, KI, KW (esp. next year?), KK all in there somewhere. Maybe even Coney. Even Dorney's too close to ignore forever.

4. Magic kingdom and Vegas I've enjoyed before, these would have more to do with going with the right person.

 

Not-So-Bucket list -- saved these for what I am contemplating -- RMC 2017!!!1!

2. Dollywood and Carowinds trip. But LR isn't very reliable. 15 hrs driving. DW starts closing early on Sundays after this next weekend and CWinds is already done.

1. SFNE and Knoebels trip. Trip goes near a bunch of other stuff but these are both still new to me. 16 hours driving but a lot cheaper admissions for me and free parking. Good hours most of August however Knoebels wristband puts it Monday and SFNE to Sunday.

So far I'm limiting this to 2 days, one overnight stay (cheap). DW would be arrive ~4 PM and stay 'til close (11 PM to me due to the time change) but getting to Carowinds at opening (early leave to get home) is tight. SFNE would be same arrive but possibly go back the next morning due to being able to stay near and Knoebel's seems like one park you can arrive after opening and leave before close, although I'll be tempted to stay late anyway.

Comments welcome.

Edited by bill_s
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1. Six Flags Fiesta Texas

- First ever RMC Raptor!!!!!!! Not much else needed to say.

2. Magic Mountain

- I need to get my credits up and there's no better way to do it than going to Magic Mountain

3. Six Flags Great America

- Great coaster line up

- Great city of Chicago

4. Dollywood

- LIGHTNING ROD!!!!!!

- CINNAMON BREAD!!!!!

5. Canada's Wonderland

- Great Flats

- LEVIATHAN

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3. Hersheypark

otherwise this place has nothing to do with chocolate to me, never even smelled any.

You've never noticed the bathrooms all smell like chocolate?

 

5. Morey's Piers

Sure the top coaster is a Vekoma

LOL what? The Great White was made by CCI.

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TOP 5

 

1. Cedar Point - It is hard to come up with anything that has not been said thousands of times, but unlike many others I actually think this park has a lot of charm and atmosphere. The setting is beautiful and it is compact yet huge, containing some of my favorite coasters.

 

2. Phantasialand - In my opinion, truly by far the best park in Europe. Everything it does, it does perfect. Best rapids ride (River Quest), best inverted coaster (Black Mamba), best water ride (Chiapas), best multilauncher (Taron), best minetrain (Colorado), and the list goes on. Unlike what many say I would consider this a thrill park rather than a family park, since even the rides that would typically be classed as family rides are way more intense than similar rides, for example Colorado and River Quest. Many of the rides do not really have theming in the same way other parks have, but rather they seemlessly transition into the park theming, which makes for a much more immersive experience. The only problem I have is the fact that some stations/rides are way too loud, with Mystery Castle being so loud that it damaged my hearing for several days (my left ear still feels a bit weird after months, but that could be placebo).

 

3. Great Adventure - It pains me to put this in third place, and I'm still not sure if I prefer this or Phantasialand. I have always loved coasters since I was a kid, but never dared to ride them. Prior to my visit in 2013 I had only ridden Balder, Kanonen and Lisebergsbanan plus some kiddie coasters. After riding the family coasters at SFGAdv I realised I have had enough of my fears, and forced myself into the seat of Kingda Ka. Before this the scariest ride I had ridden was only 79 feet and 47mph (Kanonen) so when the train entered the station again I could not even move for a while. When I finally managed to get out of the ride my fear of coasters was completely lost. The problem with this park is that it completely lacks the charm of Cedar Point, and the service was definitely not anything to write home about. My worst experience was on Batman, where my restraint was not checked and barely even close to my lap. Safe to say, I was scared for my life the entire ride even though I realise now that it probably was not that dangerous.

 

4. Europa Park - Another great park that you should visit if you feel like having a true European park experience. Home to great rides and theming, there is something for everybody here. The coaster collection is extensive and filled with innovative ideas, but I think EP badly needs a flagship "#1" attraction, since there is not really anything that will blow you away. I went during Halloween, and apart from the large crowds the park experience was amazing, from the music to the Halloween-only theming. The staff was friendly and the food was great, highly recommended.

 

5. Alton Towers/PortAventura/Liseberg - I am unable to decide which I like more, but I am going to talk about Liseberg since it is my homepark, and workplace. The ride collection is simply amazing, with there being only one non-kiddie ride that I would not ride during visits (Virvelvinden, because of dizzyness). It is super easy to get to, since it is inside Gothenburg and walking distance from the train station. It pulls off having an awesome kiddie collection while at the same time not feeling like a "family park". The food is some of the best in the industry, but pretty expensive and the lines can get really long, so sometimes it is better to buy food outside of the park. Staff is treated well and we are allowed to interact/joke with the guests on the rides, so if you like that kind of thing you should definitely visit. Why then is it so low on my list. Compared to other parks I feel like the coaster collection falls, even though all of them are great. Balder is probably my favorite ride at the park but I agree to some extent that it is a bit repetitive. Helix is pretty much as good but it is definitely a jack-of-all-trades coaster. Everything it does it does well, but not as well as rides specialized in that element. Lisebergsbanan is also pretty nice, but does not compare to the big boys. Probably the best flat ride collection out of the parks I have been to though.

 

 

BUCKET LIST

 

1. Magic Mountain - This has pretty much always been my dream park, since I barely knew about Cedar Point until a year before I went there. The Rollercoaster Tycoon games were my childhood, and when this park came with RCT2 it was love at first sight. Goliath, X, Flashback and Superman were some of the coolest coasters ever back then, and even though my boy Flashback was removed new coasters have been added that just makes me want to go there more.

 

In no particular order:

 

Kings Island - Mystic Timbers looks like it could be one of my favorite coasters, and the collection seems absolutely amazing.

 

Universal Studios Japan - I love flying coasters, and I am pretty positive Flying Dinosaur would be my new #1 coaster if I rode it. The rest of the park seems great too.

 

Carowinds - I badly want to ride Fury 325.

 

Hersheypark - A park that I may actually go to in a year or two if I am lucky, super excited to ride the intamin trio.

 

Energylandia (2018+) - The new coaster, lets just call it "Blue Force" for now, is probably my number one bucket list coaster right now, and I am definitely riding it next year. It just looks so amazing.

 

Ferrari World - I was super close to going there with European Coaster Club, but I decided not to. Flying Aces and Formula Rossa looks spectacular.

 

Dollywood - The park looks amazing, and Lightningrod looks like the best RMC.

 

 

Thanks for reading my essay and I will be happy for any comments and/or questions that you may have (then I know somebody read it)

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I've been to a few parks, so this was difficult. But...

 

Top 5 Parks

 

1. Tokyo DisneySea

 

Best park, best theming, best patrons, best collection of rides, great food and LAVA MONSTER!!!

 

2. Port Aventura

 

Great collection of good rides. VERY fond memories of PA.

 

3. Europa Park

 

Mack showcase park, and they do an excellent job! Very close to Disney quality, and an incredible collection of rides.

 

4. Liseberg

 

So much awesomeness, in such a small park!! Absolutely wonderful place!!

 

5. Everland

 

Ok. Not the greatest park, patrons or even food. But, T-Express is awesome and if Eagles Fortress was still in operation, it would rank in my top 3 (of over 1000).

 

Honorable Mentions to my home parks: Disneyland/DCA (3 miles from home)

 

 

Top 5 "Bucket list" parks (in no particular order)

 

Gröna Lund

 

Hansa Park

 

Mirablandia

 

Shanghai Disneyland (but 2 days max, China..... not my favorite place!)

 

Tivoli Gardens

 

Honorable Mention goes to Ferrari World

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Top 5 parks (in no order - I'm not sure I really have a "favorite" park)

 

Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Love the vibe and the way everything interacts with the path and other rides. Love the old school woodies, and the mouse is amazing.

 

Cedar Point - This thing is as much legend as it is experience. The end of many a pilgrimage and countless day dreams. How can you not love CP???

 

Adventureland - I absolutely loved the retirees working here. So wonderful. And Outlaw and Tornado both delivered awesome rides.

 

Hershey Park - Super solid line up, unique coasters, good use of setting, and Storm Runner / Sky Rush combo. Love it

 

Busch Gardens Europe - Took a 6 hour road trip here and back with friends in college in one day. One of the most exhausting but wonderful days of my life. Alpengeist remained near the top of my list for many years.

 

(Honorable mentions Slagharen and Indiana Beach - both of which used to be so charming and at the top of my list, but have since undergone significant change or loss of charm)

 

 

Top 5 parks bucket list

 

Grona Lund - I've seen it, but it was winter. I love the way everything wraps around everything. And the rides look awesome too.

 

Gold Reef City - I love obscure theme parks, and this one tops the list, mostly because of Anaconda.

 

Parque Espana - All about Pyrenees

 

Busch Gardens Tampa - one of the only major US parks left for me, will hopefully get out there sometime this year or next

 

Tokyo Disney - It was the last Disney left for me before Shanghai opened. This one still obviously pulls more weight though

 

Honorable mention: Port Aventura (But we'll be there in two weeks so it's about to drop off the list anyways)

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1. Cedar Point

2. Kings Island

3. Dollywood

4. Holiday World

5. Magic Kingdom

 

bucketlist

 

1. Six Flags Magic Mountain

2. Six Flags Great Adventure

3. Tokyo Disney Sea

4. Europa Park

5. Nagashima Spa Land

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I guess I'll bite. I am not nearly as well travelled as many of the frequent posters here, so my answers are not going to be very interesting.

 

 

Favorites:

 

1) Disneyland

The crowds have been awful for the past few years, but this park still has the best mix of themed family attractions anywhere. Given that it was originally built before the media corporate backed megapark was common, it still partially has the scope and charm of a regional children's park.

 

2) Epcot

A lot of corporate parks have the same roster of attractions in every park. I like how unique most of the attractions at this park are (even many of them are kind of middling). And the food is great as well. Spaceship Earth is one of my favorite dark rides ever (yes, I am that type of person).

 

3) Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

It's probably my favorite non-themed amusement park. Definitely most picturesque with the park spread against the California coast. I also think that it has a good mix of attractions with several campy dark rides along with the usual mix of coasters and flats. While I have gone on more intense wooden coasters, I think that the Giant Dipper might still be my favorite. It is a bit overpriced for a park of its size, and it does get a bit crowded. I also don't think the additions within the past few years have been very smart.

 

4) Knotts Berry Farm

This park still has some of the theme and charm from before it was purchased by Cedar Fair. I think that they have made some bad choices in some of the coasters and flats that they have added to the park, but they still have a handful of great themed attractions and shows. The Mystery Lodge is probably my favorite theme park show ever.

 

5) Silver Dollar City

I just visited this park a few months ago. It is a beautifully themed park with lots of great details. I think the management there has been very smart about the designs of the coasters that they have added. And the Marvel Cave Tour and various crafts stores put the park over the top for me. However, I think that their lineup of shows and themed rides is surprisingly weak.

 

 

Bucket list:

 

1) Efteling

Outside of Disney, I don't think there are any parks with better family themed attractions than this one. And the rides here seem fairly unique in design and theme. Unfortunately, this park would be difficult for me due to the language barrier and general difficulties with planning vacations abroad.

 

2)Tokyo Disneysea

This has the most beautiful theming anywhere and a somewhat unique roster of themed attractions. However, like most of the other places on this list, this park would be difficult for me due to the language barrier and general difficulties with planning vacations abroad.

 

3) Phantasialand

You can probably tell that I have a thing for themed family attractions. Like most of my other picks, this is another park with ridiculously good theming. It kind of sounds like they are replacing many of their kooky themed family attractions with (well themed) roller coasters, so I would probably want to visit this place sooner rather than later. Again, traveling abroad is difficult for me.

 

4) Busch Gardens Williamsburg

This is the most realistic for me, as it would not require me to travel abroad. It looks like they have an interesting mix of coasters, shows, and a few good themed attractions. I actually anticipate visiting this park within the next year.

 

5) Europa Park

I hesitate to put this one on this list. The focus here seems to be on (unique) roller coasters, and many of the family themed attractions have a definite "knock-off Disney" vibe to them. However, people around here speak very highly of this park, and I figure that seeing weird knock-off attractions might be fun.

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Top 5 Faves (in no particular order):

 

1) Cedar Point - Beautiful location, world-class coasters.

 

2) Knoebels - Just an all out good time. There's really nothing bad to say about this park.

 

3) Hersheypark - Has my #1 steel and other great rides.

 

4) Dollywood - Every coaster here is great, beautiful park, great shows, great cinnamon bread.

 

5) Kings Island - During Haunt, you can't go wrong at KI.

 

Honorable Mentions: Holiday World, BGT

 

 

5 Desired (in no particular order):

 

1) SFFT - First Raptor and iRat.

 

2) SFOT - I have a good friend who lives closer to SFOT. Also, NTaG. Goals for next year.

 

2) SDC - Outlaw Run. I really like RMCs and want to try them all. Also goals for this year or next.

 

3) Europa Park - I reallyyy want to visit Germany and this park is one major reason. Won't happen any time soon.

 

4) Tokyo DisneySea - Everyone gushes about this park and it looks awesome.

 

Just in general I want to get out of the US and visit international theme parks. I'm running out of what I would call "destination" parks in the US that I really want to go to, so it's about time I get out of here.

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...Just in general I want to get out of the US and visit international theme parks. I'm running out of what I would call "destination" parks in the US that I really want to go to, so it's about time I get out of here.

 

Ha ha! I'm the total opposite, for now. I've been to so many overseas parks (Thanks Robb and Elissa and TPR Tours!),

I want to just stick to the US for now. And Eastern Canada too, if I ever get a chance to get back over there.

 

But I won't giving up going to Tokyo Disney Resort!

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