Daniel A. Tanner - May 3, 2021
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Visiting theme parks in the United States always make for a fun trip. While the parks were closed during the pandemic, most are already open to welcome families, but which one is the best? TripAdvisor has announced the top amusement parks in its Travelers’ Choice Awards. Here are the top 10 parks you should consider for your next trip.

10. Disney California Adventure Park (Anaheim, California)

Disney California Adventure Park is one of the two theme parks in the Disneyland Resort in California. It is famous for Mickey’s Fun Wheel and the World of Color water and lights show.

In the Pixar Pier you can meet animated Pixar characters, including Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Frozone and Edna Mode from The Incredibles, Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, and Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc.

Hop on the Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind for a tour through Riley’s mind and emotions, or wait for the upcoming Avengers Campus which is set to open on June 4! In 2019, 9.86 million people explored the park.

9. Silver Dollar City (Branson, Missouri)

The amusement park is located between the Ozark Mountains and is popular for its roller coaster rides and 1880s-themed festivals. It also has a water park called White Water that includes slides, swimming pools and even relaxing cruises. Everything you need to experience an incredible vacation in one place.

8. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando, Florida)

This theme park is exclusively dedicated to the company’s worlds from film and television. To visit this park, you have to go the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Here, visitors will find Toy Story Land, but also rides and attractions featuring characters from Cars, Toy Story and Star Wars; and for those who love fear, there is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. To top it off, the Rock ’n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is a roller coaster that takes rock lovers on a high-speed ride in Aerosmith’s limousine. 11.5 million people visited the park in 2019.

7. Disneyland Park (Anaheim, California)

Disneyland Park was the first theme park of the chain. It opened on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California, and is part of the Disneyland Resort.

Some of its best-rated attractions are Space Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the park’s icon, the Sleeping Beauty Castle. In 2019, 18.7 million visitors explored the park.

6. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)

The Smoky Mountains serving as the park’s landscape make Dollywood the best theme park in the area. It offers more than 40 attractions including roller coasters, water slides and dining rooms with some of the best dishes around.

5. Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, California)

This film studio and theme park offers attractions inspired by movies and TV shows.

The Studio Tour attraction allows you to visit film sets in a 1-hour ride. The tour starts with a video introduction by Jimmy Fallon, host of “The Tonight Show”. Here you can find iconic movie sets like the crashed Boeing 747 from Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.

The park also houses a replica of the Hogwarts castle, featuring props from the films and a show of “dark arts” with Dementors, Inferi and Lord Voldemort. In 2019, 9.2 million people visited the studios.

4. Universal Orlando Resort (Orlando, Florida)

The theme park is a world of fun dedicated to Universal’s movies and TV series. Its scenarios can surely transport you to your favorite productions.

The best attractions include: Fast & Furious – Supercharged (a motion simulator), Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Men in Black, Transformers: The Ride-3D, The Simpsons Ride, and Universal’s 100 Years of Movie Memories.

3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Orlando, Florida)

This is one of the majestic parks of Walt Disney World. Not only will you be impressed by the design, where the Tree of Life, the park’s icon, stands out; but also by its many attractions such as The World of Avatar, Kilimanjaro Safaris, DinoLand, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest and shows inspired by The Lion King and Finding Nemo.

Pandora – The World of Avatar opened in 2017 as a themed area inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar. The attraction features the magic of nature with scenes recreated from the fictional planet Pandora, where the Na’Vi live. You will certainly be impressed by it. Almost 14 million people visited the park in 2019.

2. Universal Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida)

Here, the travelers’ favorite attraction is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade, which includes the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a Hagrid-inspired roller coaster.

In there you can also find The Incredible Hulk roller coasters, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3D ride, and the Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride.

1. Magic Kingdom Park (Orlando, Florida)

Magic Kingdom was chosen as the best theme park of Disney and of the United States. It is located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Some of its classic attractions include Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and the iconic and recently refurbished Cinderella Castle. Magic Kingdom Park is always praised by travelers who can’t get enough of its themed areas as well as the restaurants and shops. In 2019, the theme park was visited by 21 million people.

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