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Parks you like more than most and parks you like less than most


Matt N
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Hi guys. Often, parks will have a large-scale consensus opinion that most enthusiasts seem to have about them, and in many cases, you might conform to that opinion. However, there might sometimes be cases where you think differently to the hive mentality. For instance, there might be that highly rated park you don't get the hype for, or that panned park that you don't get the hate for. So my question to you today is; what are some parks you like more than most and parks you like less than most?
 
I'll get the ball rolling with my answers:
Parks I like more than most
  • Thorpe Park - Thorpe Park is the unloved step-child of the major UK parks, and it's almost become a dirty word for most UK enthusiasts; most seem to talk about the park like it's the spawn of satan, and have absolutely nothing good to say about it. However... I've got a real soft spot for it, and I've personally never understood the hate! The park has a really excellent coaster lineup, and I also think the park has a fair amount of filler, as well as some really great theming in places! Areas like Amity Cove and Swarm Island amongst others are actually really detailed and atmospheric, in my opinion, and I think the park is actually pretty well landscaped in others! I also find something quite magical about the park's whole "island" setting and vibe; I know it seems very minor, but I've always really liked the bridge at Thorpe as a feature, where you cross over to the Dome and see all the coasters laid out ahead of you. It almost feels like you're entering a separate world, which I love; it provides a very pure sensation of escapism, and surely that's what theme parks are all about providing? Overall, though, I really do like Thorpe Park a lot; it's not quite there on Alton Towers for me, but I think it's a pretty nice park in its own right, personally!
  • Oakwood Theme Park - A lot of people despise Oakwood, but I'll admit that I've really liked it on both of my visits; I think it's a really charming little park, with a nice forest setting and a very warm feeling about it throughout! I can't quite put my finger on what causes that warm feeling for me, but the place definitely seems to have a certain charm about it! And for a smaller park, I do think the ride selection is decent; while I don't rate Megafobia as highly as most, I do think it's a fun wooden coaster, particularly in the front row (although I won't deny that the first drop in the back is absolutely phenomenal), and while Speed isn't my personal cup of tea, I'll admit that it's a very impressive ride for the park with some great elements; that airtime hill is spectacular! Between Speed's hill and Megafobia's back row first drop, Oakwood may well have my two favourite individual airtime moments in Britain, which for a park of its size is really quite remarkable! As well as that, you also have a really fun family coaster in Treetops and some other nice bits of filler! Overall, while Oakwood isn't the largest or most expansive park, I've always had a good time there; it's certainly a hidden gem that I like more than most, and a nice little place to spend a few hours, in my opinion!
  • Epcot - Now I wasn't sure whether to include this one, as I know it does have its fans and seems somewhat polarising, however I'll include it due to raw surprise value and due to the fact that I know it does have its fair share of haters. I know that a fair few people don't particularly like this park at all, and in films and TV shows, it often gets mocked as the "dull and boring" Disney park that noone wants to visit, and I'll admit that before my visit, I was unsure if the park would be my cup of tea. There didn't look to be much in the way of appealing ride hardware on the face of it, and sections of it are often dismissed online as somewhat dated. However, to my surprise, this park really gelled with me, and it actually ended up being one of my highlights of our 2019 trip to Disney World! Yes, I'll admit that Future World, although I admire the concept, wasn't my favourite, and did feel a little bit dated as the park's critics point out, but the whole park had a really relaxed, pleasant vibe to it that I really liked, and World Showcase was a stunning enviroment that I absolutely loved, with gorgeous theming and lots of places to explore! The park's landscaping is also absolutely gorgeous, and every bit of it is decked out in vibrantly coloured flowers and plants (although visiting during the Flower & Garden Festival may admittedly have helped there). Admittedly, I do feel that the park lacks appealing ride hardware, however that's not to say that the park doesn't have some great attractions; I loved Test Track, I surprisingly really liked Frozen Ever After, and of course, the likes of Ratatouille and Guardians will have made the park more appealing in this regard by the time I next get round to visiting! Overall, while I'll admit I was unsure if Epcot would be my thing prior to visiting, and was thinking I might be more of an Epcot sceptic, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time there, and I certainly consider myself among the Epcot lovers, personally!
Parks I like less than most
  • Disney’s Magic Kingdom - Surprisingly, it took me until my 4th Florida visit to actually visit Magic Kingdom, and by this point, I’d heard a lot of very superlative reviews of it. I’d seen it ranked up there with the likes of Europa Park as one of people’s all-time favourite parks, and it’s many people’s favourite park in Florida, so while I was on team Universal prior to my visit to MK (based on previous experience of Animal Kingdom), I did wonder if MK might sway me onto preferring Disney parks. When I finally went in April 2019, I was super excited… and while MK was nice, don’t get me wrong, I was somewhat underwhelmed. There were some good rides there, but nothing I really loved, personally, and me and my family all thought that the park seemed more aimed at the younger audience than our age group. While I can imagine the park would be amazing with young children, I’ll admit that as a 16 year old (at the time) enthusiast, I was personally a little underwhelmed after all the hype I’d heard.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa - I do wonder if I’d like this more if I went back, and at the time, I very much wanted to like it, but something about BGT didn’t quite resonate with me the way I’d hoped, and I can’t quite put my finger on what. On paper, it has a lot to like; a great coaster lineup, reasonable theming, good landscaping. However, I wasn’t falling in love with it after one visit like many seem to for a reason I can’t quite pinpoint. Maybe it was because my family all hated it, maybe it’s because I didn’t spend too much time there, I don’t know. This is based off of one visit back in 2016, so I would like to give this one a revisit and see if I like it more, particularly with the additions made since then, but for now, it doesn’t rank as highly for me as I’d perhaps hoped it would prior to my visit.
But what are some parks that you like more than most and parks that you like less than most?
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For all my sins, Thorpe Park. Though even then, there's plenty of people who love it more than me.

 

I have a big soft spot for Walibi Holland, even with their brash, in-your-face marketing. I just can't help but smile every time I even think about one of my visits.

 

In terms of small parks I have a big liking for, I'll sing the praises of Plopsa Coo and Parc du Bocasse till the cows come home.

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Park I like more than most - Walibi Holland. Yeah it aint the best park in the world but when you visit during the halloween season its a great visit and it helps that Untamed is one of my top coasters.

 

Park I like less than most - Europa Park. Again, I DO like this park. However I am far from being one of the many that think this park is the holy grail of theme parks. I find their coasters to be relatively middle of the road in that they are good without being spectacular and the fact their dark rides are disney knock offs doesnt really sit well with me.

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Park I like less then most - Port Aventura. The most mediocre collection of rides in a park. The worst park guests I have ever encountered. Just a horrible place to visit, only Shambhala and Dragon Khan make it worth visiting. And even thats a push. 

 

Park I like more then most - Toverland. Not spoken about enough. An excellent theme park that continually renovates and improves. Such a gorgeous place to visit. 

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11 hours ago, Mark9 said:

Park I like less then most - Port Aventura. The most mediocre collection of rides in a park. The worst park guests I have ever encountered. Just a horrible place to visit, only Shambhala and Dragon Khan make it worth visiting. And even thats a push. 

 

 

Couldnt agree more with the park guests!!

 

On all visits I have had its been full to the rafters with undesirables queue jumping and just acting like idiots around the park.

 

They actually make Thorpes very own clientele of undesirables look like saints and thats saying all one needs to know!!

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