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Top 10 Most Awesome Amusement Parks

Whether it’s the Disney-themed amusement parks which take you back to the timeless fairytale characters and stories we all loved as children, or the less fanciful resorts, focusing more on adrenaline-inducing rides, theme parks are all awesome. Whether it’s in scale or design (probably in both), some places stand out more than others, so we’ve put together a list of the most amazing theme parks in the world, starting with:

10. Tokyo Disneyland

Opened in April 1983, Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney park to be built outside of the Unites States.

Designed in the same style as Disneyland (California) and Magic Kingdom (Florida), the amusement park extensively featured Disney themes and characters. Tokyo Disneyland is divided into seven areas, each with its own theme, many of which are reminiscent of those in the original park, as is its most recognizable icon, the Cinderella Castle.

9. Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida

Opened at the end of May 1999, Islands of Adventure is a very popular theme park, part of the Universal Orlando resort (alongside a few other theme parks and hotels).

The resort comprises seven themed “islands”, all designed around the idea of adventure. Each of these islands are built around different fictional worlds and characters (not necessarily belonging to Universal), like Harry Potter or Dr. Seuss.

8. Beto Carrero World, Penha, Brazil

Built by Brazilian entertainer Beto Carrero in 1991 in the small town of Penha, in southern Brazil, Beto Carrero World is the largest, most impressive theme park in Latin America.

The resort boasts over 100 rides, including 7 roller coasters and 3 water rides, and is divided into seven areas. Among these are Old West, Pirate’s Island, German Village, and even Animal World, which functions as sort of a zoo.

7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida

The second largest theme park in the world (after Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey) Disney’s Animal Kingdom stretches over 500 acres and is the first Disney park centered around animal conservation. Consequently, its symbol is not something inspired from a fairytale, but actually a 145-foot-tall Tree of Life.

Opened on Earth Day (April 22nd) 1998, the park is divided into seven themed areas, all featuring a wide variety of animals and their natural habitats. Two of these areas are a bit more special: DinoLand U.S.A. is dedicated to dinosaurs, while Pandora: The Land of Avatar is based on James Cameron’s movie Avatar.

6. Europa-Park, Rust, Germany

Europa-Park, opened in 1975, is located in south-western Germany, near the country’s border with France, and is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe. The park was built by the Mack family, in the business since 1780 when founder Paul Mack started building carriages and stagecoaches.

Mack Rides is the company responsible for most of the park’s machinery, many of which, like the Matterhorn Blitz (which has the largest drop of any Wild Mouse roller coaster in the world), are very impressive pieces of engineering.

5. PortAventura, Barcelona, Spain

Located in the south of Barcelona, PortAventura is Spain’s most popular theme park and one of the most visited theme parks in Europe. Completed in 1995, it was part of Universal Parks and Resorts for a few years, but was subsequently sold by the entertainment juggernaut.

PortAventura includes five areas based on historic civilizations: Mediterrània, Far West, México, China and Polynesia, in addition to the Caribbean-themed Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. Plans have also been drawn up to open Ferrari Land in 2016, the world’s second Ferrari-based amusement center, either as part of PortAventura, or adjacent to the park.

4. Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California

The venue which opened in May 1971 in Valencia, California was known simply as simply Magic Mountain, and subsequently changed its name to what it is today after the acquisition by Six Flags at the end of the decade.

The park is divided into nine districts, each with its own rides, attractions, and food service venues. It currently holds the record for most roller coasters in an amusement park, with no fewer than 19 rides! It’s also relatively close to downtown Los Angeles and has thus appeared in quite a few productions, from the HBO series Entourage to the 2009 feature film Zombieland.

3. Magic Kingdom Park, Bay Lake, Florida

One of the four theme parks which comprise the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (which also includes Islands of Adventure), Magic Kingdom Park has the distinction of being the most visited theme park in the world, with over 18.5 million guests in 2013.

The amusement park was opened in 1971 and is divided into six themed “lands”: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Liberty Square. At its center lies the iconic Cinderella Castle, one of the Disney universe’s most recognizable symbols.

2. Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida

Located in Orlando, Florida, Discovery Cove, owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, is one of the many awesome theme parks which can be found in the Sunshine State.

Discovery Cove is a place for those who love nature – and especially the oceans. Most notably, guests can swim and play (under professional guidance, of course) with the dolphins who call the place home. There park also has a myriad of tropical fish and birds, including sharks, stingrays, and moray eels. One of its newest attractions is the Grand Reef, a lush tropical environment featuring a white sandy beach, palm tree-lined island, and underwater grottoes.

1. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, California

Opened all the way back in 1955, this iconic theme park is the only such venue designed and built under direct supervision from Walt Disney himself.

In its relatively long lifetime, the park has undergone quite a few expansions and renovations, but it has always maintained its fairy tale atmosphere and, of course, a heavy emphasis on Disney characters. The Disneyland experience includes not only the rides, but also a number of live performances features the beloved Disney characters, and spectacular fireworks shows.

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