Top 10 Ranked Must-Visit Theme Parks Across the US in 2024

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Are you ready to plan your next vacation? Do you love visiting theme parks when you travel? Then you might want to know about the best theme parks to visit in the USA in 2024!

Researchers at Westgate Palace Hotel at Universal analyzed amusement parks in the United States based on three key factors: Instagram hashtags, monthly Google search volume, and the percentage of ‘excellent’ reviews on TripAdvisor. These factors were then combined in an index to give each amusement park a total score (0 to 100) to discover the most popular nationwide. The factors were also weighted in favor of customer experiences, so TripAdvisor reviews were given a higher weight due to them directly reflecting visitor satisfaction.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

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Universal’s Islands of Adventure reigns supreme as the top theme park in the United States. Nestled within the Universal Orlando Resort, this park stands out for its exhilarating attractions, notably the much-lauded The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It earned an impressive index score of 91.1 out of 100. And with 52,310 visitor reviews, a whopping 74% have awarded it an ‘excellent’ rating, making it the best-reviewed theme park across not just Florida, but the entire nation.

The park’s prominence is further cemented by its presence on TripAdvisor and the staggering 854,821 hashtags on Instagram. Here, you will find lots of exciting rides and experiences that visitors can’t get enough of, especially the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! 

Magic Kingdom

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Disney’s Magic Kingdom comes in a close second, just behind Universal, with a score of 90.4. Featuring the iconic Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom is Florida’s most frequented vacation hotspot, attracting over 17 million guests in 2022. Additionally, it claims the title of the most Instagrammable theme park in the United States, boasting more Instagram hashtags than any other theme park globally, with an impressive tally of 8,012,859 posts.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom will likely always be near the top of any list of best theme parks to visit…it’s the Magic Kingdom, after all, the happiest place on Earth! With 41 rides, parades, fireworks, and your favorite Disney characters around every corner, why wouldn’t you want to visit? 

Disney’s California Adventure Park 

disney's california adventure park.
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Disney California Adventure Park secures the third spot in the rankings. As one of the two main attractions at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California—its counterpart being Disneyland Park, which holds the eighth position—it stands out nationwide. On TripAdvisor, it’s the third highest-rated park, with 67% of its 15,724 reviews marked as ‘excellent,’ culminating in a final index score of 84.2. 

This park celebrates the glitz and glam of Old Hollywood while also paying homage to California’s history and spirit of adventure. As you explore the park, you’ll find plenty of Disney classic characters, as well as some Pixar and Marvel superhero favorites. 

Cedar Point 

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Cedar Point is recognized as the fourth most celebrated theme park in the US. Dubbed the ‘rollercoaster capital of the world’ for its extensive array of rollercoasters, it ranks third in the number of Google searches from the study, averaging 355,000 searches each month.

Situated in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point has been entertaining guests since 1870, establishing it as one of America’s oldest amusement parks. It is often called the “roller coaster capital of the world.” As America’s second oldest theme park, having opened in 1870, Cedar Point currently has 18 roller coasters, 68 rides, and a waterpark. 

Silver Dollar City 

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The researchers ranked Silver Dollar City in the fifth spot. Nestled in Stone County, Missouri, this theme park is set in the 1880’s and offers a diverse range of attractions such as live entertainment, seasonal festivals, and live demonstrations of old-fashioned crafts. There are 40 rides and attractions, including multiple roller coasters, water rides, and a train. On TripAdvisor, it is the fourth highest-rated theme park, with 66% of all reviews categorizing the experience as ‘excellent.’

Animal Kingdom

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the sixth highest-rated theme park across the country. It stands as the second most-searched theme park in the nation, attracting an average of 379,000 monthly Google searches, and boasts the third-largest number of hashtags in the study, tallying up to 4,752,545.

Opened in 1998, Animal Kingdom is the most expansive of the four Disney theme parks by land area and is noted as the second Walt Disney World park to make the list, achieving an overall score of 80.7.

It’s not every day that you get to visit a theme park with attractions AND see animals from around the world in their natural habitat.

Universal Studios Hollywood

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Universal Studios Hollywood made the list at number seven with a total score of 79.4. It has 16 amazing rides for thrill seekers of all ages and nearly as many shows and attractions to explore. From Harry Potter to Jurassic Park and the Secret Life of Pets, there is something here for everyone, and it is no wonder it made the top ten list of theme parks to visit. 

Disneyland Park

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Disneyland theme park comes in at eight with a score of 78.1. Located in Anaheim, California, it has a total of 52 attractions with 49 rides. Visitors are sure to meet all of their favorite characters, enjoy some amazing Disney food, and ride some of Disney’s latest attractions.

Dollywood

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Dollywood theme park is the number one attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and it comes in at number 9 on the list of top ten theme parks to visit in 2024 with a score of 77.9. This 160-acre theme park has more than 50 rides, delicious food, and lots of great entertainment that the whole family will love! 

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park 

disney typhoon lagoon water park.
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Rounding out the list at number 10 is Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, with a score of 77.9. If you are looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an exciting day at this water park has you covered. There are seven water slides, a water slide for younger children, a kiddie play area, a lazy river, and a wave pool for guests to enjoy. You can get an overview of the whole park and decide what to do by walking the mountain trail first. 

Sun, Sea, and Memories: 12 European Beach Vacations Worth Revisiting

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Growing up in Newcastle, an Australian beach town, meant that I was surrounded by my choice of beautiful sandy beaches whenever the weather gods deemed us worthy. Since my family lives there, I can revisit as often as I like. Seeing photographs of European beaches with rocks and pebbles instead of sand seemed extremely unappealing until I learned this wasn’t the case in many locations. For many, these European beaches will bring back fond memories or inspire you to create some.

Allison Manning
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Allison Manning is an experienced freelance writer for hire and a content creator for a variety of different niches. She is the proud owner of Simply Stunning Content, a wife,mother to three children, and one goofy puppy! 

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