Alright, let's go global with this theme park edition. Wherever a tourist goes, there is always that option to go visit a theme park. Amusement parks are one of the best ways to enjoy yourself, a nice time with a loved one, or a wonderful time with the kids. These parks always guarantee a nice family bonding moment, a memorable photo with your beau, or just amazing and unforgettable rides or attractions. To be honest, there is almost always a Disneyland anywhere we go. We are going to exclude Disney in this list. Why? Because there's just too many of them. There are 12 spread all over the world, and those are just the theme parks. We have not counted the Disney Resorts, Disney Worlds, and Disney-associated amusement parks yet.
If we are the kind of person whose motto is "seen one, seen 'em all," then this article will be helpful. We are not saying that all Disney theme parks are the same, it's just that there are a lot of other amusement parks that can offer the same level of excitement, if not more, than Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses offer. Here they are, 20 of the best non-Disney theme parks all over the world.
20 Universal Studios - Hollywood and Florida
Riding an attraction from your favorite film is a one-of-a-kind experience only Universal Studios theme parks can deliver the best. If there is a close second to the leading theme park in the world, it is the Universal Studios theme parks. With four theme parks and three more in development, Universal Studios is catching up with Disney. One is in Singapore, the other two in the U.S. (California and Florida) and the fourth, we’ll talk about a little further down this list.
The best rides in Hollywood are the Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, Transformers The Ride 3D, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Universal Orlando’s three best rides are classic, but still great; E.T. Adventure, Revenge of the Mummy, and Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts. Check out the new Fast and Furious-themed ride there as well.
19 Tivoli Gardens - Denmark
Ever been to Copenhagen? Going to Denmark to visit the famous Little Mermaid statue is a 30-minute affair, an hour at the most. You’ll see the statue, take some pictures, and then that’s it. It’s a very good thing that one of the best theme parks in the world is also in Copenhagen. Just about 2 miles away from the famed Little Mermaid statue, is the even more wonderful and definitely exciting Tivoli Gardens. The best rides in Tivoli are the Dæmonen (or The Demon) a 3D roller coaster ride, and the Star Flyer. At 80 meters high, it is the highest carousel in Northern Europe.
18 uShaka Marine World - South Africa
Great theme parks have a knack of coming back better and stronger than before. The uShaka Marine World is a 40-acre theme park that has 8 sections: Kids World, Village Walk, uShaka Beach, Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sea Animal Encounters Island, Dangerous Creatures and Chimp & Zee. It opened in 2004 and struggled in 2010 with a year-end loss. Today, the park is on a huge comeback that started in 2015. Stella Khumalo was appointed new CEO in 2015 and the park has been making strides with her on point. Durban’s tourism gem is back and stronger than ever!
17 Paultons Park - United Kingdom
A good theme park is one that has something for every person of any age and gender. But the best and smart theme parks know well to target their intended customers, the children. Paultons Park did exactly that. Putting everything Peppa Pig in their park is an idea that’s not exactly genius, but it had genius-level results. Peppa Pig is a popular British preschool show, but its fame is worldwide. Paultons Park has Peppa Pig World, complete with all the characters Peppa, George, Mummy, Daddy, and all their other relatives and friends. There are also seven Peppa Pig rides for the kids.
16 Everland - South Korea
South Korea is that small country on the right cheek of mainland China. Just outside of Korea’s capital, Seoul, is South Korea’s biggest theme park, Everland. It’s such a big place that there is a resort in it and five different-themed parks. Do check out the T Express, Everland’s pride and joy, a roller coaster that’s 5,000 feet long. Check out the two safari rides, Lost Valley and Safari World, and get up close to wild animals like giraffes, elephants, and zebras. Then there’s the K-Pop Concert featuring holograms of the most popular artists of the K-Pop world, an entertaining and one of a kind concert for the K-pop fanatic.
15 Six Flags - New Jersey
Probably one of the largest amusement park companies in North America, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has 17 parks in the US, one in Canada, and two in Mexico. It even expanded to the eastern side of the world and has one amusement park each in these three countries: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China. Founded 57 years ago, the first Six Flags was in Texas. Out of all their parks, the one in New Jersey is extra special, it’s the Six Flags Great Adventure and it is on its way to becoming the world’s first ever 100 percent solar-powered theme park.
14 PortAventura World - Spain
In a beautiful country like Spain, with a very rich culture and history, not to mention its natural breathtaking landscape, one might not expect another attraction to be added to the long list of things and places visiting tourists can do here. There is yet another place a tourist should not miss when visiting Spain, it's the PortAventura World. Sections in this park are divided into seven different “civilizations” and one of them is a Sesame Street world. Apart from these civilizations, the park also has Ferrari Land and the Caribe Aquatic Park. The park is located in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.
13 Blackpool Pleasure Beach - United Kingdom
Highly regarded and considered as one of the best amusement parks in all of the United Kingdom, the Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a must-see for visiting tourists who find their way to the UK. It was opened more than a century ago and is the only park in the world that has an operating three-tracked racing roller coaster. To experience it, find the Steeplechase ride. The best rides in Blackpool Pleasure Beach are the Big Dipper, the Infusion, and the Big One. Also, check out the dual-track wooden roller coaster, operating and bringing joy to people since 1935, the Grand National.
12 IMG Worlds of Adventure - Dubai
Excitement, fun, and entertainment - that’s what IMG Worlds of Adventure promises every person who visits the theme park. The massive park has five zones, each promising a different and unique adventure for the whole family. The five zones are Marvel, Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard, and Novo Cinemas. In the Marvel zone, there are Marvel superhero-themed rides and good food in Tony’s Skydeck and Downtown Shawarma. The Cartoon Network Zone has Powerpuff Girls rides, Ben 10, Adventure Time and Gumball. It’s the perfect zone for the kids. Lost Valley zone is the dinosaur-themed park of IMG, be sure to take the amazing Velociraptor roller coaster ride.
11 Beto Carrero World - Brazil
Right in the southeastern most part of Brazil is a town in the State of Santa Catarina, and in this town that’s facing the South Atlantic Ocean, is a park that seemed to be out of its place. Beto Carrero World is the largest theme park in all of Latin America. It was named after a Brazilian entertainer and businessman, Beto Carrero, who also owns the park. The entrance alone is a sight to behold, then once you are in, you’ll enjoy eight worlds inside. The best ones for children are the Animal World and Fantasy Land. Madagascar is also good, but it’s not like the animated film, only modeled after it, and children will recognize that.
10 Sunway Lagoon Theme Park - Malaysia
Believe it or not, even a country in Southeast Asia has an amusement park that’s worthy of a visit from tourists, wherever they may come from. This is no ordinary theme park. It’s a theme park of all theme parks. Check this out, the theme park is divided into six very different sections. The first is the Amusement Park with the classic rides like carousels and Ferris wheels. Then there’s the Wildlife Park and Water Park, experience close encounters with animals of different kinds. Lastly for the older kids and the kids at heart, they have the Extreme Park and Scream Park.
9 Europa Park - Germany
Europa Park is located in Germany, in the town of Rust. Europa Park puts the theme in theme park. It’s a tour of Europe in one park. There are at least 17 theme parks and most countries in Europe are there. But there’s also an Adventure Land, Minimoys Kingdom, and Grimm’s Enchanted Forest. There are also attractions for the whole family, for young kids, and rides for adults. New attractions include Jim Button Journey Through Morrowland and the Eurosat Cancan Coaster. There are at least six hotels in the park, all themed and all magical. It’s a taste of every country in Europe all in one place.
8 Gardaland - Italy
Recently ranked as one of the top five amusement parks in Europe by Tourism Review, Gardaland in Italy is an amusement park like no other. It is located in the northeastern part of Italy and opened its doors to families and friends in 1975. In it are two hotels with themed rooms, perfect for the whole family, and a Gardaland Park and Sea Life Aquarium. The park promotes an overnight stay with access to the park and the aquarium. Gardaland’s new attractions include the Peppa Pig Land and the San Andreas 4-D Experience. The best rides are the Blue Tornado and the Shaman.
7 Cedar Point - Ohio
The roller coaster capital of the world is in Ohio. If you are crazy about roller coasters, come visit the state of Ohio and go straight to Cedar Point in Sandusky. Cedar Point does not let down the roller coaster enthusiast. With a total of 17 roller coasters, one can never get enough in this amusement park. The biggest and baddest roller coaster in Cedar Point, and most probably in the world, too, is the Steel Vengeance (what an awesome name, too, by the way!). It’s also one of the longest roller coaster rides with a run time of almost 3 minutes. Include 20 seconds of reaction time as the rider gathers themself after the ride’s over. The other best rides are Top Thrill Dragster, Valravn, and Millenium Force.
6 Chimelong Ocean Kingdom - China
Point of fact, the only country in Asia that has two Disneylands is China. Another fact, Disneyland is not the only amazing theme park in China, there are lots more. The best of them is the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Hengqin, Zhuhai. With a whopping 6 million tickets sold each year, the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is in the Top 20 most popular theme parks in the world. When China shoots, it shoots for the stars. This park has in it one of the longest roller coasters in the world, and the first wing coaster in Asia, the Parrot Coaster. But the main attraction in this park is the aquarium, which is the largest in the world.
5 Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Efteling. Four must-sees when anyone visits the northwestern part of Europe in the Netherlands. Efteling has as much traction as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague have on exploring and adventurous tourists. The themes in the park are that of fantasy, like mythology, fables, fairy tales, and folklore. A nature park at first in 1952, it has since evolved into a theme park suited for children and adults, perfect for the family. The best attractions here are the Flying Dutchman, George and the Dragon, and the Fairy Tale Forest. Have fun with the whole family spotting the beloved fairy tale characters in the forest, like Hansel and Gretel, Pinocchio, and Cinderella.
4 Universal Studios - Japan
Now we go to the fourth Universal Studios Theme Park, it’s in the land of the rising sun. Japan may be one of the weirdest places tourists have ever been to, but their Universal Studios theme park is all great things and with minimal weirdness. Their best rides are the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride 4K3D, and the most extravagant of them all, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is the world of Harry Potter, complete with the Hogwarts Castle, the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head pub and some Harry Potter-themed rides.
3 Seaworld - Orlando
Get a wonderful aquatic experience by visiting Seaworld in Orlando. The park promises appearances from the following sea creatures: sharks, dolphins, killer whales, beluga whales, sea turtles, penguins, stingrays, sea lions, manatees, walruses, and even pink flamingos. It’s total immersion into marine life and all the fun that comes with it. First, there’s Aquatica, the waterpark complete with wave pools and slides. Then, there’s the Discovery Cove, a day resort where kids can swim with dolphins and other sea creatures, then hand-feed birds. It is sure to be a fun and educational experience for the children and a worthwhile day for the adults.
2 Puy du Fou - France
An amusement park that did not lose the French feel and vibe. The Puy du Fou is the only amusement park in this list that has no rides. But that does not diminish its stature as one of the best theme parks in the world. A whole new world is waiting for you in this historical French theme park. Enjoy shows that would blow one’s mind and pique their interest. Shows include The Secret of the Lance, The Vikings, and Triumph’s Sign that features Roman gladiators, sword fights, and galloping horses. There are also musical shows, water shows, and animal shows. One such animal show is the Phantom Birds Dance, be ready for these birds of prey to swoop low and almost touch your head.
1 Legoland - Denmark
Now for a bit of trivia to start the last item in this article, the oldest Legoland is located in Denmark. It’s called the Legoland Billund Resort and it just celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is not the biggest Legoland in the world, but it is the first one. It was opened to the public in 1968, and was built right beside the Lego Factory. It does not just have Lego displays, the park has water rides, roller coaster rides, kiddie rides, and various shows. The mini land alone, made of millions of Legos of different colors, would surely make kids go crazy.