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The Top Ten Rivalries Within Theme Parks

December 20, 2012

Theme parks have always been in competition with each other. This is a list of the top ten most debated rivalries that have something to do with theme parks.

10. New Rides vs. Old Rides

The question is this: should a park remove a classic attraction to make room for a new one that will attract visitors? This is a big one for parks that can’t expand in area such as Cedar Point (on a peninsula) or Knott’s Berry Farm (surrounded by suburbs.) One example of a park choosing the new is when Cedar Point removed Space Needle being removed to make way for Gatekeeper.

9. Family Rides vs. Extreme Machines

Should a park build a family ride to be enjoyed by younger visitors, or should it create a scream-inducing roller coaster? Of course, most coaster enthusiasts would take the latter option any day. However, parks want to attract visitors of all ages so a balance is needed. A good example of a park choosing the family ride is Holiday World when they opened Mammoth instead of a steel coaster.

8. The Voyage vs. El Toro

The Voyage is a gravity Group coaster at Holiday world. El Toro is an Intaman woodie at Six Flags reat Adventure. Both coasters opened the same year. Both are woodies yet are disputed as actually being in this category. Both coasters also offer insane amounts of airtime over several hills. Since they opened in 2006, each ride has won the Golden Ticket Award for Best Wooden Roller coaster and come in first on the internet coaster poll. Each ride has its own group of fans.

7. Theming vs. Thrill

Many people’s main problem with Disney is that they don’t have many thrill rides. That may be true however, they are unmatched in their quality of theming. Parks generally don’t spend a tremendous amount of money theming huge coasters because you’d only see the scenery for a split-second before it is gone. As with most items on this list, there is a group of fans who back each side.

6. Bolliger and Mabillard vs. Intamin

Bolliger and Mabillard and Intamin are the top two steel coaster manufacturers in the world. Intamin has been known for building extreme rides, they currently hold the record for tallest and fastest coasters. B&M has been known for their quality, their coasters are smooth and comfortable. Both companies build great rides so I am hopeful that they will continue to build coasters for years to come.

5. Top Thrill Dragster vs. Kingda Ka

Here they are, the two tallest coasters on earth. Top Thrill Dragster is Cedar Point’s 420 foot leviathan. Six Flags Great Adventure’s Kingda Ka beats TTD for height at 456 feet however it is generally rougher. Because Cedar Point is located on a peninsula, the view from Top Thrill is excellent, the ride also only uses lap bars. Kingda Ka, aside from being taller, includes an airtime hill at the end and a slightly faster launch at 128 mph.

4. Millennium Force vs. Bizarro (Superman: Ride of Steel)

The similarities between these two rides are undeniable. Both opened in the same year. Both are made by Intamin. Both are located next to a body of water. Most importantly though, both have won the Golden Ticket Award for Best Steel Coaster at least five times in the past twelve years. Cedar Point’s Millennium Force was the first coaster to break the 300 foot height. Six Flags New England’s Bizarro is widely known to have insane amounts of airtime. Both rides have gargantuan fan bases so it is unlikely that this rivalry will end anytime soon. In general, fans of one coaster aren’t impressed with the other.

3. Disney World vs. Every Other Park in Orlando

Orlando is sort of like heaven for theme park enthusiasts. On one hand you have Disney World, a gigantic resort that includes four theme parks, two water parks, and over thirty hotels. On the other you have Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando, plus dozens of smaller attractions in the area. The only park that possibly surpasses Disney in theming and ride quality is Islands of Adventure at Universal.

2. Cedar Point vs. Six Flags Magic Mountain

Undoubtedly the most famous rivalry between two parks, Cedar point and Six Flags Magic Mountain are the most thrill packed parks on the planet. Cedar Point has called itself the roller coaster capital of the world for years, they are actually second with 16. Six Flags Magic Mountain has more coasters than Cedar Point right now with 18 coasters.

1. Wood Coasters vs. Steel Coasters

The ultimate rivalry within theme parks is wood vs. Steel. Many fans love woodies for their out-of-control feeling and airtime. Steel coasters however can navigate more insane elements including inversions. Usually, parks try to have a good balance of wood and steel to attract the most visitors. Pretty much, everyone has an opinion on which is better.

What do you think? Are there any that I left out? Please comment. Thanks for reading! 🙂



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