Castle and Volcano icons next to each other

Top 10 Theme Parks In The World And Why You Should Visit

Theme parks are great destinations for travelers who are looking for an all inclusive and immersive experience. They are also great for families with children of different ages as they tend to offer a variety of attractions for each age group to enjoy. Theme parks also offer a variety of food options including sit-down restaurants, quick service dining and snacks to enjoy throughout the day. We’ve put together the top 10 theme parks in the world based on guest experience including overall satisfaction with the park itself, attraction and dining offerings, cost and available hotels.

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom Partners statue in front of Cinderella Castle

  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Attractions: Classic Disney characters and rides like “Space Mountain” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
  • Ideal for: Families, Disney enthusiasts
  • Recommended days: 2 days
  • Stay: Disney Resort Hotels or numerous hotels in Orlando
  • Entry Price: Approx $109-$125 (Prices can vary based on dates)

Summary: The iconic heart of Disney in Florida, Magic Kingdom boasts the enchanting Cinderella Castle, a collection of lands that offer various adventures, from meeting fairy-tale characters to thrilling rides. It embodies the classic Disney experience.

What we suggest for a visit:

Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort

Sleeping Beauty castle with Christmas lights in the evening

  • Location: Anaheim, California, USA
  • Attractions: “Sleeping Beauty Castle,” “Indiana Jones Adventure,” and more.
  • Ideal for: Families, Disney fans
  • Recommended days: 2 days
  • Stay: Disneyland Resort Hotels or nearby Anaheim hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx $104-$149 (Prices can vary)

Summary: The original Disney park where dreams come true, Disneyland in California offers a magical journey through familiar fairy tales and adventures. From the historic Sleeping Beauty Castle to Tomorrowland’s futuristic attractions, it’s a nostalgic trip.

What we suggest for a visit:

Tokyo Disneyland

Parade with fairy and castle

  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Attractions: Unique attractions like “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt” and classic Disney rides.
  • Ideal for: Families, Disney lovers
  • Recommended days: 1 day
  • Stay: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel or other hotels in Urayasu
  • Entry Price: Approx ¥7,500 (around $70)

Summary: A fusion of classic Disney charm with Japanese culture, Tokyo Disneyland offers unique attractions and shows. The park mixes familiar rides with experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay on Property – We recommend the Disneyland Hotel but there are several nearby hotels including Sheraton Grande and Tokyo Bay Maihama.
  • Plan for 3 days – We recommend doing 2 days at Tokyo DisneySea (below) and 1 day at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Buy Premier Access – Like Genie+ in the States, Premier Access will help you get the bigger attractions done with minimal wait time.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Tokyo Disney App to arrange your plans and use Premier Access.
  • Off-Property Visitors – Be sure to utilize the subway. Your destination for the resort will always be the Maihama Station.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Globe

  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Attractions: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” “Transformers: The Ride” and more.
  • Ideal for: Teens, adults, movie buffs
  • Recommended days: 2 days
  • Stay: Universal Orlando Resort hotels or nearby Orlando hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx $115-$140 (Prices can vary)

Summary: Dive deep into the world of movies at Universal Studios Florida. Here, visitors can experience the magic of film production and immerse themselves in iconic movie scenes, from the magical alleys of Harry Potter to the action-packed streets with Transformers.

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay on Property – We recommend property hotels including Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific and Cabana Bay.
  • Plan for 2 days – We recommend doing 2 days at this park and 3-4 days overall including Islands of Adventure.
  • Buy Express Pass – Yes, it makes each ticket more expensive but you can get a lot more attractions done at Universal with Express Pass.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Universal Orlando App to arrange your plans.

Tokyo DisneySea

Hotel on a lake

  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Attractions: Unique theme areas like “Mysterious Island” and “Mermaid Lagoon.”
  • Ideal for: Everyone, especially those looking for a different Disney experience
  • Recommended days: 2 days
  • Stay: Tokyo Disney Resort Hotels or Urayasu hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx ¥7,500 (around $70)

Summary: As the only DisneySea in the world, this park is known for its nautical exploration theme across seven ports of call, including the volcanic Mysterious Island and the romantic Mediterranean Harbor. We’ve dubbed this theme park “the greatest in the world.”

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay on Property – We highly recommend the Hotel MiraCosta but there are several nearby hotels including Ambassador Hotel and Celebration Hotel.
  • Plan for 3 days – We recommend doing 2 days at Tokyo DisneySea and 1 day at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Buy Premier Access – Like Genie+ in the States, Premier Access will help you get the bigger attractions done with minimal wait time.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Tokyo Disney App to arrange your plans and use Premier Access.
  • Off-Property Visitors – Be sure to utilize the subway. Your destination for the resort will always be the Maihama Station.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios globe at the park

  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Attractions: Behind-the-scenes studio tour, “Jurassic World – The Ride.”
  • Ideal for: Movie enthusiasts, families
  • Recommended days: 1-2 days
  • Stay: Nearby hotels in Los Angeles
  • Entry Price: Approx $109-$129 (Prices can vary)

Summary: Located in the entertainment capital of Los Angeles, this park combines real film studio tours with thrilling attractions. It offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Hollywood movie-making and rides that plunge guests into blockbuster films.

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay Close – There are no property hotels for this park so choose a hotel nearby that offers a free shuttle to the park.
  • Plan for 2 days – We recommend doing 1-2 days max as this park is small and easy to experience in that amount of time.
  • Buy Express Pass – Yes, it makes each ticket more expensive but you can get a lot more attractions done at Universal with Express Pass.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Universal App to arrange your plans.

Shanghai Disneyland

Fantasy castle with foliage

  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Attractions: “Tron Lightcycle Power Run,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure.”
  • Ideal for: Families, Disney enthusiasts
  • Recommended days: 2-3 days
  • Stay: Shanghai Disneyland Hotel or nearby Pudong hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx ¥399-¥699 (around $60-$105)

Summary: A blend of Disney magic with Chinese culture, Shanghai Disneyland showcases exclusive attractions, like the TRON roller coaster, alongside redesigned classics tailored to the Chinese audience.

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay on Property – We highly recommend the Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel.
  • Plan for 2 days – We recommend doing 2 days but some may want a 3rd to repeat their favorites.
  • Buy Premier Access – Like Genie+ in the States, Premier Access will help you get the bigger attractions done with minimal wait time.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Shanghai Disney App to arrange your plans and use Premier Access.
  • Wishing Star Park – Be sure to take some time to visit Wishing Star Park, especially if you have kids.

EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort

Spaceship Earth at Epcot

  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Attractions: “Spaceship Earth,” World Showcase pavilions representing countries from around the world.
  • Ideal for: Adults, families
  • Recommended days: 1-2 days
  • Stay: Disney Resort Hotels or Orlando hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx $109-$125 (Prices can vary)

Summary: Celebrating human achievement and international culture, EPCOT divides into two sections: Future World, focusing on technology and innovation, and World Showcase, presenting 11 countries’ cultures and cuisines. We dubbed this park “a foodies paradise.”

What we suggest for a visit:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Attractions: “Pandora – The World of Avatar,” “Expedition Everest.”
  • Ideal for: Nature lovers, families
  • Recommended days: 1-2 days
  • Stay: Disney Resort Hotels or nearby Orlando hotels
  • Entry Price: Approx $109-$125 (Prices can vary)

Summary: A combination of a theme park and a zoo, Animal Kingdom offers a journey through nature, ancient civilizations, and distant lands. Whether exploring the Avatar-themed land of Pandora or going on an African safari, the park celebrates the magic of nature.

What we suggest for a visit:

Universal Studios Japan

Mario character jumping

  • Location: Osaka, Japan
  • Attractions: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” “Minion Park.”
  • Ideal for: Families, movie buffs
  • Recommended days: 2 days
  • Stay: Nearby hotels in Osaka
  • Entry Price: Approx ¥7,800 (around $74)

Summary: Located in Osaka, this park offers a combination of exclusive attractions, such as the anime-themed areas, alongside Universal classics. From the magic of Harry Potter to the fun-filled Minion Park, it caters to a wide array of tastes.

What we suggest for a visit:

  • Stay Close – There are no property hotels for this park so choose a hotel nearby that offers a free shuttle to the park.
  • Plan for 2 days – We recommend doing 2 days max as this park is small and easy to experience in that amount of time.
  • Buy Express Pass – Yes, it makes each ticket more expensive but you can get a lot more attractions done at Universal with Express Pass.
  • Download the App – Be sure to download the official Universal Studios Japan App to arrange your plans.