TripAdvisor Reveals the World's Favorite Amusement and Water Parks

Greg Keraghosian
·Associate Travel Editor

The Incredible Hulk Ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which won TripAdvisor’s survey. (Photo: Jeremy Thompson/Flickr)

The popularity of Orlando as a summer destination for ride-hopping and waterslide-jumping shined through again today in TripAdvisor’s Travelers' Choice survey results: the Florida family-travel mecca places five of the six favorite amusement parks in the world, and three of the four favorite water parks in the U.S.

It’s not the Magic Kingdom that takes No. 1 in the survey, although it is the most visited amusement park in the world (with over 19 million visitors in 2014). That title goes to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, whose attractions include the Jurassic Park River Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

Related: New Theme Park Rides You’ll Definitely Want to Take the Family to

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Disney’s Magic Kingdom. (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

TripAdvisor created the rankings with an algorithm that calculates the quality and quantity of worldwide reviews over a 12-month period. 

Orlando swept the top 3 for world’s favorite amusement park, with the runner-up spot going to SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove (the 2014 winner), and No. 3 going to the Magic Kingdom.

As for the world’s favorite water park, that honor goes not to Orlando but to Siam Park in Tenerife, Spain. Opened in 2008, the Thai-themed park boasts the tallest manmade waves in the world (3 meters), and the Tower of Power with its 28-meter vertical drop. The sprawling park takes up 185,000 square meters overall, and it won TripAdvisor’s survey last year.

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Tower of Power water slide at Siam Park. (Photo: Kriisi/Flickr)

The top-rated U.S. water park is Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Orlando, which was fourth in the world standings. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is No. 6 in the world and No. 2 in the U.S.  Aquatica in Orlando was ranked fourth in the U.S., just behind Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., which is also No. 10 in the world.

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Here are the world rankings for favorite amusement parks:

1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Orlando

2. Discovery Cove – Orlando

3. Magic Kingdom – Orlando

4. Universal Studios Hollywood – Los Angeles

5. Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Orlando

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

6. Universal Studios Florida – Orlando

7. Europa-Park – Rust, Germany

8. Disneyland Park – Anaheim

9. Beto Carrero World – Penha, Brazil

10. PortAventura Park – Salou, Spain

And here are the Travelers Choice rankings for water parks:

1. Siam Park – Adeje, Spain

2. Beach Park – Aquiraz, Brazil

3. Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia

4. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Orlando

Typhoon Lagoon. (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

5. Aquaventure Waterpark – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

6. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – Orlando

7. Wild Wadi Water Park – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

8. Hot Park – Rio Quente, Brazil

9. Thermas don Laranjais – Olimpia, Brazil

10. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari – Santa Claus, Ind.

San Diego Zoo. (Photo: Mike Boening Photography/Flickr)

TripAdvisor also released Travelers' Choice awards for favorite zoos and aquariums. For top-rated zoos, the San Diego Zoo maintained its reputation with a No. 1 world ranking, ahead of No. 2 Loro Parque in Spain and No. 3 Singapore Zoo. Other U.S. finishers in the world top 10 are fifth-ranked Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., eighth-ranked St. Louis Zoo, and the No. 9 Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami.

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Here are the full top 10 rankings for zoos in the world:

1. San Diego Zoo – San Diego

2. Loro Parque – Puerto de la Cruz, Spain

3. Singapore Zoo – Singapore

4. Prague Zoo – Prague, Czech Republic

5. Tiergarten Schoenbrunn – Zoo Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  
6. Henry Doorly Zoo – Omaha, Neb.

7. Chester Zoo – Chester, United Kingdom

8. St. Louis Zoo – Saint Louis, Mo.

9. Zoological Wildlife Foundation – Miami

10. ZooParc de Beauval – Saint Aignan, France 

As for world’s favorite aquarium, that title goes to Oceanario de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. No. 2 is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, and No. 3 is the Monterey Aquarium in Monterey, Calif.

Here are the full rankings:

1. Oceanario de Lisboa – Lisbon, Portugal

2. Georgia Aquarium – Atlanta, Ga.

Georgia Aquarium. (Photo: Peter Bugaiski/Flickr)

3. Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey, Calif.

4. Oceanografic – Valencia, Spain

5. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Gatlinburg, Tenn.

6. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – Toronto, Canada

7. Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre – Hersonissos, Greece

8. Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga, Tenn.

9. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium – Motobu-cho, Japan

10. Vancouver Aquarium – Vancouver, Canada

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