What better way to ring out the old year than with 10 of my favorite theme park "Top 10s" of 2010? This collection of photo galleries covers roller coasters, thrill rides and new attractions at theme parks across the U.S..
So without further ado, here's my Top 10 of Top 10s:
1. Much like the Florida resort, my Top 10 lists for the four Walt Disney World theme parks are the most comprehensive and exhaustive -- from my favorite park (Disney's Animal Kingdom) to the most grown-up park (Epcot) to the most classic park (Magic Kingdom) to my least favorite park (Disney's Hollywood Studios).
2. With 14 rides, including eight roller coasters, the proposed Orlando Thrill Park hopes to cater to enthusiasts underserved by Florida's theme parks.
4. Disneyland remains a national landmark and a cultural touchstone for generations old and new while next door at Disney California Adventure work continues on a $1.1 billion-overhaul aimed at undoing the Anaheim theme park's on-the-cheap reputation.
5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in June at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla. The new themed land features Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade village and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dark ride.
6. For Muggles who haven't yet made the pilgrimage to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here's the best of the rest of the Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando and the Universal Studios Florida movie and television theme park next door. Closer to home in Southern California, Universal Studios Hollywood pioneered the concept of the movie studio backlot as a theme park to great success.
7. My Top 10 list of new rides at U.S. theme parks for 2011 includes major new attractions at Disney parks on both coasts, big roller coaster additions at Six Flags and Busch Gardens parks and a throng of towering thrills at no less than eight other parks. Or take a look back at the Top 10 new rides of 2010.
8. Six Flags Magic Mountain is all about mind-blending speeds, gut-wrenching drops and scream-inducing thrills of the wooden and steel coaster kind. The Valencia park remains locked in a fierce back-and-forth battle with Ohio’s Cedar Point for the coveted title of “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”
9. If I had to choose just one Southern California theme park that would please toddlers, tweens, teens, dads, moms and grandparents all at the same time, it would be Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. It truly has something for everyone.
10. Legoland California perfectly hits its demographic of minivan-driving soccer moms and their stroller-bound charges and tween siblings. The pink-knuckle rides offer a tiny dose of mild thrills for the littlest kids, who are often underserved at theme parks.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun