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February 24, 2024

Europa-Park to Tokyo Disneyland: The best theme parks in the world

Schenelle Dsouza
Oklahoma might not be in the running for destination apt for luxury experiences, but its upcoming US $2 billion theme park project will certainly put it on the map. Calling it the American Heartland Theme Park and Resort, the project is commissioned by Mansion Entertainment Group and will be designed by Oklahoma architect firm, ADG Blatt. As for the exact location, the theme park will be built near the town of Vinita.
While not much has been revealed about the project, the firm has shared a few snippets including the size of the theme park, which is almost as much as the average Disneyland park. Moreover, the project will be completed in stages, the first stage being creating 750 RV spaces and 300 cabins along with additional amenities. While the project will be completed by 2025, the theme park is expected to fully open by 2026.
“We are thrilled to make Oklahoma the home of American Heartland Theme Park and Resort,” American Heartland CEO Larry Wilhite said in the release. “At the crossroads of the heartland, Oklahoma is an attractive location for a family entertainment destination. The state’s business-friendly approach and innovative partnership efforts have helped make this possible. We look forward to bringing unforgettable generational experiences to Oklahoma.”
While we are anticipating this lavish new theme park and resort, here are some existing theme parks, touted to be among the best, to check out.
Efteling, The Netherlands
Efteling, The Netherlands
Photo Courtesy: Efteling
Europe’s largest and most popular theme park, Efteling sits in The Netherlands, in the village of Kaatsheuvel. While most theme parks pay tribute to fantasy and fiction, Efteling is known for its folklore and fables inspiration. This is translated through their imaginative rides, lush gardens, and of course, Fairytale Forest where children and adults get to experience snippets from their favourite fairytales. Think Hansel and Gretel’s candy-constructed house, the castle at Six Swans, and more than two dozen scenes. For adrenaline lovers, rides like the Flying Dutchman, Pegasus, Baron 1898 and the Droomvlucht dark ride.
Europa-Park, Germany
Europa-Park, Germany
Photo Courtesy: Europa-Park
Germany’s largest theme park, Europa-Park gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience the different destinations in Europe without actually travelling through Europe. The park includes as many as eighteen different European-themed zones, representing about fifteen different tourist spots such as England, Switzerland, and Italy. Guests will seldom be bored here with a variety of things to do, numerous water and rollercoaster rides, over a hundred attractions, and countless live shows representing each destination. If you cannot complete the tour in one day, fret not as the park has accommodation options in the form of six hotels as well as a camping site, and a tepee village.
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai
Photo Courtesy: IMG Worlds of Adventure
Theme parks seldom have indoor rides and adventures, which is what makes Dubai’s IMG Worlds of Adventure such an exceptional destination. Set entirely indoors, the IMG theme park occupies more than 1.5 million square feet of indoor space and is divided into five adventure zones. Each zone is dedicated to one adventure theme – Marvel Universe, Cartoon Network, the dinosaur-themed Lost Valley and IMG Boulevard. No matter the zone, each and every ride in IMG is said to be just as thrilling and entertaining. Adrenaline seekers, in particular, will enjoy the sharp, vertical fall in the Predator rollercoaster, and the 360-degree twists in the Velociraptor rollercoaster. If horror is your favourite genre, then The Haunted Hotel with its ghoulish backdrops and spine-chilling jump scares, is a must!
Lotte World, South Korea
Lotte World, South Korea
Photo Courtesy: Lotte World
Combining the best of both worlds, Lotte World offers both indoor and outdoor theme parks, some of the best rides and adventures, making it one of the best theme parks in the entire world! Lotte World Adventure, which is the indoor offering is the world’s largest indoor theme park with five different levels of adventures, while the outdoor park, Magic Island showcases thrill at its best, in the form of heart-dropping rides. There are more than 40 different rides to choose from, both indoors and outdoors along with an indoor ice rink, a folk museum, and a monorail that circles the park. Atlantis is one of the most popular rides which takes you 20m above ground and drops you at the speed of 72km/h. free-fall from the sky at a high speed. The Gyro Drop is another thriller which takes you high up to a 75-meter height dropping you at a swift 100 km/h speed. If you prefer swings and spins over drops, then Gyro Swing and Flume ride are some exciting rides to try out.
Tokyo Disneyland, Japan
Tokyo Disneyland, Japan 
Photo Courtesy: Tokyo Disneyland
When thinking about the best Disney theme parks in Asia, Tokyo Disneyland takes the cake. Opened in April 1983, Tokyo Disneyland is by far one of the largest and grandest theme parks in Japan. Spread across 51 acres, the theme park is divided into seven zones referred to as the seven theme lands – Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, World Bazaar, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Mickey’s Toontown. The latter three were built in September 2020 as part of the park expansion program. What makes the theme park such a fun destination is that it is perfect in every single season. The park adapts to the changing seasons, be it the rides, costumers or entertainment, everything changes with the changing seasons.
Universal Studios Hollywood – California, USA
Universal Studios Hollywood – California, USA
Photo Courtesy: Universal Studios Hollywood
Disneyworld in the US is a big deal, but visiting Universal Studios Hollywood in California is a must for all movie fanatics. One of the most popular and recognisable theme parks in the world,  Universal Parks & Resorts began as a mere studio back in 1915 and has since transformed into the incredible theme park it is today. As expected, you will find many movie-themed areas and adventures inspired by cult classics like the Harry Potter series, The Walking Dead, Jurassic World, The Simpsons, Super Nintendo and so much more! For a truly memorable experience, do visit and explore the park’s many movie sets and catch a glimpse of live shows and other attractions. For a thrilling experience, take a ride on the Jurassic World roller coaster and The Simpsons Ride in the Springfield area, or try out an adrenaline-pumping ride in the virtual world with a high-speed chase inspired by Fast & Furious.
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Schenelle Dsouza

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