STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The world's 25 most popular amusement parks

If 2017 felt a bit like being stuck on a never ending roller coaster of news, it's no surprise we sought out real rol...

Posted: May 18, 2018 10:54 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 10:54 AM

If 2017 felt a bit like being stuck on a never ending roller coaster of news, it's no surprise we sought out real roller coasters to escape and unwind.

A new report indicates that the previous 12 months were a great year for the theme park industry, with overall attendance at top attractions up 4.7% from 2016.

The report also spotlights the top 25 best-attended theme parks -- revealing the world's most popular as the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

An incredible 20,450,000 visitors headed through its doors, according to numbers compiled by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the Economics practice at AECOM. The top 25 together brought in nearly 244 million visitors.

Happy places

More than 50 years after Walt Disney created his original Disneyland as a "happy place" to escape the toils of normal life, Disney Parks continue to dominate the theme park world.

The Disney brand grew 3.0% in 2017 and dominates the top five, with the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California taking the second spot and Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea coming in at three and five respectively.

The TEA and AECOM report says Disney's dominance is in part due to new, exciting additions, such as the Pandora -- the World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Also in the top five is Universal Studios Japan, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The same franchise also claimed multiple success with Universal Studios at Universal Orlando taking number 10 and Universal Studios Hollywood at 15.

Immersive experiences continue to be popular and the trend seems set to run and run with exciting future plans including Disney's in-development Star-Wars themed lands.

Growing market

The report also points to growth in China as a major contributor to this successful theme park year, with AECOM officials hailing "high-quality theme park offerings," where people may, or may not, be enjoying themselves.

Shanghai Disneyland was number eight on the list and Chimelong Ocean Kingdom came in at number 11.

In Europe, Disneyland Paris still leads the pack -- but other iconic parks still performed strongly. The fairy-tale-themed Efteling, in the Netherlands, was at 23, and Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, which dates back to 1843, was at 24.

"Throughout Europe, we see an active and growing industry with ongoing investment and merger and acquisition activity," says Margreet Papamichael, a director at AECOM.

The report also highlights the world's most popular water parks, with China's Chimelong Water Park nabbing the number one spot with 2,690,000 visitors.

"On the whole, 2017 reflected a return to healthy growth with significant capital expenditures in the industry, both in traditional attractions, attraction-adjacent hotels, and new, [intellectual property]-branded indoor attractions," says John Robinett, AECOM's senior vice president, Americas.

"With stabilized global economies, and significant planning occurring now for future investment, prospects look good for the industry in the short- to mid-term."

World's most popular amusement and theme parks

1. Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, US

2. Disneyland, Anaheim, California, US

3. Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan

4. Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan

5. Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo, Japan

6. Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

7. Epcot at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, US

8. Shanghai Disneyland, Shanghai, China

9. Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, US

10. Universal Studios at Universal Orlando, Florida, US

11. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Hengqin, China

12. Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France

13. Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, California, US

14. Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, Florida, US

15. Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, California, US

16. Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea

17. Everland, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea

18. Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

19. Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, Japan

20. Ocean Park, Hong Kong

21. Europa-Park, Rust, Germany

22. Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, France

23. Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands

24. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

25. Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96677

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7143160
DeSoto559460
Harrison388374
Jackson350570
Madison331089
Rankin330679
Lee273670
Forrest248973
Jones248779
Washington225977
Lafayette219139
Lauderdale2059125
Bolivar184566
Oktibbeha179952
Lamar171635
Lowndes158058
Neshoba1579104
Panola149930
Sunflower147146
Leflore141081
Warren140750
Pontotoc127816
Pike124051
Monroe123568
Copiah119133
Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall110617
Lincoln110253
Holmes109859
Grenada109036
Yazoo106230
Simpson104646
Tate100437
Union99824
Leake96038
Adams94137
Wayne90421
Pearl River89253
Marion86535
Prentiss86217
Covington82722
Itawamba82621
Alcorn82011
George78013
Tallahatchie77321
Newton77224
Winston74219
Tishomingo69038
Chickasaw68424
Tippah67117
Attala66725
Walthall60126
Clarke60046
Clay59518
Hancock58722
Jasper57515
Noxubee55116
Smith53415
Calhoun52112
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46420
Yalobusha43514
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38817
Humphreys37715
Quitman3775
Stone37412
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33210
Carroll31912
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2273
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
Calhoun351544
Etowah349045
Morgan329228
Houston290321
Elmore266748
DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
Limestone210120
Cullman189920
Dallas179026
Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
Escambia160824
Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Columbus
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather