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Old 12-02-2009, 01:11 AM
 
Location: West Village, New York
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Florida and Ohio by a mile.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Spain
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California is the best. Cedar Point is by far my favorite park though.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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Florida!! Florida doesn't only have Disney World it has Busch Garden & it has a lot of parts,the rides there are AMAZING! You'll have the best time there I love it there!! Then California & Ohio.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
515 posts, read 407,107 times
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Florida, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
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I think Florida wins this but the Busch Gardens in Virginia destroys the one in Tampa IMO.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:02 PM
 
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All the secondary and 2nd tier themeparks are good enough to be 1st tier in other states.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
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Here's the thing about Florida. You've got Disney, which obviously is a big draw, and then you've also got Universal and SeaWorld (and Legoland if you're into that), but all of that is in Orlando. Really, the only major Florida amusement park outside of Orlando is the insanely pricey Busch Gardens (which is an absolutely marvelous park, if a bit less impressive than its completely stunning sister in Virginia - imo the absolute best park in the country, no question). It's certainly a destination, but I think it's quite a stretch to say the entire state is the best for amusement parks.

California has a wonderful mix of major parks (Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom, Knott's Berry Farm, and California's Great America) and quirky pier/boardwalk parks all along the coast, which for some reason is a market Florida has barely tapped into.

And we can't forget New Jersey. The whole Jersey Shore thing has given the New Jersey coast a very negative image, but I think the reality of it is utterly charming.

Then there's Ohio and Pennsylvania. Ohio has two fantastic major parks in Cedar Point and Kings Island, but there's not a ton else anymore, sadly. Pennsylvania still has a decent collection of small parks to go with its big three (Kennywood, Hersheypark, and Dorney Park). All those old company towns in the rust belt built amusement parks to cheer up workers' families, which to my mind is every bit as strikingly and charmingly American as the boardwalks of California and New Jersey. The problem is that it really is a region more than one particular state.

And one that's not really come into the discussion yet is Texas. You've got two Six Flags parks, one of which was the first, SeaWorld in San Antonio, and another pretty decent selection of small parks. I think Texas falters a bit simply because it's so big that much of the state isn't served by any amusement park (similar to Florida), and the closure of Astroworld in Houston was a big blow.

I think what this question ultimately comes down to is local culture. In which state are locals most likely to casually visit an amusement park? Where in the US is that practice most deeply ingrained? I'd say something like this:

1. California
2. Pennsylvania/Ohio
3. New Jersey
4. Florida
5. Texas

After that... Virginia and the Carolinas wouldn't be too far behind, nor would New York and New England. Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgia, Minnesota, and maybe Tennessee are all at about the same level. Then I'd say Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Norwalk, CT
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I just went to Cedar Point in Ohio on Tuesday and it was an excellent park. One of the best I've ever been to. So many roller coasters. The park is huge, too. And nice views of Lake Erie.
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