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Most Underrated Amusement Park


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NJFTP

Silverwood

Playland (Vancouver, BC)

Valleyfair

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Just out of curiosity, why do you think NJFTP is underrated? It's one of the more popular parks, and it looks like a dump to me. What do you like about it? I agree with Valleyfair and SCBB, and I don't know much about Playland or Silverwood. Although I know Playland's wooden coaster is supposed to be AWESOME.

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Valleyfair!

Darien Lake

Indiana Beach

Kentucky Kingdom

Pre-Fury Carowinds. I thought the park was great when I visited in 2012. Now it's not underrated anymore, because Fury definitely gave it a reputation boost.

 

And on the flip side, tremendously overrated parks:
Cedar Point.

Canada's Wonderland

Kings Dominion

Holiday World (I love the park, but it's FAR from one of the best.)

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NJFTP

Silverwood

Playland (Vancouver, BC)

Valleyfair

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Just out of curiosity, why do you think NJFTP is underrated? It's one of the more popular parks, and it looks like a dump to me. What do you like about it? I agree with Valleyfair and SCBB, and I don't know much about Playland or Silverwood. Although I know Playland's wooden coaster is supposed to be AWESOME.

Opinions like yours, and of spoiled locals who like to diss the familiar, are exactly why it is underrated. Have you been there?

If not, you need to go. It's in my three favorite parks. Period. No other Six Flags park even comes close to it, in my book.

That's MY opinion. I've been there literally hundreds of times.

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Six Flags St. Louis. These days, it's a better version of Holiday World for me, except it also gets the benefit of being a lot closer to other stuff I love.

 

I'd agree with Six Flags Great Adventure. To me, it does a better job of being Cedar Point than Cedar Point does--Cedar Point seems to be on a bit of a coaster kick at the expense of trees and atmosphere, whereas Great Adventure manages to have big rides AND a level of theming I prefer. But maybe it's a "grass is greener on the other side" kind of thing--I've been to CP way more than SFGAdv.

 

It's funny that homestar just put these as some of the more overrated parks, because I'd say that Canada's Wonderland and Kings Dominion are both underrated--or underappreciated, at least. (Different strokes for different folks! :) ) A lot of TRs for both focus on their respective coasters over 300 feet tall and not much else, which is a little sad, as I don't feel like either park's theming is really appreciated enough. In fact, I think Leviathan and Behemoth (though that one's under 300 feet tall, of course) were both very, very forgettable. Wonder Mountain and Congo Safari Village are both some of my favorite park features.

 

I could name more rides I find underrated than parks, though: Georgia Cyclone, the Coney Island Cyclone, Timber Wolf (WoF), Boss, Hurler (Carowinds), Verbolten, Wonder Mountain's Guardian, Mad Mouse (MA), Racer (Kennywood), Tempesto...

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NJFTP

Silverwood

Playland (Vancouver, BC)

Valleyfair

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Just out of curiosity, why do you think NJFTP is underrated? It's one of the more popular parks, and it looks like a dump to me. What do you like about it? I agree with Valleyfair and SCBB, and I don't know much about Playland or Silverwood. Although I know Playland's wooden coaster is supposed to be AWESOME.
Opinions like yours, and of spoiled locals who like to diss the familiar, are exactly why it is underrated. Have you been there?

If not, you need to go. It's in my three favorite parks. Period. No other Six Flags park even comes close to it, in my book.

That's MY opinion. I've been there literally hundreds of times.

I've been trying to make it out there for a while but it's never worked out. Don't get me wrong; I respect your opinion, but I'm only going off of Google Maps, which hardly tells the whole story. I could go there and be totally surprised, I just don't think that the coaster collection seems as outstanding as CP's like some say, but again, that's just my humble opinion.

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I've been trying to make it out there for a while but it's never worked out. Don't get me wrong; I respect your opinion, but I'm only going off of Google Maps, which hardly tells the whole story. I could go there and be totally surprised, I just don't think that the coaster collection seems as outstanding as CP's like some say, but again, that's just my humble opinion.

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I wish people would stop just looking at only the coasters and deciding how good a park is based on a handful of rides.  I would like to think an amusement park is a lot more then just coasters. 

 

Start watching the shows, ride the flat rides, and just walk around.  The whole experience is how parks like Dollywood have become so popular and successful.  None of this can be experienced through google maps.  Don made a great comment at Coaster Stock.  I do not remember exactly what he said but he asked us to go do everything else in the park and not just the coasters.  Ride the flat rides because if people keep just walking past them to get to the coasters then we will be stuck with a small number of parks with a bunch of coasters.  Parks look at ride counts and decide what to add or remove based on how many people ride them.  I really do hope the future is not parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain, a park which I view as completely overrated, and feels like a park with nothing but a kids area and a large number of coasters.

 

 

 

I have to agree with a lot of others I feel Waldameer is underrated.  I rarely see people discuss it on enthusiast sites but it has a good collection of attractions.

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I absolutely agree. The coasters are only a small part of the experience, and the only reason I point them out is because they're the most unique piece of the puzzle. SFMM looks like a middle tier SF park based on the fact that it has the worst non-coaster collection of any SF park. Also, would Waldameer be worth a 4 hour trip for someone on a budget? I've considered the idea but never gone much further than consideration. Thanks!

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Yes, Ravine Flyer 2 is one of the best wooden coasters out there. Comet is a wonderful "junior" coaster and Steel Dragon is a fun little ride. Two awesome dark atractions (one ride and one walk through) with all the tricks and effect working. Also a nice collection of flat rides to please.  Waldameer has free parking, free admission to the grounds (either pay per ride or get a wristband), and you can bring your own lunch and drinks into the park, thus making budgeting easier.

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I absolutely agree. The coasters are only a small part of the experience, and the only reason I point them out is because they're the most unique piece of the puzzle. SFMM looks like a middle tier SF park based on the fact that it has the worst non-coaster collection of any SF park. Also, would Waldameer be worth a 4 hour trip for someone on a budget? I've considered the idea but never gone much further than consideration. Thanks!

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One of the great things about Waldameer is that it is affordable.  The parking and admission are both free.  You only have to pay if you want to ride the attractions.  I recommend the all day wristband which is currently $27.99 for just the amusement park rides and $35.99 for a combo wristband good for both the rides and the water park.  It is possible to pay for each ride individually but it adds up quickly.  If you are anything like me, once you have ridden Ravine Flyer II you will want to get back in line and ride it again, and again, and again.  When you ride the drop ride I recommend a seat which looks out over the lake.

 

Also right next to Waldameer is a state park called Presque Isle.  I would at least stop in, could also be a good break in the day.  It is a peninsula that juts into Lake Erie.  It has a number of beaches, miles of trails, and at the very least is worth just driving through, although it would be a shame to not get out of the car.

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Lake Compounce, Boulder Dash is amazing and they have a nice variety of non coaster rides as well.

Dorney Park, it is in a tough location between Hersheypark and Great Adventure but they have a decent coaster collection and Wildwater Kingdom is one of the best water parks in the area.

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I absolutely agree. The coasters are only a small part of the experience, and the only reason I point them out is because they're the most unique piece of the puzzle. SFMM looks like a middle tier SF park based on the fact that it has the worst non-coaster collection of any SF park. Also, would Waldameer be worth a 4 hour trip for someone on a budget? I've considered the idea but never gone much further than consideration. Thanks!

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I live 28 hours from Waldameer. It is most definitely worth it.

 

I usually visit when I go to see family in northern Ohio. It's about a 2 hour drive from there. But when I lived in Kentucky, I often made a 7 hour trip mainly to visit Waldameer and Presque Isle.

 

It really is a great park. The water park is fantastic, and I don't usually like water parks very much. The atmosphere is BEAUTIFUL. Ravine Flyer II is a must-experience ride (even if it is a little rough for my taste). The Whacky Shack (the ride in my avatar) is a rare dark ride that is unbelievably fun. As others have said, lots of great classic flat rides. A great collection of kids rides. And it's super affordable. The lines are never insanely long either, I feel like I can do much more in a day at Waldameer than I can at most parks.

 

Plus those Presque Isle beaches. Gorgeous.

 

Waldameer is a perfect vacation destination for a traveler on a budget.

 

Edit to add: And if you ever want to splurge on a vacation, I highly recommend the bayfront Sheraton hotel in Erie. It's a great hotel.

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I second Silverwood, Playland in Vancouver (which has perhaps my favorite wooden coaster), Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (maybe the best setting of all American parks), Funtown Splashtown USA, and Lagoon among the many good ones mentioned.

 

Lake Winnie and Canobie Lake Park are a couple more I’d add.

 

And though it may not have any big thrill rides, a place called Enchanted Forest in Turner, Oregon is a marvelous little park.

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I second Hershey Park!   Although they do not have a real "kids' area," there are kids' rides within close proximity to all of the "big rides" which serve as a de facto parent swap. (The younger child has rides to enjoy while the parents and older kids ride the nearby "big rides") The family can navigate the park together without having to arrange a "meet up" several hours later.   And they have lower height requirements so that my three year old could ride Sooper Dooper Looper, Trail Blazer and Comet!  Where else can you hear a three year old tell you that "It looked like the world went around me" after his first inversion?   And Skyrush, Lightning Racer, and Storm Runner are all top-quality ride experiences!     

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