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Disney Dropped From 2022 Best Theme Park List: Here’s Who Made the Cut

What’s the BEST theme park in North America? Many of us dedicated Disney fans would immediately think of a Disney Park such as Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, or Disney California Adventure Park. Surprisingly, Disney was completely dropped from the best theme park list for 2022.

family-at-disney-magic-kingdom
Credit: Disney

USA Today is well known for its “10 Best” lists with annual releases selected by a panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees with the top 10 winners determined by popular vote.

With over 400 amusement parks and attractions in North America, the list could be endless but a top 10 is pulled to encourage readers to explore the top picks when planning a vacation getaway.

slinky-dog-dash
Credit: World of Disney

With the top 10 winners in the category Best Theme Park for 2022 just released, it’s painfully noticeable that Disney has been completely dropped from the list. Check out the top 10 list:

  1. SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  2. Silver Dollar City – Branson, Missouri
  3. Kings Island – Mason, Ohio
  4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia
  5. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – Tampa, Florida
  6. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
  7. Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  8. Six Flags Magic Mountain – Valencia, California
  9. Holiday World – Santa Claus, Indiana
  10. HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Two other Florida Parks beat out Walt Disney World Resort with SeaWorld Orlando landing first place and Busch Garden Tampa Bay taking fifth place. Universal Orlando Resort was another noticeable Central Florida theme park left off the list.

Ice Breaker SeaWorld
Credit: SeaWorld

Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park did make the list in 2021 as the ninth spot for the top 10 winners in the category Best Amusement Park 2021 which included:

  1. SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando
  2. Silver Dollar City – Branson, Mo.
  3. Kings Island – Mason, Ohio
  4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg
  5. Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  6. Busch Gardens Tampa – Tampa
  7. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
  8. Hersheypark – Hershey, Penn.
  9. Magic Kingdom – Orlando
  10. Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, Calif.

Why didn’t Disney make the cut this year? While we would personally rank Disney Parks high on this list, The Walt Disney Company has been at the center of much tension recently with its stance on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill (also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill) along with the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dissolving the Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

cinderella-castle-magic-kingdom
Credit: Disney

Furthermore, Disney fandom has continued to struggle with the overall Disney experience with higher ticket prices, upcharges for former complimentary services such as the new Disney Genie+, and the overall displeasure with Disney’s CEO, Bob Chapek.

On the flip side, the Disney theme park magic is still present in the Parks as character meet and greets have returned, new attractions such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have arrived, and incoming experiences which Guests are sure to enjoy for years to come are highly-anticipated. Hopefully next year Disney will make its way back on the list!

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.