Continuing my series of the best in the amusement industry, it’s time for one of the “grown-up categories”. I’m kidding. In terms of my theme park fandom, I’ve always been a roller coaster specialist. So, I’m treading in deep water when it comes to breaking down the best theme park shows. So, I asked my colleague Arthur of the About Theme Parks Guide for some help.
Before we get to the results of the Golden Ticket Awards, I wanted to get Arthur’s take on the categories and what makes a great show.
There really are two kinds of park shows, the “nighttime spectaculars,” such as Fantasmic, and more intimate stage productions (hence the two Golden Ticket categories). Both, however, should include:
- Grand spectacle
- Stirring music
- High production value
- Emotional pull
- Interwoven story
Here are the theme parks with the best shows according to the 2013 Golden Ticket Awards:
Best Theme Park Shows
Dollywood Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 41%
Six Flags Fiesta Texas San Antonio, Texas 23%
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Orlando, Fla. 6%
Europa-Park Rust, Germany (tie) 5%
SeaWorld Orlando Orlando, Fla. (tie) 5%
Silver Dollar City Branson, Mo. (tie) 5%
Best Outdoor Show Production
Epcot Orlando, Fla. 29%
Disney California Adventure Anaheim, Calif. 18%
Six Flags Fiesta Texas San Antonio, Texas 12%
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Orlando, Fla. 11.50%
Disneyland Anaheim, Calif. 8%
And, here’s Arthur’s analysis of the results:
It’s no surprise that Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN) and Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio, TX) rank so highly for the best theme park shows. Their original mission was to feature music and live entertainment, and while both have expanded and evolved to introduce some great coasters and other attractions, neither has abandoned its commitment to shows. The Disney parks deservedly dominate the outdoor show production category on the strength of their big budget, innovative kiss-goodnight presentations, IllumiNations, Fantasmic, and World of Color.
For more, see Arthur’s video and full review of World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure.
What do you think of the results? Do you agree that these are the theme parks with the best shows? Leave a comment below. Also, check out this related post: The Cleanest & Friendliest Theme Parks