The 5 Largest Theme Parks In The World

July 21, 2016 6:00 AM

themeparks The 5 Largest Theme Parks In The WorldMagic Kingdom at Disney World Resort (credit: Mark Ashman/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

When it comes to attendance, there are many theme parks that have earned the honor of being at the top. Why do these theme parks get visited by millions of travelers every year? Is it because they have more area? Or is it because they have exciting attractions? It could even be a combination of both. In fact, many of the top theme parks have a higher occupancy level because of their overall size, which helps contribute to their being on the top.

Walt Disney World

When it comes to attendance, the Walt Disney World Resorts are by far the largest theme parks in the world. With four theme parks for guests to explore, the fun is never ending. Located in Lake Buena Vista, the Walt Disney World Resorts welcome more than 50 million guests annually.

The best thing about visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts is that you can enjoy just about everything you would want to on a vacation in one single location. There are 25 Disney hotels/resorts, two water parks, two miniature golf courses, four golf courses and plenty of stores and restaurants at Disney Springs. That’s not including the four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park — which are the biggest attractions at Disney World. Plus, once you have arrived at your resort, you never have to drive anywhere. Disney transportation takes you to all of your vacation destinations within the Walt Disney World Resort area.

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Disneyland (credit: Randy Yagi)


Disneyland Resorts

The original Disney vacation destination comes in second in annual attendance numbers. With close to 30 million visitors per year, the Disneyland Resorts offer guests everything from shopping to dining and theme parks to accommodations. Guests visiting will have access to both of the them, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, while visiting. Guests visiting Disneyland will also be able to enjoy the Downtown Disney District where they can shop, dine and be entertained. Those wanting to stay close to all of the action will have three Disney Hotels/Resorts to choose from.

The best thing about Disneyland is that you can enjoy the theme parks no matter how long you have to spend there. If you only had a day or two, you can still enjoy the must-see attractions and get your top must-experience activities in. Or, if you have a week (or more) to spend at Disneyland, there is plenty of things for you to see and do; you are not likely to get bored.

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Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, suburban Tokyo, Japan (credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)


Tokyo Disney Resort

Next in line is yet another Disney attraction. The Tokyo Disney Resort offers guests from around the world the chance to experience the hospitality of Disney in the heart of Tokyo. Visiting guests are sure to enjoy both theme parks — Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Both of these theme parks offer fun activities that are perfect for the entire family to enjoy. Just like Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland is divided up into different lands, each featuring themed rides, attractions, restaurants, shops and shows. Tokyo DisneySea is home to many favorite Disney attractions here in the U.S., plus many more, including plenty of water-themed attractions.

There are also four Disney Hotels/Resorts available for guests wanting to stay close to the action. All of these hotels offer what all travelers would expect from a Disney hotel, including service with a smile and fun, themed accommodations. There are also many Disney Good Neighbor Hotels near both theme parks.

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(credit: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)


Universal Studios Japan

Dive deep into the magic of the movies with a visit to Universal Studios Japan. This theme park is located in Osaka and has the fourth highest attendance numbers in the world. While there, you can enjoy everything from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Wonderland and plenty of rides to a variety or even themed restaurants. Not to mention all of the street performances, stages shows and annual events planned at this theme park.

Those wanting to enjoy the full Universal experience and stay close to the theme park will have the opportunity to stay in one of 24 partner hotels located nearby. With so much to see and do at this theme park, you are going to want to make sure you allow a minimum of two days to enjoy it. Three or four would be better, but you can get most of it in during a shorter visit.

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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Florida (credit: Universal Orlando Resort/Getty Images)


Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando offers vacationers a ton of activities and attractions located all within a central location. You will have access to two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, that are both connected through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Plus, CityWalk is one of the hottest places to be in the Central Florida area. There you can dine, play and be entertained.

There are five on-site hotels offering easy access and transportation to the theme parks and CityWalk. There are also many more neighboring hotels, many of which also offer transportation to and from the Universal theme parks. The best part about Universal Studios Orlando is that CityWalk stays open late at night, offering you the opportunity have fun even after the parks have closed.

Other Theme Parks

Though they may not bring in the attendance the top Disney or Universal theme parks do worldwide, there are many other theme parks that bring in heavy crowds. Some of those theme parks include Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China, Everland in South Korea, Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Lotte World in South Korea and Songcheng Park in China. Coming in closely behind is Hong Kong Disneyland, Europa Park in Germany and SeaWorld in Orlando.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.