Top 10 Park Settings List
Welcome to an Incrediblecoasters Top 10 List. When we list stuff, we actually explain why. Now a park setting is something that most people never take into account. Most of the time, the theming is so good that it sucks you into its own world or it isn't worth giving a sh*t about. But some parks are actually set in really nice places. Now just because a park looks great and is praised highly for its theming does not mean that it has a good park setting. All of the Disney Parks have fairly bad park settings. Disneyland in CA's park setting is quite literally just set in the beautiful city of smoggy Anaheim. And thats actually the best park setting of the Disney parks I've been to. The Walt Disney World Resort's park setting is a Floridian Swamp and Disneyland Paris' park setting is just the French Countryside. In fact, when you look at the entire Disneyland Paris Resort from a satellite, it looks like a giant crop circle. =) And speaking of crappy Farm Park Settings, lets talk about Europa Park. It too, has a dull farm setting on the France and Germany Border. Now all of these parks have great theming and suck you into their own world. There's no need for a good park setting. They create the setting inside the park. But some of these park settings aren't just good, they are amazing and create that sense of theming that really sucks you in and makes you have a great time. So yeah. Lets celebrate a bunch of parks for no reason other than their geographical location. Some of them may be amazing, some of them may suck ass, but all of them managed to have a great park setting. So lets dive right in.
Knoebels & Fort Fun
Elysberg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A & Wasserfall, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Now I decided to just have these two parks share the #10 spot for Best Park Setting because not only are these parks very similar, but their park setting alone is also very similar. Both of these are small little Family Owned Theme Parks set in the middle of freaking nowhere. They are both hard to get to with lots of Freeway Changes, Single Lane Roads, and drives through small little quaint German Villages (Ok, the German Villages only applies to Fort Fun, but thats beside the point). They both have a isolated in the middle of the forest feel to them, and I love that. Knoebels is mostly just set in the middle of the Pennsylvania Forests, sort of like they just took a campground and converted it into a fun theme park. Fort Fun on the other hand, is actually right by a Ski Resort, so in the winter, you have fun skiing and in the summer, you have fun being crazy at Fort Fun. But yeah. Both of them are isolated in the forests, and if you go around the edges, you see no signs of civilization at all. I do feel that Fort Fun may be slightly better as it takes more advantage of its setting with a Zipline that gives you an insane view, the Alpine Coaster that has you go crazy in the woods, and slides to get down the hills. But both parks have a great setting. And on top of all that, both are some of the best parks ever with tons of fun things to do. Be sure to check either of them out and have fun in the forest if you're in Pennsylvania or Germany.
Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.A
Now I know that some of you may be saying "Cedar Point!!!? That concrete jungle of nothing but giant steel rollercoasters!!!? That has a good park setting!!!?" Well first off, you're confusing park theming with park setting because yeah. You're right. There's no theming in Cedar Point at all. But as for the park setting, its got a nice one. The park is set right on the dege of Lake Erie and you can really get a good view of the lake from the park. Several of the parks coasters are improved by this really good park setting. I know Wicked Twisters back spike is significantly improved by the feeling of twisting up above the beach. People riding Millenium Force keep claiming that on clear days, they are able to see Canada from the top of the lifthill. And come on. Lets be honest. One of the huge advantages Top Thrill Dragster has against Kingda Ka is the view you get at the top. Cause come on. Do you know anyone who praises the view you get on Kingda Ka? Not the height it goes, but the view itself. Do you know anyone interested in all that beautiful lovely New Jersey? Yeah. I didn't think so. So yeah. While Cedar Point itself may be just a big concrete jungle, its got a really nice park setting that does give the park feel a little nicer and makes some of the coasters more enjoyable. Plus, its got a bunch of great roller coasters including one of my favorites, Maverick. So definetly check it out.
Monticello, Indiana, U.S.A
Located right on the edge of Lake Shafer, this is a really nice setting that Indiana Beach has. On one hand, the park is totally trying to create a sort of boardwalk feel. You know, that feeling you get when walking around boardwalks with the ocean air, sea breezes, and great view with wooden coasters along the path. And it does that. But Indiana Beach has its own unique style. The park may not have a big ocean setting, but come on. Did you seriously expect that at in the middle of Indiana? Though there is a really nice lake smell to it. It has the sort of smell I get when I go water skiing. And all the wooden coasters and flat rides do help build the park a really nice charm and atmosphere. And this is all especially impressive when you take into account that just outside the park, you'd see nothing but corn, like how you see that throughout the rest of the dull as dirt state of lovely Indiana. So give the park some credit for finding the only nice looking part of the entire state to set their park in. That really took some challenging research. And the park itself is interesting with some good coasters, and even though there are a few dumb rules at Indiana Beach, its still a really cool park that I'd recommend you visit.
Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.A
Located right smack dab in the middle of Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe has a very fascinating setting. Now some of you may be wondering what's so special about Bloomington, Minnesota. And the correct answer to that question is Absolutely Nothing!!! However, for the setting of Nickelodeon Universe, think internally. I mean just think about what you're looking at in Nickelodeon Universe. It's quite literally nothing but a giant shopping mall. And yeah. Thats setting, not theming. I mean, none of those stores are part of the park, they're all just the setting. And its a fascinating setting. I mean, you're completely isolated from the real world, with nothing there just mindless consumerism to stare at while you're in a land of Nickelodeon. And it's everywhere. I mean, you can see the Hooters at the end of the light at the Log Flume, which makes me suspect that all males (and lesbians) experience this whenever they have a near death experience. Yeah. Its ugly. Yeah. It brings out the worst in humanity with all its mindless souless consumerism, but at the same time, its fascinating to look at. That, and the mall itself can save your ass, like when I had to get a new camera for my trip. (Once again, thank you Best Buy). And for an indoor park, Nickelodeon Universe is pretty great. Its got good rides, and for its size, a lot to do. Definetly check it out.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Located on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River right in the middle of Montreal, the park setting is fantastic. I love the urban feel that you get from La Ronde. Not only are you right in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, but you can see the Montreal Skyline all throughout the park no matter where you go. Now most main parks for major cities are not directly in the middle of the city. They're usually in a small little town miles outside the main city that all the people flock to to go there. But not La Ronde. Its just on an island. Take the bridge and you're there. They are not worried about hiding La Ronde. They put it proudly on that island for everyone to see which is funny considering after going to La Ronde twice, it does not seem like the kind of park that you want to brag about or show off to the world. The park does seem to be slowly improving, but its still pretty bad. But hey, while you're angry at the fact that you're waiting in an hour for a crappy Vekoma ride solely because the operators are moving a snail like paces, at least you'll something nice to look at in the middle of your rage.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A
Located on the beaches of Santa Cruz, California, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk really does put out a good park setting. Its got a nice ocean breeze, and the endless view of the Pacific Ocean to look out at. And, the fact that this really is a boardwalk definetly enhances the experience you get at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It just has a really nice feel to it. Now I know that the beach on Santa Cruz isn't exactly the best beach ever. I've been to much nicer beaches in Hawaii and Italy. Hell, I'm planning on doing a trip next month to check out some of Nor Cal's great beaches (and visit this park again). And yeah. This park is really freaking cool. The rides are fun, the Giant Dipper is a really good wooden coaster, and of course, the setting is pretty damn good. I'm really looking foreword to coming back to this park. Definetly visit this park if you're up in Northern California. Its a really fun park.
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A
Located on the edge of the ocean in Brooklyn, New York, Coney Island simply has a really good setting. Like many of the parks on the list, its right by the ocean and has a really nice ocean breeze. But its not just the breeze of the ocean that makes Coney Island have a really good setting. Its also smack dab in Brooklyn, New York, and you can really get the feel of New York City in the park which really gives the park atmosphere. And of course, the history of the place and the fact that it is a landmark in New York City means that there is some pretty deep atmosphere to this park. I mean, this park is known by the General Public. And I'm not talking about New York City locals. I'm talking about the whole damn country. Everybody knows about Coney Island, which gives it a really nice setting. Its just freaking Coney Island. And yeah. Its a really good setting. I mean, need proof? Just look at their Starflyer. The Brooklyn Flyer. Its not very thrilling and its pretty small. I ridicule Starflyers of similar height for being too small. But I just really like the view too much to beat on the Starflyer here. Though I do wish they got a massive 400 ft one. That'd be thrilling and you'd probably be able to see the New York City skyline from that. But thats enough fantasies. Coney Island has a great setting and is the original boardwalk, making it the basis for many of the settings on this list. And its a cool park. Check it out.
Castelnuovo del Garda, Veneto, Italy
Located on the edge of Lake Garda, Gardaland has a fantastic setting. As you can tell, many of these settings are right by bodies of water. And Gardaland's setting is fantastic. Its right by Lake Garda, which not only makes the park cooler, but also gives it a nice feel to it. Just look to the side when riding Raptor and you'll get a really nice view. And of course, the view from the observation tower is fantastic. Not only the view of Gardaland, but just the general view of Lake Garda is freaking fantastic. I mean, just look at the photo I took from the observation tower. Its a fantastic view of the largest lake in all of Italy, drawing in many tourists just for the lake alone. And on top of the great view of Lake Garda, you really get a nice view of the mountains that surround the lake. Its no coincidence that they put Gardaland right on the edge of Lake Garda. No, its not to give it a nice setting, but rather to attract tourists in the area seeing Lake Garda. And Gardaland is a really fun theme park. It may not have the best coasters in Italy, but its still a really nice park thats worth your time. Definetly check it out.
Santa Monica Pier & Palace Playland
Santa Monica, California, U.S.A & Old Orchard Beach, Maine, U.S.A
Now I decided to just lump these two parks together because they both have very similar settings and are very similar parks in general. Both of these parks are located right on the beach, right in the middle of popular beach towns, filled with tacky tourist shops and efforts to give an old beachside setting that comes into most peoples minds when they think of seaside amusement parks. Both of these places are the type of place that you just want to unicycle around in while playing an instrument. They're the type of places that people like to go on dates to. They're both just really nice settings. The Santa Monica Pier is a big staple in Southern California and everyone I know knows about the pier and recognizes it as a big part of Santa Monica. And I can't really judge too much on Palace Playland and Old Orchard Beach since I was just there for one day, but I can easily imagine Old Orchard Beach being a big touristy stop as it felt like that and I have read articles saying that people treat it as a popular sea town destination. Plus, the parks themselves are very similar. They both are small little parks with not much, some flat rides, a main crappy coaster, and are only big because of their setting in a popular town like Santa Monica or Old Orchard Beach. Definetly check them out as both are fun and the towns themselves are a lot of fun.
Silver Dollar City
Branson, Missouri, U.S.A
Located right in the middle of the Ozark Mountains right in the middle of Branson, Missouri, Silver Dollar City has a fantastic setting. And it looks NICE!!!! It looks REALLY freaking nice!!!! Its got a nice Smokey Mountain feel that just makes me really wanna go hiking, camping, and most imporantly, cliff jumping. It totally has that mountain vibe to it that really rings awesome beauty to it. But Silver Dollar City doesn't just use this setting to look nice, it uses it to its advantage and incorporates the amazing setting with its already amazing theming to really make it pop. Yeah. You know how I was mentioning parks with great theming but not great settings such as the Disney Parks and Europa Park? This park not only has great theming, but a great setting to back it up and enhance said theming even more. Silver Dollar City is themed to an old western town in the 1880s. See, while places like Disney take you to imaginary places such as Fantasy Land or Tomorrow Land and places like Europa Park take you to an entire continent in one place, Silver Dollar City works to take you back in time. This gives it a big setting advantage as they place their park in a strategic setting, right where the park is themed to. They can use theming to take you back, but the setting of the Ozarks in the 1880s is still there, and it looks awesome, which gives the park a big advantage. You can't place your park in an imaginary place such as Fantasyland and I really want to see the first theme park to be located in all the European Countries at the same time. Please tell me that doing so means involving teleportation. =) But yeah. Its a great setting to go with great theming for a great park. I love the park enough already and now that Outlaw Run is being built, I have to go back next year. Definetly check it out.
So now I'm sure you know what you're thinking. "Wow. That was the list. That is so wrong." Well no. This is just the current list. I haven't been to every single park in the world. Which is why some choices aren't listed that others would call me insane for not including. Like Ocean Park in Hong Kong. From the photos I've seen of the place, the setting looks un-freaking-believable and would sh*t all over everything on this list. The only teeny tiny little problem with including it is that I have never been to Ocean Park and I can not judge a place that I have not been to before. But I certainly hope that the list will be updated to include it as Ocean Park seems like a cool park. But hey, these are all good park settings. Some of them may not be super amazing, but I like them all. I mean, they're all better than say something just plopped in the middle of nowhere, with no effort of theming or anything making it in a nice area. And of course, park setting isn't everything as some of the parks on the list may have been amazing, some have also sucked. But hey. They're all nice.