Walt Disney World Named ‘Favorite Theme Park 2020’ by the National Amusement Park Historical Association

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The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) has just named Walt Disney World as the ‘Favorite Theme Park’ for 2020 after a survey was conducted.  Second place went to Dollywood in Pigeon, TN.

In 2019 Disneyland took the top spot and Walt Disney World was number 2.

This is the 35th year for this survey where favorite amusement parks and coasters are surveyed by their members. The organization began in 1978 and is ” dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the heritage of the amusement park – past, present and future.

Membership is open to anyone and they have members across the globe including amusement parks themselves, manufacturers and other industry businesses.

These members are experienced according the NAPHA press release:

NAPHA members are experienced riders who have visited countless amusement parks
and have ridden a diverse assortment of roller coasters and other rides. The average
member has been to more than 118 different amusement parks and has ridden about 386
roller coasters.

Of course 2020 was not normal with the pandemic, closures and shorter seasons.

In past years, members generally visited an average of 8 to 13 parks annually. In 2020, the average number of visits was 3.8. Virtually all of NAPHA members went to fewer parks in 2020 compared to 2019.

Even with 2020 being an “unusual amusement park season” they noted that the results are mostly consistent even with closures.

On a side note, I’m a Pennsylvanian so I am very happy to see Kennywood and Knoebels both performing well.  I grew not far from Kennywood and my husband was near Knoebels. We have visited both parks many times! So I want to take a second to congratulate them both and recommend you give them a visit because they truly are fantastic parks!

Here are the 2020 Survey Results:

FAVORITE TRADITIONAL PARKS
1-tie. Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)
1-tie. Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)

FAVORITE THEME PARKS
1. Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL)
2. Dollywood (Pigeon, TN)

MOST BEAUTIFUL PARK
1. Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, VA)

FAVORITE WOOD ROLLER COASTER
1. Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
2. Jack Rabbit, Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)

FAVORITE STEEL ROLLER COASTER
1-tie. Fury 325, Carowinds (Charlotte, NC).
1-tie. Magnum XL 200, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
1-tie. Millennium Force, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
1-tie. Phantom’s Revenge, Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)

FAVORITE BUCKET LIST PARKS
Europa Park (Rust, Germany)
Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Pleasure Beach (Blackpool, UK)

Congratulations to all winners. Dollywood is doing a fantastic job as well!

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


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Kambrea Pratt
Disney has been a big part of my life for years--from family trips to WDW to growing up on Disney classics, TV, and movies. Prior to Pirates and Princesses I successfully ran social media and websites since 2010. I've also been a public speaker and presenter since 2007. I'm the co-host for the YouTube channel Clownfish TV as well as the podcast/ Youtube Pirates and Princesses (PNP) channel. Former contributor, online personality and acting social media manager at The Kingdom Insider (which we built from the ground up and ran from 2017-2019 --Thom didn't quit FYI) Pirates and Princesses was started by my husband and I several years ago. We loved Disney and wanted to honestly cover all aspects from pop-culture to the parks from a consumer focused stance. Living OUR happily ever after getting to do what we love with our two kids! Creating fun content and building new things. Certified art teacher, and mom. Opinions are all mine.