Disney and Universal Are No Longer Top-Rated Destinations, Here’s Who Replaced Them

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Mickey Mouse character meet and greet at Fantasyland in Disneyland Paris

Credit: Disney

A recent report revealed that Disney and Universal theme parks are no longer top-rated destinations. Here’s who replaced them.

Hear ye, hear ye, theme park enthusiasts across America! Mickey Mouse has officially been dethroned as the number-one destination in the United States, as a recent report recently revealed the nation’s undefeated champion of theme parks.

Mickey Mouse scared, screenshot from the Mickey Mouse Shorts episode "Wish Upon a Coin"
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

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Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company’s multi-million-dollar investments and plans to improve Disneyland and Disney World, including a recently revealed plan to revamp a historical attraction at Walt Disney’s original theme park.

Universal Destinations & Experiences isn’t falling far behind, as the company continues to make massive efforts to revolutionize the theme park industry in the United States and worldwide, including an all-new roller coaster inspired by a divisive franchise.

Iconic globe at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal

Regardless of these multi-million-dollar investments, both companies were left in the dust by a new competitor.

USA Today recently revealed the results of its yearly “10 Best” competition, listing the ten best theme parks in the United States and giving the title of best theme park in the country to none other than Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

This is the second consecutive year the internationally awarded 1880s-style theme park has earned this title.

Wildfire roller coaster at Silver Dollar City theme park, 2024's top-rated theme park trumping Disney and Universal
Credit: Silver Dollar City

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Silver Dollar City also trumped SeaWorld in this competition despite several new attractions opening at the company’s theme parks in Orlando, Florida, San Diego, California, and San Antonio, Texas.

“North America is home to more than 400 amusement parks and attractions with some 375 million visitors annually,” said USA Today. “For those looking to plan the perfect theme park vacation, trying to pick which park to visit can potentially be overwhelming.”

To help families narrow down their options from this ever-expanding list, USA Today asked a panel of experts to nominate their top 20 parks across the country and asked readers to vote for their favorites during a four-week period.

Silver Dollar City theme park, 2024's top-rated theme park trumping Disney and Universal
Credit: Silver Dollar City

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The runner-up for this year’s USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards was Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, followed by Seaworld Orlando, Hersheypark, Dollywood, LEGOLAND California, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kennywood, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Cedar Point.

Silver Dollar City is undoubtedly ready to continue defending the title of the best theme park in the United States, as the Branson icon recently opened FIRE IN THE HOLE, a groundbreaking $30 million indoor family coaster set to be the largest in the Midwest.

FIRE IN THE HOLE, an all-new, multi-million dollar roller coaster opening in March 2024 at Silver Dollar City theme park
Credit: Silver Dollar City

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Silver Dollar City, the 1880s–style theme park nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Branson, is internationally awarded for excellence in theme, presentation, and operations.

The picturesque, tree-lined “City” was founded atop the massive National Landmark, the great Marvel Cave, and offers 40 rides & attractions, a demonstrating crafts colony 100 artisans strong, and hosts ten world-class festivals and events featuring a variety of entertainment plus live concerts.

Home to several roller coasters with record-setting footprints, home-style foods are in high demand, with a keen emphasis on specialty items and famous cinnamon bread.

Have you been to Missouri’s Silver Dollar City? Tell Inside the Magic about your experience in the comments below!

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