Disney Loses ‘Best Theme Park’ Status

disney world

The Walt Disney Company arguably has some of the most recognizable theme parks in the world, especially in North America. Walt Disney World Resort theme parks like the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom, and Disneyland Resort highlights such as Disney California Adventure Park have always made Disney destinations a favorite among travelers — but not in 2022!


Walt Disney World Resort

This year, USA Today has left Disney out of its Best Theme Park rankings. The USA Today “10 Best” lists typically include ten honorees who have been chosen for the honor by a panel of experts and editors. Next, there is a voting process to determine the winners from each list of 10 nominees.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Entrance

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Entrance in the Walt Disney World Resort Credit: Disney

With Walt Disney World and Disneyland’s reputations as some of America’s most iconic theme parks, the lack of nominations or honorable mentions for them from USA Today is particularly obvious in 2022.


The Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom statue. Credit: Disney

The theme parks that have left Disney Parks behind in the Best Theme Park for 2022 list are as follows:

  1. SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  2. Silver Dollar City – Branson, Missouri
  3. Kings Island – Mason, Ohio
  4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia
  5. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – Tampa, Florida
  6. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
  7. Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  8. Six Flags Magic Mountain – Valencia, California
  9. Holiday World – Santa Claus, Indiana
  10. HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Since two Floridian theme parks are on the list, the exclusion of Disney properties is all the more noticeable. Disney’s competitor Universal Orlando Resort (which has recently opened itself up to a vulnerability that the Walt Disney Company might just take advantage of in a few years) was also left off the 2022 Best Theme Park list from USA Today.

The Walt Disney Company has faced a lot of backlashes recently from fans who are tired of rising prices, Cast Members who are tired of Guests’ bad behavior, and politicians like Governor Ron DeSantis who are tired of Disney’s interference in politics. Do you think that some Disney theme parks like those in the Walt Disney World Resort are still some of the best theme parks in the United States of America, or do you think that Disney is past its prime?

Have you been to any Disney theme parks that are located further abroad than North America, such as Disneyland Paris, Aulani Resort and Spa, Tokyo Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disneyland Resort, or Hong Kong Disneyland?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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