Funland: The US Top 20

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, CA

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 10, 2009

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal City, CA

America’s 10th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 4.7 million visitors in 2007, making it the 10th most visited theme park in the US.


Interesting Fact

A backlot fire on the 1st of June 2008 destroyed a portion of the park, costing an estimated 50 million USD to rebuild!

Source: Wikipedia

Websites

http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com

http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/

Pros

· Universal Studios Hollywood’s main website

· Provides extensive information about the theme park including

  • All essential basic information (e.g. opening hours, ticketing, maps)
  • In-depth “How to get there” information
  • Full calendar of events

· Contains information for all its constituent attractions

  • Includes a list of rides with rider restrictions

· Links to http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/, where visitors can gain information on other attractions offered at Universal City

· Allows for interactivity, such as:

  • News on park can be emailed to visitors at a click of a button
  • Park tickets can be purchased online

· Includes an FAQ ­

· Available in Spanish and in Japanese

· Interactive interface enables people to purchase park tickets online

· Press release section available on the website itself

Cons

· No objective reviews of the park due to the nature of the source

Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

It is the official website for the park.

Objectivity – 1/5

As it is the main page of the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets. Affects objectivity.

Currency – 5/5

Has to be current to serve the needs of their visitors.

Coverage – 4/5

Very extensive coverage of the park.


Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 10, 2009

Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando, FL

America’s 9th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 5.4 million visitors in 2007, making it the 9th most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting fact:

Seuss Landing. Seuss Landing is the “kiddie” land at Islands of Adventure. It is true that there is not one straight line in the entire land! Universal even uprooted and re-planted trees that had been damaged by Hurricane Andrew so even the trees would be crooked.

Source: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Islands-of-Adventure-Mania-140959.html

Websites

http://www.universalorlando.com

http://www.universalorlando.com/amusement-parks/islands-of-adventure.html

Pros

· Well organized and user-friendly

· Includes detailed information on each attraction/ride and even includes their locations within the park

· Provides an interactive map where one can click on the various areas within the park and a window will appear; with a short write-up of the rides and attractions available there

· Includes a link where people may email the administrators if they have any enquiries

Cons

· Does not include information on where a tourist can stay while visiting the park (accommodation)

Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

It is the official website for the park.

Objectivity – 1/5

As it is the main page of the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets. Affects objectivity.

Currency – 5/5

Has to be current to serve the needs of their visitors.

Coverage – 4/5

Provides all the basic information but rather little extra information that would value-add to the site.


http://www.islandsofadventure.com

http://www.islandsofadventure.com/

Pros

· Very specific theme

  • Good for parents bringing their children there

· Contains reviews on most of the rides

· Contains information on guest services such as stroller rentals, lockers etc.

Cons

· Does not contain maps

· Does not contain any contact details

Accuracy & Authority – 4/5

Website dedicated to the park.

Objectivity – 5/5

It is totally unofficial and not affiliated to Universal.

Currency – 3/5

Last updated 2006.

Coverage – 3/5

Moderately extensive. Lacks a few important details such as maps and contact details.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, CA

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 10, 2009

Disney’s California Adventure

Anaheim, CA

America’s 8th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 5.68 million visitors in 2007, making it the 8th most visited theme park in the US.


Interesting Fact:

DCA was renamed for a day as Cal Adventure to honor one of the great baseball players of our time- Cal Ripken Jr. After the presentation Cal rode Grizzly Rapids with his family and members of the media.

Source: http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/Disneyland/DCA/Secrets/General.html


Websites

Disneyland.disney.go.com

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/parks/landing?name=DisneysCaliforniaAdventureLandingPage

Pros

· Well organized all information are appropriately grouped and can be accessed by hyperlinks

· All special promotions and events are clearly displayed on main page

Cons

· No maps of the park

Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

It is the official website for the park.

Objectivity – 1/5

As it is the main page of the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets. Affects objectivity.

Currency – 5/5

Has to be current to serve the needs of their visitors.

Coverage – 4/5

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Seaworld Florida, Orlando, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 10, 2009

Seaworld Florida

Orlando, FL

America’s 7th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 5.8 million visitors in 2007, making it the 7th most visited theme park in the US.


Interesting fact:

The cuttlefish, little relative, to the squid and octopus isn’t seen in SeaWorld, but the others on the list, and such critters as penguins, polar bears sea lions et al. are on display at SeaWorld year round.

Source: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Entertainment/Sea-World-Orlando-8033.html


Websites

http://www.seaworld.com

http://www.seaworld.com/orlando/


Pros

· Well organized and user-friendly

  • All information is nicely grouped with appropriate headings at the bottom of page

· Includes a slideshow of photos of the park

· Includes link to join an online community to receive updates and special offers

· Includes a clever interactive map with animation and a 3D depiction of the park

  • Click and a short write-up of the selection will be available in a pop-up window

Cons

· Includes basic information but has nothing extra to make a visitor’s stay extra enjoyable or comfortable.

Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

It is the official website for the park.

Objectivity – 1/5

As it is the main page of the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets. Affects objectivity.

Currency – 5/5

Has to be current to serve the needs of their visitors.

Coverage – 4/5

Provides all the basic information but rather little extra information that would value-add to the site.


Books

Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld, and the Best of Central Florida, 2nd edition

Sehlinger. B., Frommers, 2001, Hoboken, NJ

Pros

· Practical tips on when to go and how to beat the crowds at 12 of Central Florida’s best theme parks

· Information on what’s worthwhile and what’s not at major attractions

Cons

· Not a book solely on SeaWorld. May not be as comprehensive as one solely for SeaWorld.

Authority & Accuracy – 3/5

It is an unofficial guide book and is not affiliated to SeaWorld.

Objectivity – 4/5

Currency – 1/5

Not very current as it was published in 2001, many things could have changed in 8 years.

Coverage – 5/5

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Universal Studios, Orlando, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 10, 2009

Universal Studios

Orlando, FL

America’s 6th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 6.2 million visitors in 2007, making it the 6th most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting fact:

Earthquake, The Big One the ride creates all of the visual effects of an earthquake and resets them every two minutes. The experience registers 8.3 on the Richter scale.

Approximately 65,000 gallons of water are released and recycled every six minutes.

Source: www.universaltravelagents.com/pdf/USFFunFacts.pdf


Websites

http://www.universalorlando.com

http://www.universalorlando.com/theme-parks/universal-studios-orlando/hours.html

Pros

· Contains all basic information

· Each link to rides/attractions has a short description plus a short video

· Includes age recommendations and information such as if ride requires a minimum height.

Cons

· Does not include detailed maps for the park

· Map is brief and does not include the precise locations of rides and attractions


Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

It is the official website for the park.

Objectivity – 1/5

As it is the main page of the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets. Affects objectivity.

Currency – 5/5

Has to be current to serve the needs of their visitors.

Coverage – 4/5

Provides all the basic information but rather little extra information that would value-add to the site.

http://www.guide2usf.com

http://www.guide2usf.com/

Pros

· Contains links to information on each area within the park

· Includes a 5 point rating system to rate the rides and attractions

· Compiles all basic information into one link; “Must Know Info”

  • Information is easy to find

Cons

· Does not include maps

· Does not include contact numbers


Accuracy & Authority – 3/5

No affiliations and a totally unofficial travel guide site.

Objectivity – 4/5

Due to the reason above, it has no need for any ulterior motives and would be objective in it information.

Currency – 3/5

Last updated in 2006.

Coverage – 4/5

Rather extensive.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 9, 2009

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Lake Buena Vista, FL

America’s 5th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 9.49 million visitors in 2007, making it the 5th most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting Fact:

To keep 1,000 animals happy takes about four tons of food a day . . . that’s a four-and-a-half year supply for the average person.

Source: http://allears.net/tp/ak/ak_fact.htm


Websites

Disneyworld.disney.go.com

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/animal-kingdom/

Pros

· Well organized into categories

· Easy to look for the required information

· Includes all basic information

· Includes “Fun Facts”

  • Makes surfing interesting

· Recommendations on other interesting attractions within Disney World

· Includes a photo and video slideshow

  • Acts somewhat as a virtual tour of the park

· Includes detailed coloured maps

Cons

· Information on opening hours and ticketing prices not available on the Animal Kingdom page.

  • However links are available to direct an individual to the page which has the required information
  • Rather troublesome

Accuracy & Authority – 5/5

Being the main website, its authority in providing such information is unrivaled and it has to be accurate to meet the needs of potential visitors.

Objectivity – 1/5

Also, due to the fact that this is the main website for the park, its main aim would be to sell tickets and make the park look like an ideal place to spend a vacation. Information may be tweaked in such a way that places the park in a good light.

Currency – 5/5

Website is regularly updated.

Coverage – 4/5

Coverage is rather extensive however there is no sense of value-addedness.


Books

Frommer’s Walt Disney World & Orlando 2007

Miller. L., Wiley, 2007,Hoboken, NJ.

Pros

· Detailed reviews of all the rides, shows, and attractions

· Opinions of what is worth a visitor’s time or not.

· Exact pricing

  • Ticketing
  • Accommodation

· Includes suggestions, experiences, undiscovered gems and take on newest attractions

· Includes all basic information

· Includes large foldout maps

Cons

· Book is rather wordy

· No pictures

· Can be a chore to read

Accuracy & Authority – 4/5

Part of the renowned Frommer’s travel guide book series, it is known for providing a wide range of good information on a wide range of topics.

Objectivity – 4/5

Having no affiliation with Walt Disney, it can be said to be objective as it does not seek to sell tickets and thus would not overhype its information to make the park look good.

Currency – 4/5

Published in 2007, it is rather current.

Coverage – 5/5

Provides all the vital basic information and even extras which may make a visitors’ visit to the park extra enjoyable.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 9, 2009

Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Lake Buena Vista, FL

America’s 4th Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 9.5 million visitors in 2007, making it the 4th most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting fact:

Disney-MGM Studios is close to 135 acres. It is south of Epcot Center. Construction began in 1986. By the time the new theme park opened in May 1989 (the changes in scale had delayed the scheduled October 1988 opening), total costs had accumulated to more than $500 million.

Source: http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/WDW/Studios/Secrets/General.html

Websites

http://www.wdwinfo.com

http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/mgm/st-overview.htm

Pros

· Provides an overview of MGM Studios as a tourist attraction

  • Highlights the uniqueness and merits of MGM studios as a theme park
  • Provides a short history on the park

· Has links to other pages which provide more information in detail

  • Ticketing
  • Discounts
  • Transportation
  • Location
  • Opening hours
  • Other connected theme parks within Disney World Orlando, Fl
  • Accommodation

· Has a link which enables visitors to interact with each other, post queries and feedback

· Functional due to a simplistic and to-the-point layout

Cons

· Due to its lack of aesthetics, the site may only appeal to adults. Children may not be interested in browsing through.

Accuracy & Authority – 3/5

It is a totally private run website and has no affiliation to Walt Disney

Objectivity – 4/5

Same reason as above. Thus has no ulterior motive to sell tickets.

Currency – 5/5

Last updated earlier this year.

Coverage – 5/5

Extensive and provides a lot of extra information


Books

DK Eyewitness Travel: Walt Disney World Resort & Orlando

Pros

· Part of the critically acclaimed DK Eyewitness Travel series

· Organised and user-friendly

  • Colour coded sections

Information by area/theme parks

Traveller’s needs

Survival guide (road rules, car rental info etc)

· Doesn’t miss out on basic information

· Loaded with pictures

· Includes detailed coloured maps

· Includes information on where to stay while visiting Orlando

· Includes contact numbers


Cons

· Pages are packed with information

· Small text

· A bit too loaded with information

· Tiring to read


Accuracy & Authority – 4/5

Part of the renowned DK Eyewitness series, it is known for providing a wide range of good information on a wide range of topics.

Objectivity – 4/5

Having no affiliation with Walt Disney, it can be said to be objective as it does not seek to sell tickets and thus would not overhype its information to make the park look good.

Currency – 4/5

Published in 2007, it is rather current.

Coverage – 5/5

Provides all the vital basic information and even extras which may make a visitors’ visit to the park extra enjoyable.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Epcot at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 9, 2009

Epcot at Walt Disney World

Lake Buena Vista, FL

America’s 3rd Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 10.9 million visitors in 2007, making it the 3rd most visited theme park in the US.


Interesting Fact:

If you’re enjoying fresh vegetables at the Garden Grill, Sunshine Season Food Fair, or Coral Reef restaurants, chances are they were grown right in the Theme Park. Last year, more than 30 tons of fruits and veggies were harvested from The Land pavilion’s greenhouses.

Source: http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/WDW/Epcot/Secrets/General.html


Web Sources

http://www.dwtickets.com

http://www.dwtickets.com/Epcot_Park_Disney_s/64.htm

Pros

· As part of a ticketting website, it provides information on discounts and ticket packages

· Website provides interactivity.

  • Link to contact the administrators of the website
  • Link to view the testimonials of those who have visited Epcot

· Provides short write-ups of the different rides and attractions within the theme park.

· Provides links to other theme parks which the visitor may be interested in.

Cons

· No basic information such as

  • Driving directions
  • Opening hours
  • Maps

Accuracy & Authority – 2/5

No affiliation with Disney.

Objectivity – 5/5

Rather objective since it has no affiliation with Disney.

Currency – 4/5

Updated this year.

Coverage – 2/5

Rather limited in its coverage.


http://www.kingdommagictravel.com

http://www.kingdommagictravel.com/disneyworld/theme_parks/epcot.htm

Pros

· Main page provides a good description of Epcot Theme Park and what it is all about.

· Provides most of the basic, important information which potential visitors to the park may need.

  • Opening hours
  • Maps
  • Ticketing
  • Where to eat/shop/stay

· Even includes information on basic amenities such as

  • ATMs
  • Baby care centres
  • Wheelchair rentals

· Provides good summaries on Epcot Park’s rides an attractions

· Provides links to information on other theme parks within Disney World.

Cons

· No information on driving directions and how to get to Epcot.


Accuracy & Authority – 4/5

Affiliated to Disney

Objectivity – 4/5

Although affiliated to Disney, it is still generally a travel website rather than a promotional website.

Currency – 5/5

Updated recently

Coverage – 4/5

Rather extensive coverage.


Print Sources

Walt Disney World & Orlando For Dummies,

Miller. L., Wiley

2007

Hoboken, NJ

Pros

· Part of the famous “For Dummies” series

· Down to earth planning advice

· Well structured and organized.

· Even has a section dedicated to summarizing each chapter

  • The reader can focus on what information he is looking for and straight away dive into it without much hassle.

· Like any other guide book, it does not fail to include basic information such as

  • Opening hours
  • Ticketing
  • How to get there
  • Locations of basic amenities
  • Descriptions of rides and attractions
  • Information on dining and shopping facilities

· Budget planning section

· Contact numbers

· Detailed maps

Cons

· Book is rather wordy

· No pictures

· Can be a chore to read

Accuracy & Authority – 4/5

The book is part of the famous “for Dummies” series which is critically acclaimed.


Objectivity – 4/5

The book is not affiliated to any companies which main aim is to sell tickets and thus can be considered rather objective.

Currency – 4/5

Published in 2007, it can be considered rather current.

Coverage – 5/5

Rather extensive in its coverage and also adds a lot of extra information which value-adds to the book.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 9, 2009

Disneyland

Anaheim, CA

America’s 2nd Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com, the park saw an estimated 14.8 million visitors in 2007, making it the 2nd most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting Facts

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Posted by ustop20themeparks on April 9, 2009

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom

Lake Buena Vista

Florida 32830 USA

America’s Most Visited Park of 2007

According to themeit.com and wikipedia, the park saw an estimated 17 million visitors in 2007, making it the most visited theme park in the US.

Interesting Fact

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »