The Five Best Theme Parks in Asia

by Travelbag on 15 April 2015, 10:04AM

Whether it’s the thrill of a white-knuckle ride, a close encounter with a wild animal, a journey through a make-believe land or the infectious smile of a childhood cartoon character, the best amusement parks create a safe, happy environment that touches our nostalgic side and allows us to explore new experiences and create lasting memories with friends and loved ones.  

Asia is home to some of the best amusement parks in the world. From China to Singapore, these top parks specialize in pulling at the heartstrings and imaginations of both kids and adults.  

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Japan

Together, the Disney franchise’s Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea combine the ultimate theme park destination in Asia, and even the world. With numerous sites, shows, rides, themed attractions and all-inclusive resorts and tour packages, these theme parks do create the “Happiest place on earth.”

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With the same grandiose style as the California Disneyland and Orlando Disneyworld parks and the utilization of Japan’s innovative technology and creativity, Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 as the first Disneyland built outside of the United States. The massive park features upgraded classics such as Cinderella’s Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain as well as attractions that are exclusive to the park like the Anaheim Tiki Room. The grounds consist of seven different areas that include Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toontown, Westernland and the “World Bazaar.” 

The highlight of DisneySea is its alluring character and friendly atmosphere. Contributing to its unique charm is its distinctly different layout and theme. Opened in 2001, DisneySea was the first theme park outside of the U.S. to not employ the trademark “Magic Kingdom” concept, and instead, it used brought the settings of various real and imaginative places from around the world to life. The park features seven areas – American Waterfront, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Mediterranean Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, Mysterious Island and Port Discovery.  Highlights include the Inca temple in the Indiana Jones – Temple of the Crystal Skull, the Gondola Rides that replicate those in Venice and Ariel’s underwater playground.

Universal Studios, Japan

In 2001, Universal Studios Japan became the first Universal Studios brand theme park to open in Asia. The Osaka Bay Area, the theme park is the second most visited theme park in Japan and one of the best in the world. However, rather than build a completely different park with attractions unique to Japan, the park focuses on tried and true classics like Back to the Future, Jaws, and Jurassic Park. Young kids particularly enjoy the familiar faces of modern day cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty and Shrek. The park contains a total of 11 sections - Amity Village, Hollywood, Jurassic Park, Lagoon, New York, San Francisco, Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Wonderland: Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue, Universal Wonderland: Sesame Street Fun World, Universal Wonderland: Snoopy Studios and Water World.

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Ocean Park Hong Kong, Hong Kong

With its magical animals, thrilling rides, stunning views exciting shows, it’s easy to see why Ocean Park tops the list of the best theme parks in Asia. The combination of marine and amusement parks provides for endless adventure and fun-filled activities. The dramatic rocky coastline sets the scene for the Lowland (waterfront), which houses the Amazing Asian Animals and Aqua City. Favourites include the giant pandas, red pandas and the world’s largest aquarium dome which features nearly 400 different species of fish. Connected by cable car is the park’s second main section, the Headland. Located on the mountainous hills of the summit is the popular Thrill Mountain with exciting roller coaster rides and the Ocean Theater which features killer whale and dolphin shows.  

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Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

While Hong Kong Disneyland may have to compete with other nearby parks for “best park” title, it certainly makes a convincing case with the high number of visitors it pulls in every year. Hong Kong’s park is the fifth and youngest of the “Magic Kingdom” style parks. The ever-expanding park currently has seven themed districts that include Main Street USA, Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story land. As with all Disney parks, Hong Kong’s celebrates families and the inner child in everyone. No matter the age, everyone delights in the quirky and mesmerizing attractions such as “It’s a Small World,” the Mad Hatter teacups and the Grizzly Mountain coaster. With quintessential Disney flare and touches of Chinese culture and feng shui design, the park is guaranteed to provide its visitors with fulfilling adventures and memories of a lifetime.

Universal Studios, Sentosa Island, Singapore

Truthfully, the entire Sentosa Island is an amusement park in itself. The stunning natural landscapes serves as the perfect outdoor playground while the rich coral and crystal-clear waters provide unobstructed views of the diverse marine life. With the addition of Universal Studios to the Resorts World Sentosa complex on Sentosa Island in 2010, the island has become an incredibly popular destination for adventure-seeking families. Universal Studios consists of seven themed lands that include Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City and New York. Some attractions and shows are available at other Universal Studios theme parks, while others are exclusive to Singapore, making it a truly one-of-a-kind park in Southeast Asia as well as the Continent. 

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It’s no wonder why they have become such an integral part of our travel itineraries and lists of must-see attractions.  


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