The Biggest Theme Park in the World

The largest theme parks in the world serve as enchanting stages of fantasy, adventure and sheer joy, where childhood dreams come alive and the worries of daily life dissolve into a swirling kaleidoscope of colours, noise, thrills and excitement. Buckle up and find out the runners and riders for the biggest amusement park in the world!

Building Big Engineering
1 June 2023

Unleashing a tidal wave of pure exhilaration, the world’s largest amusement parks are the ultimate arenas where your everyday life collides head-on with a whirlwind of thrilling fantasies. You’re not just a bystander here, you’re an integral part of this adrenaline-fueled narrative. These massive theme parks are transformative playgrounds where the commonplace is morphed into the downright incredible.

According to the record books, the world’s oldest operating amusement park is Bakken, just north of Copenhagen in Denmark, which opened in 1583. The first to charge admission as well as selling tickets for the rides was Sea Lion Park in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, the likes of Disney, Universal, Six Flags and Warner Bros. have taken the humble theme park to stratospheric heights – literally and metaphorically!

The grandeur of the biggest theme park in the world and the biggest Disneyland in the world can be measured in a number of ways, including most rides or physical size, but each of those metrics is largely subjective. For the purposes of this article we’ll measure the largest theme parks in the world by annual attendance using 2019 figures where available.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi: The World's Largest Indoor Theme Park

Warner Bros. World (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP via Getty Images)

Location: Yas Island, UAE | Opened: 2018 | Size: 153,000 square metres

Close to Ferrari World on Yas Island, the $1 billion, fully air-conditioned Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest indoor theme park with around thirty rides. It features dozens of characters from DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Hannah-Barbera and the wonderfully wizardy Harry Potter Land!

Alton Towers Resort

The Stinger at Alton Towers, UK. (Credit: Matt Keeble / Stringer via Getty Images)

Location: Staffordshire, UK | Opened: 1980 | 2019 visitors: 2,130,000

Alton Towers is the biggest amusement park in the UK and one of the largest theme parks in the world. Covering 550 acres of Staffordshire countryside, the park has over forty attractions including Oblivion – believed to be the world’s first vertical drop roller coaster – and TH13TEEN, the world’s first vertical drop freefall roller coaster.

Knott’s Berry Farm

The Wave Swinger ride at Knott's Berry Farm (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Location: California, USA | Opened: 1923 | 2019 visitors: 4,238,000

One of the largest theme parks in the world started as a berry stand along State Route 39! Today, the fifty-seven acre park welcomes over four million visitors a year to four themed areas inspired by the history and culture of California. Huge roller coasters, an authentic nineteenth century ghost town and the super-cool SoCal boardwalk are just some of the attractions making up one of North America’s most famous theme parks.


Roller coaster Silverstar from Europa-Park in Germany (Credit: Wirestock via Getty Images)

Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany | Opened: 1975 | 2019 visitors: 5,750,000

Europa-Park has over 100 rides and covers 950,000 square metres, including six hotels, a campsite, cinema and conference centre. Germany’s biggest and Europe’s second-most visited theme park is a contender for the biggest amusement park in the world.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Location: Florida, USA | Opened: 1990 | 2019 visitors: 10,922,000

Universal may not be the largest theme park in the world but it’s one of the most famous. Themed around films and TV, it’s like watching your favourite shows in real life! There are nine themed areas in the park including Minion Land, New York, and Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. Some of the most famous rides include Men In Black: Alien Attack, E.T. Adventure and The Simpsons Ride.

The Magic of Disney

Disneyland Hong Kong, China. (Photo by: Bob Henry/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

We’ve listed some of the world’s great amusement parks, but there’s one notable absentee in this list of the largest theme parks in the world. Can you guess which one it mouse be? Don’t duck the answer…

Ever since Mickey Mouse first appeared on screen in the cartoon Steamboat Willie in 1928, the world has had a love affair with Disney.

The company was founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney making short films. A century later, The Walt Disney Company is one of the world’s biggest businesses, owning brands such as Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, ESPN and National Geographic. Disney employs around 220,000 people, known as ‘cast members.’

Their first theme park – Disneyland in Anaheim, California – opened in 1955. Today, there are Disney resorts in North America, Europe and the Far East. But where is the biggest Disneyland in the world?

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Opened in 2005, the 320-acre park is centred around seven themed areas and includes three hotels. In 2019, it attracted almost 5.7 million visitors.

Disneyland Paris

Euro Disneyland Park, as it was originally known when it opened in 1992, isn’t quite the biggest amusement park in the world, but it is the biggest in Europe by annual attendance, with over 9.7 million visitors in 2019. The centrepiece of the 140-acre park, located just to the west of Paris, is Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, a 50-metre tall replica of the castle in Disney’s 1959 movie Sleeping Beauty.

Shanghai Disneyland

One of China’s biggest amusement parks at almost 1,000 acres opened in 2016 at a staggering cost of around $5.5 billion. In 2019, the park welcomed 11.2 million visitors and the themed areas include Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland and Toy Story Land.

Tokyo Disneyland

The first Disneyland constructed outside the USA, the 115-acre park opened in 1983. With almost 18 million visitors in 2019, it’s a contender for the biggest Disneyland in the world, as well as one of the world’s largest theme parks.


Opened in 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was the only park designed and built under Walt Disney’s direct supervision. In 2019, the original Disneyland attracted 18.6 million visitors and is home to some of the world’s most famous amusement park rides – including Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion.

The Largest Theme Park in the World: Magic Kingdom Park

Splash Mountain, Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

The biggest Disneyland in the world as well as the largest theme park in the world is Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida. Disney’s flagship resort opened in 1971 and its slogan, ‘the most magical place on Earth’ might well be true! In 2019, almost 21 million people visited the park. The wider resort in which it is located, Walt Disney World, is home to over thirty hotels as well as Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


You May Also Like

Explore More