This list may be hard to explain, because to the non-theme park fan, these may look redundant. But they’re all different in tone, execution, areas of niche interest, types of coverage, extra features, and more. I highly recommend you give them all a chance before deciding on your own personal favorite. (Just FYI, you may notice my biased toward Disney theme parks. I do tend to gravitate toward some sites with Disney-centric content. However, they also seem to be far more prevalent than any other theme park fan sites.)
Here they are in no particular order, the Top 10 Best (and most interesting) Websites for Theme Park and Roller Coaster Fans.
1.) http://www.coasterwarriors.com/ – Coaster Warriors seems to have the most even coverage of general roller coaster news and theme park news in general. There doesn’t seem to be a bias toward any particular theme park and there is a large amount of public contribution, which means you get more honest reviews and a greater amount of content to sift through.
2.) www.themeparkchannel.com – This is one to watch. It’s not officially launched yet, but it promises to be the first ever channel entirely devoted to theme parks. Think Travel Channel, but with ONLY theme park based material, including webisodes, full shows, podcasts, and more. This launches fully in 2010, but you can expect periodic previews from time to time as the site/channel ramps up. Could there be a deal in the works for an actual cable channel in the future? Methinks the answer to that is a tentative yes. You can follow themeparkchannel on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest news as it breaks.
3.) http://themeparkreview.com/ – This is a very entertaining site full of hilarious reviews of all types of strange and bizarre theme parks from across the world. This site is run by a married couple who essentially attend theme parks for a living. Not too shabby, eh? Be careful though, I’ve lost track of time on this website a time or two. The best thing about this site is by far and away the witty captions and diverse parks visited. You won’t believe the parks that exist out there in the world…it gets downright strange sometimes.
4.) http://www.themeparkinsider.com/ – This site features a generous amount of news, but also a lot of human interest stories as well. For example, this week they highlighted theme park cast member stories as well as generic news items. This mix makes the website fun to visit because you never know what you’re going to get.
5.) http://micechat.com/ – This is a Disney-centric website that focuses on what it calls, “A Different Look At Disney”. It’s sort of the alternative newspaper of Disney news. It’s an excellent Disney-centric site.
6.) http://www.yesterland.com/index.html – Speaking of Disney-centric sites, here’s another gem. This site features attractions that are long since gone from the house of mouse. It’s great for browsing and having those, “Oh, I remember that!” moments.
7.) http://doombuggies.com/ – This is the end-all, be-all website for fans of Disney’s Haunted Mansion attractions. It’s the definitive fan site, absolutely packed with trivia, behind-the-scenes information, pictures, stories, and more.
8.) http://tellnotales.com/ – Remember everything I just said about Doombuggies.com? That goes double for this site, only it’s focused on the Disney attraction, “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
9.) http://www.coasterimage.com/ – A site solely devoted to roller coaster imagery with some video thrown in here and there too. Good stuff.
10.)http://www.extinct-attractions-club.com/ – Similar to Yesterland.com, with a handful of differences.