Ranking Missouri’s Amusement Parks

Elora Maxwell
4 min readMar 8, 2022

Missouri is home to three major amusement parks: Worlds of Fun, Six Flags St. Louis and Silver Dollar City. Each one is owned by a different company and are uniquely themed.

When looking at these three, it is pretty easy to determine which one belongs at the bottom of this list. Let’s face it, Six Flags doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to how they operate their parks. Not only that, but Six Flags St. Louis is considered one of the smallest and lowest on their chain.

Home to nine roller coasters, the newest one being a relocated Boomerang from Texas in 2013, the park isn’t known for their good rides. That fact alone should tell you how little this park is thought of by their parent company.

Taylor Bybee, the founder of Coaster Studios, released his review of the park well after visiting on a cross country road trip. The review came out months after he visited because he literally forgot that he had even gone there.

“This park is the epitome of what you think of when you think of a Six Flags park,” Bybee said. “It’s got cheap theming; there are advertisements everywhere. Everything just kind of looks tacky, not really charming or unique. Of the three parks in Missouri, this one is definitely my least favorite.”

A forgetful lineup of coasters makes for an equally forgetful park. If you have the opportunity to go, you should, but go for the ride credits and bust out of there.

Towards the bottom of another chain is Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. This poor park has been neglected by Cedar Fair for years now. Worlds of Fun hasn’t received a new roller coaster in a whopping 13 years. However, unlike Six Flags St. Louis, this park has received many updates over the years including a new entrance, many flat rides and even a record-breaking mat racer slide for Oceans of Fun. Even at the bottom of the chain, they are making updates and keeping the park clean and enjoyable.

Worlds of Fun’s PR manager, Sean Cunniff, publishes the park’s blog “What in the Worlds?” to keep the public updated on the off-season. Recently the park announced that the roller coaster Mamba is getting a new system that will hopefully help reduce the down time required on a normal operating day and many rides including Patriot and Le TaxiTour are getting refurbished.

“Detonator is getting a new look,” Cunniff said. “Since its opening on April 13, 1996, the top of Detonator has sported its original paint job with no touch-up or alterations. When the top goes back up for our 49th season, the signatures of those who work at the park will decorate the inside of this piece for the next time it’s lowered for work.”

With so much love by locals and the 50th season right around the corner, there’s no telling what’s in store for this little Cedar Fair gem.

Finally, without question, the best theme park in Missouri is Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

The 61 acre park in the Ozark Mountains has been one of the best when it comes to guest relations, food, entertainment and overall experience since it first opened in 1960. It is home to seven roller coasters and over 30 other attractions; one such attraction is an hour-long cave tour through Marvel Cave, which the park is built on top of.

Silver Dollar City attracts over two million visitors every year, and they come from around the world. Shawn Sanbrooke is the founder of Theme Park Worldwide, a brand that he’s built across the pond in England. He travels around the world to visit theme parks; Silver Dollar City is one of his favorites.

“This is a top five park for me. You could come to this park, not go on any rides and still have a good time,” Sanbrooke said. “There’s so much to it and it’s a full on themed experience… This park, I love it to bits.”

As Missourians, we are lucky enough to have three amusement parks within our state. While they might be at different levels of theming, thrills and experience, it’s nice to know that there are options to get away without spending a fortune or driving hundreds of miles.

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Elora Maxwell

Elora Maxwell is an aspiring author. She loves traveling, watches old films and loves classic country music.