Watching the best movies set in theme parks is the next best thing to actually visiting a theme park. IMDb has compiled a list of the finest theme park films.
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Theme parks and amusement attractions throughout the world are expected to see an influx of visitors this summer as temperatures rise (safety permitting). It is possible to enjoy such events virtually even if you are not able to attend in person. Theme parks have been used for filming numerous movies since the advent of cinema.
Theme parks such as Disneyland, Wally World, and Pacific Playland, as well as carnivals, circuses, boardwalks, and water parks, all have dinosaur attractions.
1. Westworld (1973) – 7.0
Westworld is a sci-fi thriller set in an adult theme park where affluent guests can pay money to live out their wildest desires. It follows Future World and the blockbuster HBO series of the same name.
The Gunslinger (Yul Brynner), a Wild West robot that malfunctions and goes on a killing spree inside the park, pursues two affluent vacationers in Michael Crichton’s film, which he wrote and directed. Medieval World is also shown in the film, in addition to the American West.
2. Jurassic World (2015) – 7.0
Jurassic World, based on characters developed by the late Michael Crichton, is a new theme park on the island of Isla Nublar where visitors can interact with genetically cloned dinosaurs, much like the original.
As a result, when Indominus Rex, a gigantic hybrid dinosaur, escapes and begins wreaking havoc within the park, a mad scramble for survival begins. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) are in the forefront of the effort to find the two boys who have gone missing while also putting an end to the bloodshed.
3. Carnival Of Souls (1962) – 7.1
As a surreal horror film set at a carnival, Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls has some of the weirdest images ever seen. It’s about Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss), a lady who appears to have died after she and her two pals plunge from a bridge in their car.
While working at a church near Mary’s home, she discovers a haunted carnival house where a demonic presence (played by Harvey) follows and torments her at every turn.
4. The Way Way Back (2013) – 7.4
When Duncan (Liam James) was 14, he spent a life-changing summer at his mother’s Cape Cod beach house, surrounded by his mother’s prickly boyfriend.
He meets his boss Owen (Sam Rockwell) and a colorful gang of young coworkers at Water Wizz, a small waterpark where Duncan spends the majority of his days. With his mother’s approval, Duncan pursues an uneasy relationship with his next-door neighbor, Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb).
5. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) – 7.4
National Lampoon’s Vacation is one of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s, directed by Harold Ramis and written by John Hughes. Few people will ever forget their visit at Wally World, even though the film just had a few minutes of it set in a theme park.
On their terrifying journey from Chicago to California, the Grisworlds discover that their once-fun destination Wally World (which was filmed at Six Flags over the course of a year) is currently closed for maintenance. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) loses his cool and shoots a BB pistol at a security officer to get his family into the amusement park.
6. The Florida Project (2017) – 7.5
With its setting on the outskirts of Walt Disney World near Orlando in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, the story’s central protagonists, who reside in adjacent hotels, hint to their own delusional aspirations. Despite the fact that they are only a short distance away from the enchanted realm, it yet feels far away.
In the story, a six-year-old girl named Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) goes on a series of escapades near Disney World with her friends, and the plot thickens from there. With the help of Bobby (Willem Dafoe) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto), Moonee is able to fulfill her dream of visiting Magic Kingdom.
7. The Warriors (1979) – 7.6
New York City’s Coney Island Beach amusement park is the setting for Walter Hill’s cult-classic combat film The Warriors. To determine who will reign supreme, the city’s feuding gangs agree to take part in a single, massive brawl.
In one of the gangs, The Warriors, which has been accused of killing the rival gang boss, Cyrus, is one of the groups (Roger Hill). They remain strong and demonstrate their authority over the territory in the face of bloodthirsty retaliation from the other gangs.
8. Zombieland (2009) – 7.6
While Jesse Eisenberg’s 2009 theme park picture, Zombieland, is listed in the top three, the coming-of-age comedy Adventureland just missed the list. At the Pacific Playland amusement park, the zombie apocalypse road movie culminates in a violent showdown.
Eisenberg, Tallahassee (Harrelson), Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin) form a ragged group of survivors in the gore-sodden environment known as Zombieland. It turns out the theme park they thought of as a safe haven is actually a zombie-infested wasteland.
9. Toy Story 4 (2019) – 7.8
Another road movie, Toy Story 4, has a significant plotline taking place at a carnival-themed attraction. In an attempt to convince Forky that Bonnie needs him, Woody chases after him when Forky escapes on a road trip.
This chase by Woody eventually leads to a carnival ride, where Buzz gets lost and is almost sold as a prize. Woody’s self-discovery in the course of rescuing Forky leads him to give up his own happiness for Bonnie’s.
10. Jurassic Park (1993) – 8.1
According to IMDb, Jurassic Park is still the finest movie set at a theme park. The breakthrough technological marvel, created by Steven Spielberg from a story by Michael Crichton, elicits shivers and awe in viewers of all ages.
To bring dinosaurs back to life, scientists have decided to clone the DNA they found preserved in a fossilized mosquito. Commodification is made worse by charging people to see the amazing creatures at Jurassic Park. This all changes, though, as the T-Rex breaks out of its enclosure and rampages through the park.