Heart-pounding thrill rides, tasty treats, unique attractions—who doesn't love a trip to an amusement park? In fact, our universal (pun intended) love for amusement parks stretches back much further than you might expect: all the way to 1583. That's when the world's oldest amusement park, Bakken, opened in Denmark.

Amusement Parks Struggle During Pandemic

People around the world still flock to amusement parks in the millions today. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, many of the most popular parks in North America temporarily closed their gates or, at the very least, saw significant drops in attendance. Some parks started to recuperate in 2021 as social distancing restrictions eased, but most stayed relatively empty until 2022.

VIAVAL TOURS // Shutterstock
VIAVAL TOURS // Shutterstock
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When 2022 did roll around, though, certain parks saw 40-50% spikes in attendance compared to the year prior, while one park's attendance soared by more than 500%. The industry is now firmly back in business, and many amusement parks have implemented new rides, shows, and other exciting experiences to entice visitors to return.

To showcase the parks that saw the biggest increases in annual visitorship between 2021 and 2022, Stacker looked at data from the Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM. Read on to find out which 13 North American amusement parks have grown the most in popularity in recent years.

LOOK: 13 North American amusement parks growing the most in popularity

Stacker used Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM data to list the 13 North American theme parks with the most visitor growth from 2021 to 2022.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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From ride malfunctions to guest outbursts and Animatronic fails, these incidents at Disney theme parks were so not Mickey Mouse-approved.

Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol

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