#4. Blackfish


This post has been full of light and fun movies and scenes, but we have to interrupt that for this eye-opening documentary that skewers the practices of what used to be an acclaimed and respected attraction. SeaWorld gets the spotlight in this film from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, but not because it’s such a magical place to visit. Instead, it’s because this purported haven for aquatic animals, namely killer whales, is more like a hell for these giant underwater mammals. Featuring interviews with former SeaWorld trainers and other experts, this film paints an ugly portrait of a theme park that needs to be shut down for good.  If you haven’t seen this disturbing documentary yet, it’s on Netflix Instant right now.

#3. Zombieland – Pacific Playland

In a climactic stand-off that feels straight out of a video game, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin face a zombie horde in Pacific Playland. The real theme park is actually Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia, and it works as a fantastic backdrop, making for some of the best zombie kills the horror subgenre has ever seen. Harrelson is a badass throughout this whole movie, but he really lets loose in this sequence. Above is just a taste of the full sequence, but you should probably just go watch the whole movie again anyway.

#2. National Lampoon’s Vacation – Walley World

Even though this classic comedy doesn’t take place at an amusement park, the whole trip is about getting to Walley World. Of course, we all know the fate of this insane road trip, but seeing Chevy Chase punch Marty Moose and threaten John Candy never gets old. And hey, that’s Mr. Duncan from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York as the park owner. This is easily one of the best, if not the best, road trip comedies ever made. And as such a big fan of the original, I was pleasantly surprised to be laughing pretty hard at the first red band trailer for the reboot starring Ed Helms.

#1. Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Were some of you worried that this movie would be on the list? Of course it’s going to be #1. This is the ultimate theme park movie. Not one man, woman or child saw Jurassic Park and didn’t wish that it was real. Who wouldn’t want to see dinosaurs alive again? Of course, as we’ll find out again in Jurassic World, the aspirations behind this creation always prove to be a little foolhardy and perhaps eventually fatal. But maybe this glimpse at the downfall of a dream we all have is enough for now, at least until scientists really do figure out how to bring dinosaurs back to the planet.

So there you have it. Surely there’s some scenes from movies that didn’t make our list, so now’s the time for you to sound off. What are some of your favorite scenes that happen at a theme park, carnival, fair or water park? Are there any key movies or scenes that you think deserve to be on here?

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