Tom's favorite amusement parks

People Tom's favorite amusement parks

16 December 2016

Grab your coffee and read our interview with Art Director Tom De Poortere about his love for amusement parks!

Top 3 favorite amusement parks?

3: EPCOT in ORLANDO. It’s divided into 2 main themed areas. One area is a retro futuristic park with attractions based on science and the other part is a world showcase where you can drink Margaritas in Mexico, eat sushi in Japan and go to the pub in London. I love the kitsch and the visibly romanticized vision of different countries. One of my favorite attractions: SOARIN – it’s a simulation ride where you hang-glide over the Californian landscape. You even “smell” the oranges in the orchards!

2. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ORLANDO: This is the real deal. The attractions are linked to big movie blockbusters and everything is enormous. You get thrown in the middle of the action with attractions based on Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons and many more. I mean, you can visit Gringotts and its vaults, you get attacked by a real-life T-rex or escape the wrath of The Mummy!

1. TOKYO DISNEY SEA: the most over the top detailed amusement park in the world. Everywhere you look, you’ll see something amazing. It is a Disney park that exists nowhere else in the world, it has a “real” working volcano with a rollercoaster and a giant fire monster inside. Their tower of terror is unique and beautifully made and the queue for the Indiana Jones ride is definitely worth it. Mix this with an enthusiastic Japanese crowd and you have the best park in the world.

Tom's favorite amusement parks - Essentiel Antwerp

Favorite attraction?

SPLASH MOUNTAIN in MAGIC KINGDOM at Tokyo Disneyland. The queen of all log fume rides. It has it all, beautiful decors and great thrills. It last for over 10 minutes and even after riding this attraction several times, I still love it.

What do you most like about attractions?

What fascinates me is the “How do they do it?” part. The combination of the technical features, settings and the vibe is what gets me the most. It’s like a magic trick from a magician… And it makes me happy!

How many amusement parks have you visited?

A LOT, but there are still a lot of parks to do… I visited all Disney parks (besides the new one in Shanghai), all Universal Studios in the United States, all Belgian parks and some in Holland.

The funniest thing ever happened?

That was in Tokyo Disney Sea. I was there alone without knowing Japanese. I was at the entrance of the Indiana Jones ride and three old Japanese ladies asked me if this ride was scary. I did my best to explain that it was a lot of fun so they decided to come along with me. We were in the same ride vehicle and they giggled the whole time like little girls. After this ride, they followed me around and without really talking, we had a fun day out. It was bizarre and funny.

Tom's favorite amusement parks - Essentiel Antwerp

Best moment ever?

The first time I went to Universal Studios Hollywood. I went with my one of my best friends to LA for the first time, and upon arrival I got a message from another best friend that he arranged for me and my friend to go to the park and that he paid for everything. I discovered later that all my friends were there for my 30th birthday and from each friend I received a nice surprise during this trip. I will never forget this!

Most overrated attraction?

I am not a big fan of parades or shows in an amusement park.

Tom's favorite amusement parks - Essentiel Antwerp

Best food at an amusement park?

Hmmmmm, this is a tricky one. Food is not always the best, but for parks like Disney and Universal you really can find some nice restaurants. Best thing to do is to do some research and make a reservation. And otherwise, just go with the flow and indulge in candy and popcorn ;-)

3 things you must take with you?

Sunglasses, sunscreen and your phone. All the rest is a hassle, I think.

What is still on your list?

Well, the new Disneyland Shanghai looks amazing. The TRON coaster and the new PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN ride appear to be mind-blowing. I would like to visit DOLLYWOOD and for the rest I would love to go to DISNEY WORLD again. It is still the best park, and their hotels are amazing! 

If you could design an attraction, what would you make? 

I think a ride based on the movie THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL could be funny. Imagine all the action and set pieces combined in a thrilling ride… Yes, I think that could work.


Daily Mail
Japan Guide
Disney World
Universal Studios Hollywood


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Epcot Orlando
Universal Studios Orlando
Tokyo DisneySea
Disney World
Shanghai Disney Resort