Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Canada’s Wonderland and SoundWaves among TIME’s 100 ‘Greatest Places’

By | August 28, 2019

NEW YORK — Several theme parks and attractions have landed on TIME Magazine’s annual “World’s Greatest Places” list. Among the 100 destinations the publication has recognized for breaking new ground and offering unique experiences in 2019 are Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California; Canada’s Wonderland theme park in Toronto and the upscale SoundWaves indoor / outdoor water park at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

Opened May 31, the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland is described by TIME as a futuristic and nostalgic place in which “guests don’t simply mingle with their favorite characters, they live among them while customizing their own droids at the Droid Depot and visiting Oga’s Cantina, [the park’s] first public watering hole serving alcoholic space brews…”

Galaxy’s Edge, where the elaborately themed motion simulator attraction Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run — which recently thrilled its one-millionth passenger — will be joined by a second major ride in January, is the largest single-themed land introduced in any Disney park. Central Florida officially welcomes its own version of the new land at Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 29.

One of only two Canadian destinations on the list, Canada’s Wonderland earned its berth largely on the strength of Yukon Striker, its record-breaking new dive coaster. With a 245-foot-tall (including underground section), 90-degree first drop, the ride boasts a top speed of 80 mph. “This coaster plunges into an underwater tunnel, does a 360-degree loop and has floorless cars that leave riders hanging in the open air as they career along its 3,625 ft. of track for 3½ minutes of unbridled thrills,” TIME raved.

SoundWaves, located near Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, promotes itself as the first “upscale” water attraction in the U.S. Notes the magazine: “Aside from the thrills — indoor surfing, a tower with multiple water slides, a pool with a rock-­climbing wall — there are plenty of places to relax, too. Look for adults-­only pools and lounging areas, private cabana rentals, living walls of plants and a glass roof atop the tall atrium, ensuring guests can sunbathe year­-round.”

TIME’s story includes adventure parks and museums, as well. See all of the magazine’s selections online.