An AMUSEMENT PARK is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A THEME PARK is a type of amusement park that bases its structures and attractions around a central theme, often featuring multiple areas with different themes. Unlike temporary and mobile funfairs and carnivals , amusement parks are stationary and built for long-lasting operation. They are more elaborate than city parks and playgrounds , usually providing attractions that cater to a variety of age groups. While amusement parks often contain themed areas, theme parks place a heavier focus with more intricately-designed themes that revolve around a particular subject or group of subjects.
Amusement parks evolved from European fairs , pleasure gardens and
large picnic areas , which were created for people's recreation .
World\'s fairs and other types of international expositions also
influenced the emergence of the amusement park industry. Lake
Compounce opened in 1846 and is considered the oldest
continuously-operating amusement park in North America. The first
theme parks emerged in the mid-twentieth century with the opening of
Santa Claus Land in 1946 and the popular
* 1 History
* 2 Amusement and theme parks today
* 3 Other types of amusement park
* 3.1 Educational theme parks * 3.2 Family-owned theme parks * 3.3 Regional parks
* 4 Admission prices and admission policies
* 4.1 Pay-as-you-go * 4.2 Pay-one-price
* 5 Rides and attractions
* 5.1 Flat rides * 5.2 Roller coasters * 5.3 Train rides * 5.4 Water rides * 5.5 Dark rides * 5.6 Ferris wheels * 5.7 Transport rides
* 6 References
The amusement park evolved from three earlier traditions, the oldest
being the periodic fair of the
A wave of innovation in the 1860s and 1870s created mechanical rides,
such as the steam-powered carousel (built by Thomas Bradshaw, at the
The second influence was the pleasure garden . One of the earliest gardens was the Vauxhall Gardens , founded in 1661 in London. By the late 18th century, the site had an admission fee for its many attractions. It regularly drew enormous crowds, with its paths often noted for romantic assignations; tightrope walkers, hot air balloon ascents, concerts and fireworks providing amusement. Although the gardens were originally designed for the elites, they soon became places of great social diversity. Public firework displays were put on at Marylebone Gardens , and Cremorne Gardens offered music, dancing and animal acrobatics displays.
The concept of a fixed park for amusement was further developed with the beginning of the world\'s fairs . The first World fair began in 1851 with the construction of the landmark Crystal Palace in London, England. The purpose of the exposition was to celebrate the industrial achievement of the nations of the world and it was designed to educate and entertain the visitors. The original Ferris Wheel , World\'s Columbian Exposition , 1893
American cities and business also saw the world's fair as a way of
demonstrating economic and industrial success. The World\'s Columbian
Exposition of 1893 in
The "midway " introduced at the Columbian Exposition would become a standard part of most amusement parks, fairs, carnivals and circuses. The midway contained not only the rides, but other concessions and entertainments such as shooting galleries , penny arcades , games of chance and shows.
BLACKPOOL AND CONEY ISLAND
Main article: Trolley park
The modern amusement park evolved from earlier seaside pleasure
resorts that had become popular with the public for day-trips or
weekend holidays in
The growth was intensified by the practice among the Lancashire
cotton mill owners of closing the factories for a week every year to
service and repair machinery. These became known as wakes weeks . Each
town's mills would close for a different week, allowing
In 1863, the North Pier was completed, rapidly becoming a centre of
attraction for elite visitors. Central Pier was completed in 1868,
with a theatre and a large open-air dance floor. The town expanded
southward beyond what is today known as the Golden Mile , towards
South Shore, and South Pier was completed in 1893, making Blackpool
the only town in the
In 1879, large parts of the promenade were wired. The lighting and
its accompanying pageants reinforced Blackpool's status as the North
of England's most prominent holiday resort, and its specifically
working class character. It was the forerunner of the present-day
In 1894 two of the town's most prominent buildings opened, the Grand
Theatre on Church Street, and
In the United States, picnic groves were established along rivers and
lakes that provided bathing and water sports, such as Lake Compounce
A similar location was
In the final decade of the 19th century, electric trolley lines were
developed in many large American cities. Companies that established
the trolley lines also developed trolley parks as destinations of
these lines. Trolley parks such as
Some of these parks were developed in resort locations, such as
bathing resorts at the seaside in
MODERN AMUSEMENT PARKS
Dreamland tower and lagoon in 1907
The first permanent enclosed entertainment area, regulated by a
single company, was founded in
Sea Lion Park was joined by
The first amusement park in England was opened in 1896 - the
Fire was a constant threat in those days, as much of the construction
within the amusement parks of the era was wooden. In 1911, Dreamland
was the first
THE GOLDEN AGE
Shoot-the-chute ride at Dreamland ,
Gilded Age , many Americans began working fewer hours and
had more disposable income. With new-found money and time to spend on
leisure activities, Americans sought new venues for entertainment.
Amusement parks, set up outside major cities and in rural areas,
emerged to meet this new economic opportunity. These parks served as
source of fantasy and escape from real life. By the early 1900s,
hundreds of amusement parks were operating in the
The Golden Age of amusement parks also included the advent of the kiddie park. Founded in 1925, the original Kiddie Park is located in San Antonio, Texas and is still in operation today. The kiddie parks became popular all over America after World War II.
This era saw the development of the new innovations in roller coasters that included extreme drops and speeds to thrill the riders. By the end of the First World War, people seemed to want an even more exciting entertainment, a need met by roller coasters. Although the development of the automobile provided people with more options for satisfying their entertainment needs, the amusement parks after the war continued to be successful, while urban amusement parks saw declining attendance. The 1920s is more properly known as the Golden Age of roller coasters, being the decade of frenetic building for these rides.
In England, Dreamland Margate opened in 1920 with a Scenic Railway rollercoaster that opened to the public in 1920 with great success, carrying half a million passengers in its first year. The park also installed other rides common to the time including a smaller roller coaster, the Joy Wheel, Miniature Railway, The Whip and the River Caves. A ballroom was constructed on the site of the Skating Rink in 1920 and in 1923 a Variety Cinema was built on the site. Between 1920 and 1935 over £500,000 was invested in the site, constantly adding new rides and facilities and culminating in the construction of the Dreamland Cinema complex in 1934 which stands to this day.
DEPRESSION AND POST-WORLD WAR II DECLINE
The amusement park industry's offerings range from large, worldwide
type theme parks such as
Walt Disney World
Examples of amusement parks in shopping malls exist in West Edmonton
Family fun parks starting as miniature golf courses have begun to grow to include batting cages, go-karts, bumper cars, bumper boats and water slides. Some of these parks have grown to include even roller coasters, and traditional amusement parks now also have these competition areas in addition to their thrill rides.
As of 2008, the Walt Disney Company accounted for around half of the total industry's revenue in the US as a result of more than 50 million visitors of its U.S.-based attractions each year.
In 2015, theme parks in the
OTHER TYPES OF AMUSEMENT PARK
EDUCATIONAL THEME PARKS
Some parks use rides and attractions for educational purposes. Disney
was the first to successfully open a large-scale theme park built
around education. Named
FAMILY-OWNED THEME PARKS
Narrow gauge mining train going through Calico Ghost Town
Some theme parks did evolve from more traditional amusement park
enterprises, such as Knott\'s Berry Farm . In the 1920s, Walter Knott
and his family sold berries from a roadside stand, which grew to
include a restaurant serving fried chicken dinners. Within a few
years, lines outside the restaurant were often several hours long. To
entertain the waiting crowds,
Walter Knott built a Ghost Town in 1940,
using buildings relocated from real old west towns such as the Calico,
California ghost town and
The first regional amusement park, as well as the first Six Flags
ADMISSION PRICES AND ADMISSION POLICIES
Amusement parks collect much of their revenue from admission fees paid by guests attending the park. Other revenue sources include parking fees, food and beverage sales and souvenirs.
Practically all amusement parks operate using one of two admission principles:
In amusement parks using the pay-as-you-go scheme, a guest enters the park at little or no charge. The guest must then purchase rides individually, either at the attraction's entrance or by purchasing ride tickets (or a similar exchange method, like a token ). The cost of the attraction is often based on its complexity or popularity. For example, a guest might pay one ticket to ride a carousel but four tickets to ride a roller coaster .
The park may allow guests to purchase a pass providing unlimited
admissions to all attractions within the park for a specified duration
of time. A wristband or pass is then shown at the attraction entrance
to gain admission. Melbourne
The advantages of pay-as-you-go include the following:
* guests pay for only what they choose to experience, allowing them to visit the park for a short periods of time (whereas guests who get day passes in "Pay-one-price" are generally compelled to spend hours to make the most of the cost) * attraction costs can be changed easily to encourage use or capitalize on popularity * best suited to parks located in areas with high pedestrian traffic and surrounded by competing points-of-interest (i.e. shopping arcade or theatre not operated by the park) and/or natural attractions, that make it hard to charge an admission fee. For instance, Centreville Amusement Park was one of the numerous attractions on the Toronto Islands alongside beaches and boating clubs, and its pay-as-you-go fare scheme was suited its guests who usually spent only 1–2 hours at the park. For amusement parks inside shopping centers such as the West Edmonton Mall 's Galaxyland , where amusement attractions exist alongside stores, pedestrian traffic consists of both shoppers and park guests, so it may not be practical to segregate the park premises and charge an admission fee.
The disadvantages of pay-as-you-go include the following:
* guests may get tired of spending money almost continuously * guests may not spend as much on food or souvenirs * results in high volumes of low-spending guests, and the resultant low profit margins are only sufficient for mature amusement parks that are not expanding
An amusement park using the pay-one-price scheme will charge guests a single admission fee. The guest is then entitled to use most of the attractions (usually including flagship roller coasters) in the park as often as they wish during their visit. A daily admission pass (daypass) is the most basic fare on sale, also sold are season tickets which offer holders admission for the entire operating year (plus special privileges for the newest attractions), and express passes which gives holders priority in bypassing lineup queues for popular attractions.
Pay-one-price format parks also have attractions that are not included in the admission charge; these are called "up-charge attractions" and can include Skycoasters or go-kart tracks , or games of skill where prizes are won.
When Angus Wynne, founder of
The advantages of pay-one-price include
* lower costs for the park operators, since ticket-takers are not needed at each attraction. * guests need not worry about spending money continuously on attractions, so they may spend more money on food and souvenirs. * more predictable price to offer guests since upfront cost is known. * better suited to amusement parks located in the suburbs or rural areas, with the park often as the only attraction there, which allows for a more captive audience to charge higher admission fees. * the higher profit margins, in turn, allow the park to add new attractions.
The disadvantages of pay-one-price include:
* price may be unattractive for guests who just visit the park to be with their families or use only few attractions. * guests are generally compelled to spend hours in order to make the most of the cost of a day pass, pricing is geared towards guests making a full day excursion rather than a short visit.
RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
Minimum height requirement sign
Mechanized thrill machines are a defining feature of amusement parks.
Early rides include the carousel , which originally developed from
cavalry training methods first used in the
Parks contains a mixture of attractions which can be divided into several categories. Rameses Revenge at Chessington World of Adventures is a Huss Top Spin ride and was the first of its kind to feature a water element
Flat rides are usually considered to be those that move their passengers in a plane generally parallel to the ground.
There is a core set of flat rides which most amusement parks have, including the enterprise , tilt-a-whirl , gravitron , chairswing, swinging inverter ship, twister, and top spin. However, there is constant innovation, with new variations on ways to spin and throw passengers around appearing in an effort to keep attracting customers. Manufactures such as Huss and Zamperla specialise in creating flat rides among other amusement attractions.
Roller coasters, such as Behemoth at Canada\'s Wonderland , have fast and steep drops from high altitudes Main article: Roller coaster
Amusement parks often feature multiple roller coasters of primarily timber or steel construction . Fundamentally, a roller coaster ride is one in which a specialized railroad system with steep drops and sharp curves, passengers sit and are restrained in cars, usually with two or more cars joined to form a train. Some roller coasters feature one or more inversions (such as vertical loops ) which turn the riders upside down. Over the years there have been many roller coaster manufactures with a variety of types of roller coasters.
Popular manufactures today include:
* Bolliger "> 3 ft (914 mm) gauge
Past and present manufacturers include:
Allan Herschell Company
Brookville Equipment Corporation
* Cagney Brothers
Amusement parks with water resources generally feature a few water rides, such as the log flume , bumper boats , rapids and rowing boats. Such rides are usually gentler and shorter than roller coasters and many are suitable for all ages. Water rides are especially popular on hot days.
Main article: Dark ride
Overlapping with both train rides and water rides, dark rides are enclosed attractions in which patrons travel in guided vehicles along a predetermined path, through an array of illuminated scenes which may include lighting effects, animation, music and recorded dialogue, and other special effects.
Main article: Ferris wheel
Ferris wheels are the most common type of amusement ride at state fairs in the US.
Transport rides are used to take large numbers of guests from one area to another, as an alternative to walking, especially for parks that are large or separated into distant areas. Transport rides include chairlifts , monorails , aerial trams , and escalators.
Ocean Park Hong Kong is well known for its 1.5-kilometre (0.9 mi) cable car connecting the Lowland and Headland areas of the park, and for having the world's second longest outdoor escalator in the Headland. Both transportation links provide scenic views of the park's hilly surroundings and, while originally intended for practicality rather than thrills or enjoyment, have become significant park attractions in their own right.
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* ^ "
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