amusement park


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amusement park,

a commercially operated park offering various forms of entertainment, such as arcade games, carousels, roller coasters, and performers, as well as food, drink, and souvenirs. Amusement parks differ from circusescircus
[Lat.,=ring, circle], historically, the arena associated with the horse and chariot races and athletic contests known in ancient Rome as the Circensian games. The Roman circus was a round or oval structure with tiers of seats for spectators, enclosing a space in which the
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, carnivalscarnival,
communal celebration, especially the religious celebration in Catholic countries that takes place just before Lent. Since early times carnivals have been accompanied by parades, masquerades, pageants, and other forms of revelry that had their origins in pre-Christian
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, and world's fairs (see expositionexposition
or exhibition,
term frequently applied to an organized public fair or display of industrial and artistic productions, designed usually to promote trade and to reflect cultural progress.
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) in that parks are permanently located entertainment complexes, open either all year or seasonally every year. Some amusement parks, known as theme parks, are designed to evoke distant or imaginary locales and/or eras, such as the Wild West, an African safari, or medieval Europe. Theme parks usually charge a substantial admission fee, whereas traditional amusement parks, such as those at Coney IslandConey Island
, beach resort, amusement center, and neighborhood of S Brooklyn borough of New York City, SE N.Y., on the Atlantic Ocean. The tidal creek that once separated the island from the mainland has been filled in, making the area a peninsula.
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, do not charge entrance to the midway; theme-park admission, however, typically includes the cost of the rides, which are paid for individually in a traditional amusement park.

Walt Disney World, opened near Orlando, Fla., in 1971, is the most popular theme park in the world; it draws over 40 million visitors annually. It is modeled as a utopian city of leisure, pitched by personalities from Disney animation and operated by 26,000 employees. The original Magic Kingdom theme park is divided into thematic domains (e.g., Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Fantasyland), which flow into one another; other areas added later include Epcot Center, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The original Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, Calif.; Disney's California Adventure opened adjacent to it in 2001. Other Disney parks have opened near Tokyo (1983) and Paris (1992). Other examples of theme parks include the Universal Studios Tours in Universal City, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., in which visitors are treated to a tour of the movie studio grounds, see various demonstrations of stunts and special effects, and can go on rides inspired by popular films. In Tennessee, Dollywood, a theme park founded by the country musician Dolly Parton, offers rides, country music, and a hearty dose of Americana. Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Busch Gardens, and other amusement park chains have facilities in several areas.

Beginning in the 1990s a trend at some theme parks was to create rides based on popular action films, such as Batman, Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future. Some resort hotels in Las VegasLas Vegas
, city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States.
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 also began adding theme-park rides in the late 1990s. Meanwhile, thrill rides, especially roller coasters built of old-fashioned wood or high-tech tubular steel, were becoming faster and more complex, with water elements, loops, steep upside-down drops, and other scream-inducing features.

Bibliography

See G. Kyriazi, The Great American Amusement Parks (1976), S. Paschen, Shooting in the Chutes (1989), J. Adams and E. Perkins, The American Amusement Park Industry (1991), M. Sorkin, ed., Variations on a Theme Park (1992), K. A. Marling, ed., Designing Disney's Theme Parks (1997), D. Bennett, Roller Coaster (1998), R. Reynolds, Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers (1999), and W. Register, The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements (2001). For guides to amusement parks, see The National Directory of Theme & Amusement Parks (1997), T. H. Throgmorton, Roller Coasters: United States and Canada (2000), and T. O'Brien, The Amusement Park Guide (4th ed., 2001).

amusement park

A commercially operated park with entertainment features such as roller coasters, shooting galleries, merry-go-rounds, refreshment stands, etc.

Amusement Park

(dreams)
This dream may be pointing to one of your perceptions about life or be symbolic of life itself. You may see some parts of your life as lively, interesting, adventurous and entertaining. On the other hand, depending on the details of the dream you may see yourself as being on a wild ride, where nothing is terribly serious and life is a perpetual “roller coaster ride.” If you have been dealing with a significant amount of stress in your daily life or have been overworked, this dream may be a form of compensation. The dream’s message may be to encourage you to find time for fun and relaxation as well as to remind you that life is full of ups and downs and that a light-hearted attitude may be a refreshing change.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cedar Point is also making history as the first amusement park ever to utilize 3D virtual reality to introduce a new roller coaster.
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By contrast, Blackpool's main amusement park Pleasure Beach grew piecemeal on the southern edge of the resort town and to a degree in imitation of Coney Island.
According to the survey: 28% of Americans say they have visited an amusement park or theme park within the last 12 months; 50% are "extremely," "very," or "somewhat" likely to go to an amusement park this year; of those who went to a park last year, 82% indicate that they probably will go again this year; and adults under 50 years of age are more likely than those over 50 to have been to a theme or amusement park in the past year.
With XTREMEX3, amusement park operators have the power to record personalized on-vehicle multi-camera video, audio, and data for each customer, with footage from within his or her own vehicle.
The rooftop used to be an amusement park for children.
The freedom and happiness promised by the uniquely American topography of wide open roads and amusement parks is tainted by a certain Euro-trash tristesse and dusted with a fine layer of the weary nobility exuded by aging drag queens.