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.


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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

amusement park

A commercially operated park with entertainment features such as roller coasters, shooting galleries, merry-go-rounds, refreshment stands, etc.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Amusement Park

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.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
feared confusion with its themepark version of the same name.
From the top of the Sands I count twelve origami-like construction cranes dipping their pointed beaks down to the city below, toward the waiting bounty of waitressing jobs and construction sites, video-poker machines in every 7-Eleven, and giant billboards looming above the downtown casinos, promising "Free brunch if you cash your paycheck here." Set to rise on the site where the Sands now stands is Sheldon Adelson's $2 billion Venetian, the latest in the wave of themepark casinos that began with the MGM Grand and the Luxor and now includes New York-New York, with its one-third-scale replicas of the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty crisscrossed by a giant Coney Island rollercoaster.
They gathered to draw attention to the cultural violations at the airport, meeting tourists planning to visit the theme parks at Nappapiri, which is home to shopping malls and tourist attractions including the Santa Claus Themepark. Rovaniemi is at a similar latitude to Pangnirtung, N.W.T., and Old Crow, Yukon.
Too bad Tammy and Jim's Themepark and Holy Water fun village shut down a while back.
For family fun, visit the Opryland Themepark for wild rides, evening cruises and Broadway-style entertainment.
Last year the MGM Grand Hotel and Themepark broke ranks with the other new mega-resorts - Luxor, Excalibur, Treasure Island and Mirage - and refused to bargain with Culinary Workers Local 226, the 40,000-member affiliate of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International.
Indeed, American onlookers have a difficult time imagining why EuroDisney, an American-style-in-Paris themepark, might not be prospering as expected.(2) Meanwhile, the American nostalgia industry thrives, especially when a return to childhood's "wonder year" narratives finds us feeling wiser to (and/or wiser than) the tales being told.
Washington, Feb 25 ( ANI ): Executives at DreamWorks Animation have teamed up with experts at themepark company Merlin Entertainments to develop a London attraction based on the Shrek franchise, it has been revealed.
The only discernable narrative was mired in archetypal "Scouse themepark" nonsense and unsubtle played-to-the-stalls malapropisms.
After that success, they became the studio's staff songwriters, writing delightful numbers for more films, "Winnie the Pooh" TV specials, even themepark attractions.
The Celtic fringes, meanwhile, just created fantasy themepark versions of contemporary rural life - Ballykissangel and The Monarch of the Glen owed more to the 1950s than the noughties.