Portal:Amusement parks


Portal:Amusement parks
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Bobbejaanland, Lichtaart, Belgium

An amusement park is a collection of rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a fairly large group of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground and caters for all ages.

Amusement parks evolved in Europe from pleasure gardens, which existed for the recreation of the people, while charging a fee. In the United States, expositions were another influence on the amusement park. Amusement parks were the historical precursors to modern theme parks as well as the more traditional midway arcades and rides at county and state fairs (in the United States). Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The oldest amusement park in the world is Bakken, at Klampenborg, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, which opened in 1583.

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. Some parks charge an entry fee which allows unlimited access to all attractions, whereas others offer free admission but charge guests for each attraction.

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An 18th century print showing the exterior of the Rotunda at Ranelagh Gardens and part of the grounds.
A pleasure garden is usually a garden that is opened to the public for recreation. They are differentiated from other public gardens by containing entertainments in addition to the planting; for example, concert halls or bandstands, rides, zoos or menageries.

Public pleasure gardens have existed for many centuries. In Ancient Rome, the landscaped Gardens of Sallust (Horti Sallustiani) were developed as a private garden by the historian Sallust. The gardens were acquired by the Roman Emperor Tiberius for public use. Containing many pavilions, a temple to Venus, and monumental sculptures, the gardens were open to the public for centuries.

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A log flume at Erlebnispark Tripsdrill, Germany
Credit: Stefan Scheer

A log flume is an amusement ride consisting of a water flume and artificial hollow logs. Passengers sit inside the logs, which are propelled along the flume by the flow of water. The ride usually culminates with a rapid descent and splashdown into a body of water.

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Entrance to Luna Park Sydney at night
Luna Park Sydney is located on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour, Australia. The heritage-listed park first opened in 1935, and is currently open for business. Over its 70-year history, the park has experienced multiple closures, changes of ownership, legal battles, and community action in both support of and opposition to Luna Park's operation.

The location of Luna Park was formerly occupied by a series of workshops, cranes, and railway sidings used to provide for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When the Harbour Bridge was completed in 1932, North Sydney Council opened applications for tenders to develop the site.

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