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Cirque du Soleil Theme Park
La Estacion Theme Park
Parque Festival México
La Feria Chapultepec Mágico
Six Flags México
Music: Venice Beach,Topher Mohr and Alex Elena; YouTube Audio Library
An amusement park (sometimes referred to as a funfair) or theme park is a group of entertainment attractions, rides, and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people. Amusement parks have a fixed location, as opposed to travelling funfairs and traveling carnivals, and are more elaborate than simple city parks or playgrounds, usually providing attractions meant to cater specifically to certain age groups, as well as some that are aimed towards all ages. Theme parks, a specific type of amusement park, are usually much more intricately themed to a certain subject or group of subjects than normal amusement parks.
Amusement parks evolved from European fairs and pleasure gardens, which were created for people’s recreation. World’s fairs and expositions were another influence on the development of the amusement park industry.
In common language, the terms theme park and amusement park are often synonymous. However, a theme park can be regarded as a distinct style of amusement park. A theme park has landscaping, buildings, and attractions that are based on one or more specific themes or stories. Despite many older parks adding themed rides and areas, qualifying the park as a theme park, the first park built with the original intention of promoting a specific theme, Santa Claus Land, in Santa Claus, Indiana, did not open until 1946. Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, built around the concept of encapsulating multiple theme parks into a single amusement park is often mistakenly cited as the first themed amusement park, but is instead the park that made the idea popular.
The amusement park evolved from three earlier traditions, the oldest being the periodic fair of the Middle Ages – one of the earliest was the Bartholomew Fair in England, which began in 1133. By the 18th and 19th centuries, they had evolved into places of entertainment for the masses, where the public could view freak shows, acrobatics, conjuring and juggling, take part in competitions and walk through menageries.
The world’s oldest amusement park appeared in the Continent. Bakken (“The Hill”) at Klampenborg, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, opened in 1583.
A wave of innovation in the 1860s and 1870s created mechanical rides, such as the steam-powered carousel (built by Thomas Bradshaw, at the Aylsham Fair), and its derivatives. This inaugurated the era of the modern funfair ride, as the working classes were increasingly able to spend their surplus wages on entertainment.