During summer vacations and holidays, many people – children, teenagers and adults alike – find enjoyment and entertainment on amusement parks. The simple, unadulterated fun you are sure to get from visiting these parks can make you forget about the stress of life once in a while. Before you hop on to your next ride, here’s some interesting facts about amusement facts to further amuse you.
The world’s oldest operating amusement park is Bakken in Copenhagen, Denmark. The site has been an attraction since 1583 when a natural spring was discovered there and started to draw crowds, which then attracted entertainers and hawkers. It may have started as a place to get cleaner spring water, but it continued to expand, gaining animals and cabarets in 1866. Amusement rides and other modern attractions began to arrive in the 20th century. Nowadays, Bakken is the second most popular attraction in Denmark, after the more widely known Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
When Disneyland opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future: 1986. It drew inspiration from NASA’s past and future, with initial attractions including Astro-Jets, Rocket to the Moon and Autopia.
During the inauguration, Walt Disney dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: “Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. . .The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.”
Another thing that happened during Disneyland’s opening: hundreds of stray cats showed up. Up to this day, employees allow them to fill up the park while its closed at night because they keep the mice away. You may have thought that Disney would be friendly to mice, but apparently, they’re not.
The earliest amusement parks in the US were called “trolley parks.” During the 19th century, many people used trolleys or street cars to travel from place to place. The trolley parks were created by street car companies to give people a reason to use their services on weekends, so they placed picnic groves and pavilions, and held events on them. Eventually, many trolley park owners added features like swimming pools, carousels, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, restaurants and resort facilities. By 1919, the United States is a home to around 1,500 to 2,000 amusement parks.
The Ferris wheel is most often the centerpiece in amusement parks. The original Ferris wheel was designed and created by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Expositions in Chicago.
The ancestor of the Ferris wheel may have originated in 17th century Bulgaria. These were called pleasure wheels in which passengers rode in chairs suspended from large wooden rings that are turned by strong men.
The Action Park in New Jersey, which was closed in 1996, has become infamous for being disastrous. The park earned an unfortunate reputation for its unsafe rides that claimed the lives of six people.
One of its attractions was a looping water slide. Yes, a loop like that of a roller coaster. Obviously, it was extremely dangerous. A former employee from Action Park claimed that he was offered $100 cash to test the loop slide. He said the money was not enough to buy enough booze to drown that memory.
The world’s tallest roller coaster is the Kingda Ka, which can be found at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. The coaster reaches 456 feet and can speed up to 128 miles per hour. It also holds two more world records, being the second fastest roller coaster, and the second strata coaster ever built.
A Guinness World Record for the “most naked riders on a roller coaster” has been set in 2010 by 102 nudists. They all rode the Green Scream roller coaster at Adventure Island in Essex, England. They raised more than £10,000 for a foundation by the Southend Hospital.
London’s Amora is referred to as a “sex theme park,” but it’s more of a museum – an exhibition like no other museums you toured in grade school. Amora is a sex-themed attraction self-described as the “Academy of Sex & Relationships” that teaches visitors about sexual health and relationships. It gives an interactive element where patrons are allowed to touch screens and interactive sculptures. Visitors can also talk with a sex therapist, enhance their flirtation skills or learn how to play erotic food games. Amora ran for 15 months since April 2007.
One of the most popular directors and producers in film history, Steven Spielberg, helped create the Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. He started designing the ride a couple of years even before he began directing the movie. The Jurassic Park Ride cost $110 million to build, which was almost double the film’s budget.