Introduction to Amusement Parks

Amusement parks INTRODUCTION Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, usually providing attractions meant to cater specifically to certain age groups, as well as some that are aimed towards all ages. Amusement parks evolved in Europe from fairs and pleasure gardens which were created for people’s recreation.

The oldest amusement park in the world (opened 1 583) is Bakken, at Klampenborg, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. In the United States, world’s fairs and expositions were another influence on development of the amusement park industry. Most amusement parks have a fixed location, as compared to traveling funfairs and carnivals. These temporary types of amusement parks are usually present for a few days or weeks per year, such as funfairs in the United Kingdom, and carnivals (temporarily set up in a vacant lot or parking lots) and fairs (temporarily operated in a fair ground) in the United States.

The temporary nature of these fairs helps to convey the feeling that people are in a different place or time. In common language, theme park is often used as a synonym for the term ‘amusement park’. A ‘theme park’ is actually a distinct style of amusement park, for a theme park has landscaping, buildings, and attractions that are based on one or more specific or central themes. A plurality of themes is not required to be considered a ‘Theme’ park.

Get quality help now
Dr. Karlyna PhD

Proficient in: Amusement Park

4.7 (235)

“ Amazing writer! I am really satisfied with her work. An excellent price as well. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Despite the long history of amusement parks, where many parks have traditionally incorporated themes into the evolving design and operation of the park, qualifying a park as a theme park, the first park built with the original intension of promoting a specific (or xclusive set of) theme(s), Santa Claus Land (currently known as Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari) located 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 noted as the first themed amusement park.

ADMISSION PRICES AND ADMISSION POLICIES 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. Practically all amusement parks operate using one of two dmission principles Pay-as-you-go In this format, a guest enters the park at little or no charge. The guest must then purchase rides individually, either at the attraction’s entrance or by purchasing ride tickets (or a similar exchange method, like a token).

The cost of the attraction is often ride a carousel but four tickets to ride a roller coaster. The park may allow guests to purchase unlimited admissions to all attractions within the park. A wristband or pass is then shown at the attraction entrance to gain admission. Disneyland opened in 1955 using the pay-as-you-go format. Initially, guests paid the ride admission fees at he attractions. Within a short time, the problems of handling such large amounts of coins led to the development of a ticket system that, while now out of use, is still part of the amusement-park lexicon.

In this new format, guests purchased ticket books that contained a number of tickets, labeled “A,” “B” and “C. ” Rides and attractions using an “A-ticket” were generally simple, with “B-tickets” and “C-tickets” used for the larger, more popular rides. Later, the “D-ticket” was added, then finally the now- famous “E-ticket”, which was used on the biggest and most elaborate rides, like Space Mountain. Smaller tickets could be traded up for use on larger rides (i. e. , two or three A-tickets would equal a single a-ticket).

Disneyland, as well as the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, abandoned this practice in 1982. The advantages of pay-as-you-go include the following: guests pay for only what they choose to experience attraction costs can be changed easily to encourage use or capitalize on popularity The disadvantages of pay-as-you-go include the following: guests may get tired of spending money almost continuously guests may not spend as much on food or souvenirs Pay-one-price An amusement park using the pay-one-price format will charge guests a single, large admission fee.

The guest is then entitled to use all or more often almost all of the attractions in the park as often as they wish during their visit. The park usually has some attractions that are not included in the admission charge; these are called “up- charge attractions” and can include bungee Jumping or go-kart tracks or games of skill. However, the majority of the park’s attractions are included in the admission cost. The “pay-one-price” ticket was first used by George Tilyou at Steeplechase Park, Coney Island in 1897.

The entrance fee was $0. 25 for entrance to the 15-acre (61,000 m2) park and visitors could enjoy all of the attractions as much as they wanted. When Angus Wynne, founder of Six Flags Over Texas, first visited Disneyland in 1959, he noted that park’s pay-as-you-go format as a reason to make his park pay-one-price. He thought that a family would be more likely to visit his park if they knew, up front, how much it would cost to attend. The advantages of pay-one-price include: Guests can more easily budget their visit. uests may be more likely to experience an attraction they’ve already paid for lower osts for the park operators, since ticket-takers are not needed at each attractions The disadvantages of pay-one-price include: guests will often be paying for attractions that they do not ride or visit guests who are simply coming Just to be with their families will have to pay anyway Today’s modern theme parks typically charge a single admission fee for admission and unlimited use of attractions, rides, and shows, whereas most modern amusement parks offer free RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS Mechanized thrill machines are what makes an amusement park out of a pastoral, relaxing picnic grove or retreat.

Earliest rides include the carousel which was originally developed as a way of practicing and then showing-off expertise at tournament skills such as riding and spearing the ring. By the 19th century, carousels were common in parks around the world. Another such ride which shaped the future of the amusement park was the roller coaster. Beginning as a winter sport in 17th century Russia, these gravity driven railroads were the beginning of the search for even more thrilling amusement park rides. The Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a particular fertile testing ground for amusement rides. The Ferris wheel is the most recognized product of the fair. Many rides are set round a theme. A park contains a mixture of attractions which can be divided into several categories.

Thrill rides There is a core set of thrill rides which most amusement parks have, including the enterprise, tilt-a-whirl, the gravitron, chairswing, swinging inverter ship, twister, and the top spin. However, there is constant innovation, with new variations on ways to spin and throw passengers around appearing in an effort to keep attracting customers. e. g. thunder @ Essel world Roller coasters, such as the Behemoth, at Canada’s Wonderland, have fast and steep drops from high altitudes. Since the late 19th century, amusement parks have featured roller coasters. Roller coasters feature steep drops, sharp curves, and inversions. Roller coasters may be the most attractive aspect of a park, but many people come for other reasons.

Amusement parks generally have anywhere from two to seven coasters, depending on space and budget. As of 2012, the record for the most coasters in one park is held by Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point with 17; Canada’s Wonderland with 16; Kings Island and Kings Dominion with 14. Train rides Amusement park trains have had long and varied history in American amusement parks as well as overseas. According to various websites and historians, the earliest park trains weren’t really trains??”they were trolleys. The earliest park trains were mostly custom built. Some of the most common manufacturers were: Allan Herschfield Cagney Brothers Chance Rides (C. P.

Huntington Train) Amusement parks with water resources generally feature a few water rides, such as the log flume, bumper boats, rapids and rowing boats. Such rides are usually gentler and shorter than roller coasters and many are suitable for all ages. Water rides are especially popular on hot days. Dark rides Overlapping with both train rides and water rides, dark rides are enclosed attractions in which patrons travel in guided vehicles along a predetermined path, through an array of illuminated scenes which may include lighting effects, animation, other special effects, music and recorded dialogue. Transport rides Transport rides are used to take large amounts of guests from one area in the park to another.

They usually cost extra, even in parks where rides are free. They are generally popular as they offer an alternative to walking. Transport rides include chairlifts, monorails, and train rides. Dippin’ Dots, an ice cream stand that appears at several amusement parks in the United States. Amusement parks generate a portion of their income through the sale of food and drink to their patrons. Food is routinely sold through food booths, push carts and indoor restaurants. The offerings vary as widely as the amusement parks themselves, and range from common fast food items, like hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, candy apples, donuts and local street foods up to full-service gourmet dishes.

Amusement parks with exotic themes may include pecialty items or delicacies related to the park’s theme. Many restaurants and food stands are operated by the amusement parks themselves, while others are branches of regional or national chains. The first challenge for theme parks managers is to integrate the elements in the park itself with all the elements defining the theme park environment in the theme park development plan. For example, theme parks cannot function without transportation possibilities to bring the visitor to the park, or food supply or accommodation to support the visitor’s stay. Another characteristic of theme parks is that their demand is highly seasonal.

For theme park planners seasonality effects mean that they need to plan the facilities in such a way that whatever season or number of visitors in the park, the visitor experiences in the park are optimal. Also, when demand for rides, activities and facilities fluctuates during the day this can cause problems for the park, such as congestion and time specific peaks at the rides, activities and facilities. For theme park managers, capacity planning and routing is therefore an important task to deal with these problems. For example, to optimize the visitor streams in the park and to minimize waiting times at the activities. Another characteristic is the fact that theme parks face high fixed costs and low variable costs.

This means that the costs per visitor in the low season, when there are only few visitors in the park, are much higher than in the high season, especially if the quality of the visitor experience has to be maintained. Furthermore, each year parks require high investments to add new exciting attractions to their product to attract the required level of visitors. At the demand side, theme park planners may rely on marketers to actively try and manipulate tourist demand, by price differentiation across seasons, special rates for early ookings and bundling of services and visits over time or with other tourist facilities in the region. Similar to other tourist attractions, theme parks first and foremost provide enjoyment to their customers.

This implies that theme park managers face especially strong demands from customers for new and exciting Innovations in their services. Special strategies need to be devised to deal with tourist variety seeking. Also typically a diverse number of services within a park is required to promote repeat visits and to cater for different members of visitors groups as seniors and hildren) and for different segments in the tourist population at large. This has important implications for theme park planning in terms of location and type of activities that should be introduced and supported. Detailed consumer information often is essential to meet these consumers’ requirements.

The costumers requirements place special demands on theme park planners in terms of meeting environmental standards imposed through (inter)national regulations and local communities, by increasing demands in terms of landscaping and design, and financial responsibilities in terms of managing large areas of land which need to be ought, leased or rented depending on the organization’s financial management strategy. skills in terms of combining creative and commercial abilities. Theme park design is crucial in determining the success of a park. In terms of design, several different levels can be distinguished. First, rides, activities and exhibits have to be designed attractively and effectively both in terms of initial appeal and usage. Second, landscaping and urban designs are required to integrate the different single facilities into a whole based on the selected theme for the park.

And finally, activities and ervices need to be arranged that can support and increase consumer experiences of the physical elements in the park. Meeting consumer demand must be done however without compromising environmental and socio-cultural objectives. Because the theme product is consumed and produced at the same time, the service must be right the first time. Therefore, adequate theme park planning is highly critical for optimizing the delivery of the theme park product to the consumer. The final challenges facing theme park planners are created by the theme park market. There is a growing competition in the theme park market, with an ever ncreasing number of parks and many parks expanding their activities.

Even more so, the tourist demand market is facing demographic changes in the form of agreeing population, economic changes that lead to tighter family time budgets because of an increasing number of double earner households, and the introduction of new technologies such as multimedia entertainment that compete directly with the traditional theme park market. Knowledge of potential market origins, and interests, habits and other travel characteristics of the population is a necessary but not sufficient condition to plan the several components of the supply side. It is important for the parks to know how consumers think, and what makes them visit or not visit attractions, and when they want to visit a park.

Also, for theme park planners, an estimate of peak visitor volume is essential to the planning of every feature of the theme park, parking, attractions, exhibits, toilet facilities, tour guidance, food services and souvenir sales. It can be concluded that the challenges theme park planners face ask for planning methods that can integrate the different components in the planning processes within and across various levels of planning. 2. It helps in rejuvenating . Adds value to the holiday 4. It is an enjoyable experience for all the members of the family 5. It helps to add an entertainment element to the business, educational tours etc. 6. Creates a huge revenue source 7. It caters to the all the age groups 8. It generates employment opportunities in the economy 9.

It boosts the tourism and hospitality industry SWOT Analysis of Walt Disney Company Strengths Weaknesses Experience in the entertainment business (over 80 years), Tourist attraction, Strong reputation and brand name, Wide company’s product range- different types of attractions and products, Disney’s ttractions adjusted to changes in visitor’s preferences, Familiarity, Qualified and educated employees, Large work force, Many changes in top-management, High operating costs, Different culture, High price for tickets, Design duplication, Cultural imperialism, Visitor Spending – European visitors not spend as much as American visitors, Opportunities Threats Highly diversified product and service, Positive government attitudes, Large group of loyal clients, Expansion on foreign markets, Over saturated markets, Increasing number of serious and actively operating competitors, which address their ffer to the same segment of clients (e. g. Six Flags) Bigger elasticity of competitors in adapting to particular segment of clients thanks to the smaller volume of sales, Increasingly competitors offer, which is perceived by clients and retailers as a wider and better available, CONCLUSION In a nutshell, theme parks will be a tendency for the tourism in the future. We need to maintain those advantages and convert those disadvantages.

In order to boost the development of tourism and hospitality, we ought to boost the development of theme parks, and make theme parks our big hitter, and an important part of the newly- risen industry, and make great contribution to tourism. Amusement parks need to cater to the changing demands of the consumers since consumers want innovations. consumed and produced at the same time, the service must be right the first time. It helps to de stress and helps to rejuvenate the tourists and also creates huge profits and also generates employment opportunities. It caters to all age groups. The challenges theme park planners face ask for planning methods that can integrate the different components in the planning processes within and across various levels of planning.

Cite this page

Introduction to Amusement Parks. (2017, Jun 20). Retrieved from

Introduction to Amusement Parks
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7