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 Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.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 inversion on Black Mamba, an inverted roller coaster.
A roller coaster inversion is an element of a roller coaster track that turns riders upside-down and then rights them. The degree to which it must invert riders is nebulous and a point of contention when it comes to elements like overbanked turns, which turn riders such that their heads are below their feet, but are not considered inversions.

The first inversions were circular vertical loops built in the early 1900s that accumulated massive g-forces, breaking necks. In 1975, designers from Arrow Dynamics developed the corkscrew, and the inversion was revived. Since then, elements have evolved from the simple vertical loop to massive cobra rolls. With ten inversions, Colossus of Thorpe Park in Chertsey, England is the record holder for roller coaster with the most inversions.

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Alpengeist's cobra roll with Griffon in background
Credit: Kyle Bundy

Alpengeist is the tallest complete circuit inverted roller coaster in the world. The ride is located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. Built by Swiss manufacturers Bolliger & Mabillard, Alpengeist features six inversions: an immelmann loop, a vertical loop, a cobra roll (pictured), a zero-g roll, and a wing over.

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Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland is a 115 acre (466,535 m²) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and was opened on April 15, 1983. The park was constructed by Walt Disney Imagineering in the same style as Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida. It is owned by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses the theme from The Walt Disney Company. It, along with its companion park, Tokyo DisneySea, are the only Disney parks not owned by The Walt Disney Company.

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