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 Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.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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Orcas at Marineland
A marine mammal park (sometimes oceanarium) is a commercial theme park or aquarium where marine mammals such as dolphins, beluga whales and sea lions are kept within water tanks and displayed to the public in special shows. A marine mammal park is more elaborate than a dolphinarium, because it also features other marine mammals and offers additional entertainment attractions. It is thus seen as a combination of a public aquarium and an amusement park. Marine mammal parks are different from marine parks, which include natural reserves and marine wildlife sanctuaries such as coral reefs, particularly in Australia.

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The Ocean Park Mine Train
Credit: Enoch Lau

Ocean Park Hong Kong is a theme park in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island. The Mine Train (pictured above) opened in 2000 and is located in the Adventure Land section of the park.

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Selected amusement park

Norumbega Park was a recreation area and amusement park located in "Auburndale-on-the-Charles" near Boston, Massachusetts. The associated Totem Pole Ballroom became a well-known dancing and entertainment venue for big bands touring during the 1940s.

The park offered canoeing and pedal boating on the Charles River, a theater, gardens, restaurants and food vendors, a penny arcade, picnic areas, a zoo and amusement rides. Norumbega Park closed on Labor Day 1963. The Totem Pole Ballroom closed a few months later, on February 8, 1964.

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