An amusement park is a collection of rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a fairly large group of people. It is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, which 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 Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.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.
Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers (more commonly known as B&M) is a roller coaster design consultancy based in Monthey, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1988 by Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard, with Bolliger acting as president and Mabillard as vice-president. Since 1990, B&M have built over 60 roller coasters around the world and have pioneered several new ride technologies, most notably the inverted roller coaster. The company started with four employees and has since grown, now employing more than 30 people, mostly engineers and draftsmen.
Legoland Windsor is a child-oriented theme park in Windsor, Berkshire in England, themed around the Lego toy system. The park opened in 1996 on the site of what was Windsor Safari Park, as the second Lego Group Legoland (the first was Legoland Billund in Denmark). In common with the other Legolands across the world, the park's attractions consist of a mixture of Lego-themed rides, Lego models, and Lego building workshops. The park was acquired by the Blackstone Group in 2005, with the Lego Group retaining part ownership (30%), and is now operated by Merlin Entertainments. Around 1.5 million people visit the park each year, with the season running from March to November. The facilities are mainly targeted at children between two and twelve, although the park is open to all.