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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. 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 Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.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.

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A KMG Freak Out, an example of a pendulum ride
A pendulum ride is an amusement ride based on the motion of a fixed pendulum. These rides consist of an arm attached to an axle. One end of the arm is fitted with a passenger-carrying gondola, while the other is usually fitted with a heavy counterweight. The ride experience consists primarily of swinging back and forth, although some designs incorporate rotating gondolas or allow the ride to invert completely. Pendulum rides are propelled by one of two methods; a series of DC motors driving the axle, or by wheels underneath the gondola station to push the ride.

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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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Selected amusement park

Entrance to Luna Park Sydney at night
Luna Park Sydney is located on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour, Australia. The heritage-listed park first opened in 1935, and is currently open for business. Over its 70-year history, the park has experienced multiple closures, changes of ownership, legal battles, and community action in both support of and opposition to Luna Park's operation.

The location of Luna Park was formerly occupied by a series of workshops, cranes, and railway sidings used to provide for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When the Harbour Bridge was completed in 1932, North Sydney Council opened applications for tenders to develop the site.

Did you know...

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  • ...that the first ever Ferris wheel opened in 1893 and could carry up to 2,160 passengers?

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