Definition of "Theme park"

Sunday, October 6, 2002 7:51 PM

Yeah, I know it sounds like a silly question but after reading this article about a possible "Land based casino and theme park" to open in the Windy City (Chicago for those who dont know the nickname), I just want to cover all basis of what a "Theme park" entails.

IOA is a theme park, Disney is a theme park. Basically parks that have theming and also have rides and attractions. What other options are out there as defined as "Theme Park"?

Who knows, SFGAm might have a little competition in the future if its the theme park that we all know and love.

Here is the link.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-daley06.html

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2 superheroes in Gurnee next season? Oh the humanity.

*** This post was edited by Chitown on 10/6/2002. ***

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Sunday, October 6, 2002 10:43 PM

In a never ending attempt to classify all thing park and coaster related, enthusiasts can be quite anal. I am also guilty.

I think you summed up "theme park" quite nicely. However it seems to often used as a generic term for any place that has a group of stationary rides.

I use theme park, but I prefer amusement park. I guess in technical terms and amusement park would be a CP or Kennywood, etc. High on rides, low on theme.

I also wonder how to classify some of the many smaller places (such as the jersey piers) that are more "amusement places" than "amusement parks" or even a place like Bushkill - it's not exactly "park" sized, but it does have rides and is a good way to blow some time.

Hell, it's all good. Sounds to me like the article uses "theme park" to mean a collection of rides and amusements.

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Dorney Park visits in 2002: 18

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Monday, October 7, 2002 5:16 AM

I like to think of it this way... basically, all Themeparks could be called Amusement parks... but not all amusement parks could be called themeparks.

In its very general sense of the term, a Themepark simply represents a park built around a central theme or with themed areas. So going by that deffinition, a Themepark may not need any rides at all... or very few. I can remember a place at Ocean City MD a few years back (possibly still there) called Frontier Town. It was a place that was built to look like an old western town with actors taking the parts of the town folk, indians, outlaws, sherrif, etc. The only "ride" was a train ride that was robbed on every trip. There was no real education value in visiting the park at all (not like a Williamsburg or Jamestown) (unless you streatch it and look at it as a history of Hollywood B-Westerns or "Horse Operas"). Technically, it was an old west Theme Park... though, because of its lack of rides I would not classify it as an amusement park.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Monday, October 7, 2002 9:31 AM
SFLAKE, not to get technical with you, but then not all theme parks would be amusement parks either.
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Monday, October 7, 2002 9:39 AM

I would like to see a theme park built where the theme is old traditional amusement parks. That would mess everybody up on the old 'theme' vs 'amusement' park debate.

Jim

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Monday, October 7, 2002 11:59 AM

Millenium Force Maniac: I realize that... if the broad deffinition of a "themed park" is used (one where no rides may exist). But if you limit your "theme park" deffinition to a park having rides... then I think it does fit in to the Amusement park category. Then again, you have the hybrids... Sea World Orlando for example. With the main emphasis (and theme) being on aquatic shows and exhibits, could you really consider it an "amusement park" simply because of JTA and Kraken? Somehow I don't think so. So technically... that falls apart there. However, go a short distance away and would have no problem of putting IOA into both the Themepark and Amusement park cagegory. However, the entire Universal complex would deffinately fallin to the Themepark (with only IOA as a possible candidate to put into the dual category). I guess the bottom line is that the line between the two is so darned fuzzy that it is almost impossible to draw.

JWolg broubht up the idea of a park themed as a Traditional amusement park. Technically (again, there is that word!), Hersheypark's Midway America section is precisely this. (However, even with Midway America and its other very lightly themed areas, I consider Hersheypark much more of an amusment park than a Themepark).

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Monday, October 7, 2002 12:04 PM
How about a theme park where the theme is a satire of theme parks? You could have The Day After Tomorrowland, Great Depressiontown, The Preparation H Medicated Hemerrhoid Cream Action Zone brought to you buy Preparation H, Asphaltland.... uh.... The Land of Creepy Middle-Aged Pedophiles Encased in Fuzzy, Sweat-Drenched Costumes.... (sorry) .... Explosive Gas Land... I dunno, someone help me out!

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Monday, October 7, 2002 7:11 PM
My definition would include an area within a park in which all the rides, games, entertainment, and food revolved around a central theme or idea. I think if you think about this carefully, you would agree that very few do this well. And, I don't necessarily think that a "theme park" needs to have rides (it is a highly desirable bonus if it does, though).

*** This post was edited by ophthodoc on 10/7/2002. ***

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Monday, October 7, 2002 7:35 PM

Your'e forgetting the "thrill park" moniker. CP could be classified as a thrill park, but not a theme park.

SFGAm could be classified as a thrill park, but also as a theme park. So could IOA. Some of the Six Flags park, although trying to remain themed parks, are gravitating towards the thrill park. The last remaining SF parks to hold on the theming are St. Louis, Texas, Georgia, MM, America and Great America.

Busch Gardens parks do a good job of being thrill and theme parks.

Most of Disney's parks can't be classified as thrill parks except for certain areas. The Sunset Blvd. area of the Disney Studios is a thrill area with Tower of Terror and Rock N Rollercoaster. Space Mountain is a thrill, so is Big Thunder. But most of the Magic Kingdom isn't thrilling. Disneyland has SM and BTM as well as the Matterhorn, so thats more thrills.

This topic could be discussed forever, but I'm glad it came up.

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Monday, October 7, 2002 8:49 PM

LOL, Den.

It's all so very confusing. Take Kennywood, for instance. Old Kennywood is a nicely themed area themed to an old style amusement park. The park also sports some well themed rides and attractions, such as Exterminator, Old Mill, Nohas Ark, and possibly even Phantoms Revenge.

CP, for instance, has Fronteer Trail/Town, Coasters Diner, Disaster Transport (as crappy as the theming really is), and Camp Snoopy.

They are both considered by me to be Amusement parks, however when I think of the theming aspects and what they have themewise, I would say that they have some hints of a theme park.

To me they are all Amusement parks, and that is what I call them so I don't have to stutter when I say what they are.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:59 AM

I think we need to now agree on what is considered "Theming".

Okay... I'll give you that Exterminator is themed... with out the Rats and Exterminators etc it would still be a Spinning Car Wild Mouse Coaster. I kind of differ on Noah's Ark and the Old Mill as being "themed". They are basically Dark Rides (or a Walk Through in Noah's Ark's case). What you see inside of them is not so much Theming as it is the attraction itself. But an argument could be made both ways.

However I fail to see how Phantom's Revenge is themed. It has a sign that is shaped like a hooded "phantom", but that is about it. Going by that argument you could also claim that Jack Rabbit is themed (there is an image of a rabbit there I believe) and also Thunderbolt (I do remember either one of the letters in the sign is shaped like a bolt of lightning or else some how a bolt of lightning is incorporated into the sign somehow). Using this deffinition, you could practically claim that almost all rides are "themed". A sign or logo does not theming make.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 10:30 AM
you guys are giving way too much creedence to what is essentially a "marketing" word. It means nothing. Its akin to debating what exactly is Zestfully clean.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 3:46 PM

My opinion is that Noah's Ark IS themed. It has a story. The outside of the attraction looks like a mountian with an ark rocking on top of it. Inside you see Noah's animals and even Noah himself.

Old Mill looks like an old mill from the outside, complete with a water wheel. If it was just a plain building than I wouldn't say that it was themed.

Exterminator has more themed elements than Jokers Jinx at SFA, a THEME PARK.

Okay, I guess I will explain why I said that Phantoms Revenge is themed. The story is that while the park was demolishing the Steel Phantom Coaster, the Phantom became angry and rebuilt its coaster. I don't really think it is as themed as a lot of other rides in the park, but I do think of that as a theme for some reason.

Nope, I do not think that Jackrabbit or Racer is Themed. There is no story or no theming elements to help you understand the story.

I am not saying that Kennywood is a theme park. I am saying that a lot of amusement parks have some themed rides and some Theme parks have some non-themed rides.

I would go by what the park calls themself. If they want you to call it a Theme Park, than go ahead and call it that.

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But seriously folks, I respect the opinions of yall who don't like the thing, but if MF were human, I'd marry it.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:00 PM

I really don't like the term "theme park", never have liked it. It sounds so limiting and outdated. To me the "theme park" went out with "old Disney", when people went to movies with one giant screen and called it a "movie house". I think amusement park is a much better way to describe the multi- entertainment parks that we have today.

I also like the term "traditional" used to describe smaller, indepedently owned parks.

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:07 PM
Knotts!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 5:08 AM

Problem with Phantom's Revenge being themed... if you don't know the story of the old Steel Phantom's demise, you don't know the "theme".

But moving on...

Yesterday we received a brochure in the mail for a cornfield maze in southern York Co (PA). The brochure refered to the site as an "intriguing theme park". Again, going by the very loose deffinition... it is. Its a "park" (farm) that has a running theme of mazes (huge corn field maze, hay bail maze for kids, a wooden fence maze, etc).

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 5:57 AM

Den mentioned Explosive Gas Land. That sounds like "Itchy And Scratchy Land... the violentest place on earth". I&S Land was home to four themed lands- Torture Land, Explosion Land, Searing Gas Pain Land, and Unnecessary Surgery Land. Sounds like a fun family place to me!

ray p. (who wonders if the Itchy and Scratchy Land gift shop ever got in more "Bort" license plates)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 6:04 AM

Prog-ray: I probably was thinking of that episode when I wrote my post.

"Itchy and Scratchy Land - where nothing can possi-bli go wrong. Possi-blee go wrong. That's the first thing that's ever gone wrong."

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 6:09 AM

dexter said:

Okay, I guess I will explain why I said that Phantoms Revenge is themed. The story is that while the park was demolishing the Steel Phantom Coaster, the Phantom became angry and rebuilt its coaster. I don't really think it is as themed as a lot of other rides in the park, but I do think of that as a theme for some reason.



A story doesn't make a themed attraction. Especially if they don't post the story somewhere in the queue. If there isn't any decorative themeing elements throughout the queue or ride it isn't themed. And a lightly themed Queue house doesn't count. (Poltergeist,rRaging Bull,etc.)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 10:54 AM

"Bort" is easy to get, it is the "Bart" plates that are hard to find. Cartman Land is the place to be, all the one-click-re-rides you can stand, assuming you can get in.

If you go to a "Theme Park" with no rides to be entertained (i.e. amused) doesn't that make it an "Amusement Park" as well?

Six Flags best themed ride? Deja Vu. Haven't I stood around waiting forever before? Deja Vu. Look, one train op. Deja Vu. The following rides are temporarily closed: Deja Vu.

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