first theme park?

Friday, June 9, 2006 4:08 PM
Does anyone know what park was technically the first "theme" park? Holiday World and Knott's kinda both claim to be the first or whatever, and then you have Disneyland, which kinda revolutionized the theme park concept.
Friday, June 9, 2006 4:39 PM
Walter Knott opened Ghost Town in 1940, Koch opened Santa Claus Land in 1946. However many might argue that Tivoli Gardens with its orient themeing was actually the world's first "theme" park opening in 1843.
Friday, June 9, 2006 5:04 PM
Depends on what you mean by "theme park". If you mean decorations and such, then Knotts. If you consider it taking it up a notch and sets you in a time and place of mind that works with the decorations, then Disneyland, but that's just MHO.
Friday, June 9, 2006 5:48 PM
Another thing to consider, Holiday World and Knotts opened with one themed area; Disney opened with six themed lands. If you define a theme park as one that has multiple themes (I do, otherwise every park is a theme park since traditional parks are "themed" to the tradtional amusment park style) then Disney is the first one.
Friday, June 9, 2006 7:46 PM
Having just returned from a visit to Tivoli (an excellent place by the way) I would have to say that it clearly qualifies as a theme park - especially by today's standards.

To that end, Tivoli would be the first.

By the way, the 1914 Roller Coaster is amazing and the Sky Rider (think Yo-Yo on mega steriods - 80 meters tall) is quite the awe inspiring ride.

*** Edited 6/9/2006 11:46:29 PM UTC by CoasterDad64***

Friday, June 9, 2006 7:49 PM
I was gonna say Tivoli Gardens which is a theme IMHO
Friday, June 9, 2006 9:08 PM
I heard somewhere that there was an attempt to make the 1939 New York World's Fair Permanant, but when they held over the Fair in 1940 Attendance dropped, and the Idea Tanked.
Friday, June 9, 2006 11:16 PM
All I've seen of Tivoli in the past would make it a "theme park" for sure. Knotts & Holiday World would follow next by opening dates. Disney though, as mentioned earlier, revolutionized theme parks forever when DL opened. I still have the postcards my grandma bought when she went to the grand opening. While I'm not a huge disney fan...that place rocked even back then!
Friday, June 9, 2006 11:27 PM
I know Lake Compounce is the oldest in the USA
Saturday, June 10, 2006 2:10 PM
^But its not a theme park.

So as far as America's first theme park, its probably Knott's or HW.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 3:21 PM
I don't go to parks for the theme I go for the rides so it makes no difference what you call it.IMO LC started it all in the US.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 7:03 PM
Ajrides, youve got to know the lingo:

Amusement Park: parks with no themes, example LC, Kennywood, Coney Island, etc)

Theme Parks: Parks with themed sections, examples include WDW, Universal, and the Busch Parks

The person specficially asked what the first theme park was.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 7:10 AM
An argument could be made that the first theme park was the long defunct Luna Park in Coney Island. With all of its moon based decor and a Trip to the Moon ride, there was definitely an effort to do some theming within this legendary park.

Regarding the definition of "Theme Park", things can get a bit fuzzy. We all agree that the Disney and, Universal parks are theme parks as are parks like BGE. The theming is an essential part of the park. Other parks have theming that is less extensive. Parks like PKI and HW do have considerable theming but much of the park's appeal is that of a traditional park. Next come parks that are primarily traditional but that have some limited themed areas such as CP and KW. Finally come the purely traditional parks such as Knoebels that make no pretense at theming the park although they may have some themed rides.


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