Has Amusement lost it's novelty?

Monday, May 21, 2001 11:54 AM
Parks called themselves amusement when that's what they were; a theater, rolling rink, bowling alley, merry-go-round, and maybe a small coaster. I this era, when we crave for larger and faster rides, do you think that the term amusement has lost it's point? Do you think parks will begin advertising themselves as thrill parks instead?

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Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

http://www.woodencoaster.com
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Monday, May 21, 2001 12:04 PM
Does it amuse the masses?

Well, then the word was properley used.

You are right in saying that in this era everyone wants more extreme thrills, but that is a big part of drawing crowds. To be able to say that your park has the most extreme ride that pushes the envelope the furthest is a huge marketing tool (A la Millennium Force). To keep up with the market, the parks have to constantly make bigger, better rides. I understand what you are saying, and some parks do seem to be more "extreme," and seem to only be there to make money, and not to please the guests, but the amusment is still there, in some parks...

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"Johnny Rotten shot me with his BB-gun."
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Monday, May 21, 2001 3:01 PM
They're all for "amusement," but I, personally, reserve the term "amusement park" for traditional parks, ie Kennywood or Cedar Point, and refer to parks like Islands of Adventure as "theme parks."

There's always a grey area, though. For instance, what's SFWoA? I guess my system is flawed...

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Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
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Monday, May 21, 2001 3:21 PM
But how much themeing do you need to be a theme park? How much amusing must you do to be an amusement park? I use the terms somewhat interchangeably, but in general, like Lynch, I reserve "amusement park" for true parks, and "theme parks" for those with extraordinary themeing throughout the park rather than an area or two. I dislike the little places that consider themselves "amusement parks" when they consist of mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, an arcade, snack bar, and maybe a kiddie coaster. But what would you call them, then? "Family amusement center" may be more appropriate.

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Po!nt of View: A different look at Roller Coasters.
http://www.crosswinds.net/~justmayntz/thrills/index.html
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Monday, May 21, 2001 3:30 PM
A lot of "amusement parks" cannot really be billed as "thrill parks" because of the attractions that they have...

So then what do you call them?

Simple... Amusement Parks.
The term Amusement Park in virtually everyone's head once the phrase is mentioned is a local park with rides, games, and attractions!

What would you call the smaller parks such as Waldameer and The Great Escape??
They don't have the extreme thrill rides that'll make you puke on every ride... yet at the same time they also don't have enough of a theme to be called a "theme park" (er... well, The Great Escape has that Story Town theme, but that was changed back in 1982 for all the opposite reasons).

How about "Fun Park"???
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Monday, May 21, 2001 8:17 PM
We should write a pamphlet or something... ;)

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Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
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Tuesday, May 22, 2001 4:26 AM
Its like one of those logic questions...

in my opinion, all Theme Parks are technically Amusement parks, but not all amusement parks are Theme Parks.

Going back to the earliest part of the 20th century, the great Coney Island NY parks all tried their hand at Themeing. By today's standards, they were week, but they did what they could at the time. Even today in your "traditional parks" you do see some theming. Kennywood does it mainly in their "Lost Kennywood" section. (I don't count Exterminator... it is a themed ride, but the theming ends with the ride). Hershey does it with some of their areas (Tudor Square, Rhineland, Minetown, Pioneer Frontier, Tower Plaza, and Midway America. Comet Hollow and Music Box Way seem to be just names of areas, no theme), but their theming is MINIMAL at best. They, like Kennywood, have done their most extensive themeing in their area that is to look like an amusment park of the past (Midway America). Is this Theming? Technically, yes. But compared to places like IOA and Disney, it is nothing!

To me, it comes down to this. If the main attractions are the rides, then it is an amusement park... if the attractions are the rides and the surroundings, then it is a Theme park.

(not sure any of that made sense... I really knew what I wanted to say, but it doesn't seem to have come out right)

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"Resistance is futile... you will be assimilated." The BORG's (and Six Flags') motto.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2001 1:59 AM
Amusement parks really haven't changd as much as the times have. The parks that had roller rinks, shuffelboard, and fasination have either folded due to economic reasons or replaced those things with larger thrill rides.

Amusement parks of today are going to be more well known for the hustle and bustle and the big rides than the relaxing, picnic going family of yesterday.

And of course, there are the parks who continue to operarate traditionally as well as remain up to date (Kennywood, Cedar Point)

The parks of tomarrow will feature more interative computer style attractions and games.
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