Amusement parks trace back their roots from periodic fairs like the Bartholomew Fair which started in England in the year 1133. These fairs became the proving ground for different types of attractions as the years pass. Success of these parks can be attributed to people working fewer hours and having more disposable income. Rides became more thrilling shows and games attracted more and more people. Today, amusement parks have evolved into themed parks, having a specific type of theme or a group of themes housed in one big sprawling area. Here, we’ll take a look inside the world’s top amusement parks from different parts of the world.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is the world’s most popular theme park, located at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA. It attracts nearly 17 million visitors every year. The park celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 and has an ongoing Fantasyland expansion that will be completed in 2013. Among the popular attractions include Splash Mountain, Mickey PhilharMagic and a newly refurbished Haunted Mansion. The Fantasyland will feature a Little Mermaid ride, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, an expanded Dumbo’s circus area and a Beauty and the Beast restaurant. It is advisable to book in advance if you plan on spending time in this popular themed amusement park. Information is available at the Disney website.
The first ever Disney theme park built outside of the US, Tokyo Disneyland takes in around 13 to 14 million visitors each year. Sprawling at 115 acres, this amusement park is bigger than the Magic Kingdom in the US which measures 104 acres. What makes Tokyo Disneyland a great destination for your amusement needs is that it has all the attractions you can find in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom combined as well as some preserved attractions like the Country Bear Christmas show and visit to the Fort Sam Clemens on Tom Sawyer Island. This is the only place where these attractions still exist.
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Some people maintain that the Ocean Park is the top theme park in Hong Kong. Averaging around 5 to 6 million visitors every year, this water themed amusement park is attractive to tourists who have kids tagging along with them. At the Waterfront, main attractions include Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City and lots of kid-friendly rides. On the Summit, the Thrill Mountain offers many hair-raising rides while the Marine World features daily dolphin and killer whale shows and you’ll surely find the sea lions and seals giving entertainment for everyone.
This the largest amusement park in South Korea which gets 6 million visitors every year. Operated by Samsung Everland, a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, it features a zoo and a water park called Caribbean Bay together with its main attractions. It houses the T Express, built in 2006, which is the 6th longest wooden coaster in the world measuring 5,838 feet (1,779 m) long. They also include lots of different fun rides and restaurants.
This is the second oldest amusement park which opened August 15, 1843. Simply called Tivoli, it is best known for its wooden roller coaster, the Rutschebanen, which is among the world’s oldest wooden coaster that is still operational to date. Landscaped with fountains and flower beds, this 21-acre park also boasts of a Concert Hall and Pantomime Theater. Tivoli receives close to 4 million visitors annually.
Whatever part of the world you are in, there are amusement parks close to you where you can relax and enjoy the attractions with your loved ones. After all, everybody needs a break now and then.