What Is a Family Amusement Park?
A family amusement park is a place where families can go to get away from the ho-hum and doldrums of the daily grind. Called an amusement park because of the many features and attractions that are intended to amuse the visitor, the family amusement park typically offers food, games and rides, such as roller-coasters and water rides. The common small amusement park operates on a one-price, admission policy that offers unlimited riding for the price of park entry. There are often many other attractions that may be viewed without requiring additional fees, however, games, food and beverages all typically come with an additional price tag.
In many areas, the operation of the family park is seasonal and typically closes during the colder months of the year. For the parks located in warmer climates, the family amusement park is often a wintertime destination for those who are attempting to escape the harsh wintertime weather. Many of the larger parks also operate hotels to provide a one-stop vacation destination for family travelers. Many packages can be found that offer discounted park stays, providing the park-goer stays at the park's hotel. Meal packages also exist that offer discounted lunches and dinner meals from a variety of vendors in the park.
In an effort to attract families with children of all ages, some of the most successful family amusement park destinations incorporate a child's area along with the larger rides better suited for teens. The children's areas are often adorned in cartoon character decorations and cater to preschool through preteen children. Typically associated or themed to the most popular children's cartoons at the time, costumed park employees wander throughout the amusement park offering opportunities for the smaller guests to see, interact and be photographed with their favorite characters.
Some of the most popular family amusement park associations are involved with the biggest movie and television entertainment companies. These parks blend thrilling amusement rides themed to famous and popular movies or television programs. Large roller-coasters that offer the rider a feeling of flying or traveling through time are common, as are water rides that simulate African safaris and pirate attacks. The more successful theme parks typically add a new major attraction every year or two in order to attract repeat visitors and provide a new and unique experience for every vacation. Occasionally, an older attraction will be torn down to make room for the newest crowd-pleaser, and this can often create a rush at the family amusement park as visitors attempt to ride the doomed attraction one last time.
I worked at a theme park for a couple of summers when I was in high school. I worked in the old timey photo booth where people could come and dress up as cowboys or fancy old fashioned ladies and pose for pictures. It was actually a great job.
I was really involved with theater back then and getting to help people make themselves into characters all day was just about the perfect way for me to make money. And of course we got to take our own pictures for free so I have an entire photo album filled with pics of myself in costume.
My family would take one trip to the amusement park every summer. All the kids looked froward to it like it was Christmas day. I think my parents probably dreaded it and looking back I can see why. There were four of us and we were pretty wild.
Imagine a pack of running screaming kids standing impatiently in lines all day, throwing up in bushes, getting sticky with ice cream and sunburned in spite of constantly reapplying lotion. As a kid it is great but as a parent it could make you tear your hair out.
I grew up in Kansas City and we had an amusement park called Worlds of Fun which I have always thought was an awesome name. It was only about two miles from where my family lived. In the summers our parents would by myself and my brother a season pass and we would spend ridiculous amounts of time riding the same rides over and over which was just about the peak of entertainment when you were a kid.
The park is still there and going strong. They have built a lot of new rides but I have not been there in years. I think I might have burned myself out on it as a kid.
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