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Portal:Amusement parks

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Bobbejaanland, Lichtaart, Belgium

An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its structures and attractions around a central theme, often featuring multiple areas with different themes. Unlike temporary and mobile funfairs and carnivals, amusement parks are stationary and built for long-lasting operation. They are more elaborate than city parks and playgrounds, usually providing attractions that cater to a variety of age groups. While amusement parks often contain themed areas, theme parks place a heavier focus with more intricately-designed themes that revolve around a particular subject or group of subjects.

Amusement parks evolved from European fairs, pleasure gardens and large picnic areas, which were created for people's recreation. World's fairs and other types of international expositions also influenced the emergence of the amusement park industry. Lake Compounce opened in 1846 and is considered the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in North America. The first theme parks emerged in the mid-twentieth century with the opening of Santa Claus Land in 1946 and the popular Disneyland theme park in 1955.

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Carousel at Hyde Park, Germany
A carousel is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating platform with seats for passengers. The "seats" are traditionally in the form of wooden horses or animals, which are often moved mechanically up and down to simulate galloping. This leads to one of the machine's alternative names; "the galloper". Other popular names are "merry-go-rounds", "roundabouts" and "flying horses". Usually, music is looped while the rides spins.

Although modern carousels are mainly populated with horses, carousels from earlier periods frequently included diverse varieties of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, and deer, to name a few.

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Snake River Falls-Cedar Point.jpg
Credit: User User:Vlastula

Shoot-the-Chutes is an amusement ride consisting of a flat-bottomed boat that slides down a ramp or inside a flume into a lagoon. Paul Boyton and Thomas Polk invented the earliest example in 1895 for Sea Lion Park at Coney Island. In the original ride (pictured) the flat bottom boat was pulled up the ramp by cable and turned around on a small turntable to be ready for the next load of passengers who arrived at the top by elevator. The bottom of the ramp curved upwards, causing the boat to skip across the water until it came to a stop where it was then guided to a landing by an onboard boatman. Unlike a log flume, a Shoot-the-Chutes generally has larger boats and one single drop.

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Entrance to La Ronde
La Ronde is the largest theme park in the province of Quebec and the second largest in Canada after Canada's Wonderland, with about 2.5 million visitors in 2006. The park covers 146 acres (59.1 ha) and is located on Saint Helen's Island in Montreal, Canada. It lies on the former site of the 1967 Montreal World's Fair. The park hosts L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, an international fireworks competition.

La Ronde was opened in 1967 as a part of Expo 67 and now features 39 rides, including nine roller coasters. Among them is Le Monstre, a 40-metre (131 ft) high wooden double-tracked roller coaster which currently holds the record for highest double-tracked roller coaster in the world.

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