magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper

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Kids World - Stadlgaudi 4D
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With this editorial, the editor or editor-in-chief of the magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper initiates the current issue 8/2018. Here you can find out which articles are especially readable or where the suggestions came from.

THE BACKBONE OF OUR INDUSTRY

As our international industry continues to grow and mature, we must acknowledge that the small park operators are, and always have been, the “backbone” of our industry. After all, it was the small park oper ators in Europe and America that were and are responsible for build ing and growing our industry to the amazing level that it has reached in 2018. For decades, it was the small family operated and owned parks that established and solidified our industry as one of the true great leisure segments. In order to fully understand the growth and development of the theme park and themed attractions as they exist today, it is necessary to understand the origin and history of the global industry as a whole. When we look at the past, we see that major themed attractions and parks evolved from a concept that started in the 1650s in Europe with what was known as “Pleasure Gardens.” These gardens were a forerunner to today’s amusement parks. They featured live enter - tainment, fireworks, dancing, games, and even primitive amusement rides . These pleasure gardens remained popular until the 1700’s when widespread political unrest caused many of these parks to close. In the late 1800’s, the growth of the industry through immigration shifted to America. Following the Civil War in the United States, increased urban - ization grew the popularity of trolley companies. As transportation systems developed, these trolley companies began building leisure attractions at the end of the trolley lines catering to people’s desires to get out of town for weekends. This created additional revenue for the trolley companies by providing incremental revenue from their idle assets . These initial parks were simple operations consisting of picnic areas, restaurants, dance halls, and as stated, some simple amusement rides. In America, a lot of these parks were located on the shores of lakes and rivers. It was truly amazing how immediately successful these small parks became. This phenomenon spread across America and a multitude of parks were built. These parks continued to prosper as families sought new forms of fun and fantasy. Just like today, innova - tions provided greater and more intense thrills to the growing crowds who wanted more excitement.

It’s difficult to conceive but by 1918, just 100 years ago (incidentally the year the IAAPA as we know it today was formed), there were at that time over 1500 amusement parks in the USA! The families and companies who opened these facilities were quite pros perous. But as progress and change occurred, particularly in the area of transportation in the USA, parks began to decline. The upswing of the automobile allowed families to vary their entertainment, giving them more options than the trolley lines provided. Here in America, the Great Depression of the 20’s accelerated the decline of amusement parks (keep in mind, the term “theme park” would not emerge for another 38 years!). Nevertheless, families in Europe and America kept the industry alive and popular by continuing to evolve the amusement parks and their offerings. After the Great Depression, side effects had begun to subside. In the 1940’s, people’s interest in a new form of enter tainment, television, began to evolve. Even amid this new exciting form of entertainment, dedicated families and operators kept the small amuse ment park form of entertainment alive.

This continued for another decade, until as we all know, Walt Disney began planning and operating Disneyland in 1955. The amusement park industry was turned upside down, not in a bad way but truly a new chapter in the amusement park industry was inau - gurated, which remains in play today and continues to spread around the globe. Big companies became interested in the amusement/theme park industry. That interest remains high today by many major entertainment companies. Disney was the first entertainment company to enter our industry, but not the last! We have seen more and more enter - tainment companies from all over the globe enter the amusement/theme park sector. There have been all types of experiences, good and bad. However, underlying all the history and growth of our industry has been the small park operators. In Europe, parks like Bakken in Denmark which opened in 1583, people are still rid ing the Rutchen Baron rollercoaster built in 1932. Tivoli Gardens, built in 1843, still features concerts, theater shows, as well as many rides old and new, along with the 8-hectare garden area which influenced Walt Disney’s design of Disneyland. Tibidado Park in Barcelona, established in 1901, modeled an airplane attraction in 1928 that still operates today. We experienced it at IAAPA’s summer meeting two years ago in Barce lona. Efteling, one of Europe’s most beautiful parks which was built in 1952, developed around European fairy tales. Prater Park, built in 1766 in Vienna, Austria, has the world’s oldest ferris wheel, the Riesenrad, still operating. Other parks like Grona Lund, Stockholm Sweden (1883), Blackpool Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Lancashire, England (1896), Tripsdrill, Cleebronn, Germany (1929), and Dreamland Margate in England, are all small “backbone” parks of our industry, which helped us establish our great root system of parks operating today.

Here in the USA, early adapters include Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut (1846), Sea Breeze in Rochester, New York (1829), Lagoon in Farmington, Utah (1886), Cedar Point (1820), Coney Island in New York (1884), and Arnold’s Park in Iowa (1889) that are all still thriving! Parks that have closed and those that are still operating, were and are the backbone of our global industry. There are many large operators who owe a great deal of thanks to these small park operators. Without their courage, vision , fortitude, and passion, there would be no global theme park industry today. As James Baldwin wrote, “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limit ations to where you can go.” And we continue to go up!!

Dennis Speigel
With this editorial, the editor or editor-in-chief of the magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper initiates the current issue 8/2018. Here you can find out which articles are especially readable or where the suggestions came from. …
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Profile of Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper

Delivery time single issue immediately
issue 8/2018 of 22.07.2018
Published monthly , 12 issues per year
Language German
Access after registration read online in the library & download as PDF
Category Hobby Magazines, Tourism Magazines and Sports Trade Magazines

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