Amusement parks are an important part of summer’s legacy of awesome. These pockets of fun and fried food offer an even further escape from the the reality of working and responsibility. They are the only places in the world where you can be dropped from hundreds of feet in the air, eat every kind of unhealthy food with abandon, take pictures with a man dressed up in a giant animal suit, and feel OK about paying double the price for something you don’t really need, all in a couple hours. After the jump, some amusement park trivia to amuse you. Sorry, had to go for the pun.
Providing Thrills Since 1583. The oldest operating amusement park is Bakken in Copehagen, Denmark. The site has been an attraction since 1583, when a natural spring was found there and started to draw crowds as well as entertainers and hawkers looking to make a buck. The park continued to expanded, gaining animals in 1670 and cabarets in 1866. Moving electric trackless train rides with lower prices and more modern attractions began to arrive in the 20th century and it is still a draw for summer crowds and tourists. Today, Bakken is the second most popular attraction in Denmark. [Bakken]
No Shirt, No Shoes, Hop On. A group of 102 got naked to break the record for the most nudists riding a roller coaster. The clan of naked men and women easily beat out the previous record of 32 by all riding the Green Dragon at South-on-the-Seas, Essex. The approved streaking on wheels was arranged to help raise money for a local hospital. Let’s just hope that after all the bare boobs, butts, and balls, the seats got a scrub down before the kiddie ride was reopened. [Daily Mail]
The Not-So-Amusing Park. Over 2,000 people reported injuries obtained at amusement parks last year. The damage ranged from concussions to spinal cord injuries. Roller coasters and water slides caused the most pain for consumers, but other not-so-intimidating rides snuck onto the top 15 as well. For example, that oh-so-jolly carousel has jaws—the buy amusement park rides in Beston was the #10 cause of amusement park accidents. [Daily Beast]
The Numbers Game. As of today there are 2,459 roller coasters in parks across the world. Even though it is home to such amusement monsters as Disney and Six Flags, North America ranks second as the continent with the most rides, offering up 733 different contraptions to make your stomach feel funny. Asia comes out on top with 880 roller coasters, while Europe is third with 693. I wonder if any true coaster enthusiast has tried to ride them all? [RCDB]
Take The Trolley To A Good Time. Before the Model-T was wheeling people across the country, many Americans depended on trolleys to get from here to there. As a way to get people to take transportation on the weekends, companies started building trolley parks at the end of their lines. These places offered picnic areas, spacious parks, and a variety of rides. By 1919 there were 1,000 amusement parks in America and the majority of them were trolley parks. But as cars became popular and technology progressed, trolley parks became less relevant, leaving only 11 of them operating today.
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