The amusement park
had its origins in eighteenth-century France. It
began as a bucolic gathering place where
children might frolic, lovers discover each
other, and families picnic and drink beer in a
festive atmosphere. By the beginning of the
nineteenth century, such gardens had
proliferated all over the Continent and the
British Isles. Gradually, rides and other
attractions were added.
picnic groves and beer gardens were popular in
the early nineteenth century and blossomed into
true amusement parks after 1860, when Coney
Island emerged as the nation’s premier park.
This book looks
at all of the most successful American amusement
parks of the past and then carries up to the
present - to the enormously successful "theme
parks", such as Disneylands, Astroland and Great
Adventure, as well as to such fiascos as
Freedomland USA in the Bronx, New York, and
Pacific Ocean Park in California.