Amusement Parks

1166 Words 5 Pages
Playing It Safe Amusement parks entertain and thrill people all around the world. The origin of the amusement park stems from medieval times, when European cities would host “pleasure gardens,” which included games, rides, dancing, fireworks and other diversions (Baughman, Bondi, Layman, McConnell, and Tompkins, 2001). In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the United States began hosting the world’s fair, and competition for prestige, press attention, and visitors spread across the county (Baughman et al., 2001). One of the most popular attractions at the Columbian Exposition was a midway consisting of restaurants, shops, belly dancers, theaters, and a giant wheel designed by George W. Ferris (Baughman et al., 2001). The concept of the amusement …show more content…
Tilyou based his success on understanding the needs of common Americans, and stated that, “What attracts the crowd is the wearied mind’s demand for relief in unconsidered muscular action… We Americans want either to be thrilled or amused, and we are ready to pay well for either sensation” (Amusement parks and the national parks system (1878-1899), 1997). Cities across the country entered the fierce competition for visitors, and by 1919, more than 1,500 amusement parks operated in the United States (Baughman et al., 2001). The following decades produced bigger, faster, longer, and taller rides to appeal to the thrill-seeking masses. Innovation has also produced attractions like ziplines, bungee jumping, rip cord attractions, and water slides. Adrenaline junkies flock to these experiences, looking for bigger and better thrills. Unfortunately, with the increase of speed, height, and thrills comes the increased risk of injury and death. Improved technology has drastically changed the design of thrill rides over the years, but the safety measures maintained by individual amusement parks have not kept up with this pace. Even though riders assume the risks when they ride, uniform safety regulations and inspections need to be established and enforced because people …show more content…
In 2004, only 37 states were required to report ride-related injuries, and in 2005, that number increased to just 42 states (Entertainment and recreation: Amusement parks, 2006). As of 2010, only 44 states have adopted amusement ride device standards completely or in part, and adherence to these standards is voluntary (Avery and Dickson, 2010). In Florida, the home of Disney World and Universal Studios, those parks employing more than 1,000 people are exempt from reporting injuries, even in the case of accident-related deaths (Avery and Dickson, 2010). At these leading parks, state investigators are not even allowed to inspect rides or investigate accidents (Avery and Dickson, 2010). This is evidence that the dollar overrides the desire for public awareness by the big money-making corporations that run the parks. Even when these regulations are in place, they are aimed at amusement parks, and do not specifically include water parks and independent zipline attractions. These experiences are built with the good faith that they are safe as long as the rider is not in danger of running into a solid object or another

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