An amusement park or theme park is a group of entertainment attractions, rides, and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, usually providing attractions meant to cater specifically to certain age groups, as well as some that are aimed towards all ages. Theme parks, a specific type of amusement park, are usually much more intricately themed to a certain subject or group of subjects than normal amusement parks.
Amusement parks evolved from European fairs and pleasure gardens, which were created for people's recreation. World's fairs and expositions were another influence on the development of the amusement park industry. Amusement parks have a fixed location, as opposed to travelling funfairs and carnivals.
In common language, the terms theme park and amusement park are often synonymous. However, a theme park can be regarded as a distinct style of amusement park. A theme park has landscaping, buildings, and attractions that are based on one or more specific themes or stories. Despite many older parks adding themed rides and areas, qualifying the park as a theme park, the first park built with the original intention of promoting a specific theme, Santa Claus Land, in Santa Claus, Indiana, did not open until 1946. Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, built around the concept of encapsulating multiple theme parks into a single amusement park is often mistakenly cited as the first themed amusement park, but is instead the park that made the idea popular.
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