Amusement parks started in Europe but came to the United States with the debut of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. The “Switchback” was the first roller coaster introduced at Coney Island in 1884. The Amusement parks began to spread across the United States and lasted until World War II. Most of the old parks were closing by 1950.
Then came the big theme parks era when Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California in 1955. Disney World opened in 1982 in Florida. By 2008 the Walt Disney Company accounted for half of the total amusement park revenue in the US, showing 50 million visitors a wonderful time.
B. Names with Embedded Links to the Largest Amusement Parks.
There are so many theme parks that Wikipedia.org presents the names and links to many of them divided into locations. Another website provides a list of large parks in the United States having the biggest or most unusual rollercoasters.
The listing below provides information on the top 19 amusement parks in the United States, with the approximate number of visitors in 2019.
- Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL – 3.1 million
- Hersheypark Hershey, PA – 3.4 million
- Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, NJ – 3.4 million
- Sea World San Diego San Diego, CA – 3.5 million
- Kings Island Mason, OH – 3.5 million
- Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia, CA – 3.6 million
- Cedar Point Sandusky, OH – 3.7 million
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, FL – 4.2 million
- Knotts Berry Farm Buena Park, CA – 4.2 million
- Sea World Orlando, FL – 4.6 million
- Universal Studios Universal City, CA – 9.1 million
- DisneyLand Adventure Park Anaheim, CA – 9.8 million
- Universal’s Islands Orlando, FL – 10.3 million
- Universal Studios Orlando, FL – 10.9 million
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios Bay Lake, FL – 11.4 million
- DisneyWorld Epcot Bay Lake, FL – 12.4 million
- DisneyWorld Animal Kingdom Bay Lake, FL – 13.8 million
- DisneyLand Anaheim, CA – 18.6 million
- Magic Kingdom Buena Vista, FL – 20.9 million
C. Why are Amusement Parks Included in Joy?
While it is true that dropping 100 feet and being turned upside-down can be associated with danger, it can work to reduce fears. The body injects adrenaline into the bloodstream when a person is suddenly exposed to a fear trigger, such as a spider or snake. The body releases adrenaline as a defensive mechanism to run from or fight a potential danger. Therefore, people automatically associate the adrenaline rush with danger.
Thrill rides create adrenaline rushes. You are fully aware that the thrill ride is safe. If you go on several of these rides, your mind begins to disassociate the adrenaline rush with danger. In addition, you witness others laughing and happy when they get off the ride. This subconsciously associates the adrenaline rush with happiness or Joy.
It does not mean that you will stop being afraid of spiders, but that portion of the spider fear associated with the adrenaline rush should be reduced.