Theme parks have accumulated a catalog of the first, biggest, most expensive, and just plain weird that add up to a barrel of fun facts. Enjoy the ride while you look forward to experiencing the parks for yourself.
10. Colonial Start. The first American “pleasure garden,” as amusement parks were known in Europe, was Vauxhall Gardens in New York City, which opened in 1767 and acquired one of the first carousels in the early 1800s. The most famous, Coney Island, opened in 1829.
9. First Theme. Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana, opened in 1946 with a Santa Clause theme – the first amusement park with an overarching theme. That’s nine years before Disneyland.
8. First Flume. The first Log Flume ride opened at Six Flags over Texas in 1963, making such a splash that it was quickly copied at many other parks.
7. Surf and Turf. The first combined waterpark and amusement park opened in 1983 at Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio when the park added Boardwalk Shores to its other attractions for one price of admission. The combination caught on at many parks.
6. Rolling Under. The first inverted roller coaster, Batman: The Ride, opened in 1992 at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. That became a trendsetter for parks around the world.
5. Mountain Building. Disney World spent a world-record $100 million on Everest Expedition, mostly because its replica of Mount Everest is authentic in detail.
4. Fireworks. Disney World is second only to the U.S. government in purchasing explosives. The park spends an estimated $45,000 to $50,000 per show.
3. Make a Wish. Cedar Point in Ohio donates all the change it finds in the park—both lost and thrown in the fountains for luck—to charity. It’s a donation of about $2,000 a year.
2. Talking Trash. Walt Disney invented rectangular trash cans with flap lids to keep his parks looking clean and smelling good. He also established the optimal space between trash cans at 30 feet.
- Cat and Mouse. Cats have colonized the home of Mickey Mouse since 1955—Disneyland calls them Cat Cast Members. The attraction provides food, veterinary care, and spaying/neutering while the cats—an estimated 200 now—keep down the unwanted mice.
Plan a visit and read more amusing articles at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!