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The World’s Oldest Amusement Parks

The world’s oldest amusement parks hold a great deal of appeal to many travelers and thrill enthusiasts alike. Not only do they offer the fun of roller coasters, exciting shows, and other events and attractions, but they also offer a view of history that can prove equally desirable to many visitors. Exploring those historic amusement parks can bring its own level of fun and excitement as you make incredible memories with your friends and family. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is here to cover the oldest amusement parks in America, their histories, and how amusement parks have come a long way since. Keep reading to find out more!

Guinness Book of World Records holder, Bakken in Kampenborg, Denmark, opened in 1583 near popular fresh-water springs as a pleasure garden with live entertainment, fireworks, dancing, games and some early rides. That was common in European cities then, but most had closed by the 18th century. Bakken, “The Hill,” is short for Dyrehavsbakken, “The Animal Park’s Hill,” and was a private royal hunting ground until 1756. Its first roller coaster, built in 1932, is still operating.

Wurstelprater, also known as Prater, in Leopoldstadt, Austria, was also a hunting ground before it opened to the public in 1766. Its top attraction now is Wiener Riesenrad, a Ferris wheel, a Vienna landmark.

The third-oldest, Tivoli Gardens, opened in Copenhagen in 1843 and became so famous that it inspired Walt Disney’s design of Disneyland in 1955. Today, it operates one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, the Rutschebanen, built in 1914, among its 31 attractions.

What is the Oldest Amusement Park in the US?

The oldest amusement park in the United States is Lake Compounce, located in Bristol, Connecticut. It opened on October 6, 1846. That initial opening event included an invitation to check out a scientist’s experiments in electricity. In those early days, it served as a picnic ground. Two years later, however, the park began to add attractions. In 1929, the park added boats that would offer rides around the lake for just 15 cents per ride. By 1943, Lake Compounce had added a miniature steam railroad. Over the years, it has continued to grow, investing millions of dollars in family fun. Now, Lake Compounce has 44 rides, including five roller coasters. This stunning park has a rich history that encourages visitors to come back over and over again. While it has undergone many changes, it continues to maintain important traditions and provide the incredible experience visitors are looking for.

Other historic amusement parks ranked by age are:

  • Hanayashiki in Tokyo, which was a flower park in 1853 and added amusements in 1872. It now has 20 rides and a popular Ninja training class.
  • Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, opened in 1870 as a public bathing beach and added its first roller coaster in 1892, the start of its reputation as Roller Coaster Capital of the World. It now has 16 roller coasters, including five above 200 feet, among its 72 rides.
  • Idlewild and Soak Zone, opened as a public campground in 1878 in Ligonier, Pa. It now has 40 rides and a special section inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Gröna Lund in Stockholm still operates the Circus Carousel and Fun House from its opening in 1883 among its 31 rides. It is also famous for concerts headlined by such celebrities as Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Bob Marley and ABBA.

Make History at America’s Only Mountain Top Theme Park!

Are you looking for the opportunity to reach out and touch a little bit of history of your own while embracing plenty of theme park fun? Check out America’s only mountain-top theme park. At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, you’ll ride on a gondola to the top of the mountain, where you can experience an amusement park like no other.

Check Out the Thrill Rides

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has a number of exciting thrill rides that roll in fun for the whole family. On the Alpine Coaster, you can control your own speed as you race around turns, fly down the mountain, then cruise back up again. The Defiance roller coaster offers gravity-defying thrills as you race along 56 seconds of excitement, including a 110-foot free fall drop. There are also zip lines, the Glenwood Canyon flyer, and the Crystal Tower, the world’s only underground drop ride.

Explore the Caves

The fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park doesn’t stop with the thrill rides. Visitors also have the chance to explore the area and everything it has to offer, including a tour of Fairy Cave and King’s Row. Meet the trolls, explore the area, and truly make the most of the gorgeous mountaintop surroundings.

More Ways to Play

As you continue your day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, you’ll have the chance to explore a variety of other activities, including the 4D motion theater and laser tag arena. These exciting activities can help make your day even brighter, allowing you to bond with your family, play together, and make incredible memories that will last a lifetime. They’re also great for corporate events, parties, and so much more.

See What We Have in Store for You and Your Family!

At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, there’s an adventure waiting for the entire family. Park rides offer plenty of excitement, with twists and turns, ups and downs, and incredible views that will have you coming back season after season to see everything we have to offer.

Schedule your trip today to take in the fun of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and learn more about this incredible mountain-top theme park.