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What Is An Amusement Park? | Theme Park vs Amusement Park!

Amusement parks have surprisingly been around for hundreds of years, with the oldest being 500+ years old

This Amusement Park Guide details what exactly an amusement park is, as well as key differences between amusement parks and theme parks!

Topics We'll Cover About Amusement Parks:

  • What Is A Theme Park?
  • Amusement Parks vs Theme Parks


Hangtime Rollercoaster


What Is An Amusement Park?

An amusement park is any property that features rides, shows, or attractions in order to entertain its visitors. 

While rides like rollercoasters and various shows are often the most common element of an amusement park, they aren't required to be part of an amusement park.

As long as there is some sort of attraction, with the goal of entertaining visitors, a property can often be deemed an amusement park. 


Any sort of game, show, exhibit, structure, or ride with the purpose of entertaining can be classified as an attraction.

The presence of these attractions, typically more than one, in a single area is what makes an amusement park... an amusement park! 

When you think of amusement parks Walt Disney World might first come to mind, but the truth is Disney World isn't an amusement park, it's a theme park! 

Theme parks are the evolution of amusement parks and we've detailed their differences in the next section!

Amusement Park vs Theme Park

Amusement parks and theme parks by definition are nearly identical, except for one thing...

Theme parks take amusement parks to the next level by having a specific theme throughout the entire park! 

Amusement parks are going to be entertainment centers with rides, shows, and games, but there isn't any sort of cohesive theme that tells a story or makes things flow together. 

Islands of Adventure Sign

Amusement parks often have rides and shows with minimal similarities and no themed stores or restaurants on their property. You'll get more of a straight-to-the-point and less fluff vibe at amusement parks compared to theme parks.

Your overall surroundings at an amusement park overall going to be far less immersive than what you would find at a theme park, and the rides will likely be the same - less theming, but usually still packed with thrills and fun. 

The final, but big difference is the price point. Theme parks will nearly always be much more expensive to enter when compared to the price of admission at an amusement park.

While many theme parks are now over $100 a day to enter, you can often get into most amusement parks for less than $50 or even $20 in some cases. 

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