Nothing But Fun
Europeans started the concept of amusement parks centuries ago with fairs and pleasure gardens created for people’s recreation. The world’s oldest amusement park is Bakken, just north of Copenhagen, Denmark, which opened in 1583. The oldest theme park in the United States is Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (called Santa Claus Land from its opening in 1946 until 1984) in Santa Claus, Indiana. California’s theme parks date from 1950.
Diversions are as plentiful
as sunshine in California. One of the most popular outlets: original theme parks. These attractions are meccas to amusement, each focusing rides and exhibits around different concepts such as fairies, film, plastic blocks, sea life and an inimitable mouse. Most of the parks are situated in the southern part of the state (where the weather is generally warmer), but the granddaddy of them all is up north. Each of the parks is worth a closer look.
Universal Studios Hollywood
This film-themed park got its formal start in the 1960s when walk-throughs of Universal Studios soundstages and sets were expanded to include peeks at actual production. Over the years, the studio added a tram to shuttle visitors through the back lot; this tram remains the best way to experience stunt demonstrations and staged events (such as an encounter with the shark from Jaws).
In 2016 the park opened its most anticipated attraction ever: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, complete with a replica of Hogwarts castle and a recreation of the shops of Hogsmeade. This new section is home to two new rides: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Flight of the Hippogriff. It also affords visitors the opportunity to drink (non-alcoholic, butterscotch-flavored) Butterbeer in a rustic tavern named Three Broomsticks, and to shop for wands and other trinkets and souvenirs in Diagon Alley.
The rest of the park is divided into two areas connected by escalator: the Upper