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People of all ages, shapes, sizes, financial statuses, and interests pour, in vast numbers each year into such amusement parks as Disney World and Six Flags. Why the fascination with these places, even to the point of repetitive visits? Each individual has his own reason, but there are a few common to all. Here in a make-believe world can be found something for everyone.
On stepping from a sometimes harsh, ugly world through the gates of a "magic kingdom," one can do for a short while anything he desires. Vicarious living, with all the thrills and dangers of adventure in faraway places or daring escapades unavailable in everyday life, is here for the price of a ticket. There are wild rides: twisting, dipping, now fast, then slow, breath-taking, almost dangerous. For a few minutes one can live on the edge of danger, but always with the knowledge
that safety is only inches and seconds away. Tamer rides are available for the children of all ages who prefer their thrills in more sedate doses. There are beautiful, clean, and true-to-life (better than life?) amusements here also; here everything is pretty, always works, and ends before boredom sets in. There are rides that take one through other countries, fantasy worlds, even into a mildly threatening outer space, and always with the surety of a safe return! Threatening animals become friends, and are totally predictable, clean, and nicer than the real thing. One can even return to the past, seeing of course only nostalgic beauty in the "good old days," and handily passing over any unpleasant memories. The future can be attained in seconds, showing the wonders in store for one as a result of the marvelous technilogical advances of mankind.
Of lesser importance, but still a valid reason for amusement park popularity, is the availability of food of many different types. Cuisine of exotic foreign countries is presented in a fairly reasonable form for a decent price. Where else could be tasted a bean-paste sweet typical of Japan, a delicate, flaky Napoleon of France, or a foaming cold beer served in a bier haus of Germany?
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So are seen two reasons for the tremendous popularity of the amusement parks. All in one package, for one price, instant gratification is there, every day, year-round. All need and desire escape from mundane lives. The amusement parks provide this escape.