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With adrenaline and people-watching opportunities galore, Fantasilandia amusement park in Chile’s capital city of Santiago packs a


powerful punch. Linda Hill reports


F


antasilandia, Chile’s biggest amusement park, is nestled within Santiago’s central Parque O'Higgins, a public park that takes its name from one of Chile’s independence leaders. The amusement park sits in the northwestern corner of this 77-hectare recreation spot and covers 6.5 hectares, surrounded by lots of shady trees and beautiful flowers, with landscaping set all throughout the park. For a tourist, it is a great way to kill an afternoon while seeing an entirely different side of Chile’s cosmopolitan capital city. From the outset it’s obvious that similarities between Fantasilandia and your average American or


European theme park are limited. While the rides are certainly as technologically advanced, the atmosphere is distinctly Chilean. Instead of corn dogs or cotton candy, vendors sell completos (a variation on a hot dog) or mote con huesilllo (the national drink), alongside rides blaring out reggaeton and cumbia rhythms. It’s a Luna Park with a Latin American twist. “We have a very democratic audience,” observes Gerardo Arteaga, the park’s general manager and IAAPA’s current third vice-chairman, “almost the same as the socioeconomic distribution of the country.”


Kids’ Zone – keeping the young ones happy! 30


The Evolution is one of several Fabbri rides at the park MAY 2012


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