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Park History


Park History


Kiddi ela nds A


Kiddiel


Gary Kyriazi looks at the phenomena of kiddielands which, while not as ubiquitous now as in the Fifties, are still a relatively sound investment, at least as far as the amusement industry is concerned.


fter Wo Wa


World War II, the resultant Baby Boom created amusement parks that were strictly for kids, usually 12 and under. Kiddielands, as they were called,


became as much a part of the American landscape of the 1950s as drive-in movies, malt shops, jukeboxes,


supermarkets, and shopping centres, the latter of which often had a kiddieland attached. The output and overhead were modest and doable, and the intake could be millions . The amusement industry’s genesis in the 1880s was, many are surprised to learn, actually for adults, offering drinking and eating establishments, river, lake, and ocean-side swimming, and accompanied by carousels, tunnels-of-love, switchback railways, and games of chance. Certainly familie s


MARC MARCH 20 201 9


went, but it was more the children accompanying the adults rather than the other way around.


It was the traveling carnivals that, like circuses, more purposefully went after kids as they pulled into town once a year and offered an unforgettable day and evening of fun and excitement. And it was with the carnivals and fairs that kiddie ttw


clear which the first one was, if i kiddie rides into one location to It was a quick and easy step


determine how many thousand s instead of an instant plethora. It


rides flourished, particularly since wo or three kiddie rides could travel on a truck bed that could only handle one major ride. to gather several of these start a kiddieland, but it’s not ndeed there was a “first one”


of kiddielands there were in would be a daunting task to


3 9


Gary KyrKyriazi is tthe autthor of The Great American Amusement ar s, and the writer/producer of America Screams, the fir t pictorial his ory and television special about American amusement parks. He has been a resear and historian on American amusement parks for 40 year


Gary Ky iazi is he au hor of The Great American Amusement Parks, and the writer/producer of America Screams, the first pictorial history and television special about American amusement par s. He has been a researcher and historian on American amusement par s for 40 years.


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