Amusement Park Archives

Amusement Parks Current and Past

We believe all amusement parks deserve an archive

From currently operating parks and rides to defunct parks and rides read all about the history of the Amusement and Theme Park industry.

Color Ferris Wheel

Operating Parks

Amusement Park Archives features articles on operating Amusement and Theme Parks.

Black and White Ferris Wheel

Defunct Parks

Amusement Park Archives features articles on Defunct Amusement and Theme Parks.

Our Story

As a small child, I have always been thrilled about Amusement Parks, I can remember the very first park I ever visited was Knoebels Amusement Resort located in Elysburg Pennsylvania. From the thrills of Roller Coasters and the splashes of water rides, I want to bring joy to others who are equally as thrilled. This page comprises information from currently operating Amusement and Theme Parks to defunct rides and parks from the past.  – Brian Powers

History

Amusement Park and theme parks evolved from three earlier traditions: traveling or periodic fairs, pleasure gardens, and exhibitions such as world fairs.

Lake Compounce is considered the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America.

Leap-the-Dips

Leap-the-Dips in Lakemont Park, Altoona, Pennsylvania, is the world’s oldest operating roller coaster. Rolling downhill at an average speed of 10 miles per hour, it may not be the fastest ride, but its history is unmatched. Built-in 1902 be legendary roller coaster designer Edward Joy Morris, the coaster closed down in the 1980s and was nearly demolished in 1986 before being refurbished and reopened in 1999. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark, but still doesn’t have seatbelts, lap bars, or headrests. It is the only side friction coaster left in North America, which means it doesn’t have the extra set of wheels under the track that has become standard.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine, Urban Explorations Ride America’s Most Historic Roller Coasters. Retrieved November 9, 2020.