Time Travel: The History of Amusement Parks

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This week the Time Travel series celebrates the history of amusement parks.

Amusement parks developed after centuries of folly at fairs and pleasure gardens, where troves of people sought entertainment in the form of live performances and competitions.
The idea of a fixed amusement park came with the rise of world’s fairs in the 19th century. Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 birthed the midway, a enclosed area filled with games and rides including the world’s first Ferris wheel.

Once the midway became a staple, amusement parks increased in size and number. Parks from Coney Island to Disneyland brought more advanced rides and transformed amusement into a massive industry. Today, theme parks capitalize on immersive experiences and partner with top franchises to create irresistible attractions.

Flip through the gallery above to see how amusement parks have evolved over centuries.

Sarra Sedghi is a freelancer based in Athens, Ga.