Lookin' for a Good Time?

By Published on .

True, the first amusement parks - medieval pleasure gardens featuring live entertainment, dancing, and games - were parks. But amusing? Not by today's standards. Contemporary parks, featuring multi-loopers, hyper coasters, and spin `n' barfs (actual industry terms), are raising the lap bar of what Americans consider fun. The Steel Phantom at Kennywood, in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, for example, features the world's fastest drop: 85 miles per hour. But such rides are now rapidly becoming the norm rather than the extreme, and we can't seem to keep our hands down. In 1998, Americans filled an estimated 900 million ride seats at some 450 amusement parks across the country, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Save us a place in line...and no cutting!

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