Around this time of the year, a carnival (comparable to a smaller version of our annual State Fair) arrives near my neighborhood for the weekend as a fundraiser. I was talking about this with my coworker, and the topic of rides came up. I told her that Disney has spoiled me because I have trouble justifying spending $5 on riding a generic wooden cart. This got me thinking about the ways theme parks and fairs are different. They both have the same basic purpose: to entertain people and provide a memorable experience. They contain rides, food, and entertainment. And yet, in many ways, they are opposites.
Many of the differences between these carnivals (or fairs) and theme parks pertain to their function. Carnivals are temporary. In fact, many carnivals travel from county to county. State Fairs only occur once a year. They occupy an empty space where they set up their booths and attractions. They offer their fun and excitement for a limited period of time before packing up and moving out. Because of this, everything is mobile. Food is sold at booths. Rides are fairly generic, allowing them to adapt to different locations and appeal to a variety of cultures.
Theme parks are permanent. They can be accessed at any time of the year. Because of this, they’re allowed to build more elaborate attractions. Disney and Universal Studios are great at immersing you into an experience. You’re not just standing in a generic line. You’re entering the temple of Indiana Jones. You’re exploring the world of the Simpsons. Six Flags and Knotts Berry Farm specialize in thrill rides. They’re able to safely build roller coasters that spin you upside down, drop you from a nearly vertical angle, and launch you at accelerated speeds.
Experiencing attractions are also very different. Carnivals may be generic, but they come to you. They’re able to gear it to the locals, giving a more personal touch. When you ride a Ferris Wheel, you’re able to view your home. Food may also be customized for the locals. Varying contests provide entertainment where you (or your neighbors) are the stars. Theme parks isolate themselves. When you’re inside the park, you don’t see Anaheim or San Diego. You’re in Disneyland or Sea World or whichever park you choose. Their rides, shows, and even food are tailored to the themes of the park.
This also ties into the structure of operations. At a carnival, you pay a nominal fee for admission (or it could be free). Because carnivals are temporary, the goal is to get as many people through the gates as possible. Making the admission inexpensive is a great tool for that. From there, everything else requires money. That includes paying per ride. On the other hand, theme parks are able to charge a much heavier admission fee. But once you’re inside, all attractions are free. At this point, time becomes more of a precious commodity. Waiting in line for 15 minutes at a carnival may feel like an eternity, but 15 minutes for a ride in a theme park is really short. Volume-wise, you’re more likely to cover more rides in a carnival than in a theme park. Because of this, carnivals don’t require too much time to enjoy. You can cover everything you’d like to experience within an afternoon or an evening. There’s rarely a reason to stay the entire day. This makes it easy to decide on a whim whether or not to check out the carnival. Theme parks require an all-day commitment. After all, you paid for it. A lot of planning goes into it, including travel, accommodations, and transportation. It’s a higher level of commitment.
So…which do you prefer? Carnivals and state fairs give you a more personal experience. Theme parks give you a more magical experience. While I’m a huge fan of theme parks, I also appreciate the State Fair or carnivals that pop up. I may not necessarily jump in line for their rides, but I do enjoy their games, shows, and food. Some also include craft fairs, which is fun to explore. What matters more to me is who I spend that time with. As long as I have good people by my side, I’ll have wonderful memories no matter where I go.
BettyMacs in monochrome style 🖤🖤🖤
When The Sky Opens
While listening to this song earlier, I couldn’t stop thinking of Best Laid Plans by @superficialpeasant. It’s a wonderful story that I highly recommend to my readers and anyone else like me who enjoys smut with feelings, a dash of angst, and a happy ending.
Alec & Magnus begin as no strings attached, no questions asked fuckbuddies. It’s only when their arrangement starts to fall apart, along with every other aspect of their lives, that they realize just how hopelessly in love they are.
Stabbing Westward - How Can I Hold On
Stabbing Westward - The Thing I hate
Before & After 😍🔥
French lace & bling 🖤💫