Theme park holidays, or vacations, are very popular with many families and consist of spending one or more days at an amusement park. Commonly associated with the larger American and European theme parks, theme park holidays offer the vacationers fun, excitement and thrills, all in a single location. There are many features to be seen and experienced with theme park holidays, from shows and performances to world-class cuisine. The No. 1 reason, however, that many people choose to travel to a theme park is to spend their holiday enjoying the thrill of amusement rides.
Beginning in the middle 1950s, amusement parks began to increase in popularity. Many families, fresh from the war-torn 1940s, were eager to give themselves some happiness and the summer holiday or vacation was born. The theme park owners realized that this was an opportunity to secure a family's entire holiday expenses and soon the parks began to offer every convenience that the family required. Restaurants, souvenir shops and all of the amusement rides that children and adults could want were packaged into a single experience known as a theme park holiday. Now, a family could make travel plans to a single destination and focus all of their attention — and money — on holiday fun in one location.
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Based on many of the popular children's books and animated cartoons, theme park holidays offer families an opportunity to live what, prior to their vacation, they had only seen on the big screen or in the pages of their favorite books. In order to preserve this fantasy image, many theme park owners forbid workers who are dressed in costume from actually speaking to the guests. By making only "yes" and "no" gestures, the characters are able to "sound" exactly as the visitors' imagine they sound. This also prevents the risk of a single visitor meeting two different workers portraying the same character who have two distinctly different voices.
Theme park holidays are often passed along from generation to generation as parents attempt to give their children the same excitement that they were given by their parents. A sort of a rite of passage, many children graduate from a children's area of the theme park to the adult area on repeated theme park holidays. This gives both the children and the adults something to look forward to as they plan return trips. Most of the theme park holidays are made unique by the park adding new features to the amusements and keeping the park offerings ever-changing.