A family amusement park is a place where families can go to get away from the ho-hum and doldrums of the daily grind. Called an amusement park because of the many features and attractions that are intended to amuse the visitor, the family amusement park typically offers food, games and rides, such as roller-coasters and water rides. The common small amusement park operates on a one-price, admission policy that offers unlimited riding for the price of park entry. There are often many other attractions that may be viewed without requiring additional fees, however, games, food and beverages all typically come with an additional price tag.
In many areas, the operation of the family park is seasonal and typically closes during the colder months of the year. For the parks located in warmer climates, the family amusement park is often a wintertime destination for those who are attempting to escape the harsh wintertime weather. Many of the larger parks also operate hotels to provide a one-stop vacation destination for family travelers. Many packages can be found that offer discounted park stays, providing the park-goer stays at the park's hotel. Meal packages also exist that offer discounted lunches and dinner meals from a variety of vendors in the park.
In an effort to attract families with children of all ages, some of the most successful family amusement park destinations incorporate a child's area along with the larger rides better suited for teens. The children's areas are often adorned in cartoon character decorations and cater to preschool through preteen children. Typically associated or themed to the most popular children's cartoons at the time, costumed park employees wander throughout the amusement park offering opportunities for the smaller guests to see, interact and be photographed with their favorite characters.
Some of the most popular family amusement park associations are involved with the biggest movie and television entertainment companies. These parks blend thrilling amusement rides themed to famous and popular movies or television programs. Large roller-coasters that offer the rider a feeling of flying or traveling through time are common, as are water rides that simulate African safaris and pirate attacks. The more successful theme parks typically add a new major attraction every year or two in order to attract repeat visitors and provide a new and unique experience for every vacation. Occasionally, an older attraction will be torn down to make room for the newest crowd-pleaser, and this can often create a rush at the family amusement park as visitors attempt to ride the doomed attraction one last time.