When you visit an amusement park, you’re always walking on this aspect of the landscape. It is something you find everywhere you go in the park. The aspect of landscaping we are looking at this week on Art of Amusement Parks are the walking paths found at amusement parks. The amusement parks of discussion will be Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island.
A Special Feeling
Although walking paths are the most walked on component at amusement parks, they are in fact a part of the landscape. They tend to add to an amusement park’s ambience, giving every park a different feel. The ambience that walking paths generate is emphasized by the material used that makes up the paths. Different construction materials produce different vibes as we will discover throughout this article.
The Magic of Walking Paths
First, let us take a look at the wonderful walking paths at Canada’s Wonderland. When Canada’s Wonderland opened on May 23rd, 1981, the first-time visitors were greeted by the magical brick walking paths. These brick paths led visitors to the excitement and thrills that awaited them. Almost 36 years later, the massive collection of brick paths still lead the way to the exciting attractions that millions of visitors greatly enjoy.
Eye Catching Paths of Medieval Faire
As visitors venture throughout the park, they will instantly notice the different displays of the bricks found along the paths. These displays consist of different coloured bricks and interesting patterns, along with the regular grey path bricks. A great example of the brick path designs found within the path is the one that surrounds the Medieval Faire fountain. Thick strands of dark greyish-coloured bricks branch out from the fountain, giving the surrounding path a sun-ray type look.
A Thrilling View
Another decorative brick path display is in sight nearby Drop Tower, also within Medieval Faire. Nearby Drop Tower, visitors notice the large checkered squares that are prominently featured, only adding to the excitement of what’s yet to come for those who experience the thrills of Drop Tower. The checkered brick path is highly noticeable for passengers riding Drop Tower as they descend towards the ground, coming to a fast and safe stop.
Colourfulness of the Path Bricks
As for the coloured bricks display, this can be found nearby the Coasters diner in Action Zone. The pinkish-red bricks welcome visitors into Coasters diner and creates a great visual display for those walking by. The pinkish-red bricks don’t only just stop in front of Coasters. The bricks continue their way up the path towards Slingshot and Windseeker, creating a somewhat swirling design. When you venture back towards International Street through Action Zone, you will come across the giant globe. Surrounding the giant globe is a ring of pinkish-red bricks that complements the roundness of the globe. The globe has been a prominent feature at Canada’s Wonderland since opening day back in 1981.
Emphasizing the Smallest of Thrills
In another section of the park at Canada’s Wonderland, that being Planet Snoopy, the paths display light-brown bricks. The slightly brown coloured bricks surprisingly complement the surrounding landscape within Planet Snoopy, as well as emphasize the thrills and excitement generated by the youngest of visitors. Not only do the path bricks found throughout the park enhance and compliment the surrounding landscape, they also help flow and drain rain water that would otherwise pool and flood asphalt paths.
Splashing Fun Paths
Throughout the rest of Canada’s Wonderland, particularly in Splash Works, visitors will come across large concrete tiles. These large concrete tiles lead visitors to the slides and other water attractions. These concrete tile paths tend to keep visitors’ feet cool from the glaring sun, while keeping visitors from slipping on the potentially wet paths as visitors venture from one slide to the next. The large concrete tiles spread throughout Splash Works somewhat gives visitors the impression as if they’re walking along a large pool deck. Now that we have looked at the various attractive path designs at Canada’s Wonderland, we are now going to take a look at the equally attractive paths at Kings Island.
Paths of Kings Island
There are many path materials to be found throughout Kings Island. You will notice this as you begin to travel throughout the park. The various path materials consist of bricks, asphalt, and concrete. Once entering through the front entrance, visitors instantly see the nicely placed bricks that are laid out on International Street. As visitors venture towards the Eiffel Tower, located at the end of the Royal Fountains, they will begin to walk on asphalt. Typically, visitors often frown upon asphalt at amusement parks as it collects the heat from the sun. But, at Kings Island it is used effectively nearby the Eiffel Tower.
Nostalgia of Asphalt Paths
The asphalt surrounding the Eiffel Tower produces a vibe of an older amusement park that creates a certain kind of nostalgia of long ago. Visitors can greatly experience the nostalgia of yesteryear as they stroll along the asphalt path nearby the Grand Carousel. This asphalt has large shade bearing trees which helps add to the nostalgic experience.
The Asphalt Paths of the Eiffel Tower
The asphalt paths located nearby the Eiffel Tower then spread out to the rest of the park. If you venture off to the left (east) of the Eiffel Tower, you will enter into Octoberfest and Coney Mall. These two sections are effectively and attractively laid with brick paths combining with the beautiful landscape. These brick paths also generate the feeling of an old style amusement park. This is true, especially once combined with the vintage rides, the large maple trees, and patios set up along the paths. The nostalgic sensation of Coney Mall generated by the brick paths also comes to life at night as the lamp posts and ride lights illuminate throughout the section. This makes visitors to feel as if they’ve stepped back in time.
Concrete Paths of Action Zone
When visitors venture north from Coney Mall, passing through Oktoberfest, they will arrive in Action Zone. Action Zone at Kings Island is home to many dynamic and thrilling rides. Action Zone is also home to the land of the concrete paths. There is indeed a benefit to concrete paths. In fact, the use of concrete paths greatly reduce the heat stress that visitors experience on paths made of asphalt.
Shade Amongst the Paths of Action Zone
Visitors at Kings Island will also notice the large shade space that was attractively constructed central of the concrete paths within Action Zone. This shade zone does not only keeps visitors cool from the hot Ohio summers, but is a part of the landscape at Kings Island. Large yellow and white triangular canopies cover the shade zone, shrubs surround the area which perfectly compliment the concrete paths, in turn beautifying the area.
Paths Leading Into the Waters
If we make our way over to the far side of Kings Island, we will come to Soak City, Kings Island’s water park. Just like Splash Works at Canada’s Wonderland, Kings Island’s Soak City has paths laid with concrete tiles. The use of the concrete tiles throughout Soak City truly adds to the landscaping efforts found throughout Soak City. The concrete paths also cause visitors to feel as if they’re a part of a gigantic surf or beach party. This is a true effect especially since the paths lead into the lazy river and the two large wave pools that are some of the many attractions that cool visitors.
As you have just discovered, walking paths are more than just paths. They indeed add to the landscape at amusement parks. Also, different materials create a certain feeling or vibe that enhances the overall experience for visitors. The next time you step into an amusement park, look at how the paths enhance the landscaping efforts. Next time, we will be looking at the artificial landscaping features at amusement parks! Until next time, be sure to take a look at the landscaping features at Canada’s Wonderland during its early years thanks to Vintage Toronto via Facebook!