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The recreation culture in America has gone through a significant evolution to become what it is today. More specifically, major changes have been observed in the domain of natural beaches and amusement parks. Natural beaches have been the preference of many for a long time. However, with the decreasing number of suitable locations and ample space for establishing good natural beaches, this led to the development of new forms of similar entertainment spots. Consequently, this lead to the development of amusement parks as a response to the crisis. Nevertheless, this noble idea did not completely overrun the natural beaches as they still remain a favorite to many. In this regard, the establishment of beaches and amusement parks differ in terms of their endowment with mechanical devices installed to enhance entertainment, reliance on specialized/natural themes, manipulations by forces of nature, and temporary/permanent existence.
First, amusement parks usually have a lot of mechanical devices installed to achieve some of the desired entertainment functions, but beaches are rarely equipped with similar forms of mechanical devices. For example, amusement parks are endowed with machinery such as roller coasters, trains, and ferry wheels (Cocks, Halloran, & Lessoff, 2009). On the other hand, beaches tend to maintain their natural allure by maintaining some of the most its natural entertainment enhancements. In fact, mechanical devices that present in the beach setting are mostly brought by the revelers who come to enjoy themselves. This implies that the mechanical devices are brought into beaches as a matter of necessity and usually include fan trucks, bikes, and diving boards. In essence, the extensive use of mechanical devices to enhance entertainment in amusement parks implies that there is a lot of reliance on electrical energy compared to beaches. Thus, this introduces significant differences in the forms of entertainment found in the beaches and amusement parks.
Secondly, amusement parks tend to be inspired by specialized themes, which are unique for each park with regard to design while beaches are rarely inspired by specialized themes. The best example is Walt Disney World, and it’s among the largest themed amusement parks in the globe (Fatnewt, 2012). Beaches are usually established around their natural allure. Hence, their concept is strongly inspired by the unique surroundings and vegetation existing around a specific beach. On the other hand, since amusement parks are created based on a specific theme, they lack a similar natural allure compared to that one found in beaches. In this regard, amusement parks are entirely artificial even though there are special themed parks that are inspired by the natural ecology. Nevertheless, the natural setting is a created one; hence, it does not reflect the surrounding in which the amusement park is established.
Thirdly, the operation of amusement parks is less determined by the forces of nature while the operation of most beaches strongly depends on the forces of nature. According to the National Research Council, the Marine Board, and Committee on Beach Nourishment and Protection (1995), “coastlines differ significantly in their morphology (structural form), geological setting, and climate” (p.20). Thus, the geological setting of beaches may be modified at any time depending on the changing structure of the adjacent ocean floor. On the other hand, amusement parks are constructed from the ground up based on the architectural design. Hence, the structural components found in amusement parks tend to be more stable and less modified by natural forces. Thus, this plays a major influence on the relative operation of amusement parks since most of them may operate full time, while beaches operate on a seasonal basis. Additionally, beaches may be subjected to closure depending on changing climatic patterns while amusement parks may remain operational, especially for those indoor activities.
Fourthly, some forms of amusement parks are entirely movable; hence, they are temporary in nature while beaches tend not to be movable; hence, they are permanent in nature. For example, the early forms of amusement parks were called carnivals, and consisted of small productions (Fatnewt, 2012). Carnivals are still a common representation of amusement parks in many parts of the world. Their movable nature of carnivals implies that the entire list of productions can be reproduced in new venues. The movable of nature of carnivals also implies that they are highly influenced by the culture of the participants. On the other hand, beaches are permanent establishments whose existence strongly relies on the natural surroundings in which they are found. In this regard, beaches found in a specific are will be determined by the weather and soil formation process in that area.
Finally, the establishment of beaches and amusement parks differ in terms of their endowment with mechanical devices installed to enhance entertainment, reliance on specialized/natural themes, manipulations by forces of nature, and temporary/permanent existence. Indeed, amusement parks and beaches have unique uses, which make their settings to be different. The manner in which mechanical devices are incorporated into each of these settings is determined by the unique forms of entertainment desired by the users. The element of architectural design also makes amusement parks to be different from beaches. Beaches tend to be left in their natural geological setting such that little is done to modify the surroundings. Moreover, the temporary nature of amusement parks is primarily determined by its natural evolution from its early development in the carnival form. In essence, the most conspicuous difference between the two forms is their reliance on nature.