Amusment Parks as a Center of the Vacation Organizational Field

For my final blog post I have decided to dive into one of my favorite forms of summer entertainment (Just to inform you all: Knoebel’s opens this weekend!!!) and analyze it using a few of the concepts from the text book. Amusement parks have been entertaining people around the globe for ages. The first amusement park, Bakken, opened in Klampenborg, Denmark in 1583 (and it is still running today). It was not the same amusement park that we think of today. In fact, there were no rides. It consisted mostly of street entertainers who had collected in the area around a special water spring. Over time, using morphogenesis and institutional conservation of energy, amusement parks began to change and evolve into the Six Flags and Disney’s of today. They also began to attract other organizations to build businesses near their locations because of the great number of people that visited them on a daily basis, making them the center of an organizational field based on entertaining customers.

As new forms of entertainment became available the amusement parks went through morphogenesis, that is they changed their practices and technology to fit the new generation of thrill seekers. Many of these changes were not new inventions as far as amusement parks go. Much of what grew came from moving carnivals and the World’s Fair. The true technology of the amusement park is that it remained stationary and stayed year round (carnivals and fairs typically lasted about a week then moved to a new location). Reusing an already known technology to create a new organization is known as institutional conservation of energy. Amusement parks display this very clearly as most of the technology that they used came from other already existing organizations.

The popularity of these new organizations did not go unnoticed. Other industries began to realize that droves of people were flocking to these amusement parks on a regular basis and knew that they had to get in on the profits. These parks became the center of a vacation organizational field. Other organizations, such as hotels and restaurants, began to build around these amusement parks. Two great examples of this are Coney Island (a location of several amusement parks in the late 1800’s-1900’s) and Disney World. Trolley ways and trains were built in order to deliver customers to Coney Island. Hotels and resorts also began to pop up in the area. Disney World has turned Orlando into one of the premier vacation spots in America. People come from around the globe to visit this park. Because of this more hotels and restaurants began to pop up over time (including actual Disney themed hotels closest to the park). Disney also attracted other parks such as SeaWorld to the area. From these two examples it is easy to see how an amusement park can become the center of a vacation base organizational field.

Amusement parks are a classic global entertainment. Since their beginning that have attracted many customers. I you take some time to check out an amusement park this summer make sure to look around it. Does it seem to be in the center of a lot of hotels and restaurants? My guess is that it will.

Happy summer everyone!

One Response

  1. It is almost crazy the amounts of technology amusement parks use today. Everything from layered merry-go-rounds, to speeding roller coasters, to pictures taken while you ride; technology is used everywhere you look. I went on a ride at an amusement park in pittsburgh and everyone had to wear 3-D glasses and we were in controlled boats that took us through a whole entire story about Garfield complete with sounds, scenery, and interaction. It is amazing how far along amusement parks have come, and I am sure they are far from done.

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