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Know It All
February 05, 2014, 05:00 AM

The first Ferris wheel was built by George Ferris (1859-1896), a bridgemaker. Ferris’ idea for the ride came from the merry-go-rounds at carnivals. The Ferris Wheel was introduced at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.


The largest Ferris wheel in the world is located in London, England. Built in 2000, in celebration of the millennium, the London Eye Ferris wheel is 450 feet in diameter. One complete rotation of the wheel takes 30 minutes.


Walt Disney (1901-1968) is credited with creating the “theme park.” Disneyland was the first park to have areas built around a central theme where everything from the rides to the food served fit the theme. Can you name the current themed areas at Disneyland? See answer at end.


When Disneyland first opened, the Penny Arcade on Main Street featured a shooting gallery that used live ammunition .22 caliber rifles. The attraction was removed within the first year.


The employees at Disneyland are referred to as cast members. The public areas of Disneyland are called the stage and the behind-the-scenes areas of the park are referred to as backstage.


Knotts Berry Farm, the amusement park in Buena Park, Calif., began in 1940. Walter Knott (1889-1981) built a ghost town to entertain customers of the farm. In 1968, the Knott family fenced the farm, charged admission for the first time and Knott’s Berry Farm officially became an amusement park.


All boysenberries in the world can trace their roots to Knott’s Berry Farm. Boysenberries are a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry. They are named after Rudolph Boysen (19895-1950) who originally began experimenting with the new berry strain.


Remember Frontier Village? It was a Wild West themed amusement park in San Jose, built in 1961. The competition from Great America, which opened in 1976, and the fact that the area became a prime housing market led to the closure of Frontier Village in 1980.


The first Legoland theme park was opened in Denmark in 1968. Legoland was created to make a permanent exhibition of Lego models. Legoland California opened in 1999 and Legoland Deutschland opened in 2002. In addition to structures built with Lego blocks, the parks have rides, attractions and restaurants.


Millions of tourists travel to Orlando every year, but the population in Orlando is less than one million people.


Answer: When Disneyland opened in 1955, it was made up of Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Indian Village. New Orleans Square opened in 1966. Toontown opened in 1993. Indian Village changed to Bear Country in 1972 and was finally called Critter Country in 1988.

Know It All is by Kerry McArdle. It runs in the weekend and Wednesday editions of the Daily Journal. Questions? Comments? Email or call 344-5200 ext. 114.



Tags: opened, first, disneyland, built, ferris, wheel,

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