Since Bakken, the world's first amusement park, opened in 1583 at Klampenborg, Denmark, amusement parks have become a fun place for people to spend quality time with family. Early versions of American amusement parks in the United States entertained patrons by providing picnic groves, concert halls and events like fireworks. However, with the rapid evolution of technology, the primary characteristic of many of today's parks are rides which are, first and foremost, breathtaking. In other words, amusement parks tend to gratify a desire for thrills rather than provide a space for parents and children to enjoy spending time and playing together. My thesis proposes a way to make the amusement park a place for play where parents and children share fun together. I design two rides which target six- to twelve-year-olds and their parents, and enable them to positively interact and collaborate with each other. After conducting research, including field trips to experience firsthand current amusement rides, a study of middle childhood development, and a questionnaire collecting people's perception of play, I design Carstruction and Spacejump to satisfy people's desire for true play. It is my intent for riders to play an active role and provide certain interactions between the riders in order for the ride to function. This cooperative dynamic encourages child development as well as parent-child relationships. Operating instructions and computer-generated scenarios are illustrated, and a semi-scale mockup of a ride is fabricated for an evaluation of its feasibility in terms of technology, marketability, and legality. Following a trial ride, users' feedback is documented and inspires future design revision.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Amusement rides--Design and construction; Amusement parks--Design and construction; Play; Parent and child
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CIAS)
Chiang, Ming, "New amusement rides: Platforms for parents and children to share fun" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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