Riverview Park and other theme park maps through the ages

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Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, circa 2003)


Riverview Park in Chicago, circa 1953.

Theme parks are, by and large, confusing places. There are multitudinous masses of sweaty humanity, milling aimlessly. And always lines bisecting the flow of life and adding to the confusion.

But of course, a little mapping goes a long way to clearing up life's seemingly insurmountable confusions. And that's where this site comes in to, well, play. It's a fascinating collection of theme park maps through the years leading us through the history of confusing fun throughout the world. There's even pdfs of theme park brochures to help you skip through your yesteryear childhood memories.

It's also an interesting trip through America's progress. Take in the relatively simple hand-drawn layout and attractions of 1953 Riverview Park in Chicago and compare it to some of the monstrous new offerings, 2008 Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, for instance, for a case study in how the country's liesure tastes and expectations have changed. It's a visual tale of the quest for bigger, faster, more.

Or, of course, it's merely a geo-coded timeline of the history of mass entertainment and thrill rides. A roller coaster through history.

Hat tip to boingboing.net.

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Being close to 60 and not being at Riverview since 1966, I've wondered how big it was and where everything was placed. Thanks for posting...

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