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Your favourite old-style amusement park

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. I thought I'd start this topic as we have many topics about favourite theme parks overall, but we don't seem to have a topic for our favourite old-style amusement parks. That surprises me, as they are the ones that started it all, after all.

My personal favourite (by default) is Blackpool Pleasure Beach; a lovely place with a nice, quirky atmosphere, reasonably good rides and great operations!

But what is your favourite old-style amusement park, if you get what I mean?
P.S. By old-style amusement parks, I mean the style of park originating in the 1800s and early 1900s with things like pay-per-ride; typically located by the seaside or in major city centres. I might be looking for a different word to "old-style", to be fair.


Hyper Poster
I would've said Liseberg but I'm uncertain since even though it's from that era and has a ticket-based system it's very modern in feel and atmosphere.

Tivoli Gardens fits the bill of "old school" perfectly though.


Giga Poster
Tivoli was first in my head.
Blackpool is also a good shout.

Feel like a lot of other 'old' places rely too much on the old rides being the signature attraction and don't invest well into the modern side of the industry, leaving them all feeling a bit 'meh'.


Strata Poster
Cedar Point opened in 1870 but it's about as modern an amusement park you could get.

I'll say Knoebels. It has the nice old style charm, older style rides (some of which are actually great), but also is willing to invest in some new stuff without going over the top.


Strata Poster
I think I'm going to go with Tibidabo. I loved that place, got the proper old-school feel when there. Also the location is pretty much second to none. Fair shout to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and I really need to get my ass to Scandi. I'm sure I'd love the likes of Grona Lund, Liseberg or Tivoli Gardens. :)

Edward M

Strata Poster
The lovely Knoebels is the clear runaway winner here, for me at least. However, as I think about the amount of old style parks in America, I realize just how poor our collection is, especially when compared to the European offerings. It seems places like Knoebels or Santa Cruz Boardwalk are becoming harder and harder to find.

Matt N

Strata Poster
Santa Cruz Boardwalk intrigues me; it always wins Best Seaside Park in the GTAs, but it doesn't seem to have as wide of a ride lineup as some other seaside parks. What is it that makes people like it more?

Youngster Joey

Strata Poster
Not to rub @Youngster Joey's Rochester boner, but Seabreeze was/is bloody lovely.

Grona Lund, Tivoli Gardens, Blackpool, all good shouts too, mind.
Which is funny enough in itself as I really actually hate Rochester quite a bit, but Seabreeze is a wonderful classic park with a ton of classic and nostalgic memories for me so that's a pretty easy winner in my book.

Knoebels and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk also get shoutouts, enjoyed my time at both and both just happen to still have brass ring carousels which are just strictly the best carousels around.


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Waldameer has a pretty soft spot for me, especially after rebuilding Ravine Flyer. They are not a park on quick expansion any time soon (quite the opposite), and still is treated as a casual afternoon out with the kids by locals, versus destination park.


Mega Poster
Liseberg/ Grona/ Tivoli - each one started out as a traditional amusement park and subsequently made a few impressive investments, while retaining the traditional feel.
Tivoli is probably the nicest


Giga Poster
Santa Cruz Boardwalk intrigues me; it always wins Best Seaside Park in the GTAs, but it doesn't seem to have as wide of a ride lineup as some other seaside parks. What is it that makes people like it more?
GTAs surely just means it won in the category of 'more people know it by name, specifically in the USA'.
I didn't like the place and can't see how it would compete with most of the other mentions here.


Hyper Poster
My favourite 2 are Blackpool Pleasure Beach & Tivoli Gardens for different reasons.

BPB - A tacky national treasure chocked full of rides of all types. Been visiting the place since I was a youngster so you can't help but love it.

Tivoli - A well crafted amusement park, in a great central location which I think gives it a unique ambience. Has everything on point, aside from the ride line-up. Rutschebanen is fab but BPB definitely wins on line-up, which isn't usually something I'd say.

Really want to get Liseberg and Grona Lund done as they both look like they've struck a perfect balance between great ride line-up and historic charm.