Amusement Parks

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It doesn't matter whether you grew up going to Coney Island, Six Flags, or Pacific Park — to a kid, all amusement parks are magical. This hour we take a trip to the land of funnel cake, freak shows and fast rides.

Ferris wheel
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At one point there were more than 1,500 amusement parks across America. Historian Lauren Rabinovitz says they helped ease the country into a period of rapid technological change.More

Length: 
10:57
Coney Island
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Writer Leslie Parry describes what Coney Island would have sounded like during its heyday 100 years ago.More

Length: 
1:40
Fire eating
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For decades, Todd Robbins has been entertaining audiences with his sideshow act, first at Coney Island and later with several off-Broadway shows. He demonstrated a few tricks of his trade.More

Length: 
11:59
roller coaster
Sonic Sidebar

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modelled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.More

Length: 
3:49
Magic Kingdom
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John Jeremiah Sullivan reads an abridged version of his essay, "You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey!" about getting high at Disney World.More

Length: 
10:44
Walt Disney
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Cultural anthropologist Scott A. Lukas describes the history and cultural significance of theme parks such as Disney World.More

Length: 
11:49
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Show Details 📻
Airdates
May 17, 2015
August 26, 2017
May 26, 2018
Last Updated: 
2 months 3 weeks ago