The Role of Horticulture in Theme Parks

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University of Delaware
Horticulture in theme parks has taken many roles since the earliest days of the amusement industry. These roles have included pleasure gardens in which other attractions were set, exhibits at world's fairs and incidental attractions used to fill in spaces between attractions. In the modern-day theme park, horticulture has taken on new roles. The horticulture is designed to entertain through themeing and public horticulture programs are designed to entertain through education. Theme park horticulturists are now beginning to understand the importance of the horticulture and the design of the gardens in creating moods complementary to the themed attraction it surrounds. Numerous theme parks have created gardens that have become attractions worthy of their own merit. Theme parks have also been exploring the opportunities available in educational programming in recent years; however, widespread program development to promote the horticulture as its own attraction has advanced very slowly. This thesis addresses the evolution of horticulture in theme parks, identifies current horticultural practices of case study theme parks. The role of public horticulture in theme parks will be presented along with recommendations to demonstrate to theme parks how they may promote their own programs.
Horticulture, Theme parks, Amusement parks, History- public garden