In the face of a recession, amusement parks change their tune


Once upon a time, amusement parks were simple. Their sole measure of success was how fun they were, and as long as they continued to update the rides, minimize food poisoning, and keep their admission prices from becoming too insane, they were almost guaranteed a steady influx of visitors.

Over the past few months, however, amusement parks have become a tougher sell. After all, when thrill-seekers in search of heart palpitations need look no further than their 401(K) statements, it's not easy to convince them to lay out huge amounts of money to spend the day among wailing children, overpriced fast food, and costumed entertainers that all too often reek of cheese and sweat.