Separation vs. dependence

The second dialectic is between the theme parks trying to separate from their surroundings yet maintain dependency on the territory where they are located. The parks are inherently insular spaces with clear markings between the space of leisure and everyday life (Davis, 1997; Didier, 2002). One of the main characteristics of theme parks is that they are designed as enclosed spaces with controlled guest access (Anton Clave, 2007). They are invented spaces (Pinggong, 2013) that are built from scratch as an imaginary world, or as fantasized elsewhere. This invented space is expressed in the closure of the park and is staged and supported by discourses that reinforce a separation from their surroundings that leaves no ambiguity between a space of leisure and a space of daily consumption.

The importance of the staging separates the consumer space from the production space. Indeed, behind the invented space, where the visitor experiences the theme park, is a whole set of social and material relations that produce and enable the theme park’s performance. These include labour relations, procurement, complementary companies, destination management organizations, development and maintenance of the road network, etc. While the invented space, where performance and consumption take place, is separated from the supporting environment, the production space is in relation to the outside world and is dependent on it for supplies, its workforce and infrastructure, including access roads.

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