Looking for fun? A grand place to start is an amusement park, since fun (of a momentary sort, anyway) is what these fantasy worlds are for.
Glittering lights, colorful crowds, quick thrills and all the tasty snack foods you can't resist. It's a family excursion, but don't let the youngsters have all the fun.
Among the world's most famous (and fun-filled) amusement parks:
*Disney World/Epcot, Orlando, Fla.: Two parks in one. Disney World is Mickey Mouse, home-town America and childhood dreams come to life. Neighboring Epcot, linked by the Monorail, is an entertaining peek into the near future.
*Tivoli Garden, Copenhagen: Tops for charm and beauty, this quaint gem of a park in the heart of the city delights with lovely gardens, bubbling fountains and miniature lakes. The rides are pleasantly tame (even the roller coaster), and the food and drink are excellent. It's one of the world's special places.
*Universal Studios Tour, Universal City, Calif.: Don't be misled, a visit to this hilltop movie studio is far more than a sightseeing look at Hollywood sound stages and sets. At any moment, you may be threatened by a flash flood, a collapsing bridge, a snapping shark or other filmland peril. And before you leave, you could become the star of the show.
*Opryland U.S.A., Nashville: The theme, as you might expect, is country music, but you will hear bluegrass and gospel and rock 'n' roll, performed in a variety of live shows. Thrill rides, street entertainment and plenty of southern food.
*The Prater, Vienna: A park for film buffs who remember "The Third Man," the movie in which the Prater's Ferris wheel (the Riesenrad) stars with Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. The towering wheel with its 14 red cabins, built in 1897, overlooks the broad lawns and shaded walks of a former hunting and riding park, only a short walk from the heart of old Vienna.
*Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif: Overshadowed by nearby Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm is nevertheless prime Americana. Back in the '30s, the Knotts got their start growing boysenberries and selling chicken dinners and berry pies. Over the years the farm became a giant amusement park with a Ghost Town, Camp Snoopy for youngsters, thrill rides and big-name shows. But chicken and pie remain on the menu.