There’s something thrilling about abandoned theme parks. It’s like wandering through an abandoned house, with all the belongings of the previous inhabitants still intact. If you like to see some quieter, creepier attractions when you’re on holiday, one of these forgotten amusement parks might fit the bill. You’ll see gaudy signs and rides being reclaimed by the natural world and hear the ghostly giggles of all the children who will never giggle there again. And you’ll also get some amazing photographs that will be different to the photos that everyone else brings home from their holiday.
10. Encore Garden
Encore Garden was built in 1981 and become immensely popular amongst the locals. It built a solid reputation as a fun place to visit. Unfortunately, that reputation was ruined in an event that shocked the whole of Taiwan. In 1999, Taichung City suffered through a massive earthquake, known locally as 921 earthquake. More than 2, 400 people were killed, and the amusement park was badly damaged. It did reopen, but many of the attractions were ruined and too expensive to fix, especially in the face of the billions of dollars that the city itself needed. So eventually the park became one of the most chilling abandoned theme parks in Taiwan.
The park is now an eerie, overgrown garden, with sunken cars and nightmarish Chinese opera masks glaring out of the rubble. When you visit, you need to pick your way through the long grass and brush to uncover rides and attractions that are covered over like the relics of a forgotten civilization. It really makes for an otherworldly experience, and one that’s not to be missed if you’re a fan of abandoned theme parks.
9. Gulliver’s Kingdom
In Yamanashi in Japan there is an enormous, decaying man in one of the creepiest abandoned theme parks around. The park was first built in 1997 and was closed by the owners four years later due to low visitor numbers. It was based on the book Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, and that’s part of what makes it so chilling. There’s also the fact that there’s what looks like the body of a man in agony on the grass.
The park contains everything you could want from abandoned theme parks, from rides to colorful attractions. But the best one is an enormous Gulliver statue, left to decay on the ground like a huge corpse. The agonized expression on the statue’s face gives it a morbid, disturbing feel that’s echoed in the rest of the park. If it weren’t so huge, you would really believe that the statue was a corpse left behind to rot.
8. The Land Of Oz
The Land of Oz is a unique theme park and one of the strangest abandoned theme parks around. It was inspired by the Wizard of Oz and is located in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. The park was first opened in 1970, and it was popular at first. However, the number of visitors dropped off gradually until the park was nearly completely deserted. Then a fire in 1975 was the final straw, leading to the park’s abandonment.
There’s something spooky about seeing rotting rides and attractions, especially when they’re made familiar by their connection to the famous children’s stories. That’s why the park still opens a few days a year around Halloween, for visitors who want to explore the park at the spookiest time of year.
7. Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland is located near the city of Nara in Japan and is still oddly beautiful. Colored in soft pinks and blues, it looks great in photos and is one of the most photographed abandoned theme parks in the world. It’s also surrounded by lush, rolling hills and from a distance could still be operating. But the park has actually been abandoned for several years now.
The park was originally built in the 1960s and was abandoned in 2006 when its popularity dropped too far. Everything in the park has been left as it was, which means that it’s like a cotton candy world that’s turned to rot. The park was originally inspired by Disneyland in California, which makes its decaying rides and worlds feel creepily familiar, like a dream turned into a nightmare.
6. Crinkley Bottom Theme Park
Mr Blobby was a character on a popular 90s television show. The show inspired one of the most haunted abandoned theme parks in the world, at least according to the stories. The Crinkley Bottom theme park, also known as Blobbyland, was based on the world of the show and particularly on one of the characters. It was located in Cricket St Thomas, where a wildlife park and a country estate already stood. The theme park itself was built in and around the original occupants of the land. The main attraction in the park was a themed house known as Dunblobbin.
A year after it was created, the creator Noel Edmonds withdrew his support. The attractions remained in place for a year with some changes but were later removed. The wildlife park remained and was rebranded and Dunblobbin’ was closed and sealed off. Part of the park was later renovated and turned into a hotel, but then rumors started about the ghosts who haunted the site. Most of the people who now visit the park are ghost-hunters looking to get the creepiest shot of something supernatural wandering the once whimsical grounds.
5. Six Flags New Orleans
Six Flags in New Orleans is one of the saddest and most sobering abandoned theme parks in the world. It’s a terrifying reminder of the power of mother nature and the fragility of everything that is made by man. The park first opened in 2000 but it didn’t last long. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit, tearing the park and the city to shreds. The sad, decaying rides and attractions that were left behind seem to carry some of the sadness and grief of that storm and all those who died. It now remains as a symbol of who and what were lost.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough money to fix the park, so it remains in the state that the storm left it. Walking through the park is like seeing a city after the apocalypse, and films have used the site to convey this idea as well. Be careful when you visit this site as it’s filled with ruined rides and signs. It would be very easy to get hurt here, and this area doesn’t need any more bloodshed.
4. The Camelot Theme Park
Everyone knows the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. But not everyone knows that there’s a theme park based on that story. The park was built on land once covered by Martin Mere, once the largest lake in England. The lake was also known as the Lost Lake of Sir Lancelot and is an integral part of his family’s tale. But now, the park that sits on the site is just one of England’s abandoned theme parks.
Located in Lancashire England, the park incorporated many pseudo-medieval elements and had some amazing rides and roller coasters. It closed suddenly in 2012 because of poor ongoing weather conditions and dwindling visitor numbers. The popularity of nearby events like London 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee probably also had a part in its closure.
Some of the park’s roller coasters were relocated, but many of them remained. These days, it looks quite a bit like an old western ghost town, full of dark wood buildings that creak in the wind and empty pathways. It’s one of the best abandoned theme parks in England if you enjoy exploring such desolate places.
3. River Country
River Country is one of Walt Disney’s abandoned theme parks. It’s located along the shores of Bay Lake and near Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The park was inspired by old-fashioned swimming hole, giving it a natural, rugged air. It was very popular when it first opened in 1976, but that popularity didn’t last. The park closed in 2001 because of low visitor numbers.
This amusement park focused on water attractions and contained a range of now abandoned water rides. This includes things like slides, plunge pools, and white-water rapids. River Country is one of only two Disney parks that have closed permanently. Unfortunately, the park and what it contains may not be around much longer. In 2018, it was announced that a new hotel will soon be built on the site. So, if you’re interested in seeing one of Disney’s few abandoned theme parks, you’ll need to visit soon.
2. Okpo Land
This park used to be the most popular amusement park in Asia and now it’s one of the grisliest abandoned amusement parks. During the 90s, it attracted tourists from around the world because of its high-quality rides and attractions. There was a duck train, electric cars, and a giant circle as well as other exciting rides. And then, a series of macabre accidents started to occur, and everything went downhill fast.
It all centered around the duck train, a ride for children. It derailed, killing one person and seriously injuring others. The incident was mysteriously hushed up, with no apologies or explanations given. Then the train derailed again, killing a young girl and injuring other people. This turned out to be the last straw and the manager of the park disappeared soon after. The park was abandoned, with everything left as it had been on the day of the accident. This included the duck train, hanging precariously from its tracks where it had fallen.
This is a chilling park, especially when you go to see the duck train, with the cheerful yellow duck still hanging from the rails. It’s a reminder that it’s not all fun and games at amusement parks. Without careful maintenance, the results can be catastrophic.
1. Pripyat Amusement Park
Pripyat is one of the most famous abandoned theme parks in the world. Located in Chernobyl in the Ukraine, it was due to open in 1986. And then the nuclear disaster struck the power plant at Chernobyl a few days before the grand opening. After the disaster, the park at first was thought to be safe. But then radiation levels started to rise, and the park was abandoned.
Today, the park and its debris are sobering reminders of that tragedy. There hasn’t been much of an effort to clean up yet, there is so many bad feelings and associations with the park that it’s been left as a kind of memento of what happened. As a result, everything in the park is just disintegrating where it stands. The rides and attractions that aren’t falling apart are being slowly covered with mould as the natural world devours what men made. It’s hard not to hear the never voiced laughter of children, and the sobering cries of the disaster that left the park barren when you visit this park.
Theme parks can be bright and determinedly cheerful, but they can also be atmospheric and creepy. If you want a real thrill, then add some of these abandoned theme parks to your bucket list.