There is nothing eerier than an abandoned amusement park. Where children’s giggles and laughter once filled the air, has now become reclaimed by mother nature. The colorful Ferris wheels that created everlasting memories are now nothing more than decaying structures that offer shelter for other species of the animal kingdom. These misfortunes happen for a variety of reasons, including natural disasters, economic circumstances, human tragedies, superstition, or bankruptcy. In this article, we will explore the top 10 creepiest abandoned theme parks around the world.
Location: New Orleans, USA
Active Years: April 12, 2003 – August 21, 2005
The 140-acre Six Flags amusement theme park located in New Orleans was one of the most popular parks until it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Post Katrina, many initiatives were planned to restore the park, but lack of funding for its repairs ultimately resulted in the park being completely abandoned. After 15 years, the park still stands as an apocalyptic setting with the entrance sign still stating ‘Closed for storm.’ Although the park has outlived its initial purpose, Hollywood has begun using the park as a background setting for filming famous movies like Jurassic World, Deepwater Horizon, and many more.
Boblo Island Amusement Park
Location: Bois Blanc Island, Ontario, Canada
Active Years: 1898 – September 30, 1993
Located just above the Detroit River, Michigan and Detroit residents used to frequently visit this amusement park to relax and have fun. Previously referred to as the Coney Island of the region, the park is now nothing but a pile of tattered metals. The rising cost of maintenance and poor management caused the park to permanently close on September 30, 1993. Once filled with the sound of laughter, the only sound you will hear today is the eerie wind whistling all around you.
Location: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Active Years: 1997 – 2001
This short-lived, theme park was built near Japan’s famous Mount Fiji. Based on the renowned novel Gulliver’s Travels, one of the amusement park’s main attractions was the 147 ft. statue of the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, being tied down to the ground. Due to the park’s close proximity to Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’ called Aokigahara and former religious cult headquarters known as Aum Shinrikyo, the theme park had poor ticket sales. Although the park closed after only four years and has remained abandoned since, daring trespassers get a strange feeling that they are not alone in the park.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Active Years: 1969 – 2002
In 1969, this amusement park was opened in East Germany. As the only theme park in both East and West Berlin, it attracted up to 1.5 million visitors annually at its peak. Following the German reunification, the park prospered for some time. As debts and international conflicts of interest continued to increase, however, the park was forced to shut down in 2002. The park’s iconic red Ferris wheel that was once a top-rated attraction is now nothing more than a rusted structure to remember the park’s glory days by.
Pripyat Amusement Park
Location: Pripyat, Chernobyl, Ukraine
Active Years: 1986
This is perhaps one of the most famous abandoned theme parks in the world. The park was set to open on May 1, 1986, but a few days prior on April 26, the greatest nuclear disaster ever recorded in human history occurred in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant just a few kilometers away. Although the park briefly opened for a few hours on April 27, a government order was promptly issued to evacuate the entire area. This prompted the park to be fully shut down before it formally opened and has remained abandoned since. The park’s iconic attractions have now become a grim reminder of fatal misfortune.
Dunblobbin, Crinkley Bottom Theme Park
Location: Somerset, England, UK
Active Years: 1994 – 1996
Located in Somerset, England, this theme park was created as the first in a series of Crinkley Bottom theme parks across the UK. Based on a popular BBC television series that took place in a fictional village called Crinkley Bottom, this theme park was abandoned after the rest of the park was renovated into a hotel and wildlife park. Left to rot over the years, this theme park has spurred ghostly rumors among many ghost-enthusiasts.
Location: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
Active Years: November 19, 1984 – February 17, 2008
The capital of India houses an abandoned theme park called Appu Ghar, which operated for more than two decades. The park name was chosen based on its elephant mascot called ‘Appu,’ and ‘Ghar’ that means home in Hindi. As a result of the land being allocated for government use, the theme park was closed for good in 2008.
Atlantis Marine Park
Location: Perth, Australia
Active Years: 1981 – August 1990
Atlantis Marine Park was built in the small fishing town of Two Rocks, 60 kilometers north of Perth. This amusement park was known for its live dolphin shows and pedal boat rides, among other water-based attractions. As a result of the 1987 stock market crash and subsequent financial difficulties, the park authorities closed the park down in August 1990.
Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Active Years: 1989 – 1999
The now-abandoned Encore Garden theme park was built in Taichung’s outskirts. Bringing in millions of visitors during its heyday, people were drawn to its iconic attractions. Some of Encore Garden’s top attractions such as the Water Flume, the Gardens, and the Amphitheater stand as some of the lone structural survivors of the Jiji earthquake that hit central Taiwan in 1999. The subsequent damage resulted in costly mechanical repairs that became too much to bear. With heavy hearts, the theme park was permanently closed in 1999.
Location: Nara City, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Active Years: July 1, 1961 – August 31, 2006
Returning to Japan, the Nara Dreamland theme park was one of the most famous parks across the globe. Conceived by Japanese businessman Kunizo Matsuo, Mr. Matsuo worked closely with Walt Disney to ensure the theme park closely resembled Disneyland located in Anaheim, California. In 1983, Nara Dreamland experienced competition when Tokyo Disneyland opened. Since people were more interested in visiting an official Disney park, Nara Dreamland’s attendance began to decline. In 2001, Tokyo DisneySea and Universal Studios Japan also opened – resulting in a further decline for Nara Dreamland. As a result of plummeting attendance and cash flow, Nara Dreamland’s attractions visibly worsened by 2004. On August 31, 2006, the park was closed to the public and sadly remained abandoned until it was demolished in October 2016.
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