Thinking about amusement parks, we usually imagine crowds of visitors, bunches of laughing children running here and there, interesting attractions, and cool rides that take your breath away. And we never really think about the amusement parks that used to have it all, but at some point, they were abandoned for one reason or another and finally forgotten. In these parks, all we can see are the roller-coasters and rides covered in rust, moss, and spider web. Plants and trees are growing all over them, because nature always finds its way, and there is no laughter of joyful kids, but only silence all around.
However, deserted amusement parks still have their charm. They attract the attention of photographers, who are into making mysterious and ghostly shots on the background of deserted attractions. Some of these parks even become the venues for different festivals and other events that make use of their supernatural atmosphere.
Besides, having a walk around an abandoned amusement park, one can finally grasp how fleeting our lives are. One moment, you are here, strong and successful, as these parks in the peak of their popularity, and at the next moment, everything can change. Understanding this simple truth teaches us to value life much more and enjoy every moment of it.
So are you ready to take a look at the changing nature of things in the images of deserted amusement parks?
24 Germany: Spreepark in Berlin
Spreepark, located near the River Spree in Berlin, started operating in 1969. Back then, it was the only amusement park in East Germany, so it was really popular, attracting 1.5 million visitors every year. But decades later the attendance dropped and the park eventually closed in 2002, leaving most of the rides in need of massive renovation and the park owners - with huge debts.
But, even though the park doesn't function as an amusement park these days, it still has its share of visitors, who come here to see the ghostly sights and even arrange a performance.
23 USA: Six Flags Theme Park in New Orleans, Louisiana
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of New Orleans and washed away the Six Flags Theme Park, among a number of other places. The water level in the park reached 6 feet at some point and remained stagnant for a few weeks. It's no wonder that it destroyed most of the park's equipment and rides.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, it was decided that restoring the park would be too expensive and it was closed. Now the remains of Six Flags are still standing, rides are slowly decaying, and plants are growing all over the place.
22 Brazil: Cidade Albanoel in Itaguai
Who wants to have a creepy little Christmas? Come to Cidade Albanoel in Itaguai, Brazil, because you probably won't find another place like it in the whole world! But don't take your kids with you, as you don't want to make them Santa-phobic!
Anyway, Cidade Albanoel was once intended to become the largest amusement park in Brazil. The idea of this park was conceived by beloved Brazilian politician Antonio Albano Reis. It had to have a number of attractions, including a Christmas village, water slides and a replica Old West town. But one day Reis tragically died in a car accident right near the entrance and the park was closed shortly after it.
21 USA: Disney World's River Park in Orlando, Florida
In 1976, Disney World's first water park opened in Orlando, Florida. It was called Disney River Country and, at first, it was a rather popular park. But later, when other water parks, such as Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach started operating, its attendance dwindled. In 2001, it was decided to shut River Country down, at least until there was "enough guest demand" to reopen it.
Since Disney didn't demolish the park but left it to deteriorate, now it has a rather creepy appearance and attracts a completely different kind of visitors.
20 Ukraine: Pripyat Amusement Park
Pripyat was the town that suffered the most from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. In the year of the devastating nuclear accident, it was abandoned and eventually turned into a ghost town. So it's obvious that its amusement park is also deserted and given into the rightful hands of Mother Nature.
It's interesting that the Pripyat Amusement Park was supposed to open four days after the explosion, but the fate made it impossible. So the park, even though completely ready, never welcomed any visitors to check out its attractions. These days, only occasional tour groups come here to explore the rides covered in rust.
19 USA: Enchanted Forest Playland in Toledo, Ohio
The Enchanted Forest Playland in Ohio doesn't really look enchanted now, because it was closed more than a decade ago.
Let's look into the brief history of the park. In 2000, amateur builder R.W. Bishop bought 14 acres of land in North Toledo and turned it into an amusement park called Enchanted Forest Playland. But, despite his hopes, the park had to close only 5 years later due to low attendance and it left the owner in a huge debt. The remaining equipment of the park is still on sale.
18 South Korea: Okpo Land in Okpo-dong
Okpo Land in Okpo-dong was once very popular, but in 1999 it was shut down due to a number of fatal accidents. A duck-themed ride from the photo above was a cause of at two fatalities in the park and then the owner of the park mysteriously disappeared to never be found. Shortly after it, the park closed and was left to decay.
Everything is left in Okpo Land as it was on the day of closure. Only in 2011, the park began to be demolished to build a hotel on its site.
17 USA: Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas
The Joyland Amusement Park once was the largest theme park in Central Kansas and a home to one of the remaining original wooden coasters. But now it's nothing but ruins. Let's see what happened there.
The park opened its doors for visitors in 1949 and over the decade's several families and corporations owned it up until the year 2004 when an accident happened on the park's Ferris wheel. A 13-year-old girl fell 30 feet from the wheel and received a serious injury. To allow the investigation of the incident, the park had to close, but it never reopened.
16 Japan: Kejonuma Leisure Land in Tohoku
Opened in 1979, Kejonuma Leisure Land in Tohoku attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors annually at the peak of its popularity. It had an amusement park, a campsite, and a driving range. But later, the number of visitors started declining and in 2000 the park eventually closed.
Now the deserted park is in complete decay. Its Ferris wheel that once was a favorite thing of many visitors is covered in rust and its merry-go-round rides look nothing but creepy. Besides, according to rumors, the place is haunted and at least one ghost dwells there, so few people dare to come to the park these days.
15 USA: Dogpatch USA in Marble Falls, Arkansas
Dogpatch USA opened its doors in 1968. Its theme was based on Li’l Abner, a comic strip created by Al Capp. Set in a fictional town of Dogpatch, it became really popular in the first years of its existence. In 1972, the park was bought out and turned into a winter sports complex, with an intention to make it even more successful.
But, following a series of unusually warm winters and the end of the comic series, Dogpatch lost its popularity and its profits dramatically decreased. In 1980, it was declared bankrupt and in 1993 it was finally closed.
14 Australia: the Magic Kingdom in Sydney
The Magic Kingdom was a small amusement park in Sydney that started operating in the 1970s. It didn't have a large territory, but it featured quite a few attractions for the amusement of its visitors. Among other things, Magic Kingdom had 15 rides, 2 open-water slides, a picnic area with barbecue facilities, and petrol-powered mini-boats on a lake.
For a prolonged period of time, the park was quite popular, but then it became obsolete and struggled to remain viable. As of May 2014, Magic Kingdom closed its doors for visitors and now it's supposedly under redevelopment. Hopefully, it'll open again one day.
13 USA: Fun Spot Amusement Park in Indiana
The Fun Spot Amusement Park in Indiana was one of the small entertainment venues that became predecessors of larger theme parks as we know them today. This park was opened in 1956 and, for the most part, its aim was to let tourists explore the lakes of Indiana. After several years, the Fun Spot got bigger and more developed. It had a large number of attractions, including the Matterhorn ride, a waterpark, and a zoo.
But it all didn't save the park from an eventual failure. In 2008, 52 years after opening, Fun Spot shut down due to "the economy."
12 Belgium: Dadipark
Dadipark in Belgium began as a church playground in the 1950s and in the 1980s it was turned into an amusement park. At first, it was very popular and about a million people visited it at the peak of its fame. But then, a disaster happened - in 2000, a child was seriously injured on one of the rides and in two years Dadipark shut down.
According to the official reason, the park was closed due to renovation works, but, since it never reopened, it makes us doubt that it was the truth. Now Dadipark is deserted and, although it attracts visitors in its own right, its rides will soon be demolished and a residential area will be built on the site.
11 USA: Holy Land USA in Waterbury, Connecticut
Built-in 1940 by John Baptist Greco, Holy Land USA was a theme park inspired by bible passages. Its attractions included the Garden of Eden, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and more. The park became quite popular and attracted a number of visitors.
Things began to change in 1984 when Greco closed the park for renovation. Two years after it he died and the improvements were never completed. Even though a group of nuns was supposed to take care of the park after Greco's demise, they stopped maintaining it and it quickly became deserted.
10 China: Wonderland in Chenzhuang Village
Wonderland in Chenzhuang Village, not far from Beijing, was supposed to be the largest amusement park in Asia. But it never received this title, because the park didn't even get a chance to open its doors for visitors. Its development was stopped as a result of a political corruption scandal and disagreements over property prices.
So now all we can see is a creepy skeleton of that was supposed to be an amusement park that attracts only local kids, who want to explore it, as well as photographers, who want to capture its eerie beauty.
9 USA: Hobbiton USA in Phillipsville, California
It's easy to guess that Hobbiton USA was based on the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" books written by J.R.R. Tolkien. This park, built in the mid-1970s, featured a short nature walk that took its visitors through the story about Bilbo Baggins' adventures and presented the key characters and scenes here and there. Each one of them had a voice box that would tell part of the story to visitors if they pushed a button.
Unfortunately, Hobbiton USA closed in 2009 and the American version of Middle Earth started slowly decaying, but it still attracts some of the fans of Tolkien.
8 Japan: Nara Dreamland Park in Nara
In the 1960s, Nara Dreamland was opened as an Asian "answer to Disneyland". The park was inspired by the owner's trip to the United States and had a number of California-style features.
At first, Nara Dreamland was quite popular, but due to the opening of Universal Studios Japan the number of visitors dropped and the park was shut down in 2006. It remained deserted for 10 years and started resembling a "Nightmare-land" rather than Dreamland, due to its rusty rides and decaying structures. In 2016 demolition of the park began to build something else on the site.
7 USA: The Land of Oz Theme Park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina
The Land of Oz theme park in North Carolina was opened in 1970. You might assume that it was eventually closed due to a twister. It would be an interesting turn of events, but the reality was different. The park was closed in 1980 following the death of its owner and a fire that destroyed the Emerald City.
Now, the Land of Oz is shut down, but it's not completely abandoned. Since it's a very beautiful park, a lot of local events are held there, including the annual Autumn in Oz festival.
6 Japan: Gulliver’s Kingdom in Kamikuishiki
You can certainly guess that Gulliver's Kingdom was a theme park based on Jonathan Swift's classic tale. Opened in 1997, it featured a huge 147-foot statue of Lemuel Gulliver tied to the ground by the tiny Lilliputians. Visitors of the park were supposed to play on this statue, but, instead, they were frightened by it.
But the off-putting Gulliver wasn't the only thing that led to the attendance drop. The park's location wasn't the most favorable one, as well, as it was close to Aokigarah, also known as the "Suicide Forest", and to the village that was home to the infamous Aum Shinrikyo cult.
5 USA: Miracle Strip in Panama City, Florida
What do you think about an amusement park built right across the street from the beach? I bet you think it's a great location that'll bring success to it. This is what the owners of Miracle Strip in Panama City thought when they opened their venue in 1963. The park quickly became popular, but when Panama City turned into a spring break hot spot, its attendance gradually declined.
In 2004 Miracle Strip closed its doors and many of its attractions either disappeared or were moved to other locations.