While in the midst of the fun and excitement of a theme park, it’s hard to imagine it closing. Ineffective business plans, lack of profit, and natural disasters are just some of the reasons amusement parks might go out of business. And when these businesses do close their doors, it usually leads to demolition or an extreme lack of landscaping and vandalism.
Letting nature run wild can lead to some beautifully creepy results when some of humankind’s most intricate inventions become one with their surroundings. In most cases, it’s against the law to trespass on these properties, but it is completely legal to live vicariously through these images of them.
10 Land of Oz
The Land of Oz sits atop Beech Mountain in NC and there’s no place like it. The park operated for ten years from 1970-1980 with sights and attractions based on L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books.
Most of the year the property remains abandoned with a witch’s castle, trees with faces, and an aged yellow brick road winding up the mountain. Trespassing in the park is forbidden, but The Land of Oz usually opens its gates a few weekends out of the year for events.
9 Dinosaur World
Guests of Dinosaur World used to be able to travel back in time to the prehistoric time of dinosaurs and cavemen. Located in Beaver, AR this park was in operation from 1967-2005 and at one point it went by the name Land of Kong to pay homage to the park’s 40-foot-tall model of the ape.
Hold onto your butts because what originally started out as a collection of a few life-size dinosaur models eventually evolved into the home of around 100 of these statues. A sign that greets guests at the park which is now overgrown with foliage reads, “We accept no responsibility for those eaten.”
8 Williams Grove Amusement Park
Williams Grove was once home to several rollercoasters, funhouses, and water slides, but nowadays it is overrun by untamed plants and vandalism. It had been open to the public from 1850-2005 and closed in part due to flood damage caused by Hurricane Agnes.
The park was never demolished and many of the rusted remains of attractions can still be found on the property today. As of 2019, there doesn’t appear to be any plans to resurrect the park, but the land has hosted Halloween events in recent years.
7 Dogpatch USA
Dogpatch USA used to be a theme park operating out of northwest Arkansas. It had a theme based on the town from the Al Capp comic strip Lil’ Abner. The park opened in 1968 and closed in 1993 because it had acquired too much debt to continue to operate.
Since its closing, the park has been sold multiple times in hopes of revival and was even the subject of a documentary. None of the park’s comeback attempts have been successful so far, so the land is still overrun with plants and wildlife to this day, appearing as a shell of its former glory.
6 Six Flags, New Orleans
Six Flags, New Orleans had only been open for five years when Hurricane Katrina struck the area in August 2005. The storm devastated the park and submerged it an estimated 20 feet of water that took over a month to drain. After that, the park was closed without plans to open again.
Despite attempts to revive the park, it is still closed today and has yet to be demolished. Images from people who have gotten into the park reveal the deserted and decaying structures surrounded by overgrown plants and infested wildlife.
5 Rose Island
Little remains of the former Rose Island amusement park that once stood near Charlestown, IN. From 1923 to 1937, the island was home to a roller coaster, racing derby, a steamboat, along with a few other attractions back in its heyday.
The 1937 Flood and economic troubles during the Great Depression both played a part in Rose Island’s closure. Too much damage had occurred to feasibly repair the park and continue operation. The park’s served as the home of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant for some time and today it is part of Charlestown State Park.
4 Chippewa Lake Park
Standing from 1872 to 1978, Chippewa Lake Park in Northeast Ohio now appears neglected and in a state of decay. After 100 years of operation, competition from parks like Cedar Point and Geauga Lake put them out of business. However, most of the attractions were left standing.
The land was eventually bought, but the plans to build on the land never came to fruition. Today the park has become one with nature. Trees have grown through the Ferris wheel and rollercoaster, rides have rusted, and buildings have collapsed.
3 Santa Claus, Arizona
What was a jolly tourist attraction along Arizona’s Route 93 is now a small, abandoned town. The vandalized and rotting remains sit between mile markers 57 and 58. Between its opening in 1937 and the closing of its last gift shop in 1995, the roadside attraction brought Santa’s home to life in the middle of a desert.
It was an especially popular location for kids to send of their Christmas lists and meet Santa himself. Visitors today can find Christmas-themed buildings tagged with graffiti, a wishing well, and the remaining parts of a train ride.
2 Bushkill Park
Bushkill Park in Easton, PA was a children’s amusement park that was open for just over 100 years. Between 1902 and 2004 the land was home to bumper cars, carousels, a funhouse, and other attractions.
When Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 so many attractions were damaged that the park didn’t open the following summer. More flooding and damage the following years closed the Bushkill as people knew it for good. In recent years it has been known to open on weekends for ice skating, birthday parties, and line dancing, with plans in place to reopen more of the park.
1 Pleasure Beach
Located on a Connecticut peninsula between Bridgeport and Stratford, the thriving beachfront community around Pleasure Beach is now home to more birds than humans. Starting in 1892 the land had served as entertainment to the locals, but a fire in 1996 severed the accessibility to the mainland, forcing residents to relocate.
Accessibility was brought back to the beach when water taxis started operating in 2014. There are operable bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a concession stand. Many parts of the community have been demolished, but there are still remnants of the former life the area once was home to.