If you’re a thrill seeker or general roller coaster enthusiast, there’s a good chance you’ve been to a theme park or two in your lifetime. However, what would it take for you to visit a theme park that’s been abandoned? You wouldn’t find any food stands or operating rollercoasters, but you would have an unforgettable experience.
It should be noted that not every abandoned park in this article is necessarily haunted by ghosts—sorry to disappoint. However, they are guaranteed to haunt any visitor with their eery visuals and spooky stories. Indeed, in this article, we’ll go through ten former amusement parks where resounding screams have been replaced with numbing silence; enchanting colors with unsettling paleness, and feelings of comfort with a sense of cold dread.
So, sit back and keep a pen and paper close, as any of these could be a contender for your next travel destination.
This abandoned amusement park located in Berlin, Germany, was first opened in 1969. Although Spreepark prospered following the reunification of Germany, mounting debts forced the park to close down in 2002. Today, old rides that once provided entertainment and thrills, such as the iconic red Ferris wheel, now stand as eery oxidized structures fit to frighten any trespassers after sunset
9 Atlantis Marine Park
Opened in 1981. the Atlantis Marine Park attracted tourists from around the world to a small town called Two Rocks in Perth, Australia. The park enticed visitors with a variety of water-based features, including live dolphin shows and pedal boat rides. However, financial difficulties following the 1987 stock market crash forced the park to close after just nine years. Once home to cetaceans and transfixed tourists, the abandoned park now serves as a home for vandals and plant life.
8 Pripyat Amusement Park
The Pripyat Amusement Park in Ukraine was on course to kick the summer of 1986 off with a bang. The park featured a 26 meter high Ferris wheel, bumper carts, swing boats, and more. However, although there was indeed a bang, it wasn’t the kind the Soviet Union was planning for. The Chernobyl Disaster struck just a few kilometers away and forced the park to close before the grand opening. The park exists today as a dark symbol of the nuclear disaster. Those daring to sneak into the ghost park should be warned that radioactive particles are reported to still persist around the area to this day.
7 Six Flags New Orleans
This theme park in New Orleans was at one time world-renowned for its rides, including the Mega Zeph rollercoaster and SpongeBob SquarePants ride. Unfortunately, the park was forced to close in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Today the surreal setting is something out of a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Rumour has it people still sneak into the park to feast their eyes on decapitated clown heads floating in the mud and fantasize about zombie invasions.
6 Chippewa Lake Amusement Park
Located in Ohio, the Chippewa Lake Amusement Park used to entertain guests with a number of rides, including rollercoasters, flying cafes, a carousel, and a Ferris wheel. However, exactly 100 years after opening, the park was forced to close in 1978 due to poor management and lack of attendance. Forty years on, the desolate park is a spooky jungle of overgrown shrubs feeding on moribund wood and scrap metal.
Located in Antwerp, Belgium, Dadipark aimed to provide experiences for families that were affordable and unforgettable. Unfortunately for one young boy, his unforgettable experience involved him losing an arm while riding on the Nautic Jet Ride. Following fierce backlash from visitors which included complaints about other safety concerns, the park closed down in 2002. Today, not much is left at the abandoned park other than ruined equipment and a chilling atmosphere. Plans are reportedly underway to transform the park into a new recreation area. However, will any renovations be enough to eradicate the horrific memories of the past?
4 Williams Grove Amusement Park
The Williams Grove Amusement Park in Pennsylvania boasts a long history, having operated for over a century from 1850 to 2005. Despite closing, plenty of aged equipment continues to haunt the abandoned property. In fact, the desolate park was considered so creepy that the owners decided to re-open it for one night only in 2016 on Halloween.
3 Boblo Island
It was once normal to hear spine-chilling shrieks at the Boblo Island Amusement Park. Guests would fly up and down the tall Space Needle ride and be flung from side to side on the Screamer. Today, however, all you can hear is the eery whispers of the wind as it brushes past tattered metal. Indeed, all that’s left at the abandoned park on Bois Blanc Island are the scattered remains of rides that were left behind after it’s closure in 1993.
2 Gulliver's Kingdom Amusement Park
Located in the shadow of Mount Fiji in Japan, this unique theme park was designed drawing inspiration from the 18th-century story Gulliver's Travels. The park is famous for featuring a 147 foot-long statue of Lemuel Gulliver, the main character from the novel, tied down to the ground. The park shut down in 2001 after just four years due to poor ticket sales. It’s expected one of the reasons for the closure is due to the park’s close proximity to the Aokigarah Forest, Japan’s infamous “suicide forest.” Despite being demolished in 2007, the grounds still feature odd structures that give trespassers the feeling that they’re not alone in the park.
1 River Country Waterpark
Opened in Orlando in 1976, River Country was Walt Disney’s first waterpark. At one time, the amusement was one of the top summer vacation spots in Florida. However, due to lack of demand, the park closed in 2001 and never reopened. For 19 years, the site has been abandoned, with many rides left to battle corrosion and plant life. The park won’t be vacant forever though, as it was announced earlier this year that the grounds will be redeveloped into a new nature-themed resort to be complete by 2020. If you want to try your hand and exploring the spooky mess before it’s too late, you better act quickly.