World's Strangest Theme Parks

"QUANTUM SHOT" #537 (rev)
Link - Article by Collins Paris and Avi Abrams

Sometimes the weirdest theme park you visit is your own work cubicle...

You might remember the "World Craziest Roller Coasters" article on DRB some time ago, and with recent years' economic shakedown a visit to a theme park may not be of utmost importance. Yet, borrowing from "Tomorrowland" movie trademark optimism, and remembering the good old times (with hope for a better future for theme parks) - here is a rundown of the most bizarre ones...

(left: "Science and Invention" magazine cover, 1924; right: "Wicked Twister" ride at Cedar Point, Ohio)

(water slide on the "Disney Dream" cruise ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet)

Is it really your fault that you're not amused any more?

"Theme-Parks-Gone-Bad" have long been a feature in dystopian science fiction, perhaps better summarized by this quote: "An amusement park on steroids, growing beyond all control, feeding on an unamused and increasingly terrified public. Increasing in complexity by the hour until it has developed a twisted kind of intelligence..." - (source)

(Busy water park at Hershey's. Photo by Stephen R. Mingle)

Don't get me wrong, if a real "Jurassic World" came into existence, I’d be the first to line up. However, there are some theme parks today that seem to have forsaken a simple fun factor and are trying very hard to get visitors... trying too hard, one might say.

(here are some crazy ideas, provided by Photoshop masters at Worth1000)


1. Willy Wonka has been outranked and outshined by the "Hershey Park" in Hershey, PA

Giant huggable candies wandering freely in a real-world chocolate fantasy... kids gazing in wonder at the hot steamy chocolate "kisses" popping up here and there:

(photos courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company)

What an old-fashioned joyful place! You can even find Harmony at this park, but it turns out to be a cow:

(image credit: Noel)


2. Diggerland vs. Bulldozer Carnage Fantasies

This theme park looks like it’s constantly under construction. A fantasy for almost every young boy (and some adults), this park caters to our hidden desires to play in a larger-than-life sandbox with larger-than-life toys. Images of rambunctious eleven-year-olds at the helm of a 40-ton dump truck immediately come to mind, visions of "kill-dozers" (sentient bulldozers, first dreamed up by Theodore Sturgeon in 1944) spreading destruction everywhere... This theme park's reality, however, turns out to be a lot tamer:

(images via 1, Dean Thorpe)

You can drive a police vehicle there, host a corporate event (that's some heavy bonding there), and even rent it for stag parties... yeah, let your imagination run wild, but we're not going to elaborate on this one.

(images via Dean Thorpe)


3. Dubailand: twice the size of Walt Disney World in Florida.

Dubailand is currently in development stages (which threatens to become a permanent condition with recent Dubai economic woes), but if completed in 2020, it will be a giant theme park 3-billion (yes with a b) square foot complex.

(image via)

The Great Dubai Wheel will be one of the biggest in the world (on the right is Dubai SnowDome):

On a Ferris Wheel - to the Stars!

Actually, Dubai ferris wheel is slated to be the second highest. The highest ferris wheel in the world would've been a 200-meter structure in North Bud, Shanghai, China. Note, that it's not really a wheel - the pods are climbing up and down a strange-looking arc, not dissimilar to Star Trek logo - but the project seems to have been cancelled. The highest ferris wheel project still under development is 208-meter Bejing Great Wheel.

(image via)

Back to Dubai, not a small part of Dubailand will be a futuristic City of Arabia, complete with dinosaurs and monorail transport (not quite the "Jurassic World", though):

The gateway to City of Arabia is the super-mall (of course) and biggest in the world (of course), threatened by a flock of dinosaurs:

Built, or not built, enjoy another view of a mirage in a desert (bottom image is a four arena Sports City):

(images via)


4. Dickens World, UK

The creators of Dickens World in Kent, England, promise a "dark, smoky, moody London, full of smells and mist". Steampunkers of the world, unite! Modern economy, though, may prove darker, smokier and moodier than anything these guys planned for...

(images via)

Charles Dickens drab portrayals of the United Kingdom during the industrial revolution come to life at Dickensworld, resembling a Tim Burton movie set. Now the whole family can pay to be bothered by grifters, hussies, walkabouts and other choreographed nuisances.

Animatronic "ghosts" from A Christmas Carol, a boat ride featuring a trip to the depths of a London sewer... exccciting!... A Victorian School complete with nasty schoolmaster is also among attractions (Harry Potter Theme Park - soon to open in Orlando - may have nice competition overseas)


5. Mukluk Land, Alaska

Hardly Alaska’s most unique destination, Mukluk Land nevertheless features exciting attractions like skee ball, mini-golf and large Alaskan cabbage.

(images via 1, )

Mukluk Land’s hit attraction is the world largest Mukluk, suspended between trees and adorned with white balls. There are also a few rusting snowmobiles - and a red wonder vehicle, of unknown origin:

(image via)


6. "Fantazy Land" is not abandoned, although it perhaps should be

Situated in Alexandria, Egypt, Fantazy Land is plain dangerous to anybody who enters there. Adrenaline junkies should draw insurance before checking out these rides - rusted, partly demolished, and yet still in operation (entry fee is 1.50 pounds for locals, and 30 pounds for foreign tourists, take note)

(images via)


7. Cheezy and proud of it: "Pedro Land" in Dillon, South Carolina

(images via 1, 2)

Social ignorance runs strong at Pedro Land, where you’re in for a day of stereotypes, generalities and flamingos. Play a round of mini-golf at "The Golf of Mexico" and ride a glass elevator up the Sombrero Tower.

(images via)

Yes, get a load of reality: an ugly "Reality Ride"! -

(image credit: Coaster Image)

The park also features corniest billboard ads ever:

(images via)


8. Limestone Heritage, Malta

Limestone Heritage is a theme park dedicated to - you guessed it - limestone! Located in on the Island of Malta, this destination teaches children and adults the vast importance of this stone with wax figures and interesting historic vehicles on display:

(images via 1, 2, 3)


9. By 2009 Harry Potter franchise has run out of sequels. Time to build a theme park to carry on the excitement.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park has been revealed in stages in 2006-2014 at the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. Now readers and movie-goers of the Harry Potter mega-seller can leave Muggles behind and go explore Hogwarts for themselves. After a relaxing day of spending boatloads of money (conjuring them out of thin air, perhaps), you can enjoy a “Harry Burger” or have a glass of mead.

(image via)

I like the tag line of this experience. "Let out your inner wizard!". Even if that "inner wizard" has been peeking out in your life from time to time, now - since the park's opening in 2010 - you can properly unleash it in Orlando.

(image via)

Also Read:
World's Wildest Roller Coasters
Abandoned Amusement Parks


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

the red vehicle of unknown origin in mukluk land is that last remaining "Santa's Rocket Ships" originally from Tyler Texas and used for promotions for years at shopping centers etc ... rode one myself way back in the day http://jalopnik.com/5717297/a-brief-history-of-santas-rocket-ship

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've actually been to South of the Border and it was so awful and hilarious. I think Dubailand looks amazing. If it ever opens, I'll definitely fly there to check it out. Eventually I'll go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter..


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