35 Creepy Photos of Abandoned Theme Parks
Are you brave enough to wander crumbling and decaying abandoned theme parks? Believe it or not, urban explorers have made the trip and taken photos that will haunt your nightmares. Some of these eerie theme parks are featured in famous shows and movies, and a few have become hotspots for Instagrammers.
We’ve collected chilling photos from 30 abandoned theme parks, from the U.S. to Japan. Read on to learn about the tragic stories of these parks.
New Orleans, LA: Six Flags
It’s definitely no longer “playtime” at Six Flags in New Orleans. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic damage in New Orleans. Sitting right next to Lake Pontchartrain, Six Flags became submerged in 20 feet of brackish floodwater. For over a month, the entire amusement park was flooded.
Waterbury, CT: Holy Land USA
John Baptist Greco found inspiration from bible passages to create Holy Land USA in 1955. The grounds chairman at Holy Land, Bob Chinn, called Greco a spiritual man. Chinn added, “He wanted to do this for the people of the community. He felt no one, no matter the race, creed or color, should be separated. He wanted a place for all people to sit and be peaceful.”
Princeton, WV: Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Why do paranormal investigators flock to Lake Shawnee Amusement Park? Let’s start at the beginning. In 1926, the park was unknowingly built on the site of a Native American burial ground (seriously). During the park’s run, six people died at Lake Shawnee Amusement Park. A little girl died on the swings after a truck backed into the structure. In another case, a boy drowned in the park’s swimming pond.
Beech Mountain, NC: The Land of Oz
“Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore,” says Dorothy in the film, The Wizard of Oz. She’s right. Visitors will find the yellow brick road, Emerald City and the Wicked Witch’s castle at the Land of Oz in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
Dadizele, Belgium: Dadipark
Before Dadipark was an amusement park, it was a church playground. One of the town’s pastors, Gaston Deweer, created the playground for families with small children in 1950. Thirty years later, Deweer transformed the playground into an affordable amusement park, where millions of visitors enjoyed the fun rides.
Williams Grove, PA: Williams Grove Amusement Park
Williams Grove Park was almost destroyed after Hurricane Agnes struck the area in 1972. Sounds like bad luck, right? The park actually survived and the owners, the Hughes family, rebuilt the park. Shortly after, Williams Grove Park went back into business until 2005.
Phillipsville, CA: Hobbiton USA
Located close to the Avenue of the Giants in northern California, Hobbiton USA was once a major roadside attraction. At Hobbiton USA, locals and tourists took a journey into J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, The Hobbit. The enchanting and charming site included hobbit homes and sculptures of characters from the book. For anyone who had no idea what The Hobbit was, each attraction came with button-activated speakers to explain the scene.
Nara, Japan: Dreamland
Nara, Japan is known for its beautiful temples, shrines and ruins. The Emperor lived in Nara during the Nara period (AD 710 to 794) before calling Kyoto his new home. Nara was also the home of Dreamland, a theme park inspired by California’s Disneyland.
Marble Falls, AR: Dogpatch USA
Dogpatch USA was based on Li'l Abner, a comic strip featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies. When the park opened in 1968, it gained popularity and was highly profitable. Investors also remodeled Dogpatch USA into a winter sports complex in 1972, hoping to make it even more prosperous.
Onsted, MI: Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park
Just off the highway in Onsted, Michigan, rests another world. The Prehistoric Forest was once a lively roadside attraction, drawing visitors with life-sized dinosaurs, fossil digging pits, a man-made volcano and the popular 400-foot Jungle Rapids Water Slide. Between 1963 and 2002, the park sent guests back in time.
Beijing, China: Wonderland
Wonderland never opened for business. In fact, construction on the amusement park was never finished. Property developers from Thailand intended to make Wonderland the biggest and greatest amusement park in Asia. However, they canceled construction plans after running into financial problems in 1998.
Japan: Gulliver’s Kingdom
Gulliver’s Kingdom theme park in Japan didn’t have the greatest location. It was actually located in one of the creepiest places in Japan. The park was built near Aokigahara, best known as Japan’s “Suicide Forest.” It was also close to the former headquarters of the infamous Aum Shinrikyo, a cult behind the deadly Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995.
Chippewa Lake, Ohio: Chippewa Lake Park
Locals believe that Chippewa Lake Park’s owner, Parker Beach, might haunt the park today. After the park closed due to low attendance, Beach asked his family to bury him there, and they agreed. He’s reportedly buried at an unknown location at the site.
Berlin, Germany: Spreepark
Spreepark has a history of bad luck. The park found itself in huge debt in 1999. To get back in the green, the owners increased the park’s entrance fee. Customers thought that raising prices was a poor decision. Consequently, the number of visitors dropped and the business shut down in 2002.
Wichita, KS: Joyland Amusement Park
During its heyday, Joyland Amusement Park was a major attraction filled with laughing children and cool rides. It was also home to one of the last surviving original wooden coasters. Unfortunately, a serious incident involving the park’s Ferris wheel led to the park’s end.
Geoje, South Korea: Okpo Land
Okpo Land has a disturbing backstory. While in operation, Okpo Land thrived with exciting roller coasters and electric cars. However, the park’s main attraction, the duck ride, caused fatal accidents in the 1990s. A cart derailed and capsized in one incident. While many riders suffered injuries, one young girl fell to her death.
Aurora, Ohio: Geauga Lake Park
How many theme parks do you know that were open for more than 100 years? Geauga Lake Park is one of the few amusement parks to do just that, operating from 1887 to 2007. When the park opened, it featured many attractions, including a massive swimming pool, a dance hall and bowling alley.
Nikko, Japan: Western Village
Welcome to the wild west in Japan. Believe it or not, Japan had a theme park that included a Western saloon, a jail and a giant replica of Mount Rushmore. CNN reports that Western Village was built in 1975, and cost $27 million to build.
Newberry Springs, CA: Lake Dolores Waterpark
Located off Interstate 15 in the Mojave Desert, Lake Dolores Waterpark operated from 1962 to 2004. The waterpark went through a few name changes, including Rock–A–Hoola Waterpark and Discovery Waterpark. Lake Dolores closed due to low attendance.
Aarup, Denmark: Fun Park Fyn
When Fun Park Fyn opened in the 1980s, it lured families with affordable prices and pleasant attractions, such as waterslides, bumper cars and swan boats. However, the fun ended in August 2006 when the park went bankrupt. Now, a different crowd visits Fun Park Fyn.
Galston, Scotland: Loudoun Castle Theme Park
Loudoun Castle Theme Park was built around the real ruins of the 19th century Loudoun Castle. During the park’s early years, it faced mounting debt. That’s never a good sign. Loudoun Castle Theme Park also went through several owners in its history.
Orlando, FL: Splendid China
The park owners spent $100 million to build Splendid China in Florida. It was built as a sister park to Splendid China in Shenzhen, China (which is still in operation). Each structure was handcrafted for authenticity. The park’s replica of the Great Wall was made of 7 million bricks. The park also included Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an and a four-story-tall Leshan Buddha.
Rhyl, North Wales: Ocean Beach Fun Fair
Rhyl’s Fun Fair was originally located at Marine Lake, where it opened in 1848. Each year, thousands of guests flocked to the amusement park. In 1954, it relocated to Ocean Beach at the West end of the promenade. Funfair’s popularity began to decline during the 1960s.
Berlin, Germany: Blub Water Park
Blub was short for Berliner Luft-und Badeparadies, which translates to "Berlin air-and bathing paradise." The water park first opened in 1985, but closed its doors in 2002 after experiencing health concerns and violent youth gangs. When Blub shut down, the decaying park attracted tourists, skaters and photographers.
Lancashire, England: Camelot Theme Park
Some locals say Camelot Theme Park is an abandoned “knightmare.” First opened in 1983, the park had many profitable years before declining visitor count lead to its closure in 2013. This low turnout was likely caused by poor summer weather and the park’s failure to compete with the London 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.
Pripyat, Ukraine: Pripyat Amusement Park
Pripyat amusement park is currently a hot spot for Instagrammers thanks to HBO’s historical drama, Chernobyl. The park planned to open for the very first time in May 1986. But that never happened. In April, the Chernobyl disaster took place just a few miles away, quickly becoming one of the most catastrophic nuclear explosions ever to occur.
Suita, Japan: Expoland
Japan’s Expoland has a tragic past. The amusement park thrived for 30 years with more than 40 rides and attractions and 19 restaurants and shops. Then, in 2007, a 19-year-old university student from Higashiomi, Shiga died and 19 other visitors suffered injuries when the Fujin Raijin II derailed at Expoland.
Seoul, South Korea: Yongma Land
In 1983, Yongma Land was a big deal when it first opened in Seoul, South Korea. But after the first decade, the park began to lose customers and profit when Lotte World, a massive recreation complex, set up shop. Yongma Land officially stopped operating as an amusement park in 2011.
Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam: Ho Thuy Tien Water Park
The remaining magic of Ho Thuy Tien Water Park attracts many Instagrammers. Although the park didn’t see success while it was open, it’s now a must-visit post-apocalyptic dreamworld for explorers. Many parts of the site have been taken over by plant life (and grazing cows).
Guerneville, CA: J's Amusement Park
What was once filled with laughter is now haunted by a spooky silence. From the 1960s to 2003, J's Amusement Park was a small family run operation. The park featured thrilling attractions, a mad mouse, miniature golf, a racetrack and a roller coaster.
Orlando, FL: Disney’s River Country
"Sorry River Country is closed," says a sign in front of Disney’s empty water park in Orlando. Before Disney’s River Country closed, it was a fun destination for thousands of families to cool off from the summer heat. Disney’s River Country mimicked an old-fashioned swimming hole with “a twist of Huckleberry Finn.”
Itaguaí, Brazil: Park Albanoel
Christmas isn’t always merry and bright, just look at Park Albanoel in Itaguaí, Brazil. The beloved park owner, Albano Reis, opened the Christmas-themed park in 2000. Locals called him Santa Claus because Reis dressed up as the jolly ol’ fella every Christmas.
Ellicott City, MD: Enchanted Forest Theme Park
Once upon a time, there was a storybook amusement park in Maryland. The Enchanted Forest Theme Park brought fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life. Kids wandered through Cinderella’s castle, went for a spin on Alice in Wonderland’s tea cups and ventured into the caves of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Derbyshire, England: American Adventure Theme Park
Originally known as Britannia Park, American Adventure World transported customers to the American West. The theme park featured cowboys, Native Americans and intense, yet exciting rides. It became one of the top attractions in the country. However, visitor numbers started to plummet.
Philadelphia, PA: Bushkill Park
While it was open, Bushkill Park featured one of the oldest funhouses in the US, the Bar'l of Fun. The park was also home to other famous antique rides, including bumper cars, The Whip, and The Haunted Pretzel. Sounds strange, right? But the locals went crazy for these attractions.