Theme parks are exciting places full of scary, thrilling rides where you can go and let your hair down. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, some theme parks just aren’t successful enough to stay open, so they close down. A lot of the time, the rides are sold to other parks, but sometimes they’re just left where they are.
Six Flags New Orleans, Louisiana
Six Flags New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 and has been left abandoned since. There have been efforts to redevelop the site, however nothing’s been announced yet. A few movies have shot footage at the park, including Jurassic World, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The damage done Hurricane Katrina caused severe flooding in the park and the damage from this was so great that redeveloping the park would have been far too costly.
The place where ‘the child is king’ opened in 1950 and in 2000, there was a major accident when a park guest lost his arm on one of the rides. Over the next two years, guests complained more and more about park safety and when the park closed for a year of renovations in 2002, the park actually ended up closing for good. Numerous efforts have been made to redevelop the site, but today it just remains abandoned.
Nara Dreamland, Japan
This park was designed to imitate Disneyland and opened with many features similar to the US park, including its own version of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The park opened in 1961 and eventually closed in 2006 because of decreasing visitor numbers, probably due to the genuine Disney theme parks in Tokyo. Nowadays the park remains abandoned.
Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan
This park was based after Gulliver’s Travels and featured a themed village and a huge Gulliver model. The park opened in 1997 and closed in 2007 due to economic problems. It probably didn’t help that the park had hardy any rides and was built near Japan’s ‘suicide forest’ a suicide hotspot. The park has been left to rot, though the village and model remain, complete with Mt. Fuji in the background.
Pripyat Amusement Park, Ukraine
This Ukrainian park is one of the best-known abandoned theme parks out there. The reason this one was abandoned is, of course, Chernobyl. In fact, the disaster happened just three days before the park was due to open for its first year of business. The park only ever opened the day after the disaster to entertain people of the city before the formal evacuation order was announced.
This small park was initially built as a place for Lester Ottoway’s narrow gauge locomotive, which he had purchased back in 1933. Following his death in the 50s, his sons took over and added more rides, including a roller coaster, to the area, however vandalism was a recurring problem for the park and was one of the main reasons why it temporarily closed in 2004, before closing down for good in 2006. Now the park is just heaps of rubbish and broken down rides.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, West Virginia
This park was opened in the 1920s and operated for many years until a series of disturbing events forced it to eventually close down. One park guest drowned and died in Lake Shawnee, while another, a young girl, died on the park’s mechanical swings. It turned out the park was located on top of a Native American burial ground where the bodies of 13 people, most of them children, were found. Many believe the land is cursed and in October there are spooky tours of the site that allow you to see the ruined remains of the park at night – creepy or what?