April 22, 2024 | Peter Kinney

Abandoned Theme Parks Around the World


Closing the Doors on Fun

Theme parks are some of those places that evoke excitement and happiness like no other—standing as top tourist attractions all over the world.

But eventually, these magical places run dry, either with funds or with fun itself, leaving behind a unique abandoned ruin that evokes a different kind of intrigue, that some may still find exciting.

Here’s a world tour of some of the world’s most interesting abandoned theme parks.

abandoned theme park split image

Western Village

Western Village, in Nikko, Japan was once a western-themed amusement park known as an unusual sight, even in its glory days. Featuring small-town shops, a Mount Rushmore replica, and a number of robots, it certainly was a theme park like no other.

Western Village, Nikkojbdodane, Flickr

Western Village: Closure

Wester Village opened in 1973 and operated for over three decades before its closure in 2007, after competition drove visitors way down. Many of the structures and robots still stand where they were left.

Western Village  Nikko Japansergeant.bacon, Flickr

Western Village: Today

Since its closure, the park has become famous with photographers and explorers looking to get lost in time in the eerie ruins of this once magnificent abandoned theme park.

Western Village, an abandoned amusement parkWildSnap, Shutterstock

Cascade Park

Cascade Park in New Castle Pennsylvania, was once home to the largest dancing pavilion in the state and included an outdoor theater, a roller-skating rink, an indoor roller coaster and many other amazing attractions.

Cascade ParkPianotech, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Cascade Park: An Accident

The park opened in 1897, and it successful ran for 30 years before a tragic accident occurred where two people lost their lives riding the rollercoaster.

Cascade park New Castle Pennsylvaniapennsyloco, CC BY 3.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

Cascade Park: Closure

The park remained open for several more years, but with deteriorating attractions and low-maintenance. After several ride closures, and theft and vandalism becoming a problem, the owners officially walked away from it in 1981.

Cascade Park, New Castle, PAPianotech, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Cascade Park: Today

Today, Cascade Park stands still, with many things left in their place, becoming rusted and overgrown with nature. Remnants of rollercoasters and support beams, various pieces of attractions, and random concrete slabs decorate the grounds.

Cascade Park, New Castle, PA.Pianotech, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Trinity Loop

Trinity Loop in Charleston, Newfoundland and Labrador was once a vital transportation link, which later became a beloved amusement park. The grounds boasted train rides, pony rides, a railcar restaurant, live entertainment, mini golf, and a petting zoo.

Trinity LoopZippo S, Flickr

Trinity Loop: Closure

Opening in 1988, Trinity Loop operated for only 16 years before people’s interest slowly declined and the owners shut the doors in 2004—leaving many attractions abandoned to the elements.

Trinity Loop Amusement ParkProduct of Newfoundland, Flickr

Trinity Loop: Today

Today, the once bustling theme park is a maze of decrepit train tracks, graffiti-filled ruins, and ghostly murals. Vandals have made their marks on train cars and outbuildings, and flooding from Hurricane Igor washed away much of the railway.

People visit the site to swim, fish, and film horror movies.

Trinity Loop RemainsZippo S, Flickr

Castle d'Oultremont

Castle d'Oultremont in Nieuwkuijk, Netherlands was a medieval theme park in a fairytale land that’s main attraction was a massive pink castle.

Castle d'Oultremont or the pink castlePeter van der Wielen, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Castle d'Oultremont: Theme

The whole park felt like a theatrical stage, with various people, props and visitors playing a role in the fairytale. Whimsical sculptures and colorful décor filled the land.

Het Land Van Ooit abandoned park in present timeA.P.M. Ruiters, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Castle d'Oultremont: Closure

Created in 1989, the enchanted park made it for 18 years before it went bankrupt and closed in 2007. Most of the attractions were removed, though the castle still stood, in its bubblegum-pink glory until 2019 when the building was painted.

Het Land Van Ooit abandoned amusement parkA.P.M. Ruiters, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Castle d'Oultremont: Today

Today, the theme park is now a public park called Poort van Heusden owned by the municipality. The castle remains built and is under renovation for a new purpose.

Oultremont 2020Nickge4, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Bongoland

Bongoland, was a quirky, short lived theme park in Orange, Florida. It was filled with life-sized beasts crafted out of chicken wire and concrete that towered over visitors. The park also had a recreated Seminole village, a historic sugar mill, live animals, and a mini train shuttle.

Gardens BongolandEbyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bongoland: Closure

The strange assortment of attractions wasn’t enough to draw in enough visitors, and in 1952, only five years after it opened, Bongoland closed its doors.

bongolandKelly Verdeck, Flickr

Bongoland: Today

Today, the concrete dinosaurs still stand, embedded in what is now a quiet, lush garden with several stunning plant collections, including magnolias, succulents, and ferns in a small grotto.

Bongoland T-RexLauren Mitchell, Flickr

Yongma Land

Yongma Land in Seoul, South Korea was a family-oriented amusement park filled with ‘80s pop icon themed décor and rides like bumper cars, an octopus, a Viking ship, a rollercoaster, and a carousel.

Yongma LandChristian Bolz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yongma Land: Closure

Yongma Land was built in 1980 and made it three decades before tastes changed and visitors started to dwindle. In 2011, it shut its doors. Everything was left as it was, to rot and ruin and become one with nature.

Yongma LandChristian Bolz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yongma Land: Today

The Yongma Land was bought by a local businessman who opened it again, but this time to revel in the nostalgic charm of its deterioration.

Yongma LandChristian Bolz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yongma Land: Reopened

Visitors pay a small fee to enter, but are free to roam the grounds getting photos with the old rides. He even turns on the lights of the merry-go-round at dark for a ghostly effect. The faded carney magic is a photographer’s dream.

yongma landJeena Paradies, Flickr

Taman Festival

The Taman Festival in Denpasar, Indonesia was theme park that never saw a paying visitor, as it closed before it even opened. The grounds boasted an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a cinema, a wedding chapel, and many restaurants.

Taman FestivalDan O'Cker, Flickr

Taman Festival: Closure

The park closed before it opened, and no one really knows why. Many speculate the owners anticipated a struggle following the 2002 Bali attack, others say things were damaged in a storm and it was too costly to rebuild.

Taman festivalDan O'Cker, Flickr

Taman Festival: Today

Today, the park is slowly being swallowed by the jungle. It has a haunting feel to it, with twisted vines creeping along the ground, bats, spiders, and other creatures hiding in dark corners, and a family of crocodiles that lurk the grounds using the pond as their home.

Taman FestivalDan O'Cker, Flickr

Taman Festival: Visitors Today

Although abandoned, the park still gets visitors—though most are there for a haunted hike, to graffiti the ruins, or to take photographs.

Taman FestivalRJ Prabu, Pexels

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark in Newberry Springs, California was known as the “Fun Spot of the Desert,” though now as haunting ruin, it is a reminder that the desert is no place for a waterpark.

The Rock-a-Hoola signDzealand, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark: An Oasis

The waterpark opened in the 1960’s and featured a collection of pools and waterslides, a manmade lake, rides and attractions, and a campground—providing a carnival oasis in the middle of the desert.

Rock-A-Hoola WaterparkDzealand, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark: Closure & Revival

The park was successful for a few decades before attendance dwindled and it officially closed in 1990. But in 1998 the park was renovated into a modern waterpark with attractions like a lazy river added.

It was doing well, until a tragic accident changed everything.

Rock-A-Hoola WaterparkAnthony Citrano, Flickr

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark: The Accident

Only a year after it’s revival, one of the park’s employees took a late-night ride down a waterslide into a partially-filled pool. The disastrous landing turned the employee into a paraplegic, and the settlement cost the owners millions of dollars.

The park shut down again in 2004.

Rock-A-Hoola WaterparkAnthony Citrano, Flickr

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark: Today

Today, the attractions sit in place, rusting and faded, and damaged by vandals and graffiti artists. It has become another photographer paradise and entertains those looking for a haunting experience.

Lake Dolores Waterpark in 2012Jeff Kern, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Pripyat Amusement Park

Pripyat Amusement Park in Pripyat, Ukraine was only open for one day before its abandonment. It was filled with various carnival rides, games with stuffed animal prizes, a Ferris wheel, bumper-cars, and much more.

Pripyat Amusement Park Bumper CarsKirill578, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Pripyat Amusement Park: Closure

The park was only open one day: April 27, 1986, as entertainment for those preparing to evacuate the Ukrainian city following the April 26 Chernobyl disaster.

Pripyat amusement park abandonedAlexander Blecher, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Pripyat Amusement Park: Today

The park remains exactly how it was left, with festive decorations still lingering near rusting old rides. Its Ferris wheel became an unsettling icon of the nuclear disaster, and visitors often use it as a memorial site.

Amusement park in Pripyat / Chernobyl disasterPe3k, Shutterstock

Rose Island

Rose Island was a rustic theme park in Charlestown, Indiana. It was a popular attraction for summer vacationers and included a hotel, a swimming pool, a wooden roller coaster, and a small zoo.

Rose Island Charlestown, IndianaJonathan Parrish, Flickr

Rose Island: Closure

Rose Island opened in 1923 and was a success from the start. Powering through the Great Depression, and drawing in more visitors by the year.

Until a massive flood swept through the Ohio River in 1937, taking Rose Island with it.

Rose Island Charlestown, IndianaBedford, Wikimedia Commons

Rose Island: Today

Today, all that is left are stone struts of its former footbridge, the swimming pool, and the crumbling ruins of a stone fountain. The original footbridge collapsed, but has since been rebuilt to allow access to the ruins.

Rose Island Swimming PoolGmiller123456, Wikimedia Commons

Ankapark

Turkey’s Ankapark was once hailed as Europe’s biggest theme park, with 26 large theme park rides and 2,117 smaller attractions all housed in 13 massive tent structures. Large dinosaur structures filled

Opening day of the Wonderland EurasiahobbyistMd, Shutterstock

Ankapark: Closure

Ankapark closed less than a year after it’s 2019 opening due to problems with construction, lawsuits, and unpaid wages. The park had cost $801 million to build, and it wasn’t even finished when it closed down.

AnkaparkHsyn20, Shutterstock

Ankapark: Today

Today, broken rides litter the overgrown landscape offering a haunting experience to visitors. Many pieces of the rides have been looted, and artists have made their mark on every concrete structure. Though since closer was only recently, many of the 17 massive roller coasters remain intact.

AnkaparkAnkara'dan, Flickr

Source: 1


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