The season for amusement is here! The sun is out, the AC is turned on, and everyone wants to be outside. The beaches, water parks and amusement parks are among the list places everyone wants to visit at least once. But…not all of these theme parks are exactly what you expect. Sure, you’ve got your basic and classic parks like 6 Flags and Disneyland, but there are so many different kinds of parks all over the world. Some of them are…odd. I mean, so strange they might have you second guessing why you went there in the first place.
For instance, did you know that there is a theme park based completely on a luxury car? Another theme park teaches people about strictly adult related content, so it is probably best to leave the kids home for that one. Other parks offer experiences that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, such as getting to see a bunch of severed heads on spikes, yikes. The list also takes you all over the world, so perhaps you’re also going to discover some new travel destinations.
Not all parks are controversial, but they remain wildly unique and interesting. That doesn’t mean these places aren’t worth a visit at least once in a lifetime. At the very least, you will have a fun story to tell!
14. Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove is a resort-like experience in Florida for anyone who loves animals. Guests can immerse themselves in the wildlife of the ocean. This park isn’t like others because it only allows a limited number of guests per day. This is to keep the park from overcrowding and to keep that calm, resort-like feel that you won’t get in many places. If you are planning to check it out, be aware, reservations are necessary due to the guest limit. The highlights of this park come in the variety of activities that guests can participate in, including swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with tropical fish, and interacting with otters and exotic birds. Guests can also relax in a large pool and swim in a tropical river.
13. Crocosaurus Cove
Get ready to head over to Australia, folks, for the Darwin Crocodile Cove. This theme park is all about reptiles, housing 200 crocodiles and the popular Cage of Death. It also features the only crocodile dive in all of Australia, which has succeeded in terrifying and thrilling plenty of guests. Guests get to spends a total of 15 scary minutes in an enclosure with huge crocodiles. It only goes down 12 times a day, so don’t miss out! Other activities including holding a baby crocodile, visiting the turtle sanctuary and attending the crocodile feed show.
12. Dwarf Empire
Welcome to the Dwarf Empire located in China, near the city of Kunming! This “theme park” has certainly drawn attention for being somewhat controversial. Many have considered it to be a modern day freak show, while others believe it is an opportunity for dwarves who otherwise wouldn’t be able to find work. Whatever your opinion about it is, it still exists and employs over 100 people who work and live there among tiny mushroom-shaped homes. Some say it isn’t actually a theme park, but more of a show. There are dances, songs, plays from fairy tales, and a Dwarf King.
11. BonBon Land
Bon Bon Land isn’t all that bad. It is just kind of non-nonsensical and weird. It is a Danish park in the South of Zealand and it’s a pretty popular place. Many people consider it to be on the trashy side, like a really bad Disneyland because of the combination of animals, candy, and bizarre images. For example, the ride Hundeprutterutchebane is also called the Farting Dog Switchback. For some reason, not everyone enjoys the toilet humor, but at least now you know what to expect if you ever stop by.
Yes! All the children who have dreamed of working in construction can finally experience what it might be like at Diggerland! Diggerland is a theme park in West Berlin, New Jersey. The construction-themed adventure park is really unique, and not one that exists anywhere else in America. The site has over 25 attractions, many of which are real (though modified) construction equipment! Try the Backhoe Adventure, the Shake n’ Roll, and for the little ones: Mini Diggers: Ducks! There is also a rope course, a rock wall, and a kid zone. So despite an odd theme, it still looks like a lot of fun.
9. Suoi Tien Park
Located in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is the Suoi Tien Park, a park that illustrates the history and legends of Vietnam. It is called the first Buddhist water park and many visitors think it is strange, but still a fun and interesting place to visit. There are Buddha sculptures, giant elephant tusks, and a huge swimming pool surrounded by dragons. This is definitely not the average water park, but it would clearly make for an unbelievable experience.
8. The Republic of Children
Finally, kids can go to a theme park and find out why growing up is unbelievably boring and awful. The Republic of Children, also known as the City of Children, is a park in La Plata Partido, Argentina. The park was opened in the 1950s and was apparently visited by Walt Disney who was then inspired to create Disneyland. The park features a kid-sized city with a parliament, church, theater, airport and everything else an adult city has. The coolest part about this place is that once a year there is a special session that considers statements made by the Youth Government of the Republic of Children. The statements are then put into law throughout the region.
If you are interested in checking out this theme park, be warned: it is NSFW! (This photo was probably the least graphic!) Why? Probably because it isn’t so much about love as it is about sex. The park is on the South Korean island of Jeju and has over 140 exhibitions that are not appropriate for kids. Of course, there is a playground for kids, but I don’t know how someone would explain to their kid what that large phallic shaped statue is. The park is pretty small, and can be toured in just about an hour. This is a great place to go if you need to learn a little bit about how to “do it.”
6. Ferrari World
Welcome to Ferrari World! Located in Abu Dhabi, there is no doubt that car enthusiasts and speed demons will love this amusement park. The park is the largest indoor park in the world and pretty much a shrine to Ferraris. Ferrari World supposedly is host to the fastest roller coaster that’ll reach 149 MPH in about 5 seconds. You might not think there would be much to do in a park based around cars, but you would be wrong!
Everything is car-related like the Tire Twist ride, the Junior GT, or Kahlil’s Car Wash. In addition, the park also has shows like the Festival of Lights which runs from October to November.
5. Hacienda Napoles
Welcome to Hacienda Napoles, the luxurious estate built by the one and only….Pablo Escobar. Not many people would make the connection between Escobar, one of the most vicious drug lords of all time, and the amusement park, but perhaps now you will! The park is located in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia. It seems that instead of trying to pretend the most violent drug smuggler never existed, a theme park was erected. The park features a zoo, a bullfighting ring, a private plane, and remnants of the cocaine king’s life.
4. Parque EcoAlberto
Parque EcoAlberto is an amusement park in El Alberto, Mexico. It features amazing resort activities like swimming pools, zip lines, kayaking, and of course the experience of crossing the boarder as an illegal immigrant! Not many parks would attempt to recreate a difficult experience such as crossing the border, but Parque EcoAlberto did. For only $250, you can go on a Night Walk to experience the phases of the journey and get a deeper understanding of what people go through when trying to enter the United States illegally. Surprisingly, it has been a success at raising awareness about the dangers of trying to cross the border.
3. Soviet Bunker
In Vilnius, Lithuania, a Soviet Bunker was created that so people could experience what it was like to be a Soviet era citizen. Why? We aren’t too sure, but that still doesn’t make this thing any less real. Though be warned, this experience is not for the lighthearted. For two hours, a guest gets to experience various elements of what life was like. The experience includes an authentic bunker and former guards from the Soviet army. Visitors will eat a Soviet meal, wear a gas mask, and of course, get a shot of vodka when the whole ordeal is over.
2. Haw Par Villa
If you go to Singapore you can find yourself at Haw Par Villa, where thousands of statues depict Chinese mythology and folklore. This place is not an average theme park. Be prepared to be scared by the gruesome depiction of the afterlife such as severed and impaled heads. The Ten Courts of Hell is a terrifying depiction of a Buddhist’s Hell. Not really the sort of thing guests want to think about, which is probably why the park isn’t too popular. Call me crazy, but I like to have some fun at my amusement park, and not, you know, consider my whole life’s meaning.
1. Canyoning Park
To try and end this on a more positive note, here is the fantastically cool Canyoning Park! As you can guess from the name, the coolest theme park is all about canyoning. This unique theme park allows guests the awesome experience and thrills of a natural canyon and water park combined! Pull on a wetsuit and a harness, and you are ready to jump into pools, climb up nets and ladders and even zip line! The park is located in France, but I think it is definitely worth the trip!