When thinking of theme parks, Disneyland or Disney World may come to mind. You may also think of Universal Studios, Epcot Center or Cedar Fair Parks. Roller coasters and corn dogs are two things that are high on the list of priorities that one expects from a theme park. Sure; not every amusement park has rides, but it is more worthwhile to go somewhere that the entire family can appreciate.
When creating a theme park, some people believed that coasters and corn dogs weren’t necessary. Instead, they created these oddities that made this list of the weirdest theme parks in the world. There are many others that belong in this lineup, but those aren’t quite completed as of 2015. This would include the Alien Apex Resort, which is (you guessed correctly) in Roswell, New Mexico. There is also Nintendo Amusement Park in New York City, where visitors can dress up as Mario from Super Mario Brothers and jump around while tied to a bungee cord. Napoleonland is furthermore said to open in France, in 2017, so we may see that one on a future “weird” list.
10 Memory Village, Haiti
Ron and Carla Bluntschli, an American couple that lived in Haiti for over twenty years, wanted to build a theme park to recreate what their ancestors had experienced. This theme park would allow visitors to see what it was like to be a slave and was aimed at having guests kidnapped and having them walk across an area that was supposed to be similar to the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately (or maybe for good reason), the park was never built; despite the couple starting a fundraising campaign to raise money for the unusual “funfair.” Apparently; however, other people had thought that this was a good idea, and Carl Guerrier created a “virtual tour” so others could see what it would have really been like.
If Memory Village would have come to fruition, people could have been a “slave for a day” and be brutally tortured and beaten. Is there anyone else out there thinking that this does not really sound like a great way to spend their vacation?
9 Diggerland, New Jersey, USA
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to operate a backhoe, drive a mini land rover, or try to knock bowling pins over with a digger? Or how about taking a ride in the front part of an excavator, while being lifted 50 feet in the air? Diggerland is a theme park in New Jersey that lets you experience these things for less than $30 a day. The theme park had originated in Europe, but it was so popular that the United States had to get their hands on the unusual idea. The entire theme park is designed like a construction zone, and kids can drive a smaller version of the vehicles. They even have merchandise that you can buy online, and a goat cam that follows Doug and Dozer (two baby goats) around their area of the park.
8 Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to swim with crocodiles? Is it a dream to get into a cage and try to fend off the creatures that could possibly eat you, if you get too close? Well here’s your chance! Crocosaurus Cove is located in Australia, and you can swim with the crocodiles while being in the “cage of death.” You (or you can bring a friend, there’s room) can get inside a glass-like container and be lowered into a giant pool filled with crocodiles. The visitors then get to watch the animals being fed, while in the tank. It also appears (in a video on their website) that people can also scuba dive with the animal, while the crocodile is present and restrained.
7 Išgyvenimo Drama, Russia
If you’re obsessed with history, and you’d like to know what it was like to be inside a Soviet takeover in the 1980s, then this is the place for you. For only $200 or so, you can “relax” inside a 16-feet deep dugout, with guards telling you what to do every minute that you are there. Išgyvenimo Drama is located in Lithuania, and is a “theme park” that is made from an actual bunker that was used when Russia was still considered the U.S.S.R.
During your two and a half hour visit, you will leave everything at the door; including your cell, so your calls for help will fall upon deaf ears. They do; however, offer worn “Soviet coats” for you to wear (which is mandatory), and make you watch television from thirty years ago. Gas masks are also included, free of charge. At the end of your visit, you will receive a shot of vodka for your troubles (or maybe to make you forget all about it).
6 Dutch Village, Michigan, USA
Although this one isn’t as frightening or unusual as being in a Russian bunker with actual guards, Dutch Village still deserves a spot on this list. This is one of those places that has taken ‘remembering their heritage’ a few steps too far, and have created a place for others to learn about it. According to their website, Dutch Village “is like a step back into the Netherlands of over 100 years ago,” and they have their employees dress up to make it look that way; wooden shoes, and all.
Kids can walk a goat, slide down a slide made of a massive wooden shoe, or take a ride on a Ferris wheel that looks like an enormous windmill. The fun doesn’t exclude adults, either. Older visitors can see what it was like to be accused of witchcraft by stepping on an authentic “witches’ scale” that is 200 years old. Dutch Village has entertainment for the whole family.
5 The Holy Land Experience, Florida, USA
For those who are interested in what inspired the Bible, Florida has a place that is dedicated to people just like you. The Holy Land Experience is exactly what the title suggests; an experience of what the Holy Land was like during the days when Jesus was alive. You can visit the Garden of Eden, take a bus tour around Bethlehem Village or watch a play at the House of Judea. With chimes going off every hour at the Bethlehem Bell Tower, which supposedly mimics the Church of the Nativity in Israel, you can see and feel what it was like back in the day when Jesus was born. Tickets are $50 for adults, so the Holy Land Experience isn’t exactly the same as what it would have been like in Jerusalem.
4 Angry Birds Land, Finland
Even though the game, Angry Birds, is not as popular as it once was a few years ago in the United States, many countries around the world still see it as a big way to make money. There have been parks created around the world dedicated to the addicting game, but Finland has designed an entire theme park as homage to the colorful fowl. The park has many attractions that look like characters in the game, and even has a large play area with slides and swings. Everything in Angry Birds Land is the same color as the birds in the game, and even looks to have a few rides that kids can enjoy.
3 Shijingshan Amusement Park, China
If you’re living in China and can’t make it to the United States to see Mickey Mouse, just go to Shijingshan Amusement Park. It may not be a strange theme park, but everything about it screams “copyright infringement.” Even the slogan for the park states, “Disney is too far to go, please come to Shijingshan!” The Chinese government first opened the park in 1986, with a castle at the front entrance bearing a very strong resemblance to Cinderella’s castle in the Disney Theme Parks. It wasn’t until 2007 that anyone really noticed the characters (like Hello Kitty from Japan or Mickey Mouse) that were frolicking along Shijingshan’s grounds, and a lawsuit was filed against the park.
2 Amora, London, England
When mentioning London, people usually think of rock stars, Big Ben, or the Queen of England. Not too often do we relate sensual theme parks or sex when the city is cited, but that is exactly what Amora was for a little over a year. In 2007, London opened a sex theme park that lasted until April 2008. It is not publicly listed if this was for a 21 and over crowd, but chances are highly likely that it wasn’t designed for children. With interactive events, a boutique, workshops and parties that were held at the building, Amora was a place that many visited to study about sex and to have fun while learning. It is not mentioned as to why it was closed (even though we can probably speculate); but according to a London newspaper, the park is rumored to be revived for a tour.
1 Wang Saen Suk Hell Park, Thailand
The United States has The Holy Land Experience, but Thailand has gone a few steps further to create a theme park named Wang Saen Suk, or Hell Park. If you ever visit the country, be sure to take your kids to see what it would be like to be damned to all eternity for whatever it is they did that gets them sent there. They can see statues of people being hanged, tortured and beaten while strolling through the woods in the quaint little village. There is even a statue of a man being eaten by a Hellhound, with blood splattering everywhere. Chances are that your kids will behave after seeing these nightmarish creatures, and will most likely cry the entire way back home.