(Busy water park at Hershey’s. Photo by Stephen R. Mingle)
Well, you might still remember the «World Craziest Roller Coasters» article that was on DRB some time ago, and with the recent economic meltdown, a visit to a theme park may not be of utmost importance (even almighty Disney is laying off park staff left and right…) However, remembering the good old times, and with hope for a better future for theme parks — here is a rundown of the most bizarre ones…
Is it really your fault that you’re not amused any more?
«An amusement park on steroids, growing beyond all control, feeding on an unamused and increasingly terrified public. Increasing in complexity by the hour until it has developed a twisted kind of intelligence…»
Don’t get me wrong, if a real «Jurassic Park» came into existence, Id be the first to line up. However, there are some theme parks today that seem to have forsaken a simple fun factor and are trying very hard to get visitors… trying too hard, we might say:
(some ideas, provided by Photoshop masters at Worth1000
1. Willy Wonka is outranked by «Hershey Park», Hershey, PA
Giant huggable candies wander freely in that real world chocolate fantasy… as kids marvel at the hot steamy kisses popping up here and there:
(photos courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company)
Sure, you can still find Harmony at this park, but it turns out to be a cow:
(image credit: Noel)
2. Diggerland vs. Bulldozer Carnage Fantasies
This theme park looks like its constantly under construction. A fantasy for almost every young boy (and some adults), as they can play in a larger-than-life sandbox with larger-than-life toys. Images of rambunctious eleven-year-olds at the helm of a 40-ton dump truck immediately come to mind, and YouTube videos of bulldozers spreading destruction everywhere — but the reality seems to be quite a lot tamer:
You can drive a police vehicle there, host a corporate event (some heavy bonding there), and even rent it for stag parties… let your imagination run wild, but we’re not going to elaborate.
Diggerland is purpotedly going to expand this year, building a «Reddit-Land» addition, smaller but significantly more intense.
3. Dubailand: twice the size of Walt Disney World in Florida.
Dubailand is currently in development stages (which threatens to become a permanent condition with recent Dubai economic woes), but if completed, it will be a giant theme park 3-billion (yes with a b) square foot complex.
The Great Dubai Wheel will be one of the biggest in the world (on the right is Dubai SnowDome):
On a Ferris Wheel — to the Stars!
Actually, Dubai ferris wheel is slated to be the second highest. The highest ferris wheel in the world will be a 200-meter structure in North Bud, Shanghai, China. Note, that it’s not really a wheel — the pods are climbing up and down a strange-looking arc, not dissimilar to Star Trek logo — a coincidence?
Back to Dubai, not a small part of Dubailand will be a futuristic City of Arabia, complete with dinosaurs, monorail transport — all on Dubai patented steroids, of course:
The gateway to City of Arabia is the super-mall (of course) and biggest in the world (of course), threatened by a flock of dinosaurs:
Built, or not built, enjoy another view of a mirage in a desert (bottom image is a four arena Sports City):
4. Dickens World, UK
The creators of Dickens World in Kent, England, promise a «dark, smoky, moody London, full of smells and mist». Steampunkers of the world, unite! Modern economy, though, may prove darker, smokier and moodier than anything these guys planned for…
Charles Dickens drab portrayals of the United Kingdom during the industrial revolution come to life at Dickensworld, resembling a Tim Burton movie set. Now the whole family can pay to be bothered by grifters, hussies, walkabouts and other choreographed nuisances.
Animatronic «ghosts» from A Christmas Carol, a boat ride featuring a trip to the depths of a London sewer… exccciting!… A Victorian School complete with nasty schoolmaster is also among attractions (Harry Potter Theme Park — soon to open in Orlando — may have nice competition overseas)
5. Mukluk Land, Alaska
Hardly Alaskas most unique destination, Mukluk Land nevertheless features exciting attractions like skee ball, mini-golf and large Alaskan cabbage.
Mukluk Lands hit attraction is the world largest Mukluk, suspended between trees and adorned with white balls. There are also a few rusting snowmobiles — and a red wonder vehicle, of unknown origin:
6. «Fantazy Land» is not abandoned, although it should be
Situated in Alexandria, Egypt, Fantazy Land is plain dangerous to anybody who enters there. Adrenaline junkies should draw insurance before checking out these rides — rusted, partly demolished, and yet still in operation (entry fee is 1.50 pounds for locals, and 30 pounds for foreign tourists, take note)
7. Cheezy and proud of it — «Pedro Land» in Dillon, South Carolina
Social ignorance runs strong at Pedro Land, where youre in for a day of stereotypes, generalities and flamingos. Play a round of mini-golf at «The Golf of Mexico» and ride a glass elevator up the Sombrero Tower.
Yes, get a load of reality: an ugly «Reality Ride»! —
The park also features corniest billboard ads ever:
8. Limestone Heritage, Malta
Limestone Heritage is a theme park dedicated to — you guessed it — limestone! Located in on the Island of Malta, this destination teaches children and adults the vast importance of this stone with wax figures and interesing historic vehicles on display:
9. Harry Potter franchise is running out of sequels. Time to build a theme park.
Coming in 2010, a billion dollar theme park will open within Universal Studios in Florida. Now readers and movie-goers of the Harry Potter mega-seller can pay top dollar to experience the land of Muggles for themselves. After a relaxing day of spending boatloads of money (conjuring them out of thin air, surely), enjoy a Harry Burger or have a glass of mead.
I like the tag line of this experience. «Let out your inner wizard!» Amen to that — he was peeking out from time to time, but now he can be properly unleashed in Orlando.