Six Flags, King’s Dominion, Disneyland…we’ve all heard of those, and have probably visited one of them at some point in time. You know all about the fun and games that make a theme park worthwhile and worth the money. If you’ve ever been to a theme park, you’d probably come across into nothing but scores and scores of people. In fact, theme parks are so busy that as many as 50,000 people may come and go in just one day.
While you’ve heard of a few very common theme parks, below is a list of 10 theme parks that cross the line from fun to bizarre. Though Disneyland may be deemed the “happiest place on Earth,” these theme parks definitely don’t fit that mold. Some are just plain weird while others are more laughable than they are serious.
Have you ever been driving and seen a Bobcat or Caterpillar roving over dirt and grass, probably carrying gravel, and wondered what it would be like to be the driver? Well, with Diggerland, you can make that dream come true, but only if you live in England or plan to travel there. The theme park, located in four locations throughout England, is all about adventure…using construction machines and vehicles. The park opened in April 2000 and provides 19 different kid-friendly rides. All of the rides are made with real construction machines such as dump trucks, diggers, and cranes, all of which are owned by JCBs, the Bobcat of the UK. The best part about it? You can see these machines “dance.” At the park, this show is known as the “Dancing Diggers.” So if you like to get dirty and in touch with your masculine side, this park is for you. Put on your hardhat!
9. Shijingshan Amusement Park
If you’re alive and breathing, you probably know something about Disneyland and the plethora of characters you will find there. While Disneyland theme parks have expanded across the globe into several locations such as France and Hong Kong, you may just come across an eerily similar park in Beijing, known as Shijingshan Amusement Park. Just by looking at the park, you can see the similarities between the two castles, but the characters you will find inside look like they’ve been transplanted from Orlando to Beijing. From Cinderella look-alikes to a “cat with large ears” that resembles Minnie Mouse, you’ll definitely start to think that the park owners may have stolen Disney and other characters. However, the park maintains that all of their characters are based on those found in Grimm’s Fairy Tales and are no way associated with Disney or other cartoon characters. However, I think the park’s slogan “Disneyland is too far” proves it all
8. Alien Apex Resort
There’s nothing wrong with people dressing up as Disney or cartoon characters, or even those dressed up as your favorite chocolate bar at Hershey Park, but if you ever visit Alien Apex Resort, you’ll encounter nothing but aliens. Located in Roswell, New Mexico, a location known for a possible UFO crash, the Alien Apex Resort focuses on bringing humans into a world controlled by aliens. Though still under construction but said to open in 2010, you’ll find the most prized ride, one that takes you through an alien abduction. You’ll also find an exhibit hall with information all about extra-terrestrial life, as well as a show called “The Symbiosis,” which recreates the 1947 Roswell UFO incident using music, fireworks, and special effects. If you’re one of those alien crazed people who seemingly spot a UFO every other day, this theme park is definitely for you.
7. World Chocolate Wonderland
No, this isn’t another Hershey Park away from home; the World Chocolate Wonderland is located in China and is the first of its kind. The park opened on January 29, 2010 and is centered on everything chocolate, in fact, 176,000 pounds of chocolate. From the Great Wall of China to very famous Terracotta Warriors, you’ll find several different objects and figures made of nothing but this yummy treat, including a BMW, clothing, and even shoes. All of the exhibits are encased in glass in order to prevent melting, and probably to prevent some sweet-toothed visitor from taking a bite. The park owners created the park with the idea that due to the tough economic times in China recently, the population needed something sweet. You’ll also be able to enjoy a fashion show at the park with models wearing nothing but clothing crafted using chocolate. How’s that for every man or woman’s dream? Visit Site
6. Haw Par Villa
Located in Singapore, the Haw Par Villa is a theme park based around folklores from Chinese literature. The villa, the oldest on the list, was built in 1937 and was first known as Tiger Balm Gardens and was eventually renamed in 1985 when it was sold to new owners. While once considered an amusement park, Haw Par was revamped and the well-known dragon rollercoaster was removed. Because the park is centered on Chinese folklore, you will find many statues, 1000 to be exact, dedicated to certain stories, many of them relating to Confuscianism. At the park there are also about 150 dioramas that depict several different scenes. While the park seems to have nothing bizarre about it, once you get a look at some of the statues, you definitely understand. You’ll find dioramas entitled “Filthy Blood Pond” as well as a scene of blue demons dismembering a chained prisoner. You’ll also find the “Ten Courts of Hell” which depict grotesque sights of the many punishments for sinners.
5. Holy Land Experience
While there’s nothing wrong with religion, there is definitely something odd about a theme park based around life during the time of Jesus, the odd part being that the park does reenactments of many events, including the crucifixion of Jesus. If you’re a devout Christian, this park just may take you to Heaven in Orlando, Florida. The park was built in order to allow present-day people to experience life during ancient times in the Holy Land. At the park you’ll find a town made to look like olden-day Jerusalem with markets, a Judean Village, a Temple, and even a Garden Tomb that is meant to look like the one Jesus was buried in, as well as many other structures that were built to present the architecture and life 2000 years back. There are also old artifacts that allow every visitor to picture themselves in the life of someone living in the Holy Land. While this park is very spiritual and educational, it doesn’t fit the perfect mold for a theme park.
4. Memory Village
Another theme park that takes its visitors back into time, Memory Village is one that provides everyone the chance to experience life as a slave. Though not an established theme park, Ron and Carla Bluntschli of Haiti want to create the first theme park revolving around slaves in hopes of educating the public about slavery. Those who visit the park are given the chance to be a participator or a spectator. Those who decide to take on the participating role are given traditional slave clothing and are then mock-kidnapped, chained, and forced to load a mock slave ship. Other participators are “sold” and put on a plantation. After the end of the 12 hour day, participants reenact a slave rebellion and free themselves. Even though the park is still in the works, it definitely deserves a spot on the list as the idea of a slave-theme park is entirely bizarre. Visit site
3. Grutas Park
Keeping on with the topic of human oppression, Grutas Park is another theme park that really twitches a nerve in your head. Sometimes known as “Stalin’s World” and “the park of totalitarianism,” Grutas Park is located in Lithuania and is definitely no Disneyland. The park is surrounded by barbed wire as well as watch towers; not the happiest of sights. Founded by Vilumas Malinauskas, the park is home to statues of extremely famous Soviets, including Lenin, Marx, Dzerzhinsky, and even Stalin, just to name a few of the 100 statues found there. These statues were placed in the park after they were dismantled in 1990 after Lithuania gained its independence. To bring in a sense of light-heartedness and child-friendliness, the park added a zoo filled with peacocks and ostriches as well as plenty of other animals. Somehow, my brain can’t put together a peacock and Stalin at the same place. Visit site
2. Bon Bon Land
If any park on this list screams “wrong,” this theme park is definitely it. The park was built in 1998 and has since undergone construction in order to add new rides and attractions. Located in Denmark, this park focuses on scatological ideas and humor…that’s right, poop. While it features plenty of cute farm-animal characters that all children would love to look at, the obscene gestures that they are making turn the park into one big disturbing place. From afar it seems quite innocent, but with a roller coaster named “Dog Fart Coaster” and figures of naked pigs with their human-esque breasts showing, it’s anything but. However, somehow, the park is deemed to be very family friendly and offers all types of fun and events, from shows, to rollercoasters, rafting, and even playgrounds.
1. Love Land
Love Land definitely deserves the top spot on the list. Now, if you thought Freud overdid it when it came to phallic, vaginal, or sexual symbols, you’ve seen nothing until now; meet Love Land. Located in Cheju Island in South Korea, the park is literally based around nothing but sex, and was meant to be for adults-only, but was eventually demolished before it was even able to open to the public. The whole idea behind the park was to help Chinese citizens “enjoy a harmonious sex life.” At the park you’d have found giant statues of penises, vaginas, and statues committing a several different sexual acts. While the park was actually built and prepared to open in October 2009, the Chinese government deemed the theme park to be overtly sexual and considered it to be a very negative influence on the Chinese culture.