Abandoned Theme Parks
Amusement parks are the destination for many vacations. Not all of them work out though, and abandoned theme parks are scattered throughout the world. Places that once held laughter and joy, now only show neglect and decay. Some were closed because of a lack of customers, others due to safety issues. All have a story to tell.
All abandoned amusement parks and theme parks are private property, trespassers are unwelcome. Many of the buildings and rides are in various states of decay and can be quite dangerous to explore. If you want to go in, get permission. That being said just looking at the outside can be a haunting experience.
Spreepark BerlinClick thumbnail to view full-size
Originally called Kulturpark Planterwald, the park opened for business in 1969. After 1989 when Germany unified it became the Spreepark Berlin. Mounting dept eventually caused the park to close. Guided tours were offered at the closed park for a time, but when the city of Berlin bought the park tours were stopped. It is still unclear what will happen with property.
Dadipark was located in Dadizele, Belgium. It began in the 1950s as a children's park and eventually evolved into a theme park. It closed it's doors in 2002 for renovation after a string of accidents which sadly included a boys arm being amputated in 2000. The park never reopened and demolition began in 2012, though some of the park still remains.
Loudoun Castle (Theme Park)
Opened in 1995, it was named after the ruins of Loudoun Castle, which it was built around. It was closed in 2010 because it was "no longer economically viable", as the owner stated. Many people didn't know it had closed and it was common to see families trying to go to the park.
The only death that occurred at the park was that of an 18 year old employee who fell 80ft to his death. The company was not held responsible for this accident and it apparently had no influence on the closing of the park.
The park still stands empty of people and there is no information as to whether or not the park will reopen or be re-purposed into something else. Some of the rides are all up for sale if anyone has a few million to spend.
Chippewa Lake Park
Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio has a long history. Opened in 1875 as a picnic area, by 1878 it had it's first roller coaster. Granted, the roller coaster had to be manually pushed in to place. In 1898 a new owner acquired the park and added more rides and forms of entertainment. That family ran the park quite well up to the 1960s. In 1969 Continental Business Enterprises bought the property with plans on making it a resort, which fell through. The park eventually closed in 1978, it couldn't keep up with competition from other local parks. For 30 years the park stood untouched, but in 2009 demolition began. Several structures still remain, including the Ferris Wheel and Big Dipper rides.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park opened in 1926 and closed in 1966. This park has a tragic history, while open, the park claimed the life of two children. One by drowning, the pool was then filled with sand, and the other while on a swing ride. A delivery truck backed into the path of the swing, killing the girl. It is rumored locally that a total of six children died in the park.
The park stood abandoned until 1985 when a new owner bought the property in the hopes subdividing and selling residential lots. That's when he began to discover skeletal remains. Apparently, the land was originally used as a Native American burial ground. Instead of selling the land, he reopened the park. It operated for 3 more years before closing down for good.
If any other park has been built in such a horrible location, I haven't heard of it. I can't see any business surviving in an area like this, but that's just my opinion. Whatever you believe, the fact remains it's creepy. Parts of the park still remain standing and it has become a site for paranormal investigation.
Splendid China Park
Splendid China was a theme based attraction which was made up of mini replicas, a one tenth scale, of famous Chinese structures. Everything was handcrafted for authenticity, and included replicas the Great Wall of China, the Leshan Buddha and the Imperial Palace. It was opened from 1993 to 2003.
There were critics of the company, which claimed it was either out right or indirectly owned by the Chinese government. Through the ten years of operation many protest were held by the front gates protesting a range of topics. On top of this, some of the performers that were brought from China used the opportunity of being in the States to flee their homeland. The main reason for closing however seems to be that the park could not compete with Disneyland, which was near by.
Opened in 1971, the park continued until 1993. For years the park operated quite well, but in 1993 a tourist was killed on one of the attractions. The park was forced to close so improvements could be made, it was never reopened. Development near by caused a minor landslide making conditions unsafe. The park is now overgrown and wildlife roams freely. Most of the park is still there and 2 security guards are always on duty to keep the general public out.
Many of the locals had hoped the park would reopen, because of it's convenient location and attractions for the whole family. There are no plans however, to repair and reopen the park.
Monuments to Failure
Most people love a good theme park, the number of choices out there proves it. Competition is fierce for which one you choose and those that can't keep up are left behind. If a park proves unsafe potential customers flee from the very idea of visiting. Abandoned theme parks are monuments to failure. Sometimes even the best ideas won't bare fruit, the timing and location have to be right. Otherwise you have spooky reminders of past dreams and lost success. The effort is not wasted however, no matter how shortly the reality existed. Someone will remember it and many of those memories may be fond.
© 2014 Katrina