15 Abandoned Amusement Parks That Will Give You the Creeps
When these parks were in their prime, they were fun, fantastic and anything but freaky. Now, they seem like something out of a scary movie.
What’s scarier than a wooden roller coaster, freakier than a funhouse and more chilling than a clown? The decrepit remains of a park that once rung with children’s screams—screams of happiness, that is. That’s right, we’re talking about abandoned amusement parks. Similar to abandoned cities, abandoned castles and other abandoned places, these parks seriously give you the creeps. There’s something eerie about a place that once provided so much joy now not seeing a living soul … eek! If you’re brave enough, take a visual stroll through these abandoned amusement parks around the world, some of which you can also take an actual stroll through (Halloween tour, anyone?).
Fun Time Fyn
Location: Funen, Denmark
Located on the island of Funen in Denmark, Fun Time Fyn was once a joyous placed filled with attractions and games for families to enjoy. It was a popular spot to bring the kiddos for more than 25 years, but that all changed in 2006 when the park’s owner went bankrupt. The park closed and was abandoned, leaving the once-loved rides in Mother Nature’s hands. There’s no word on what its future holds, but one thing is certain: Looking at photos of the long-forgotten bumper cars, swings and slides will give you the chills … and so will these abandoned churches.
Wonderland Amusement Park
Location: Beijing, China
One of the eeriest abandoned amusement parks in the world was Wonderland Amusement Park, located in Chenzhuang Village in Beijing. Its goal was to be the largest amusement park in Asia, stretching across more than 100 acres. That goal would never be met, though, as construction on the gigantic amusement park stopped in 1998, thanks to property price disagreements. The park, in the middle of construction, was simply abandoned and eventually demolished in 2013. Eerie photos of the massive abandoned castles and unfinished structures can still be found on the internet though, and trust us—they’re just as creepy as you think. These abandoned mansions are pretty creepy too.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
This once-sparkling place of merriment now stands as an eerie reminder of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the city and closed the park in 2005. It would never reopen, and it’s now one of the attractions that are so creepy, they’re off-limits to tourists. The roller coaster, “Big Easy” Ferris Wheel and other rides are now deserted—if you don’t count the snakes and alligators wandering through them. However, the land where the abandoned amusement park sits may see life again, as it’s currently in the redevelopment process. The creepy photos of this abandoned amusement park will live on, though.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Entering this desolate place in Berlin on your own is verboten (“forbidden” in German), and for good reason. The communist-era park opened in 1969 East Germany, but it was closed in 2001 and left to the elements. It now features toppled dinosaur statues, rusting roller coasters and a track leading into a surreal monster mouth. In the coming years, it’s expected to reopen as an arts center—restoration work has already started on its Ferris wheel. Meanwhile, here are some other forbidden places no one will ever be allowed to visit.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Location: Rock, West Virginia
Beware of this cursed amusement park: Like something out of a horror movie, Lake Shawnee was reportedly built on an Indian burial ground. In the 18th century, a bloody confrontation erupted between Native Americans and a colonial family who attempted to settle here. More than a century later, in the 1920s, the amusement park opened on the site—then closed in 1966 after the accidental deaths of two young patrons, including one on the spooky circular swing that still stands.
Some say the place is haunted and even claim to have seen ghosts of the park’s victims. It’s a popular spot for paranormal investigators, and every Halloween the park hosts a “Dark Carnival” with tours, ghost stories, a corn maze and campouts. Is it one of the most haunted places in America? You decide.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Picture an 1898 Victorian amusement park: music from an organ grinder, women’s skirts swishing around the dance hall, children’s laughter echoing from the various newfangled rides. That’s what this theme park on Bois Blanc Island (nicknamed Boblo) near Detroit, on the Canadian side of the Detroit River, was to Michiganders and Canadians alike. Its doors were shut nearly a hundred years later, in 1993, and the area is now closed to the public. But you can boat or kayak by the remains, listening for the ghostly sounds of long-past visitors. Don’t forget to read up on these true urban legends that will send chills down your spine.
Pripyat Amusement Park
Location: Pripyat, Ukraine
The tragic story of this Ukraine amusement park centers on the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, a couple of miles away from Pripyat. Many of the power plant’s workers and their families lived in the town, where the park was set to open for the May Day celebration on May 1, 1986. But the explosion at the plant occurred just a few days prior, on April 26, so it never happened—although according to some reports, officials opened the park early to keep residents busy before evacuation orders were given.
Once the announcement was made to leave, everyone fled almost immediately, leaving the park (and everything else) to the elements. Since then, the abandoned Ferris wheel has become a symbol of the ill-fated town.
Location: Port Orange, Florida
Where else can you see ruins of a sugar mill, a botanical garden—and a dinosaur theme park? Built on the grounds of a pre–Civil War mill, Bongoland opened in the late 1940s and featured concrete dinosaurs, animals including the park’s namesake monkey Bongo, a replica of a Native American village and a kiddie train.
After this Port Orange attraction closed in 1952, it was abandoned for decades; today, gardens surround the old prehistoric creatures, which remain as spooky relics of the park’s past. For an amusement park with working attractions and rides, Disney World is just an hour away in Orlando.
Location: Bali, Indonesia
The origins of this never-opened Indonesian amusement park are mysterious—it’s not even known exactly why tourists never got to ride its rides or stroll its paths. Today, Taman Festival is being consumed by the jungle and covered with vibrant graffiti. Explorers should watch out for what was planned to be a crocodile pit—or more accurately, for the ravenous reptiles who may now be wandering free. Another FYI: Locals may ask you for a “donation” to see the site. Need another dose of eerie? Check out these urban legends from every state.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
The still-colorful Yongma Land amusement park in Seoul, which was open from 1980 to 2011, serves as a nostalgic reminder of childhood—so much so that it’s become a hot spot for both amateur and professional photographers. The kitschy place was even the setting for several K-Pop videos (that’s Korean pop, for the uninitiated). And if you want to see it, you won’t be breaking and entering—for a fee, you’ll be allowed to look around. After dark, the lights are even turned back on, creating an atmosphere of chills and thrills even without going on any of the derelict rides. P.S. Take a look at these abandoned houses that would look great restored.
Location: Consonno, Italy
This “city of toys” was conceived in the 1960s as an adult amusement park, a Las Vegas–style resort in the middle of Italy just an hour from Milan. Structures were to be built in different styles, including a Muslim minaret, Chinese pagodas and a faux-medieval castle. There were also plans for a zoo and a racetrack. But tragedy struck in 1976 when a landslide destroyed the road to the city. The plans for the sprawling complex were abandoned, and the half-finished buildings left to decay just like these creepy abandoned hospitals.
Location: Lemery, Batangas, Philippines
Another “woulda coulda shoulda” amusement park, Fantasy World’s owners had, well, fantasies of its becoming a Philippines Disneyland. But the place never opened, reportedly due to financial difficulties. Now overgrown with weeds, the rides rusting and paint peeling off the castle, Fantasy World is finding new life as a “photo park.” For a fee, you can enter the property, look around and take pictures of the eerie theme park that never was.
Ho Thuy Tien
Location: Hương Thủy, Vietnam
Ho Thuy Tien’s giant dragon looms over a sci-fi-looking aquarium, welcoming visitors to this now-algae-covered water park, one of the most bizarre sights at any abandoned amusement park. The park was opened briefly in 2004, despite being only partially completed. But if you stop by today, you might not be alone: Rumors of roaming crocodiles have plagued the park, although reports say the creatures have been removed. Still, we don’t recommend getting in the murky water—or trying the rickety waterslides.
Land of Oz
Location: Beech Mountain, North Carolina
This 1970s-era, Wizard of Oz–inspired attraction in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, isn’t a functioning theme park anymore, and most of the year it stands empty. But the privately owned property opens to the public throughout the year, including during the Autumn at Oz Festival. Although not strictly abandoned, it’s still creepy to think of the yellow brick road winding its way through the woods with no one to follow it except the wind.
Location: Nara, Japan
Japan has more than its fair share of abandoned amusement parks. But the most famous, the Disneyland-inspired Dreamland, became more of a nightmare than a dream. Forty-five years after opening in 1961, Dreamland closed and was left to rot, not to be seen again except by the urban explorers who dared to enter illegally. It languished until 2013, when the land was bought and the park was demolished in 2017—but not before being immortalized by photographer Romain Veillon. If you’re looking to plan a more traditional trip, check out this list of the best amusement parks in America.
Additional reporting by Kelly Kuehn.
- Secret København: “Denmark’s Eerie Abandoned Fairground • Fun Park Fyn”
- The Atlantic: “China’s Abandoned Wonderland”
- Nola.com: “Six Flags New Orleans’ leftover rides — reminders of Katrina’s damage — might be up for demolition”
- Artnet News: “An Abandoned Amusement Park in East Germany Is Being Renovated Into a €45 Million Cultural Site”
- New York Daily News: “Abandoned West Virginia amusement park has a bloody history”
- Visit Mercer County website: “Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park”
- M Live: “Boblo Island then and now: See historic photos and amusement park remains”
- Atlas Obscura: “Boblo Island Abandoned Amusement Park”
- Atlas Obscura: “Taman Festival”
- Atlas Obscura: “Yongma Land Abandoned Theme Park”
- Atlas Obscura: “Consonno”
- Esquire: “The Unfinished Mystery of Fantasy World in Batangas”
- Atlas Obscura: “Hồ Thuỷ Tiên”
- Land of Oz
- CNN: “Dreamland decay: The final moments of a forgotten theme park”