PHOTOS: Eerie Abandoned Amusement Parks Around the World

Creepy Coasters.

It’s hard to imagine an amusement park with a shelf life. Sure, rides may become outdated or unsafe with time, and eventually the visitors tire of the same humdrum attractions and gaudy fairytale pastiche—but at least then, the park is demolished and / or moved to another locale. What happens when these once timeless sites of cheer are left abandoned where they are? Rotting in plain sight?

We’ve gathered some fairly depressing parks that life forgot about. Enter, if you dare.
 

Pripyat Fun Fair | Pripyat, Ukraine

Following the devastating Chernobyl Power Plant disaster in 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history (in terms of cost and casualties), the once bustling Pripyat (1986 population: 49,000+) was all but abandoned after toxic levels of radiation were unleashed. A virtual time capsule, the area is now a creepy reminder of human error epitomized.

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(Photo by thedakotakid via Flickr)

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(Photo by Jay Springett via Flickr)

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(Photo by stahlmandesign via Flickr)

 

Rock-a-Hoola Water Park | Newberry Springs, California

This oasis in the California desert, reduced now to a collection of twisted pastel shells and hollowed concession stands, was the brain child of a millionaire who wanted to build a private park for his family. Too many wacky layout ideas and multiple changes in management resulted in a 50s themed heap of broken dreams and shiny failure.

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(Photo by Dzealand via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Anthony Citrano via Flickr)

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(Photo by Anthony Citrano via Flickr)

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(Photo by Anthony Citrano via Flickr)

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(Photo by Clay Larson via Flickr)

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(Photo by Clay Larson via Flickr)

 

Dadipark – Dadizele, Belgium

An all-too familiar story: theme park opens, brings joy to the lives of millions of children, one of said children loses an arm, park closes and fades into obscurity, the ruined site becomes a legendary graveyard of twisted metal until it is finally demolished in 2012.

Dadipark

(Photo by janheuninck via Flickr)

Dadipark

(Photo by janheuninck via Flickr)

Dadipark

(Photo by janheuninck via Flickr)

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(Photo by Thomas Strosse via Flickr)

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(Photo by Thomas Strosse via Flickr)

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(Photo by Debby Vervoort via Flickr)

 

Cementland | St. Louis, Missouri

The brainchild of famed sculptor Bob Cassilly, who had dreams of turning an abandoned cement factory into a castle-themed amusement park, was in the process of turning fantasy to reality, when the bulldozer he was riding flipped down an embankment, killing him instantly.

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(Photo by Paul Sableman via Flickr)

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(Photo by Paul Sableman via Flickr)

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(Photo by Paul Sableman via Flickr)

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(Photo by Paul Sableman via Flickr)

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(Photo by Paul Sableman via Flickr)

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(Photo by Lori via Flickr)

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(Photo by Lori via Flickr)

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(Photo by Lori via Flickr)

 

Six Flags | New Orleans, Louisiana

One of the many casualties of Hurricane Katrina, this site—a proper, big-budget theme park—has laid abandoned ever since this century’s deadliest U.S. weather disaster. Though it technically ceased operation in 2005, the park was too severely damaged by flooding to re-open as planned. Despite having the Six Flags Corporation behind it, the park has still not been demolished or excavated.

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(Photo by Erik Jorgensen via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Erik Jorgensen via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Erik Zeterberg via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Erik Zeterberg via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Keoni 101 via Wikimedia Commons)

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(Photo by Kelci C via Wikimedia Commons)