Top weird theme parks

posted in: Cool stuff | 1

We had so much fun making the roller coasters blogpost that we’ve been itching to revisit the wonderful world of theme parks. You all know the joys of Thorpe Park, the thrills of Port Aventura, and the exhilaration of Six Flags – we want to find out about something different. Something out of the ordinary, perhaps.

Even the British Royal Family has its ill-fitting pieces; likewise, our fascination with theme parks has spawned some weird and wacky creations.

Angry Birds' House
Angry Birds’ House (1)

Having spent hours on the toilet at work, Angry Birds fans will soon be able to enjoy the aggression in 3D at Finland’s Sarkanniemi Adventure Park. Game creators Rovio have collaborated to make sure the park is as authentic and attractive as possible. Visitors will be able to play the real thing and will also be able to meet the characters in person. Anger management: a punning business plan.

Angry Birds
Birds: Angry (2)

In light of this recent addition to the weird theme parks family, let’s have a look at some unconventional theme park ideas from around the world:

1. Mr. Iron Robot

Mr Iron Robot
Optimus Prime was chuffed with his canary paint job (3)

If you’re the kind of person who enjoyed watching Transformers, you might also have wished you were part of the action. Shazam – may your wish be granted: Jiaxing City, in China’s Zhejiang Province, is now host to a Transformers-themed park called Mr. Iron Robot.

Mr Iron Robot
You’re wearing my coat (4)

The creator behind the giant structures is artist Zhu Kefeng. Having spent a decade making robots from recycled metal, Zhu and his team began work on Mr. Iron Robot in 2010. The park now features over 600 creations.

2. Suoi Tien Cultural Amusement Park

Suoi Tien Mountain
Suoi Tien – where the walls have eyes (5)

As religion can be held accountable for some of mankind’s most surreal episodes, it’s not a great surprise to find it as the theme of an amusement park. Suoi Tien’s inspiration is Buddhism – an integral part of Vietnamese culture for centuries.

Crocodiles: hungry (6)

Quite a comprehensive theme park, Suoi Tien hosts go-karts, rides, water parks and even parades. Animal lovers can feed the 1500 crocodiles with chunks of meat dangling from the end of a pole, or ride the air cycle over their pond. For a less disturbing thrill, try the boat ride through the realms of Hell, or perhaps take a trip through the cave of innumerable bats.

3. Grutas Park

Grutas Park
This is the road to glory (7)

Lithuania’s Dzukija National Park is the location for Grutas Park, which might sound quite unfamiliar. However, the name ‘Stalin’s World’ should conjure sufficiently gruesome scenes in the popular imagination.

Grutas Statues
You’re on my foot (8)

The park contains over 100 statues of famous Soviets, which you can tour via a wooden walkway that runs inside barbed-wire fences punctuated by guard towers.

That’s not where the fun ends, however; each statue is accompanied by a plaque providing information on the figure’s significance in light of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania.

Just in case this oppression and suffering start to get people down, the park also contains a zoo that features ostriches and peacocks; so lighten up a bit, it’s not all doom and gloom.

4. Holy Land Experience

Holy Land Experience
Jesus: cross (9)

It’s about time religion came back around to amuse us. Orlando’s Holy Land Experience can do just that, thanks to its Christian Karaoke (Make a joyful noise to the Lord!), Calvary replica, and re-enactments of the crucifixion of Jesus – including the whipping post where Pilate had Jesus lashed.

Holy Land Experience show
Jesus: showman (10)

There’s a great many attractions here: visitors can take part in a recreation of the Last Supper, reflect on the glory of God at the Crystal Living Water fountains, and go shopping in the Jerusalem Street Market. The live show programme includes the retelling of Bible stories as well as dramatic presentations of the Last Supper and Crucifixion.

If all these thrills and spills prove a bit much, why not drop the kids off at Smile of a Chile Adventure Land and head round to the Prayer Gardens or the Christus Gardens (Bring an unsaved one!) to reclaim some sense of serenity.

5. Loveland

Loveland Statues
Loveland: romantic (11)

Forget roller coasters and candy floss – a celebration of sex is much more like my kind of theme park. Thankfully the South Koreans and I think alike, and have dutifully created Loveland.
The park features 140 sculptures and a series of sex education films, and demonstrates a level of dedication to coital activity that I can only admire.

Loveland statues
Never knowingly coy (12)

The park is relatively small and doesn’t take too long to navigate, really – unless you’re happy to gaze and ponder the daring and inspiring artworks on display, that is. If you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to handling genitalia you might want to bring a pair of gloves or hold your bladder for the duration of your visit. Lost your appetite yet? Time for something more wholesome.

6. Bon Bon Land

Bon Bon Land
Turtles get strung out in Bon Bon Land (13)

The Danes are famous for several disparate things: dogs, Vikings, bacon, and winning the European Cup in 1992. Not quite so famous, perhaps, for a scatalogically awesome amusement park offering a wealth of family fun.

Bon Bon Land Dog
Giant dog = large bites (14)

Hundeprutterutchebane – translated as ‘Dog Fart Coaster’ – allows you to circumnavigate a flatulent dog. Not satisfied with that? Don’t worry – everyone has the opportunity to be farted on whilst enjoying this ride.
Not a dog person? How about a vomiting rat, a demented turtle, or a shitting seagull?
Fancy a muffin?

7. Diggerland

Diggerland Digger
Diggerland Swings (15)

I thought there was always more to JCBs than simple construction tasks. Diggerland proves just that. If digging dirt is your idea of a great afternoon, Diggerland might send you delirious with exuberance.
Get into the swing of the bucket coaster, witness the staggering grace of the Dancing Diggers, and leave the park humming Diggerland’s catchy jingle. What more could you ask for? – Hook-a-duck, JCB-style? Okay then.

Diggerland Hook-a-Duck
Diggerland Hook-a-Duck (16)

8. Haw Par Villa

Chinese Torture
Torture: Chinese? (17)

Haw Par Villa in Singapore might bring you some good karma. The park was designed by the Tiger Balm Kings – not a cheesy pop group, but the two brothers who invented Tiger Balm.

Blood Pond
Blood Ponds: filthy (18)

Haw Par Villa was originally built as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. Nowadays, the park has reverted to its original name, Tiger Balm Gardens. It’s full of statues and dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history and several aspects of Confucianism. Okay, all this sounds quite mild, but those depictions frightfully often take the form of bodies being dismembered, slashed, gashed, ground, bitten and other generally unsettling experiences. Fancy a dip in Filthy Blood Pond? No??

Family fun
A riot of family fun (19)

Dirt digging, shitting dogs, blood ponds or a sex theme park…so much choice, such little time. Maybe you can give us some tips on where to start?
Got a review or a suggestion? Shove it in below!

Thanks to:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19


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