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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Worst Theme Parks in the World

By Justin Thomas

Summer is a great time to toss the family in the minivan, pick up a week’s worth of Ritz crackers and gummy worms, and hit the open road for a good ol’ fashioned family vacation. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the few Americans who can afford a vacation this year, there are plenty of awesome theme parks to choose from. There are also a few really crappy amusement parks that you should try to avoid at all costs. Here are the 10 Worst Theme Parks in the World:


South Korea
lovelandEverybody likes porn, so why haven’t they ever made a theme park of it? That’s exactly what some people in South Korea thought in 2004, aso they came up with the best idea ever: a porn-themed amusement park! Located on Jeju Island, South Korea, Loveland is an outdoor park that features giant erotic statues portraying weird, kinky sex acts and positions. In other words, it’s not the best place to take a first date. Definitely a go-to for your third date, though.

Bon Bon Land

bon bon land
If you enjoy Bon Bons, then you’ll probably be impartial to Bon Bon Land, because it really doesn’t have anything to do with Bon Bons. As the fourth largest theme park in Denmark (which is about as big as New Hampshire), Bon Bon Land boasts an impressive collection of wacky cartoon statues and carnival rides that you could find at the far end of any Wal-Mart parking lot, along with a whole bunch of playgrounds and a “Beaver Rafting Ride” that lets users ride down a little fake river in a raft. It was listed as one of the most popular Denmark tourist destinations in 2008, but that’s like saying you were the most popular student in your home school class. It’s Denmark, so it doesn’t really count.


For those of you who have never seen a construction site before (let alone been annoyed by one that’s been working right outside of your window every morning for several months in a row), you’re in luck: you can go to Diggerland! Diggerland is England’s premiere construction-themed amusement park. How exciting! At Diggerland, you can actually sit in construction equipment like forklifts, bulldozers, and even cranes! Just in case you’re wondering, you’re not allowed to operate any of the machinery at Diggerland. You can just sit in it. So it’s kind of like breaking into any construction site, except that you have to pay for a ticket.


Y’know what sucks about Disneyland? It just doesn’t have the “Communist USSR” vibe that we’re all looking for when we set out to an amusement park. Luckily, Isgyvenimo is here to save the day! Isgyvenimo is more of a dramatic experience than an amusement park, but it’s definitely a hot tourist destination for dozens of Lithuanians who really miss the good old days when the USSR controlled every facet of their lives. Visitors to Isgyvenimo will be immediately charmed by the parks rustic “Old Soviet Bunker” feel and those who don’t get freaked out from wearing a gas mask will get to experience the ins and outs of every day Lithuanian life back in 1984, when the country was under Soviet control. In Soviet Russia, amusement park enjoys YOU!


There’s no better way to top of your summer vacation than by having your eyes raped by vibrant pastels and rounded bubbly Sanrio cartoon characters, and that’s exactly what Japan’s Hello Kitty-themed Harmonyland has in store for you. And it’s not just the collection of creepy, child-like costumed characters that will enamor your soul. If you’re a 12-year old Asian girl, you’ll absolutely love this place. Otherwise, you’ll probably hate it. The theme park also boasts a whopping 12 Hello Kitty-themed rides and a number of live shows, so you’ll definitely make good use of the Hello Kitty Japanese-to-English dictionary you’ll buy in the gift shop.

Dickens World

dickens world
If you’re looking for a solid escape from reality this summer, look no further than the mid-19th century-themed Dickens World. If you hate reliable indoor plumbing and love the smell of coal and dirty little panhandling kids with driving caps and cockneyed accents, then travel into the world of Charles Dickens. Explore a few streets modeled after the 19th century English neighborhood where Dickens lived. Look at a stunning recreation of Dickens’ house, and encounter a number of recognizable characters from famous Charles Dickens novels. Just be sure not to solicit the 1860′s English prostitutes, because as it turns out they are not real prostitutes and you will get kicked out of Dickens World, which is something that you can never be proud of.

Shijinghan Amusement Park

Beijing, China
worlds worst theme park
Just to be clear: Shijinghan Amusement Park is not affiliated with Disney in any way, and they’re also definitely not ripping off Disneyland. I can see how a common tourist might see a lot of similarities between the two parks. Both are built around giant model castles that are nearly identical to one another. Both of them feature a vast assortment of costumed characters including a black mouse with red pants, a duck wearing a blue sailor’s outfit, and a big “goofy” dog wearing overalls, but just because they’re exactly the same in every way doesn’t mean that Shijinghan Amusement Park is blatantly ripping off Disneyland, because it’s totally not. That costumed character that you think is Mickey Mouse is actually a black cat who just happens to be wearing mouse ears. And that duck is a goose…who happens to look exactly like Donald Duck. In fact, the two parks are so dissimilar to one another that everyone in China was totally surprised when Disney sued Shijinghan Amusement Park a few years ago for copyright infringement and forced them to change some of their more blatantly “borrowed” park elements. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in copyright infringement then this is definitely the park for you.


Alexandria, Egypt
Imagine what an amusement park would look like if you visited immediately after an Apocalyptic world war, in which every living thing on the planet was killed and every structure on Earth was leveled to the ground. That’s pretty much exactly what Egypt’s Fantazyland looks like. The seemingly-abandoned-but-still-charging-for-admission theme park is considered by some to be the worst amusement park in the entire world. Most of the rides don’t work, the ticket takers will blatantly rip you off, and the place is simply a shambles. Half-finished construction sites block of crudely paved trails. The “lagoon” looks more like a bubbling cesspool, and the rides are more dangerous than the inside of a porta-potty at a chili cook-off. If it were a junkyard, it would still be a crappy junkyard, so you can imagine how you’ll feel when you actually pay to see the devastation that is Fantazyland.


South Carolina
If there’s one complaint that people often voice about South Carolina, it’s that the state as a whole just isn’t racist enough. That’s why South Carolinians created Pedroland, an amusement park that was built specifically to ridicule Mexicans. There are more than enough incredibly racist attractions at Pedroland to keep even the most hatefully racist person occupied for an entire afternoon. The entire landscape is donned with traditional Mexican decor, like pink flamingos and hot tamales. And we all know how Mexicans like to make fun of their own language by using really bad puns all the time, right? Well South Carolina knows that too, and they spared no expense in utilizing only the best puns to entice your adventurous side, like the “Golf of Mexico” mini-golf course (did you get it? Golf of Mexico!). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, my amigos.

Mukluk Land

Alaska doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment, which is probably one of the many reasons why they boast the highest suicide rate in the country. What they do have, though, is something far more exciting than entertainment: they have the largest mukluk in the world. If you have half of a brain in your head, you already know that a Mukluk is a….well, it’s like a…kind of a shoe thing…kind of like a mocassin, but not exactly…it’s kind of like a non-commercialized Ugg boot. Well, anyway, a mukluk is a shoe-like thing and Mukluk Land is the proud home of the largest Mukluk in the world. But don’t just pay your admission, check out the Mukluk for a few thrilling hours, and then turn around and head home. There’s so much more to Mukluk Land! The theme park also has skeeball, mini golf, and a giant cabbage. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a giant cabbage, would you?!