5. Chuanlord Holiday Manor – Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, China
We totally ended up at this Guangdong theme park by accident. We’re happy our taxi – which appeared to be in danger of running out of gas at any moment – even made it to this corner of the city. We jumped out and instantly realized why we hadn’t heard of this place before; no English, and only Chinese manufactured rides. The park was actually nicely manicured; home to countless independent vendors hosting rides, games, shopping, and some very good food! Chuanlord is filled with weird theming, a ton of strange dark rides, wildly themed flat rides, and over a dozen coasters (which varied in size from a knock-off Arrow double-loop-double-cork to kiddy shuttle coasters that could fit in a suburban backyard). Navigating this Chinese–Vienna–Prater was mind-boggling, and the staff were tickled by our mere presence, but it was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Oh, and did we mention the rides are all painted the same color?
4. China Dinosaurs Park – Xinbei, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
China Dinosaurs Park is a flashy affair in the middle of the bustling metropolis of Changzhou, the self-proclaimed “Dinosaur Capital of the World.” The eastern world’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils can be found here, and the local government is so proud of this that gas stations, freeway travel centers, road signs, and various other bits of civil infrastructure are themed to dinosaurs. Turns out this highly-attended dinosaur theme park is more than a “Jurassic Park” – jungle and dinosaurs are just the beginning, with further exploration yielding various other theme environments cast through a dinosaur filter. Whether it’s a bright town of baby colorful dinosaurs signing songs, a forest home to a tree-dwelling snake/dinosaur hybrid, a hollow–mountain–turned–dinosaurs–community, a shipyard with sheetmetal containers (filled with dinos, of course), or a hip-hop–dripping city full of graffiti and partying dinosaurs, China Dinosaurs Park has it all.
3. BonBon-Land – Holme-Olstrup, Sjaelland, Denmark
Imagine if Hershey made novelty candies themed to dog farts and anthropomorphic pigs with enormous boobs, and then fleshed out Hersheypark in a way that reflected these themes. Well, no need to imagine: that’s exactly the story of Denmark’s infamous BonBon-Land, home to such iconic rides as the “Dog Fart Coaster” and the prototype Gerstlauer Eurofighter, Vild Svinet. If rides themed to garish depictions of cartoon animals participating in grotesque behaviors has you working up an appetite, the giant candy gift shop serving as the park’s entrance and exit has you covered.
2. OCT East – Yantain, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Imagine a place that opened only 10 years ago – the size of Walt Disney World – golf courses, thousands of hotel rooms and villas, temples, gardens, and amusement rides. Now imagine the majority of this giant resort in the mountains over the South China Sea sitting there abandoned. The only way to get between rides is taking roads, or the skyride. Many rides and hotels sit there, slowly being reclaimed by nature. On our unfortunate, yet amazing, trip to this park we found an abandoned zoo with animals still living in there, a log flume that was hardly recognizable, and empty hotels where staff has moved in instead. OCT East is a weird place. You can check out amazing pictures of it here.
1. World Joyland – Wujin, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
Ah! Somehow being at World Joyland feels like you’ve been there before. Perhaps it’s the California Screamin‘ music that is the opening processional’s soundtrack, or the obvious Universal’s Islands of Adventure rip-offs. World Joyland may have taken a lot of liberties with copying famous areas and IPs from around the world, but it does have some very fascinating and clashing themes to accompany that.
World Joyland is home to a very impressive B&M Flying coaster and some very odd theming. The problem is that the park decided everything had to be larger than life, thus we’re walking among a clashing world of over-the-top themes and ugly concrete. Good luck figuring out what’s actually going on, because just when you think you figured it out, some strange cartoon character is plastered onto the wall again confusing you. Whether you like to see dilapidated unofficial themes from Worlds of Warcraft or StarCraft, or yet another clear rip off of an Islands of Adventure environ, this park has big ugly theming in spades:
And so concludes our Top 10 Weirdest Parks! We can only hope that we’ll see more contenders for inclusion on this Top 10 as our travels continue!