Crazy theme parks aren't just insanely dangerous. There are numerous unique parks around the world that may leave you scratching your head at the weirdness of it all, but possibly plunking down money for an entrance ticket nonetheless. For example, South Korea has Love Land, a bizarre and larger-than-life erotic theme park on what's known as "honeymoon island." There's a mostly-defunct homage to Oz (which happens to be in the US). And Germany has converted nuclear power plant complete with a swing ride in its hollow core! Yes, there are indeed some super weird theme parks around the world, including, to no one's surprise, a few ripoffs, as well. Everyone wants a good Disney World knockoff, after all. Still, these are some super original, super wild parks around the world, and tons of people actually spend good money to get into them!
What's most interesting about these theme parks in foreign countries is just how different they are from most parks you'd find in the US, whether it be due to different standards of what constitutes fun, or America's hangups about "indecent exposure." But parks around the globe often offer a unique glimpse into other cultures and how they address topics both trivial and historical.
Here are some international theme parks that are way out there and will blow your mind — vote up the most preposterously unique parks of them all!
Hacienda Nápoles Is Pablo Escobar's Former Estate, Somewhere Between Disney's Animal Kingdom And A CSI-Themed Nightmare
Hacienda Nápoles is the defunct estate-turned-theme park of deceased drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, located 150 miles outside of Bogotá, Colombia. The sprawling complex is nearly eight square miles of roving now-feral hippos, dinosaur sculptures, and an exhibit celebrating el Triunfo del Estado (the Triumph of the State) — the centerpiece of which is a giant picture of a Colombian police officer posing with the freshly slain corpse of Escobar himself. The compound was named after Naples, Italy, and the drug lord's apparent love of European culture, which is also why he built a bullfighting ring on the premises.
As families frolic through the park, most prominent above all else — above even the statue of a triceratops eviscerating a t.rex or the garden of burned-out car skeletons in such a state after a bombing by a rival drug cartel — is the specter of a man who murdered thousands, which earned him a virtually limitless fortune, allowing him to build this somehow-even-more-nightmarish version of Neverland Ranch.
Love Land Is An Erotic Sculpture Park In South Korea, But Fear Not, There's A Place For Your Kids, Too
Many places in Asia are more open to sexuality than the repressed Judeo-Christian atmosphere of the United States. It's not uncommon to see adult video theaters in Tokyo, or nudie mags in public, or... a park full of penis sculptures. Jeju Loveland (otherwise known simply as Love Land) is on the Korean island of Jeju, and it is that park full of rock hard body parts.
The island became a popular honeymoon destination in the '70s when overseas travel was limited by the Korean government due to the Cold War. Since many marriages at the time were arranged, the island became a center of sex education, helping new couples break the ice in the boudoir. So it was a natural evolution that a few decades later, South Korea created an erotic theme park, with sculptures of people doing the nasty, and animals doing the nasty, and animals and people doing the real nasty. Don't worry, though - some of the sculptures are interactive. There's an adjacent playground for children, too, of course, so no need to fret, parents.
At Parque EcoAlberto You Can Experience An Illegal Border Crossing Without Having To Illegally Cross Any Borders
Parque EcoAlberto in El Alberto, Mexico, has all the grand vistas and protection of American National Parks, plus water slides, kayaking, ziplining, and of course, an immersive three-to-four-hour night hike through unforgiving terrain while being hunted by "border patrol" in a realistic simulation of illegally crossing the Mexico/U.S. border called Caminata Nocturna. The not-free rugged experience includes ski masks and a semi-hostile "tour guide" who hurries his charges through a rough landscape full of brambles and coyotes in the dead of night so they can truly appreciate the hellishness of an attempted border-crossing.
The Hñahñus, the local Native Americans, are the organizers of this experience, with the aim of deterring Mexicans from attempting the illegal infiltration of the States by showing them how terrible and dangerous it is, hoping that people will stay and help the community flourish and grow. The goal is noble, but there's yet to be any
BonBon Land Is A Celebration Of Candy, Confections, And Farts.
"In Denmark, on the island of Zealand, a 45-minute drive from Copenhagen, lies a disgusting and magical world every family should experience," reads the opening line in Atlas Obscura's exploration of BonBon Land. And disgusting it is. In the park one can find a statue of a cow with human breasts spilling out of her dress, a mural depicting a seagull crapping in an alligator's mouth, and a giant sculpture of a farting dog.
Danish confectioner Michael Spang owned a successful candy business, and decided to step up his marketing game by building a theme park dedicated to his creations in 1992. If you think the toilet imagery is out of place, discordant, or even anathema to his sweet treats, you're wrong. His candies boasted such enticing names as Seagull Droppings, Large Boobs, Pee Diapers, and Hundeprutter (“Dog Fart”). So the wild and gross sights of the park are actually right in line with this dude's candy business, which proved successful because kids are gross.