Very Weird Amusement Parks

Recently, I read about Roswell, New Mexico’s intention to build the Alien Apex Resort, a UFO-themed amusement park, complete with an indoor roller coaster that’ll take passengers on a simulated alien abduction. With a price tag hovering around $800 million and a target completion date of 2010, there are lots of factors that could slow down the construction of this weird amusement park.

Until Alien Apex opens for abductions, er, business, we thought we’d point out some other unusual amusement parks already ready to show you a good time.

The Nintendo Amusement Park
The Nintendo Amusement Park is a real-life obstacle course that players navigate using a power-assist harness. The park features nothing digital, nothing projected, and nothing virtual: both the power harness and the moving parts of the obstacle course are entirely mechanical, giving a player the feeling of being inside a classic video game.

Though it’s still largely a prototype, if you’re interested in trying it out, they’re looking for volunteers in the NYC area to dress as Mario and jump around! Check out this video; it looks like fun!

Denmark’s fourth largest amusement park is BonBon-Land, an amusement park that’s based on a Danish confectionary that makes candy featuring unusual objects and animals.

In addition to some pretty racy attractions and numerous vomiting rodents, visitors to BonBon-Land can enjoy elegantly-named rides, such as The Horse Dropping; The Crazy Turtle (who looks like he’s just about to puke!); and — my favorite — Hundeprutterutchebane. Also know as “Dog Fart Switchback,” Hundeprutterutchebane takes riders on a fun-filled journey around a hound’s piles of poop and allows them to listen to the sounds of his farts. Ah, this ride gives new meaning to the phrase “the wind in my face.”

Dickens World
Moving from farting dogs to sweaty wenches, England’s Dickens World is a brand-new amusement park designed around everyone’s favorite topic: plague-ridden, sewage-filled 19th century London.

Designed to spotlight the life and times of Charles Dickens, Dickens World features one of Europe’s largest dark boat rides; the Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge; and a Victorian School Room — which gives parents the chance to show their kids how lucky they really are. Not really. In reality, I imagine it’s something of a mash-up between a “real” amusement park; a “living history museum”; Vegas; and the most boring component in the canon of English Literature. Oliver Twist? Puh-lease!

Before you accuse the British of making something fun into something very, very dry, check out Brendan O’Neill’s experience inside Dickens World. Either he’s being nice, or it’s actually fun … in a giant-turkey-leg-chimney-sweep-polio-filled sorta way.

After you’re finished with Dickens World, motor over to Diggerland, an amusement park that gives both kids and adults the chance to “ride in, and drive, different types of construction machinery including Dumper Trucks, Mini Diggers and Giant Diggers (all under strict supervision).”

In addition to the heavy-duty machinery, Diggerland also features thrill rides and the Dancing Diggers, a stunt team that performs inside front-end loaders. Seriously, even if you have no intention of visiting Diggerland, you should head to their homepage and listen to their infectious jingle.

Suoi Tien Park
Shifting gears (ha ha) from large machines to quiet introspection, Vietnam’s Suoi Tien Park is a Buddhist-themed amusement park. In addition to a giant splash park and various thrill rides, the “amusement park” features Heaven Palace, the Park’s vision of eternal life for people who manage to escape the torments of hell after years of gambling, adultery, and taking drugs. If hell isn’t enough to scare you straight, the park also featuresBat cave with innumerable bats, Mid air cycling over crocodile farm with more than 1,500 crocodiles of all sizes which cause fearful feeling for tourist.” Yikes.

Wow, those Buddhists really know how to unwind and relax during family getaways. That said, I am impressed with the ginormous faces/waterfalls in the Park. Check out the short movies of the falls in action.