You’ve probably been to at least one theme or amusement park in your life. – Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, Six Flags, or one of the many great parks throughout the country. But scattered throughout the country and the world are theme parks probably unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. Some are interesting and others are a bit strange. Check out these sites and see if you are inspired to visit one.
Have you always held a secret desire to drive heavy construction vehicles? Diggerland, located in West Berlin, NJ is the place to go if you or your child wants to operate heavy digging construction machinery. There are options for the entire family, although there are height restrictions for many of the vehicles. A theme park wouldn’t be a theme park without entertainment. Be sure to take in Backhoe Brandon’s stunt show. Visiting England? Stop by one of four original Diggerlands.
Crocosaurus Cove, in Darwin Australia, offers individuals to have up-close and personal contact with crocodiles. You can hold a baby croc, walk through the reptile enclosure, visit the 200,000-liter aquarium, watch the animal feed times, or go “fishing for crocs”. You get to dangle food to small crocodiles from small fishing lines. Need more of an adrenaline rush? Get face to face with crocs in the Cage Of Death when you are lowered in an acrylic barrier so see the reptiles eye to eye. Sound a bit too much? Take a friend, the cage holds two.
BonBon Land, in Holme Olstrup, Denmark, is a theme park based on the Danish candy. This is not Hersheypark. While the rides and attractions are all family friendly, the park is filled with depictions of bodily functions including rides called the dog fart and the skid mark. The toilet humor continues with statues of seagulls pooping into alligator’s mouths. Most young boys will enjoy this, and my guess is that a lot of parents may secretly enjoy it too.
You can experience Victorian England with a visit to Dickens World in Kent, England. Not only do visitors get to see landmarks from Dickens’ novels, they must watch out for Victorian pickpockets as they walk the streets that smell like they did back then. (What is it with theme parks and toilets?)
Are you a fan of little people? You may want to visit Dwarf Empire in Kunming, China. This park, which minimally borders on exploitive, is staffed almost entirely by people fewer than 4 feet high. There are magic shows and a number of variety performances. The main attraction is a musical performance that concludes with a presentation by the Dwarf King who generally rides in on a three-wheeled motorcycle.
Don’t take your children to Jeju Loveland, on Jeju Island, South Korea. This totally sex- based park is home to over 140 somewhat graphic statues of men, women, and animals in various sexual poses created primarily by art school graduates. It won’t take long to see everything, generally about an hour. Sex education material is provided. Women should be prepared to handle phallus shaped doorknobs when entering the restroom, and men will be handling breast shaped doorknobs.
There aren’t any rides, but you can learn about the Soviet control of Lithuania at Gruto Park. While there are a playground and zoo, the focus of this attraction are the sculptures, many removed when Lithuania gained its independence, and imitation watchtowers and trenches. Want an even more realistic view of what it was like in Soviet controlled Lithuania? Visit the Soviet Bunker in Vilnius. Visitors surrender their phone, wallets, and cameras when entering a real bunker. Guests then undergo questioning by former Soviet army members, see a doctor, possibly learn the Soviet national anthem, and view Lenin propaganda rooms. Laughing and talking unless spoken to are not allowed. At the end of your visit, you will be offered a Soviet snack and a vodka. (You’ll probably need it.)
The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida is not like its neighbors Disneyworld and Universal Studios. Holy Land is more of a museum with exhibits like the Scriptorium, where one can view religious artifacts. Visitors can stroll down Jerusalem Market Street or visit Calvary’s Garden Tomb, a replica of where Jesus was sepulchered. If you visit the Church of All Nations, you can watch a graphic recreation of the crucifixion of Jesus.
There are other unique theme parts in the US and all over the world. Have you visited one? Share your experiences with me. There are also some unusual proposals for theme parks, including Napoleonland near Euro Disney and a theme park in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on the site where Osama bin Laden was killed. Neither of these parks has started construction, possibly for good reason.
If you pre-pay for any of these theme parks before you depart on your vacation, be sure to include these costs in your trip cost when you buy your travel insurance. In the event you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, these pre-paid expenses will be refunded.