Nara Dreamland: Former Disneyland Knock-Off, Now Creepy Abandoned Amusement Park
As I was doing research for The Final Project! (insert Europe’s “Final Countdown” music here), I came across the enigma that was Nara Dreamland. It was a Disneyland clone in Japan that closed a few years ago. From looking at a photo trip report from Theme Park Review, I’m not surprised that it closed. On one hand it had many of the elements of Disneyland including the monorail, castle, Matterhorn ride, skyway, submarine voyage, jungle cruise, and a similar entrance to name a few. But on the other hand it was poorly maintained and run-down before it even closed. I’ve never been to Disneyland, but SoCal-based Robb Alvey and his crew were quick to notice all of the similarities. Check out this photo trip report from 2004 on Theme Park Review. Caution, some of the photo captions are PG-13.
Aska: The World’s Best Abandoned Roller Coaster
While it was a ghost town even before its demise, now it looks down right spooky. Main street and the other pathways are reminiscent of “I Am Legend”. Like many abandoned amusement parks, nature is starting to take over as the rides sit and decay. Worst of all, the park was home to an excellent Intamin wooden coaster, Aska. Theme Park Review loved the ride calling it one of the best wooden coasters they’ve ridden even though it was definitely out of place at the bizarro-Disneyland knock-off. Aska has been ranked highly in Mitch’s Internet Coaster Poll for several years.
So, to jjhobo and my other UK readers, I think I found an excellent wooden coaster for your homeland that’s lacking great woodies. I would imagine that it could be bought for cheap. The Urban Exploration Resource has images of the now abandoned Nara Dreamland.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ever been to Nara Dreamland or seen an abandoned amusement park? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Theme Park Review.