There’s something eerie about looking around the ruins of an abandoned theme park, the shell of a place one filled with laughter and families, yet now is features overgrown carousels and crumbling rides reminiscent of a ghost town.
The photos of these ten abandoned theme parks across America are strangely enchanting though, looking past the remnants to imagine what it must have been like during its prime.
Abandoned Theme Parks Across the U.S.
10. Six Flags New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana
Originally opened as Jazzland in 2000, this theme park was reopened as Six Flags New Orleans in 2003. Unfortunately, it closed down August 21, 2005 due to flooding from Hurricane Katrina and has been in a state of disrepair ever since.
9. The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland
This abandoned amusement park in Maryland was founded in 1955. It thrived in the ’70s and ’80s before closing permanently in 1989. During its heyday, it was drawing in 400,000 annual visitors across 52 acres.
8. Disney River Country in Orlando, Florida
Originally the first water park in Walt Disney World, River Country opened in 1976 before closing in 2001. This is one of only two parks in the company’s history to ever close down. Is it just me, or do these abandoned water slides look MORE fun?
7. Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas
After 55 years in operation, Joyland closed permanently in 2004. At its peak, it was the largest theme park in Kansas and had one of the remaining fully operation wooden roller coasters in the country.
6. Chippewa Lake Park in Medina, Ohio
Opened all the way back in 1878, this theme park was finally closed down in 1978 due to low attendance. Few of the original rides remain standing after years of overgrowth and lack of maintenance.
5. Dogpatch USA in Marble Falls, Arkansas
Opened in 1968, this theme park was based on the fictional village in the comic strip Li’l Abner. A bad business venture led to the park’s closure in 1993.
4. Holy Land USA in Waterbury, Connecticut
I think this abandoned theme park is one of the most interesting and, honestly, creepiest. Built in the 1950s by staunch Roman Catholic, John Baptist Greco, this park has was devoted to God. It replicates multiple cities from the Bible including Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Covering 18 acres, it finally closed to the public in 1984.
3. Bushkill Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Bar’l of Fun was one of the oldest operating American funhouses, built around 1935. Though the park closed down in 2004, the roller skating rink reopened in 2017 during the weekends and for party rentals. Though most of the original attractions have fallen, The Bar’l of Fun was opened for the 115th celebration in 2017.
2. The Land of Oz in Beech Mountain, North Carolina
This Wizard of Oz theme park, Land of Oz, closed down after only 10 years in operation in 1980 and is one of the most well-known abandoned parks in the United States. A fire destroyed the Emerald City Amphitheater and the park never recovered, leading to its closure. Regular events take place at the abandoned park though and recently they launched tours led by “Dorothy.”
1. Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio
This park was founded in 1887 and after going through multiple name changes (including Six Flags Ohio), closed down permanently in 2007. In 1925 they added their first roller coaster, the Big Dipper, and they added their first Ferris wheel in 1969.