A memorable adventure on your next family vacation is guaranteed at one of these 5 spectacular amusement parks from around the world.
Vacationers flock to theme parks every year, but not all popular tourist destinations offer hot dogs and roller coasters. Some entice visitors with unusual experiences, such as swimming with hungry crocodiles or climbing the wall of an abandoned nuclear plant. From the slightly unusual to the downright disturbing, the weirdest theme parks never fail to attract visitors every year.
Construction lovers feel right at home in Diggerland. With five locations throughout the UK on a total of 250 acres, this park gives visitors the chance to explore and drive heavy machinery, including bulldozers, cranes, and dump trucks. Rides include the Spindizzy, a converted digger that spins riders strapped into the bucket. The park even offers entertainment with its performing backhoe stunt team, the Dancing Diggers.
For the full Diggerland experience, stay at the Diggerland campsite at the Devon location, and enjoy a break from the adventure park with a day of fishing at the adjacent Diggerlakes. Pre-booking is recommended for campsites with electricity and required for fishing.
Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
A destination for thrill-seekers, Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin boasts the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles. Its bravest visitors take a dive underwater in the Cage of Death, an acrylic tank surrounded by crocs. Watch close-up video footage of the hungry crocs feeding with guests inches away in the the tank. Visitors also go “croc-fishing” for baby crocodiles using baited fishing poles. To add to the weirdness, the gift shop sells crocodile skins.
Ferrari World, United Arab Emirates
Considered the world’s largest indoor amusement park at more than 2 million square feet, Ferrari World pays homage to the Ferrari brand. With more than 20 car-themed rides, tours, and shows, the park offers plenty to do and see. The world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa, accelerates to 149 mph in less than five seconds and attracts droves of thrill-seekers. Five restaurants onsite offer Italian dishes from Ferrari’s homeland, and the theme park’s two stores carry Ferrari memorabilia and Italian fashions.
Located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the nation’s capital, the park is accessible from major points in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Republic of the Children, Argentina
Republic of the Children in La Plata is a theme park that makes adults feel like giants. This kid-sized park is built like a city for children and features everything from a pint-sized airport to a scaled-down courthouse. Former president Juan Peron opened the non-traditional park in 1951 to teach children about their civic responsibilities, such as voting for government officials and negotiating loans at banks. Legend has it that a visit to the park inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland.
Wunderland Kalkar, Germany
An abandoned nuclear plant is certainly an odd theme park destination. When construction stopped after the Chernobyl accident, this vacant nuclear site near the Dutch border remained empty until developers built a theme park inside it in 2001. The reactor building and cooling tower house 40 attractions. For a truly unique experience, take a spin on the swing ride housed in the cooling tower, or climb up the rock wall built along the exterior.
Enjoy the full experience with an overnight stay at one of the nearby hotels, and grab a bite to eat at one of the park’s many restaurants and bars. Wunderland Kalkar is just under an hour by car from Dusseldorf International Airport and an hour and a half from Amsterdam.
When you get ready to plan your next theme park adventure, keep these unique attractions in mind for a change of pace. Share these ideas with family and friends, and you just might gain some weird traveling companions. Be sure to let us know about all your unique travel experiences on Twitter.