THEN AND NOW: What 8 abandoned amusement parks looked like before they became ruins

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain, Coreyjune12/Wikimedia CommonsDisney’s River Country then and now.

During the peak summer months, amusement parks are usually packed with people riding roller coasters, playing games, and posing for photos. But these parks are permanently in the off-season.

Here’s what eight abandoned amusement parks looked like before they became ruins.


Six Flags acquired an existing theme park called Jazzland in 2003 and turned it into Six Flags New Orleans.

Chris Hagerman/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsSix Flags New Orleans before it was abandoned.

The park took inspiration from its location and included areas based on the famous architecture of the French Quarter.


The park never recovered after Hurricane Katrina.

Courtesy of Seph LawlessAn aerial shot of the park directly after Hurricane Katrina.

After the storm, the park was left standing in four to seven feet of water, and had extensive wind and flood damage.

A photojournalist known as Seph Lawless visited the park and documented it and other abandoned amusement parks around the world in his book “Abandoned: Hauntingly Beautiful Deserted Theme Parks.”

Read more: There’s a Six Flags in New Orleans that has been abandoned for 13 years – and the photos are haunting


Joyland Amusement Park was founded in 1949 in Wichita, Kansas.

It had one of the last surviving original wooden roller coasters.


After a 13-year-old girl fell from the Ferris wheel in 2004, the park closed for an investigation and never reopened.

Courtesy of Seph LawlessThe wooden roller coaster at Joyland.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated the incident and the park closed for the 2004 season before permanently shutting down in 2006.


Disney’s River Country was Walt Disney World’s first water park.

Wikimedia Commons/Public DomainRiver Country before it was abandoned.

It opened in 1976 in Orange County, Florida.


It closed down after 25 years of operation, and Disney finally drained River Country’s 330,000-gallon pool in 2016.

Coreyjune12/Wikimedia CommonsRiver Country sits abandoned today.

The Upstream Plunge pool is now filled with cement.

Read more: This abandoned Disney water park has been rotting for over 15 years


Bois Blanc Island, known as Boblo Island, opened in Ontario in 1898.

Valentine and Sons United Publishing Company/Wikimedia Commons/Public DomainThe dance hall at Boblo Island in its heyday in 1914.

Boblo Island featured a dance hall, a self-playing orchestra machine, a Ferris wheel, and a zoo. It was known as “the Coney Island of Michigan,” according to Atlas Obscura.


Boblo Island closed in 1993 when more modern amusement parks became popular.

It is currently being developed as a location for luxury homes.


Camelot Theme Park opened in 1983 in Lancashire, England.

Ann Cook/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsCamelot Theme Park in operation.

The park contained attractions such as Excalibur II, Pendragon’s Plunge, and Smiffy’s Dungeon of Doom, according to the Manchester Evening News.


The park closed in 2012 after years of declining numbers.

Exploring With Josh/YouTubeWhat Camelot Theme Park looks like now.

The owners told the Manchester Evening News that bad weather and events like the London Olympics and Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee had drastically decreased the number of visitors at the park.


Geauga Lake opened in Aurora, Ohio, in 1887.

Chris Hagerman/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsGeauga Lake and Wildwater Kingdom Geauga Lake in 2005.

Funtime Incorporated purchased the park in 1969. It became a Six Flags in 2000, then Cedar Fair acquired the park in 2004 and closed it in 2007.


The park closed in 2008 and is being repurposed by the city.

In 2017, the city of Aurora posted a plaque in the spot where the park used to be detailing its history. The land is being rezoned to build shops and restaurants.


Miracle Strip Amusement Park opened in 1963 in Panama City Beach, Florida.

AbandonedFl.com/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsA postcard from the 1970s depicting Miracle Strip Amusement Park.

A local radio DJ named Jim King rode The Starliner, the park’s main attraction, for 368 hours to set the world record for the longest continuous roller coaster ride, according to WJHG.


It closed in 2004 when the owner sold the land for condo development.

JPVideos/YouTubeWhat was once Miracle Strip Amusement Park will soon be condos.

All of the rides were sold at auction in 2016, including The Starliner.


A dinosaur-themed amusement park just outside of Berlin, Spreepark opened in 1969.

Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons/Creative CommonsA Ferris wheel at Spreepark in 1985.

It was built by the communist government in East Germany when the Berlin Wall still stood, according to Atlas Obscura. Enormous dinosaur statues adorned the grounds, as well as a section designed to look like an English village.


The amusement park is now just as extinct as the dinosaurs it once displayed.

Tours of the abandoned park are offered for five Euros.

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