Now, it never dawned on me that this could be considered an abandoned place, but this video of the closed Pleasure Island at Disney world made me realize that it is. 

The best part is is that it is almost entirely accessible to the public.  The buildings are shut down, but the main strip is the only thing connecting the west and east sides of the Downtown Disney shopping center, so it is still open.  In order to get between the two, you have to walk past all of these abandoned clubs and restaurants.  And it isn’t a short walk either.  There’s nothing open the entire way.  

I’m a bit sad about the Adventurer’s Club closing.  That place had some history.  Perhaps I’ll talk about it another time.  

Also, no more donkeys.   

// Nara Dreamland//

Location:  Nara, Japan.

Date of Opening: 1961

Date of Closing:  August 31st, 2006

Look at the above map.  What does it remind you of?  Disney enthusiasts will recognize it right away:  It looks like a map of Disneyland park.  But…the rides are wrong.  And it’s in Japanese…and at the bottom there.  It says…Deamland? 

Inspired by the success of the newly opened Disneyland park in California, an developer in Japan created Nara Dreamland, a park heavily inspired by the design and style of Disney’s creation.  It contained a pink castle, along with a monorail, matterhorn, autotopia, jungle boat ride, and a train station designed to look like their American counterparts…from a distance.  It was also home to the famous wooden roller-coaster, Aska.

Above:  The castle. 

Below:  Sinking jungle boats. 

Below:  The entrance, only months before it closed. 

Nara Dreamland survived until the 2000’s when Universal Studios, Japan opened and began taking away their buisness.  For years, the park began falling into disrepair, until 2006, when its doors were finally closed for good.  As of 2010, the park is still there, slowly falling into decay. 

For more information:

// Prehistoric Forest//

Location:  Irish Hills, Michigan.  

Date of Opening:  January 1st, 1963.  

Date of Closing:  January 1st, 1999.  

I have a tendency to focus on places in Michigan…and yet, it’s not very hard.  Michigan is full of unique abandoned places, from the dilapidated splendor of Detroit, to the oddities of its defunct tourist attractions.  One such attraction, located in Irish Hills, featured fifteen life-size fiberglass dinosaurs, and a replica volcano that spewed forth smoke.  It was also home to a water slide and a maze, both added in the late 80’s.  Guests would board a train at the entrance, and take a ride around the 8 acres of property, taking in the sights. 

Details aren’t clear as to why the park closed.  Some speculate that it can be attributed to low attendance and high upkeep fees for the dinosaurs and other attractions.  The park closed for good in 1999  A few years later, the slide and maze were dismantled and removed from the property.  

The park has been for sale ever since.  From the road, one can still see the dinosaurs, but trying to get inside is not advised, as there are sensors there that can alert security to all trespassers.  

For more Information:

Florida's Splendid China

A set of pictures featuring images of the abandoned Splendid China amusement part previously featured on this blog.  

(We are not affiliated with the “abandoned places” live journal group).    

// Africa, U.S.A.//

Location:  Boca Raton, Florida

Date of Opening:  March 10th, 1953.

Date of Closing:  September 4th, 1961.  

When it was opened in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was heralded as a cutting-edge free range animal park.  However, it wasn’t the first, but perhaps its predecessor, Africa U.S.A. had long been forgotten by the masses.  Opened in 1953, it was the realized childhood dream of a man named John Pederson.  He wanted to make the dead town of Boca Raton famous, and so set out to make his dream of a cageless zoo a reality.  

The park featured many different animals from the African Savana, and they were allowed to roam free through a large plain.  Guests to the park could pay $1.50 to take a ride on a tram that would guide them through the enclosure, and allow them to see the animals in a natural environment.  The park was also home to the famous Watsui Geyser, and a large lagoon.  Legend has it that Walt Disney himself fancied buying the park before his death.  

However, things began to look grim for the park.  It’s founder, John Pederson found himself locked in political battle after political battle, struggling to keep his dream afloat.  He eventually sold the park to get away from the stress, but returned to see it to its end.  There were several developers vying for the property as development in the area expanded.  In 1961, the animals were auctioned off, and the land sold.  It became the Camino Gardens subdivison, and an era was over.    

However, a small park remains on the site to remember it, along with the remainds of the geyser and a sign commemorating Pederson’s accomplishments.  

For More Information:

A short documentary on spreepark.  

// Spreepark//

Location:  Berlin, Germany. 

Date of Opening: 1969

Date of Closing:  2001

Originally known as Kulturpark Plänterwald or “Cultural Park Plänterwald”, Spreepark opened in 1969 and was, for many years, the only theme park in the area.  Its Ferris wheel was considered a landmark and was replaced by an even bigger one in 1989. 

Above:  A Mustached Go-Kart. (Photo Courtesy of

Below:  The Ferris Wheel.

However, the park began to accumulate debt throughout the 90’s and admission prices skyrocketed to compensate for it. The owner blamed spreepark’s waning popularity on the small size of the parking lot.  Regardless of the cause, the owner walked away from the park in 2001, fleeing for South America. He left everything in the park behind (save for a few rides, some sources say). 

For years, the park was left to sit and decay.  Only recently, the new owner has refurbished a train that used to run through the park, and now allows visitors to tour it legally and safely.  Supposedly, the iconic ferris wheel is to follow.

For More Information:

Spree Park, Berlin
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Spree Park, Berlin

Photo Courtesy of:

Spree Park, Berlin
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Spree Park, Berlin

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Spree Park
Photo courtesy of:

Spree Park

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A blog of abandoned places in the United States and beyond.