Strangest Theme Parks in the World You Won’t Believe Are Real

Explore the world's strangest theme parks! From real construction equipment to underground adventures, these parks still offer thrills.

When it comes to theme parks, most people tend to think of places such as Disneyland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios. But what about parks that delve into more niche interests or unusual themes?

With unique activities and attractions, these strange theme parks from around the world provide hours of fun (well, depending on your definition) and are a far cry from your run-of-the-mill roller coasters and Ferris wheels. To develop this list, Stacker explored Fodor’s Travel, Culture Trip, and other sources to compare the many strange theme parks out there and see which ones stand out from the pack.

These parks range from thrilling to thought-provoking, odd to confusing, and amusing to mildly concerning. But these descriptions will only take you so far—to fully experience these strange spots, you might just want to plan a visit to see them for yourself.

Diggerland

If you couldn’t get enough of playing in the sandbox as a kid, Diggerland should be on your must-visit list. Advertised as the only construction theme park and water park in the United States, this New Jersey spot allows kids of all ages (including kids at heart) to live out their dreams of playing with heavy-duty equipment like backhoes, farm tractors, and forestry claws. All these machines are the real deal, bringing that childhood sandbox experience up a notch.

During summer months, visitors can also go for a swim or glide down waterslides in the Water Main section of the park. When you start to feel peckish, themed restaurants like The Pit Stop and Fork Lift Cafe serve up all the fuel you’ll need for your adventures. Those across the pond, meanwhile, can choose from four different Diggerland locations in the United Kingdom.

Salina Turda

Putt-Putt, bowling, and a Ferris wheel all fall within the bounds of typical theme park activities. But when those activities take place 120 meters belowground, that’s a different story. The Romanian theme park Salina Turda is set within a former salt mine that was excavated during the ancient Roman era and opened to tourists in 1992.

Besides trying out the mini-golf course, visitors can also partake in salt-focused spa treatments and go for a boat ride across a tranquil underground lake. It might not be for anyone suffering from claustrophobia, but Salina Turda is certainly a theme park unlike any other. Plus, the atmosphere itself is supposed to bring good luck and health benefits, so this might be one of the few theme parks in the world that improves your physical well-being.

Ferrari World

Anyone seeking a thrill ride can easily satisfy their need for speed at Ferrari World, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This theme park features the world’s fastest roller coaster, which can accelerate from 0 to 150 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.

There’s also a zero-gravity ride, parallel roller coaster tracks where you can cruise around at a cool 59 miles per hour, and much more. You can also get behind the wheel of a Ferrari or ride shotgun around the park with a trained driver. Naturally, Ferrari World’s restaurants serve Italian cuisine, but there’s also a variety of other international foods represented here.

Crocosaurus Cove

At this Darwin, Australia theme park, real-life monsters are the main attraction. The park is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian reptiles, though top billing at Crocosaurus Cove is given to the famous saltwater crocodiles.

Intrepid visitors can dive with the crocs in the invitingly named Cage of Death, which consists of a clear chamber semi-submerged in the crocodiles’ enclosure. Other experiences allow you to get up close and personal with juvenile crocodiles, go “fishing for crocs,” and snap a picture with a baby crocodile.

If you’re really passionate about these prehistoric reptiles, book a guided VIP tour, which runs for about 90 minutes and includes feeding some of the park’s biggest crocodiles, behind-the-scenes access to the aquariums, and a helpful guide who will dispense information on all the reptiles at Crocosaurus Cove.

Imsil Cheese Theme Park

South Korea’s Imsil Cheese Theme Park dedicates 32 acres to celebrating its namesake dairy delight. Visitors can learn about the history of cheese, try their hand at making cheese, and, of course, eat plenty of cheese themselves during their time in this popular park.

Enthusiastic cheese lovers can book a stay at the park’s three-floor pension rooms, named after various kinds of cheeses, of course. Before you wrap up your visit, don’t forget to say “cheese!” and snap fun pics pretending to be on the banks of Venice or high in the sky with a wedge of cheese in the park’s Trick Art room. Wander around the park and take a few photos of the adorable mascots and statues across the park. Or, better yet, grab a wedge or two as a souvenir to take home.

BonBon-Land

Visitors to this Danish amusement park can expect a day of traditional family-friendly activities, complete with roller coasters and tasty theme park food like pizza, hamburgers, and ice cream from the on-site restaurants. This might sound like a fairly standard theme park experience so far, but BonBon-Land is on this list for good reason.

Its unusual animal statues, like vomiting rats and farting dogs, are guaranteed to raise at least a few eyebrows. As odd as they may seem, these peculiar critters are mascots for the theme park’s creators and owners, the BonBon candy company whose confection names (like Seagull Droppings and Ear Wax) are bodily inspired. If you want to see the Crazy Tortoise or Henry Hundeprut in person, try to visit on a clear day since some attractions may close for rain or strong winds.

Story editing by Carren Jao. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Clarese Moller. 


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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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