World’s Most Bizarre Amusement Park Rides

Pimsleur Approach • May 9, 2013 • EntertainmentComments (1)

Image via Wikipedia

The thrill of an amusement park ride is anticipated by millions of people around the world when carnival season starts and the parks open. The traditional roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, water slides and Ferris wheels are tons of fun, but seem like mundane choices when compared to some of the zany rides available around the world. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest amusement park rides in existence:

Driving a giant crane, Diggerland, UK

Diggerland is such a weird theme park that it’s difficult to identify exactly which ride is the most bizarre, but we think it’s the authentic giant crane that visitors can operate themselves. The entire park is constructed from real equipment and has the appearance of a serious construction site rather than an amusement park. Children and adults alike can climb up into the cab of a crane and operate it the same way a foreman would, only the park goers actually pay to do this, instead of the other way around.

Super Mario

Dressing up exactly like Super Mario and bouncing around on a bungee harness, Nintendo Amusement Park, New York

We could write an entire book on the nature of digital technologies eventually driving people to return to actual objects and authentic, real-life experiences, and the psychological process which accompany this phenomenon, but that is way too cerebral. Instead, we will simply say during this ride, participants don a red hat, overalls, a mustache, gloves and a “power harness” in an attempt to become Super Mario, you know, from the video game. They then bounce up and down on the harness and try to “crush” big stuffed objects that look like the ones found in the video game. There’s just…nothing else to say about this other than “wow.”

Suoi Tien Cultural Amusement Park, Vietnam

Heaven Palace, Suoi Tien Cultural Amusement Park, Vietnam

You’d better hope you’ve been good before you embark on this strange and unique ride. The amusement park itself is based on Buddhist philosophy, which includes a vision of heaven that many consider to be beautiful. However, the counterpart to heaven is hell, and on this ride, you must pass through the twelve stages of hell before reaching paradise. There are specific punishments set aside for different “sins” including gambling and using drugs. Animatronic displays illustrate exactly what kind of punishments are in store for you based on the sins you’ve committed in life. If you make it through, you can relax by feeding the live alligators that live in the ponds surrounding the rides. Ohm.

Human catapult, Middlemoor Water Park, Japan and the UK

Who thought it was a good idea to make a medieval style wooden catapult and fling people, totally unrestrained, through the air? The genius who came up with this ill-conceived notion probably still feels pretty bad about it. If common sense tells you that this theme park ride led to dire consequences, you’re right. Tragically, one of the riders missed the safety net and met an early grave, while others survived, but with severe injuries. Luckily, this ride was closed down at the park, but it is still thriving in Japan where it can be seen on extreme reality shows. No word on the number of fatalities there, but the Japanese are fond of strapping live fireworks to the participants’ feet just before they are launched into the air.

Small Human Powered Ferris Wheel

Human powered Ferris wheel, India and Asia

Electricity? Who needs it? Certainly not the operators of the many human powered Ferris wheels that can be found in abundance throughout India and Asia. Operators swing from the bars and cages of these giant contraptions as if they’d been doing it their whole lives, sending the ride into a spinning frenzy of ill-advised danger. If these things were legal in the US, lawyers would be a lot richer.

If you feel up for a ride on any of these odd attractions that are still open, do let us know you liked it!

One Response to “ World’s Most Bizarre Amusement Park Rides ”

  1. kate cruize says:

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Love your photographs and how you make everything beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this interesting article.

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