There are two types of water parks: those where animals are trained to amuse tourists, and those where tourists pay to fool around in the water. And if the former are about to be banned, the latter are experiencing mixed fortunes, to the point for some of hitting rock bottom prematurely.
1. The abandoned Hoy Thuy Tien water park in Hue, Vietnam
Opened in 2004, this amusement park, which was supposed to attract tourists to the region, quickly fell through. Blame it on bad timing which saw customers disembarking when the site was far from finished. If the place has long been abandoned by families, other more adventurous tourists invade the place in the early morning to avoid the guards and the bribes demanded to stroll in the 50 hectares of the park usually squatted by the cattle of the neighboring villages.
2. Paradise Water Park in Sitges, Spain
Rumor has it that the park had to close its doors after a child was sucked into the motors of one of the swimming pools. In reality, it is the accumulated debts that would have sunk the amusement park only 2 years after its launch. Since then, squatters, taggers, amateur and professional photographers have taken over every nook and cranny… Even the police come regularly to train there. A rehabilitation project is currently under discussion in order to bring this place back to life, although it is not lacking in history.
3. The abandoned Fun Park Fyn water park in Aarup, Denmark
Launched in 1980, Fun Park Fyn welcomed local families until 2016, who came to enjoy its giant slides. Abandoned since, the site looks more like a post-apocalyptic setting straight out of the Fallout universe, in which rare explorers would come to slum, camera in hand.
4. Tropicana water park in Rotterdam in the Netherlands
This place, which looks like two drops of chlorinated water to the Parisian Aquaboulevard, opened in 1988 before being closed in 2010 for renovation… It has never reopened since. Long invaded by urbex enthusiasts, two entrepreneurs finally decided to transform it into an urban mushroom farm (shrooms aren’t hallucinogenic) with the ambition of creating a gigantic greenhouse in the short term that would operate autonomously and with zero waste!
5. Villennes beach on the island of Platais in the Yvelines
Known for being one of the first (almost) naturist camps in France in the 1930s, the island of Platais also hosted a bathing establishment with a swimming pool and matching giant slide. Up to 6,000 people could bathe there daily before the place was abandoned in 2003. The site is now in ruins and is struggling to find a buyer. The fault with the floods which regularly invite themselves on the shore to the point of frightening the few potential buyers. Villennes beach and its toboggan thus seem destined to remain the playground of the rare curious passers-by and the much more numerous pigeons.
6. The Aquaria Park di Pinarella di Cervia in Italy
Also known as Jameika, this water park remained open from 1992 to 2004 before the owner wanted to demolish all of its attractions for free to build brand new accommodation there. A project rejected by the Town Hall which refused to grant him the building permit, even if it meant transforming the place into a no man’s land!
7. Safari Lagoon Waterpark in Pandan, Malaysia
Located on the roof of a shopping center, this water park was one of the largest in Southeast Asia when it was launched in 1998. A success that lasted 12 years before an employee died of drowning, sucked by a water pump motor. The accident revealed in passing that the establishment had never obtained a license to operate and was therefore not insured!
8. The Macassar Beach Pavilion in Cape Town, South Africa
This place is improbable on several counts. Starting with the fact that it is in a nature reserve, and that it’s a bit of a dump in a dune setting. This former water park where tourists still jostled in the early 2000s is located near the grave of the tomb of Sheikh Yusuf, who towards the end of the 17th century was the first Muslim to preach in the country. The man was sultan of the province of Makassar in Indonesia, a detail which inspired the name of the now abandoned park. His tomb is still a place of pilgrimage for visiting Muslims.
9. Lake Dolores Waterpark in Newberry Springs, California
Opened in 1962, this lost water park, like an oasis halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, is known as one of the first in the world. The slides and swimming pools were then fed by an underground river at a time when the question of water did not make waves within society. Closed for the first time at the end of the 80s, it was revived in 1990 thanks to new investors who renamed the place “Rock a Hoola”. The adventure lasted a decade before changing owners and name again to become “Discovery Park”. An agony that ended in 2004, when the park was closed for good, since it has been invaded by graffiti and desert sand.