1. Kingdom Of The Little People, Kunming, China
This theme park wins the spot on our list for “most offensive.” In 2009 a Chinese entrepreneur decided to open a theme park of dwarves, hiring more than 100 little people to staff the place. Visitors are supposed to shell out around $9 to watch little people put on shows (like Swan Lake) and apparently check their moral decency at the door.
2. Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky
Tell the kids you’re taking them to see Men in Black this summer as a special treat, and then secretly bring them to Kentucky’s Creation Museum for Men in White instead (we’re sure this theatrical performance about the uselessness of carbon dating will stop their disappointed tears). This theme park/museum is 70,000 square feet of evolution-denying good times. Other parks may scare you with roller coasters, but the Creation Museum offers real terror by teaching you “the truth about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
3. Dickens World, Kent, England
What book screams “fun and theme park” to you? No, it’s not Harry Potter, it’s the uplifting tale of an orphan, a criminal, a depressed spinster, and an emotionally abused child. The creators of Dickens World turned this cheerful story into the Great Expectations Boat Ride. But if that’s not your thing, you can visit the Haunted House of 1859 (complete with thrilling special effects), the Victorian Schoolroom, or an animatronic show with robotic Dickens characters that we’re sure isn’t creepy at all.
4. World Joyland, Changzhou, China
Unconcerned with things like copyright laws, Changzhou’s World Joyland park has all the fun of well-known video games—with none of the expense that comes from licensing names. The blatant rip-off of popular games World of Warcraft and Starcraft offers rides that are clearly based on the video games, but are renamed to Terrain of Magic and Universe of Starship in order to get around laws. Don’t miss the Splash of Monster Blood ride, a totally-not-Warcraft-themed log-flume ride.
5. Divo Ostrov (Wonder Island), St. Petersburg, Russia
Deep in the woods outside St. Petersburg lies an opposite-of-fun fair: a ride seemingly designed to make riders vomit on themselves. Named the Wind Shear, the ride turns clockwise on one side and counterclockwise on the other half. But don’t worry, we’re sure that this ride is totally safe … unless you have a fear of puking (or of other people’s vomit) … and except for those two separate accidents in the theme park where cables holding the rides together snapped while people were on them.
6. BonBon-Land, Holme Olstrup, Denmark
For kids and 13-year-olds at heart, BonBon-Land offers thrills, spills, and … potty humor. With rides named The Farting Dog and Skid Mark Roller-coaster, you might lose your lunch before you even climb aboard. The many statues of animals answering nature’s call will assure you that the ride names did not get lost in translation at this Danish theme park
7. Zero Gravity, Dallas, Texas
Come to Dallas’ Zero Gravity amusement park, where for just $32.99, you can experience a ride so terrifying that it has been used by scientists to simulate what a near-death experience is like. The Nothin’ But Net ride makes bungee jumping look like child’s play: The ride lifts you up 16 stories and then lets you go, unattached to anything, for the 130-foot free fall. Luckily, there is a net to prevent you from splatting to your instant death.
8. The Holy Land Experience, Orlando, Florida
We bet The Simpsons’ Flanders family comes to The Holy Land Experience on vacation instead of Six Flags. Here you’ll be taken on a moral roller-coaster ride as you go through the park, stopping at fun activities like The Jesus Boat, the Whipping Post, and Smile of a Child Adventure Land. Holy Land is based in Orlando, which is also home to Disney World and Universal Studios, two much less exciting theme parks, clearly.
9. Diggerland, England (Kent, Devon, Durham, Yorkshire)
Have you ever stared longingly at a construction site, wishing that you could pay £17 (about $27 USD) and spend a whole day there? England’s Diggerland lets you live the dream, and it’s so popular that this chain theme park has four different locations. Strap on your hard hat and get ready to dig dirt with real full-sized construction machinery, race a Dumpster truck, or go for a spin on one of the construction-themed rides.
10. Napoleonland, Montereau-Fault-Yonne, France
We bet there won’t be any height restrictions on the rides at Napoleonland, a park designed in honor of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Former French politician Yves Jego plans to build the park, saying it will be “fun for the family” while also describing one of the future rides as “a ski run through a battlefield surrounded by the frozen bodies of soldiers and horses.” Fun times indeed. Sadly, this park just south of Paris is not scheduled to open until 2017
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