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Rotting, abandoned New Orleans theme-park


LostLosAngeles's "Lost Big Easy" Flickr set documents an urban exploration expedition through an abandoned Six Flags park near New Orleans -- it's theme park Southern Gothic, with a side of HDR for spice.

lost Big Easy (via JWZ)

Crappy themepark operators convicted of "engaging in a commercial practice which was a misleading action"

The operators of an insanely crappy Christmas themepark in Hampshire, England have finally been convicted of various fraud charges. They charged £30 a head to visit an empty field with a painting of a nativity scene, a small snack bar, and a few Christmas lights hanging from nearby trees:
In bold, the website stated: "The attention to detail of our theme park will truly wow you."

It also boasted: "As our show is being staged for the first time, our website can only begin to hint at our wonderland."

People travelled from as far as Wales and the Midlands to visit the theme park at Matchams Leisure Park, near Ringwood, Hampshire.

The "bustling Christmas market" merely comprised two food stalls selling German sausages and a choice of turkey or pork baguettes (with stuffing).

The ice rink was faulty, which the Mears brothers blamed on sabotage, and the "magical tunnel of light" amounted to some fairy lights strung across trees.

Within days of Lapland New Forest opening, thousands of people complained to Dorset trading standards officers, generating coverage in national newspapers and on television including reports of fights between disgruntled customers and staff.

Lapland theme park brothers convicted of misleading customers (via Danny's Land)

Fairyland USA, 1963

Annie sez, "We just posted this retro little movie from the historical archives of our children's park. It is a 25 minute promotional film made in coordination with the Oakland Parks and Rec back in 1962. In the movie, you follow Alice as she leads kids on a tour through Children's Fairyland, a storybook theme park built in 1950. Walt Disney stopped here while touring the country to get inspiration for Disneyland. The movie shows the different attractions in the park, some of which still exist today, like the talking dragon and Alice in Wonderland-themed merry-go-round."

Children's Fairyland, USA (1962) Part 1 of 3 (Thanks, Annie!)

Technology secrets of Coney Island's people-tossing machinery, 1931


In "Thrill Makers of Coney Island" from this July, 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix, we learn many amazing facts about the high-tech people-hurling technologies being developed for the burgeoning Coney Island amusement park:
Another mechanical ride which brings the owners a rich harvest each season is the Steeplechase. In this sweepstake there are four wooden horses which race around a course which is supposed to represent hill and dale and the riders imagine themselves as embittered jockeys. Two persons ride each saddle.

At the starting point the horses are released down a mild decline and again they are driven by gravity until they reach a gentle slope of a track. Here they are pulled up for about 25 yards by a system of chains and gears, not unlike the method used in the roller coaster, and then when they reach the top of this first hill, they glide off and downhill on their own again.

The horses are placed on two trolley wheels and it is these wheels which whirl them around the whole course after their first descent. Gravity and the wheels do the rest on the 1/2-mile ride.

There are 65 races run off an hour on this mechanical track. Over 5,000 ride these horses daily. Not more than $5.00 worth of electricity is consumed each day.

On the other hand, Coney Island has become so vast that there is a large electrical plant there and one of the biggest gas works in the country. It is estimated that the pleasure colony's electric bill each day is $10,000 and that its gas bill is more than $5,000. Next to the labor item, these are the two outstanding costs of upkeep which disturb the proprietor at Coney Island, who is perhaps the only individual in the universe who can mix pleasure and business and make it pay.

Thrill Makers of Coney Island (Jun, 1931) `