As a kid, theme parks were one of the best ways to spend a day. You could hug giant, talking animals, stuff your face with funnel cakes, and then ride roller coasters until you started feeling queasy. Once you reach adulthood, though, the parks lose their charm. All you can see are the long lines, high prices, and sweaty old ladies in skimpy clothing. If you find yourself at an amusement park as a jaded adult, just count your blessings. At least you're not at one of these 10 theme parks, ranging from militant to just plain strange. They're sure to have you yearning for Disneyland.
When you're in the archipelago country just south of Italy, there are bound to be more interesting things to do than visit this educational theme park where you learn about Malta's limestone. After you've been schooled on the stone's history (it's 22 million years old, so don't expect this part to be short), you can either go to the petting zoo or see a demonstration of limestone sculpting. Considering that whoever wrote the website seems to be most excited that you can learn about limestone in 17 different languages, we're guessing they know it's not exactly a fun theme park. You'd be better off visiting historical homes and exploring the Mediterranean culture and cuisine.
If you've already hit all the tourist spots in England, you might be looking for something a little more fun or interesting. Keep looking; this isn't it. Located in North Devon, in the Southwest part of the country, The BIG Sheep focuses on family-friendly farm fun. Kids can ride the Piggy Pull Along train, visit the Goatel where goats can walk from tree to tree, or see the animated chicken show. And let's not forget the sheep! Watch sheep shearing, lamb feeding, and the infamous sheep race, in which sheep with stuffed sheep jockeys on their backs race each other. Another trip to Big Ben's not sounding so bad after all.
For as bad as the other theme parks on this list are, at least you can take your kids there. Jeju Love Land, on an island in South Korea, however, is an over-18 sex theme park. Calm down; that doesn't mean you get to have sex there. Instead, visitors are treated to statue after statue (140, to be exact) of graphic sex positions and acts. After the Korean War, many honeymooners visited the island, a large number of which were wed in arranged marriages. The park was erected to help these shy couples get more comfortable with the idea of sex with each other. Besides giant phallic fountains and stone lady parts, there's also a sex shop if the acts of coitus frozen in time get you in the mood.
It's like being dropped into Munchkinland by a tornado. When you arrive in Dwarf Empire, a theme park in Kunming, China, you'll suddenly feel very tall. The staff of the park ranges from just over 2-feet tall to 4-foot-3, and are paid and given free room and board in the city of little people. They perform shows a couple times a day and sell refreshments inside their miniature homes and shops. Though the little people say their lives are much better at the park because it's difficult in China for dwarves to find work, you'll still feel pretty strange making the trip just to gawk at short people.
What's better than a theme park filled with old Soviet-era Stalin statues? Pretty much anything. After the Cold War, many Soviet statues were removed and damaged; to preserve them, they were all moved to this park. Now there are almost 90 sculptures of different Soviet heroes, along with a re-creation of a Gulag prison camp. Tourists wanting the full Soviet citizen experience (you know, the part besides being surrounded by statues of Stalin and pointy fences) can take part in the Soviet Bunker attraction also in Lithuania, where you're taken into an underground bunker built in the '80s and subjected to the partial reality of the Cold War by wearing gas masks and getting an intense interrogation by ex-Soviet soldiers or interrogators. What a vacation!
If you thought Jeju Love Land was dirty, get ready for Diggerland. According to the theme park's website, there are four sites across England, so "you're never too far away from digging to your heart's content." We didn't realize that was something people were interested in. It seems as though someone started construction on a small fair and suddenly thought, "Eureka! This is the theme park!" There are a few typical carnival rides and lots of construction equipment to try out for those who dream of donning a hard hat someday. Stick the bucket of the six-ton digger in the dirt or try your hand at "Dumper Truck Racing." Or you could just go to a Six Flags.
Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party of Lebanon, knows how to have fun. Or that's what you might be fooled into thinking when you hear that they have a multi-media theme park. The landmark is located on a hill that was once a front line for the group against an Israeli-occupied security zone and was visited by more than 500,000 people in its first two months, though most were dedicated Shiites. At the park, you can learn about Hezbollah's history, see destroyed Israeli tanks and weapons, and let your kids aim fake anti-aircraft guns at the sky. If gardens decorated with guns aren't your thing, though, you'll probably want to stay away.
As if being forced to read Charles Dickens' long and often depressing books in school wasn't bad enough, many parents apparently make their children live through them. Dickens World offers the chance for visitors to step back in time to Victorian England, the romantic era of cholera, diphtheria, and chamber pots. Luckily, you'll be able to use modern toilets during your visit, as well as take rides on the log flume (did they have those in 19th century England?), get lectured in the Victorian schoolhouse, and find the corny ghosts of Christmas in Scrooge's haunted house. Even if you like Dickens' work, you probably shouldn't have great expectations for this attraction.
Disney has Mickey Mouse and Suoi Tien has … Buddha? This exciting and diverse water park located near Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, celebrates the country's cultural and spiritual history, largely through the Buddha statues you'll see around every corner. There are slides integrated into the beards of Buddhist sages, pools surrounded by dragons, and a crocodile kingdom, where more than 1,500 live crocodiles frolic. Tourists can dangle raw meat from a string for the crocs to devour — that's how close you are to their bone-crushing jaws. Oh, did we mention it's right next to a garbage dump? See you there!
Geeks everywhere might actually love this theme park, as long they don't mind some major copyright infringement. With sections of the park based on Blizzard's games World of Warcraft and Starcraft (Terrain of Magic and Universe of Starship, respectively), there's bound to be no shortage of gamers to discuss the intricacies with. You'll probably be disappointed by the lack of a game-like experience, though, because the park is basically your typical amusement park with gamer decorations. You might as well just stay at home on your computer. That's easier than interacting face-to-face anyway.