There has never been a better time to be a theme park fan. Thrill-seekers have an increasing number of weird, wonderful and exciting destinations they can visit all over the world.
However, despite all these options, there will always be plans that sadly never see the light of day. But what if they did? To find out, we’ve scoured the archives to uncover plans for some of the weird and wonderful theme parks that were never finished, bringing them to life through new concept art.
Here are 5 amazing theme parks that could have been:
Six Flags Dubai
Originally scheduled to open in 2019, Six Flags Dubai was set to be the latest addition to Dubai’s growing list of attractions. Six Flags is known around the world for its huge, stomach churning rides, and Dubai’s park would be no different. According to initial announcements, the park would have had bigger, better and faster rides than anywhere else, with a pledge to build the world’s biggest roller coaster.
People would be able to see the park from miles around, with LED lights on the roller coasters, huge spotlights beaming up into the sky, and a giant six-tower spinning sculpture dedicated to the six flags that stood over Dubai.
A cancelled Disney plan, Beastly Kingdom would have been an extension of Florida’s Animal Kingdom, but with mythical beasts instead of real animals. The park was going to be split in two, with visitors getting to visit a dark and light side. To the left, visitors would find a dark, ominous forest, with winding pathways littered with charred suits of armour and abandoned weapons, all leading towards the menacing “Dragon’s Tower”
While to the right, things would take a brighter, more welcoming turn, with crystal clear streams, lush, green gardens and gorgeous fields of flowers. Greek temples would house a family-friendly ride based on Disney’s Fantasia, with ballet-dancing hippos, crocodiles and ostriches.
However, the park’s crowning glory was to be the Quest for the Unicorn, a huge, rambling hedge maze, where guests would be challenged to find five golden idols, which would help unlock the hidden unicorn at the heart of the maze.
Space City USA
Back in the 1960s, Huntsville, Alabama had plans for its own theme park, set to rival Disneyworld. Built around a distinct sci-fi theme, visitors to Space City would be transported into the future, with a sprawling skyway ride, jet cars and flying saucers, a glass-bottomed boat, a lunar restaurant shaped like a giant mushroom, and even a miniature volcano.
However, as well as enjoying a glimpse into the future, guests could also explore the past. Taking a trip in their very own time machine, they’d get the chance to visit various themed areas, including dinosaurs in the Lost World, , as well as the Land of Oz, the Old South and a simulated moon colony.
The most recent plan announced for Battersea Power Station is to turn it into a mixed-use neighbourhood, filled with restaurants, shops, parks and cultural spaces. However, back in the 1980s, developers had a slightly different vision - to turn the disused power station into the world’s greatest theme park.
The plan was to transform the power station into a huge glass-roofed atrium, inspired by the Great Exhibition, housing a six-floor entertainment complex. Each floor was to be themed like a different continent, with digital projections on the ceiling mimicking the weather outside, and indoor hot air balloon rides and giant glass elevator shafts to transport people around.
There were also plans for the biggest aquarium in the world, complete with mini-submarine rides, as well as Europe’s largest ice rink, waterfalls, zero-gravity simulators, 4D cinemas, log flumes and botanical gardens. Finally, there was the “Battersea Bullet”, a bright yellow high-speed train which would run from London Victoria station, direct to The Battersea, with LCD screens on the windows to give the illusion that guests were travelling at light speed!
Over the years, various groups of developers have attempted to get plans for a permanent World’s Fair in Miami approved. Interama, which is short for “Inter-American Cultural and Trade Center”, was to be part theme park, part science, trade and culture exhibition, built on 1,600 acres of bayfront land in North Miami.
The futuristic metropolis would have featured a 12,000-seat floating amphitheatre, as well as a soaring, 1,000-foot Tower of Freedom, rising majestically out of the bay. Visitors would access the tower via winding underwater conveyor-belt tubes, or space-age capsules propelled along cables in the sky.