It is going to hit at least 97 degrees today in NYC, and that means that being in the city is not the most pleasant experience. I live in Chinatown, so that means that the fish and meat markets smell horrendous, as does any of the garbage you find on the city streets. The close proximity of people, especially on the subways, causes everyone to sweat and be quite grumpy. And the occasional breeze that blows by is so hot it actually feels as if you are standing under a hair dryer. It is on days like this that I dream of escaping the city to go somewhere fun, so this morning I compiled a list of the 10 most unique adventures the world has to offer on a day like today.
Diggerland is an amusement park for the construction enthusiast. A place where children and adults alike are given the once in a lifetime opportunity to , “ride in, and drive, different types of construction machinery including Dumper Trucks, Mini Diggers and Giant Diggers.”
3. Dickens World
England’s Dickens World is an amusement park designed around everyone’s favorite topic: plague-ridden, sewage-filled 19th century London.
If you have ever wondered what the Victorian era, in all its gloom and grime of the industrial revolution, would have felt like, or wished to meet Dickensian characters like that wicked schoolmaster or the clever shoeshine boy then this is the place for you. Dickens World features one of Europe’s largest dark boat rides, the Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge, and a Victorian School Room. Sounds exhilarating, don’t you think?
4. Shijingshan Amusement Park
If you’re alive and breathing, you probably know something about Disneyland and the plethora of characters you will find there. Well, the creators of Shijingshan Amusement Park in Beijing think “Disneyland is too far” (they have the slogan posted on the park’s entrance), so they just created live character doppelgangers to all of the world’s favorite Disney characters, from Cinderella to Donald Duck, and even included a copy of Epcot’s dimpled globe. However, the park maintains that all of their characters are based on those found in Grimm’s Fairy Tales and are no way associated with Disney or other cartoon characters.
5. Suoi Tien Park
If hell isn’t enough to scare you straight, the park also features “Bat cave with innumerable bats, Mid air cycling over crocodile farm with more than 1,500 crocodiles of all sizes which cause fearful feeling for tourist.” Yikes.
6. The Ocean Dome
Massive enough to surf in, Miyazaki’s Ocean Dome — part of the sprawling Phoenix Seagaia Resort — is the largest water park in the world. The Ocean Dome features a “heated ocean with a width of 140 meters [that] sends 13,500 tons of salt-free water sweeping across 600 tons of polished marble chips that constitute a 85-metre long shoreline, ringed by a three-story promenade of shops.” The Dome also includes a rain forest, erupting volcano, and a massive beach. The weirdest part of all, the Ocean dome is located less than 1000 feet from a real beach!
Harmonyland is like cute heaven. Located in Oita, Japan, this theme park is dedicated to the crown princess of cute, Ms. Hello Kitty herself. The formula is basically to re-create the amusement-park standard bearers in the likeness of Sanrio characters—you’ve got your Hello Kitty spinning teacups, your Hello Kitty Ferris wheel, your Hello Kitty variant of “It’s a Small World.”
But where Harmonyland really shines is in its parades and stage shows. The “Time Machine of Dreams,” a 20-minute 3-D and special effects–filled show, even has scented seats for the full sweet Hello Kitty experience. Don’t miss the classic “Fantasy Night Show,” with fairies, laser beams, and a song about “the importance of life.”
On a much less exciting note there is Mukluk Land in Alaska. The highlights? A large Alaskan cabbage (but not the largest), the world’s largest mukluk, the world’s largest mosquito, and an assortment of odd displays, including a large yurt and a collection of large, rusting snowmobiles. But, they have Skee Ball!
9. Holy Land Experience
While there’s nothing wrong with religion, don’t you think there is something odd about a theme park based around life during the time of Jesus? That’s just what they do at The Holy Land Experience. The weirdest par of all is that they do reenactments at the park, including the crucifixion of Jesus. If you’re a devout Christian, this park just may take you to Heaven in Orlando, Florida. At the park you’ll find a town made to look like olden-day Jerusalem with markets, a Judean Village, a Temple, and even a Garden Tomb that is meant to look like the one Jesus was buried in, as well as many other structures that were built to present the architecture and life 2000 years back.
10. Išgyvenimo Drama in Lithuania
Last but not least, the most depressing, unpleasant and miserable theme park experience ever. For just $220 you can experience what it was like in 1984 USSR at “The Drama of Survival” park in Lithuania. As if you weren’t convinced enough all of the actors who will look after you for the two and a half hours were once part of the Soviet army or were official Communist interrogators.
Which one will you visit first?