Nara Dreamland | Abandoned Amusement Parks

Defunct Roller Coasters Editorials and Rants

Nara Dreamland: Former Disneyland Knock-Off, Now Creepy Abandoned Amusement Park
As I was doing research for The Final Project! (insert Europe’s “Final Countdown” music here), I came across the enigma that was Nara Dreamland. It was a Disneyland clone in Japan that closed a few years ago. From looking at a photo trip report from Theme Park Review, I’m not surprised that it closed. On one hand it had many of the elements of Disneyland including the monorail, castle, Matterhorn ride, skyway, submarine voyage, jungle cruise, and a similar entrance to name a few. But on the other hand it was poorly maintained and run-down before it even closed. I’ve never been to Disneyland, but SoCal-based Robb Alvey and his crew were quick to notice all of the similarities. Check out this photo trip report from 2004 on Theme Park Review. Caution, some of the photo captions are PG-13.

Aska: The World’s Best Abandoned Roller Coaster
While it was a ghost town even before its demise, now it looks down right spooky. Main street and the other pathways are reminiscent of “I Am Legend”. Like many abandoned amusement parks, nature is starting to take over as the rides sit and decay. Worst of all, the park was home to an excellent Intamin wooden coaster, Aska. Theme Park Review loved the ride calling it one of the best wooden coasters they’ve ridden even though it was definitely out of place at the bizarro-Disneyland knock-off. Aska has been ranked highly in Mitch’s Internet Coaster Poll for several years.

So, to jjhobo and my other UK readers, I think I found an excellent wooden coaster for your homeland that’s lacking great woodies. I would imagine that it could be bought for cheap. The Urban Exploration Resource has images of the now abandoned Nara Dreamland.

What’s Your Take?
Have you ever been to Nara Dreamland or seen an abandoned amusement park? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Theme Park Review.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

16 Comments

  1. wow… seems like it would have been a hit…

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  2. It…it…it really looks creepy from the photos.

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  3. Looks like it would make a good film set, its a shame when its clear that alot of effort was put into a park and it goes downhill. we'd gladly take that woodie in the UK, we havent had a new one in nearly 15 years and there is world class woodies literally rotting away in parks like this, life just isnt fair, lol.

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  4. I'm not all that surprised it closed down. The Intamin coaster looks sweet though.

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    • I know and it scored high on mitch hawker`s.

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  5. This was very strang-but neat to see the 5 pages of photos. It does look like Disneyland alot. Does anyone know why it is so abandoned? Is it their economy or what? It was strange…you saw about 5 Japeneze kids on a water ride, and the two dudes from America, but that was it. If it is closed down, how did they get on the rides? The water was working on the log flume that the kids were on. Very strange, but neat to see.

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    • It wasnt close when TPR visited in 2004, it has closed since then due to lack of customers i guess.

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      • maybe they snuck in.

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    • la fermeture c est disney qui l as demander ,

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  6. Looks like a good spot for one of those cheesy horror movies. "When Good Disney Characters Go Bad And Try To Kill You." 🙂

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    • how about "LUNNY TUNES GO HOMOCIDAL!"

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  7. If I'm not mistaken, Aska is not a pre-fab. http://www.rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=2&mo=8381
    Those are all the pre-fabs.
    http://www.rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=2&mo=8368
    Those are just Intamin woodies. They are built like regular woodies.

    ^^Dineyland Chainsaw Massacre ;).

    Yeah, that park is creepy.

    Reply
  8. You're right Nessie. I keep forgetting that not all of Intamin's highly ranked woodies are pre-fabs. Aska's the exception. It's always ranked up there with Balder, T Express, Colossos, & El Toro, but you're right it's not a pre-fab.

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    • must be prettey darn smooth to be mistaken as one though.

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  9. I've been to Dreamland recently and I don't think it would be a good idea to buy anything from that park! Most rides suffered quite a bit from decay and vandalism – and after four years without maintenance Aska had seen better days, too…

    Reply

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