The Fake Disneyland that Never Was

Reuters photo-blogger David Gray recently found some very unique photo opportunities at the site of an unfinished amusement park outside of Beijing. Along the beaten tourist path from Beijing to the Great Wall sits the abandoned ruins of Wonderland, a Disney-esque theme park whose construction began in 1998. From the text accompanying Gray’s photos:

Along the road to one of China’s most famous tourist landmarks – the Great Wall of China – sits what could potentially have been another such tourist destination, but now stands as an example of modern-day China and the problems facing it.

Situated on an area of around 100 acres, and 45 minutes drive from the center of Beijing, are the ruins of ‘Wonderland’. Construction stopped more than a decade ago, with developers promoting it as ‘the largest amusement park in Asia’. Funds were withdrawn due to disagreements over property prices with the local government and farmers. So what is left are the skeletal remains of a palace, a castle, and the steel beams of what could have been an indoor playground in the middle of a corn field.

This was not the first time Wonderland was mentioned in the blogosphere. Earlier this year, bloggers at Asia Obscura visited the park, and took some equally eerie photographs. Also, the Disney Blog posted a video walkthrough of the ruins, along with a brief statement describing why Wonderland was never finished:

The late 90s saw a lot of tourist projects in China. Many never made it to completion. Wonderland ended up in its ghost park state due to a lack of investors and some regulatory problems with the local government. Farmers in the surrounding area did not want this to be built and they were able to stop the project.

Wonderland from catherine Hyland on Vimeo.

December 13, 2011 12:40 PM
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