South Korea’s Toilet Theme Park

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

We’ve seen our share of bizarre theme parks here on OC. Ranging from Hello Kitty to Atomic Reactors, we thought we’d seen it all. Until we heard of this extremely strange and slightly disturbing theme park in South Korea, based on the last place in the world you’d want to be stuck in – the toilet.

The Restroom Cultural Park,  in the city of Suwon, South Korea, is a massive complex dedicated to the humble toilet. The main exhibition hall itself is shaped like a large toilet bowl and the pathway leading up to it is adorned with bronze figures of humans in mid-squat. The facility was opened to public earlier this year and is the only one of its kind in the world. Other indoor exhibits include WC signs from around the world and toilet-themed art. What’s even more interesting than the toilet theme park is the story of its origin. Apparently, the place was initially home to the former Mayor of Suwon, Sim Jae-duck. He died in 2009, but that has not stopped the South Koreans from still regarding him as their very own ‘Mr. Toilet’. This was partly due to the fact that he ran a successful campaign in the 1980s to dramatically improve South Korea’s old toilet system, and also because Mr. Sim was born in his grandmother’s loo. So inspired was he by his place of birth that he built his own house in the shape of a toilet. He, in turn, is said to be the main inspiration behind the theme park.

..

Experience Life as an Illegal Alien at Mexico’s Border-Crossing Theme Park

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Ever wondered what Mexican emigrants go through trying to illegally cross the border into the United States? Well, now you have the opportunity to experience it for yourself at Eco Alberto, an Illegal Border Crossing Theme Park.

Located 100 kilometers from the US border, and about two hours away from Mexico City, the small town of El Alberto has become one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. Seven years ago, 90% of the local population had crossed over into the US in search of the American Dream, and the small settlement had become a modern ghost town. Life was simply too hard in El Alberto and almost everyone decided to try their luck across the border. But that all changed when the Eco Alberto Park was inaugurated in the vicinity of the small Mexican town. Now, El Alberto has a population of around 3,000 and draws in thousands of tourists every year, all eager to experience the unique activity that put this place on the map.

..

Chinese Artist Creates Transformers Theme Park

11 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

It might look like the set of a new low-budget Transformers movie, but Mr. Iron Robot is actually a newly-inaugurated Transformers-themed park in Jiaxing City, China’s Zhejiang Province.

49-year-old artist Zhu Kefeng and his team have spent the last 10 years building giant metal robots from recycled iron and steel parts. He started out by making a realistic model of a car, then opened his own studio and began creating more intricate sculptures. He soon started doing commission work for people who liked his art, and for large orders he even set up a recycle bin where people could donate discarded metal parts. Zhu started working on Mr. Iron Robot theme park in 2010, with the money he had raised for selling his metal sculptures and his apartment in Shanghai. He and his team of collaborators worked hard and managed to turn an old abandoned factory into a modern attraction featuring over 600 Transformers-inspired sculptures.

..

Valle de la Prehistoria – Cuba’s Jurassic Park

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Valle de la Prehistoria, near the city of Santiago de Cuba, is a prehistoric-themed tourist attraction that features life-size models of over 200 dinosaurs and cavemen.

Located inside the Bocanao National park, Valle de la Prehistoria spreads over 11 hectares of land and is as close as it can get to a real-life Jurassic Park. The vast recreational park dedicated to science and palaeontology is split into multiple areas separated by geological epochs, and features lush vegetation, man-made waterfalls and 227 concrete statues representing 59 different species, including dinosaurs, mammoths, felines and early cavemen.

Perhaps the most spectacular statue in the whole Valle de la Prehistoria is the 12-meter-high Cro magnon welcoming tourists at the park entrance, with a giant stone axe in hand and a Flintstones-like sign post that reads “Do not hesitate! Go! Dare to discover the Jurassic Park dreamed by Spielberg himself”. According to people who visited this popular tourist attraction, it is indeed a fun way to travel back in time, and no other facility manages to recreate a prehistoric atmosphere as faithfully.

..

Just What the World Needed – Hello Kitty Theme park Opens in Tokyo

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

As if the world didn’t have enough of their annoying icon, Hello Kitty, the Japanese thought they’d open a new theme park as well.

If you’re a regular visitor of Oddity Central, you probably already know I’m not the world’s biggest Hello Kitty fan. I’ve featured quite a few strange Hello Kitty stuff, from a pink assault rifle to a Hello Kitty-themed Ferrari. Now, it brings me great…honor to present to you Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise, a Hello Kitty theme park that just opened in Tokyo.

I guess the Japanese didn’t want to look bad, after their Chinese neighbors built a Hello Kitty castle, and a nice new pink theme park was just the thing. Located on Odaiba Island, Hello Kitty Kawaii Paradise opened on October 22nd, and hopes to attract as many as 700,000 Hello Kitty fans in its first year. While the despicable icon has tons of fans in Japan’s capital, not many of them bothered to check out the theme park, probably because Odaiba is quite a long way from central Tokyo, and many of them don’t care to make the long trip. Let’s just hope the place stays empty and they’ll be forced to close it down soon, because unless you’re the Pink Lady, human eyesight just can’t handle all that pink.

In case you’re interested, the 10,000 square-foot park features a big Hello Kitty shop, where you can find all kinds of accessories, toys and other pink junk, a Hello Kitty pancake restaurant, a small theater, a big statue of Hello Kitty and a whole bunch of other pink, girly stuff fans go crazy about.

..

Haw Par Villa – The Most Disturbing Theme Park in Singapore

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Haw Par Villa, also known as the Tiger Balm Gardens has to be one of the weirdest tourist spots you can find in Southeast Asia, and the weirdest in Singapore.

Aw Boob Haw and Aw Boon Par, the two brothers behind the famous Tiger Balm, built the Haw Par Villa in 1937. It featured over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas inspired from Chinese folklore, history and mythology, and quickly became an attraction for people who appreciated Chinese culture. Although it was a huge place, Haw Par Villa was always full of people taking pictures of its weird-looking exhibits and kids running around holding balloons. That was 20 years ago, because now Singapore’s weird theme park is almost deserted.

But just because this place lost its glow doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit, especially if you’re into offbeat attractions. I mean this place will really blow your mind, with statues like a woman breastfeeding her father in law, armed monkeys, or the human faced giant crab. Now these apparently do make some sense if you’ve read up on Chinese mythology, but to an uneducated guy like me they just look freaky.

Not to mention the Ten Stages of Hell exhibit, a place that will creep the hell out of a grownup, let alone a child. According to Chinese mythology, a soul must pass through ten courts of judgment, before being allowed into heaven, and Haw Par Villa has very detailed representations of these trials. As you’re about to see, they are not pretty.

All in all, Haw Par Villa is still considered a must-see attraction for people fond of Chinese culture, and efforts are being made to restore it to its former glory. If you want my opinion, don’t take your kids with you, unless you enjoy explaining why an old man is sucking on a woman’s breast…

..

The Sculpture Park of Veijo Rönkkönen Is the Weirdest Place in Finland

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Deep in the forest of Parikkala, in the easternmost part of Finland, lies one of the craziest tourist attractions on the face of the planet – the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen.

Regarded by most as the most important ensemble of contemporary folk art in Finland, the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is a lot to take in, the first time you visit. Finding yourself surrounded by hundreds of creepy statues, grinning at you with their real human teeth, is enough to spook you into turning back as soon as you set foot in the park.

Veijo Rönkkönen, a former paper mill worker, completed his first sculpture in 1961, and now his yard, and the path leading to it, are filled with over 450 statues, 200 of which are self portraits of the artist in Yoga positions he has mastered so far. The statues have loudspeakers hidden inside them, and the sound effects add to the eeriness of this place.

Although he has had the chance to exhibit and even sell his artworks, in auctions, Veijo Rönkkönen has never agreed to showcase his art. Every time he was asked to showcase his work, the near-hermit always replied he needed to discuss it with the statues first. Sadly, they never agreed to travel.

The sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is free to visit, if you dare, but the artist insists every visitor sign his logbook, before they leave.

..

Animatronic Dinosaurs Invade London

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

There must be something about Britain’s capital because after the invasion of the blue rubber duckies, it’s time for fierce dinosaurs to take over a part of the city.

Dinosaurs Unleashed is an animatronic dinosaur display that today opens its gates to the public. It is located on Oxford Street, a well-known shopping area of London turned dinosaur playground. 24 life-like dinosaur models (including stegosaurus, iguanadon, diplodocus or tyrannosaurus rex) will entertain visitors with their realistic movements and sounds. The largest dinosaur model on display is the 30-meters-tall Diplodocus, 3 times the length of an English double-decker bus

Just as impressive as the robotic dinosaurs is the incredible setting. Featuring marshland, forest and prehistoric plants that existed during the reign of the dinosaurs, it will take people 65 million years into the past.

Dinosaurs Unleashed will stay open starting from January 28 until April 30.

Dinosaurs-unleashed-London

..

China Opens Chocolate Theme-Park in Beijing

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Located inside the Olympic Stadium, in Beijing, the World Chocolate Dream Park is an Asian version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, in real life.

Announced last year, as a way of pleasing the increasing number of Chinese chocoholics, the World Chocolate Dream Park is finally open to the public. As promised, the chocolate theme-park features a number of China’s historical and cultural symbols, including a 12-meter-long  chocolate replica of the Great Wall, an army of 560 terracotta soldiers of Emperor Qingshihuang made of chocolate, and a traditional Chinese painting of Panorama Along the Upper River During the Qingming Festival, in original size.

The chocolate terracotta army was announced as life-size, back in 2009, but the miniatures aren’t too shabby. According to a Chinese official, many European chocolate makers wanted in on the project, considering it’s a great way to advertise chocolate to a huge market that’s just discovering it.

Photos via Xinhua

Chocolate-theme-park0

..

KidZania – Career-Building Theme Park for Kids

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

KidZania is a chain of theme-parks where children can decide what they want to be when they grow up, by actually doing the job.

Do you remember, as a kid, when someone asked you “what do you want to be when you grow up”? And you would say things like astronaut, fireman, doctor without actually knowing what those jobs actually implied. Well, at KidZania, children have the opportunity to experience all kinds of jobs and decide if they really like them.

Luis Javier Laresgoiti, a true theme-park innovator, was the one who came up with the concept of Kidzania and was further developed by Xavier López Ancona, a Mexican entrepreneur. The first career-building theme park was opened in 1999, in Mexico City and there are now 6 Kidzania parks around the world (Tokyo, Monterrey, Jakarta, Koshien and Lisbon).

At Kidzania, children can try popular jobs like firefighting, driving planes, being a doctor, as well as well as being a mechanic or flipping burgers at a diner. The point is for kids to have fun and learn the value of money and work, at a young age. Parents are allowed to watch the kids as they perform the jobs, but they are not allowed to help them.

At the end of the day, the young workers are paid in KidZos (official currency of KidZania).

Photos by GETTY IMAGES via Telegraph.co.uk

KidZania

..

A Preview of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a theme park based on JK Rowling’s best selling series, Harry Potter, due to open in the spring of 2010, at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure resort, in Orlando.

Artists have drawn artworks to show the world a small preview of the magical theme park. Let’s have a look at what we’ll be able to experience in the world of Harry Potter:

Harry-Potter-theme-park

..