Joyland Amusement Park shut down permanently in 2006.
Joyland Amusement Park was founded in 1949 in Wichita, Kansas. After a 13-year-old girl fell from the Ferris wheel in 2004, the park closed for the season while the US Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated the incident. Joyland never reopened, permanently shutting down in 2006. Some structures have since been demolished.
A top-secret submarine base in Balaklava, Ukraine, closed and became a museum in 2000.
Constructed during the Cold War, this military base housed the Soviet Union’s Black Sea Fleet submarines as well as its nuclear warheads and other weapons. Nearly 400 feet underground, the base was designed to withstand a nuclear attack and had enough self-sustaining supplies for 30 days.
After falling into disuse, the Russian Federation gifted the abandoned base to the Ukrainian Navy in 2000. It is now a tourist attraction known as the Naval Museum Complex Balaklava.
Nara Dreamland in Japan shuttered in 2006 due to low numbers of visitors.
Modeled after Disneyland, Nara Dreamland was built in 1961 with its own Main Street USA and Sleeping Beauty’s castle, but the park closed in 2006. According to Atlas Obscura, the site was completely demolished in 2017.
The Olympic Village from the 2004 Olympics sits abandoned in Athens, Greece.
Greece spent around $15 billion building world-class stadiums to host the Olympics in 2004. But after the athletes and spectators left, there wasn’t enough money or interest in maintaining them.
The dinosaur-themed Spreepark closed in 2002.
A dinosaur-themed amusement park built outside of Berlin in 1969, Spreepark used to have 1.7 million visitors every year. The owner, Norbert Witte, was convicted of smuggling cocaine in ride equipment shipped between Peru and Germany, and the park subsequently closed in 2002.
While the rides are long-closed, guided tours of the ruins of Spreepark are available.
There have been reports of paranormal activity at the Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, since it closed in 2003.
Hudson River State Hospital, formerly known as “Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane,” was a hospital for mentally ill patients that operated from 1871 until 2003. The facility used straight jackets, electroshock therapy, and lobotomies as methods of treatment for mental illnesses. As talk therapy and psychiatric medications were deemed better options, the 160-acre grounds began to empty out and fall into disrepair.
Since its closure, there have been reports of paranormal activityamid the eerie remnants of medical equipment and holding rooms.
Hellenikon International Airport became defunct in 2001.
Hellenikon International Airport started as a military airbase in 1938 and was Athens’ main hub for commercial air travel for 60 years. It’s been closed since 2001 when it was replaced by Athens International Airport.
River Country, Walt Disney World’s first water park, dried up in 2001.
Disney’s River Country opened in 1976 in Orange County, Florida. It closed down after 25 years of operation in 2001, and Disney drained the park’s 330,000-gallon pool in 2016.
The Houston Astrodome hosted its last event in 2002.
When the Houston Astrodome opened in 1965, it was the first domed multi-purpose stadium in the US. With a capacity of 70,000 people, it hosted sports games, conventions, and concerts. Some even called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” When the Houston Astros baseball team and the Houston Oilers football team moved on to new stadiums, the last Astrodome event took place in 2002. These days, it’s used as a shelter during natural disasters.
Six Flags New Orleans has sat abandoned since it was ruined by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Six Flags operated the New Orleans theme park from 2002 until 2005, when it was flooded by Hurricane Katrina (it was previously known as “Jazzland”) and left in ruins. In 2009, the city terminated Six Flags’ lease and announced that the area would be turned into a shopping complex, but nothing has happened so far. Drone photos from 2019 show that the park’s roller coasters and concession buildings are still standing.
The derelict park has become a popular filming location and can be seen in “Jurassic World” and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.”
North Wilkesboro Speedway closed in 1996, held a few more events in 2010 and 2011, then shuttered for good.
Enoch Staley built the race car track in 1946 and the first race was held a year later. A race promoter named Bill France got involved, eventually leading to a meeting in Daytona, Florida, where NASCAR was born.
The speedway closed in 1996 and held a few more events in 2010 and 2011 in an effort to revitalize interest in the space, but the local city council backed out of allocating funds to reopen it. After almost 50 years on the NASCAR racing circuit, North Wilkesboro Speedway finally closed for good.
Its legacy lives on, inspiring the Thomasville Speedway that was featured in “Cars 3.”
Camelot Theme Park closed in 2012 due to declining numbers of visitors.
Camelot Theme Park opened in 1983 in Lancashire, England. The park closed in 2012 after years of declining numbers. The owners told the Manchester Evening News that bad weather and events like the London Olympics and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee had drastically decreased the number of visitors at the park.
Ciudad Real Central Airport is known as a “ghost airport” since it closed in 2012.
Ciudad Real Central Airport cost $1.2 billion (€1 billion) to build. It opened in 2008, when it was heralded as the first private airport in Spain, but it went bankrupt shortly after and closed in 2012. It was sold in a bankruptcy auction in 2015 for 100,000 times less than it cost to build, BBC reported.
Geauga Lake Amusement Park changed hands several times before shuttering in 2007.
Geauga Lake opened in Aurora, Ohio, in 1887. Its attractions included the world’s largest wooden roller coaster at the time, a steam-powered carousel, a swimming pool, and a ballroom. Funtime Incorporated purchased the park in 1969, and it became a Six Flags in 2000. Cedar Fair then acquired the park in 2004 and closed it in 2007.
In 2017, the city of Aurora posted a plaque in the spot where the park used to be detailing its history. The land is currently being rezoned to build shops and restaurants.
Miracle Strip Amusement Park closed in Florida in 2004 to make way for new condos.
Miracle Strip Amusement Park opened in 1963 in Panama City Beach, Florida. A local radio DJ named Jim King rode The Starliner, the park’s main attraction, for 368 hours to set the world record for the longest continuous roller coaster ride, according to WJHG. It closed in 2004 when the owner sold the land for condo development. All of the rides were sold at auction in 2016, including The Starliner.
Rio’s Olympic Aquatics Stadium hasn’t been used since the 2016 Olympic Games.
Rio spent $13 billion preparing for the 2016 Olympics, and the state-of-the-art facilities haven’t been used since. The Olympic-size swimming pool looks more like a swamp.
Gaza International Airport closed in 2001 after it was bombed by Israel’s military.
President Bill Clinton flew to Gaza for the opening of the Gaza International Airport in 1998, which was seen as a step towards peace in the conflict in the Middle East, but the festivities were short-lived. Israeli forces bombed the airport in 2001 in response to Palestinian militant attacks on Israelis in the Al Aqsa intifada.
Today, Palestinians use the ruined concrete and scrap metal for construction materials.