Amusement parks can seem banal if you're fed up of overpriced food, long lines and not-so-great rides. But this extraordinary amusement park in Germany has an edge over its competitors -- it's built out of an abandoned nuclear power plant.
The immense cooling tower houses a swing ride, while its outside walls have been converted to a 130 foot tall climbing wall. In addition, there are more traditional rides like a carousel, merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, attracting approximately 600,000 visitors each year.
An inside view of the cooling tower. Photo courtesy: Corbis
Photo courtesy: Wunderland Kalkar/Promo image
Located near Kalkar, Germany, this "Wunderland" park is a great example of adaptive reuse that could also solve the problem of what to do with the country's nuclear power sites as it plans to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022.
According to the Daily Mail, this nuclear power plant was never used, though it was supposed to be the world's most hi-tech nuclear power plant when it was constructed in 1972. But after many protests and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the multi-million dollar project was cancelled 12 years later, with a Dutch businessman stepping in and buying the plant in 1995.
What was originally planned as office and working space now houses the hotel and other amenities. Photo courtesy: harry_nl/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The park now boasts several hundred hotel rooms, bars and restaurants (operated out of the plant itself it seems), dozens of rides, a museum, miniature golf and tennis courts. But is it safe? Well, the Daily Mail quotes a park spokeswoman as saying:
People come from all over the world because they are completely fascinated by the park. It's totally unique and that's what draws people in. It's not something you see every day. Some people worry it's unsafe but it is 100 per cent safe. Because the nuclear power station has never been put to use, the whole complex is guaranteed free of radiation.
Good to know; thrill-seekers can find out for themselves at Wunderland Kalkar (website).