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Home Tourist Attraction Inside Europe’s ‘biggest theme park’ that’s been left to rot as an abandoned wasteland – World News

Inside Europe’s ‘biggest theme park’ that’s been left to rot as an abandoned wasteland – World News

by Staff

Wonderland Eurasia cost around £650million and was once hailed as one of Turkey’s ‘symbols of pride’ – but it shut one year after its grand opening and has been left in decay since 2020

Wonderland Eurasia was once billed as Europe’s biggest theme park but things quickly went very wrong (Getty Images)

What has been dubbed the world’s biggest theme park sits rotting after it was abandoned just one year after its grand opening.

With 26 roller coasters once giving families days out they’ll never forget, Wonderland Eurasia has been left to crumble rubbish everywhere and food still in fridges. The venue, also known as Ankapark, was once hailed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “one of the symbols of pride for Turkey”.

However, it was suddenly shut down and left to decay the year after its grand opening. When it was launched in March 2019, six years after it had first been announced, the park had much to boast about within its 1.3-million-square-metre site and excitement was certainly building.

Within a year, the doors of the attraction were slammed shut(AFP via Getty Images)

Now, its only visitors are burglars who constantly try to steal cables and other recyclable parts. Since the amusement park plans were announced by the then-mayor Melih Gokcek ten years ago, his grand scheme quickly found itself be-set by legal issues and political scandals – and it didn’t have a happy ending.

Among its attractions, Ankapark offered loads of big thrill rides as well as 2,117 smaller amusement rides, all housed in 13 huge tents. The large outdoor area included a majestic fountain built to sprinkle water in jets as high as 120 metres, and the park featured among other decorations large statues of dinosaurs and robots.

The dinosaurs have long lost their roars with the models no longer enjoyed by anyone(AFP via Getty Images)

Wonderland Eurasia, which reportedly cost around £647million to the Ankara municipality, had the capacity to host some five million visitors per year. The issues at the park, the management of which was granted to a private firm, started early on, as one of its roller coasters broke down two days after the inauguration. The big problem was that park had been launched despite some of its rides not being finished and remaining off-limits to paying guests.

The unfinished state of the park was noticed by visitors too, with one taking to Tripadvisor in July 2019 to say: “This theme park still needs at least more six months in my opinion as most of the mature rides and games are either under construction or haven’t opened yet, and we weren’t even told about that before buying the tickets which led to us being disappointed and frustrated.”

Officially opened in 2019, the 1.3-million-square-metre site has gone to ruin(AFP via Getty Images)

Despite it being partially closed, the park was loved by many visitors, with one writing on the tourism advice website: “Wonderful place to have great time with family and friends. Definitely the best in Turkey, not just Ankara.” The enthusiasm of many of its guests was not enough to keep the venue open, as less than one year after it was launched its management shut it down as it was struggling to pay electricity bills.

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