Photo of the Day: Joy to the World


As China “rails at [the recent] theme park boom“, with officials criticizing what they see as “unclear concepts, blind construction, imitations and plagiarism, low-standard duplication and other issues” in the industry, our photo theme this week is Theme Park Dream — a look at some of the weirder and whackier theme parks to have cropped up in the country in recent years.

Even if you’ve never been to World Joyland in Jiangsu province, there’s plenty of joy to be had just from knowing it exists. Built as part of the city of Changzhou’s over-zealous theme park spree a few years back (which also saw the opening of a dinosaur theme park and a revamping of the Yancheng Relics site into a theme park-ish hot spring-featuring attraction), it’s garnered some wonderfully malicious reviews:

This incredible Chinese theme park may be the largest bootleg in history

Atlas Obscura

An expensive embarrassment for the amusement park industry

The Theme Park Guy

Weirdly, World Joyland — which The Hollywood Reporter labelled “China’s brazenly fake ‘Warcraft’ theme park” — doesn’t use such quotes on its advertising. But regardless, the advertising is another perverse source of joy:

Finally, here’s a dramatic Youku video showing off the park in all its possibly-World-of-Warcraft-ripping-off glory:

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