Humans have a weird habit of taking things. Those are well-intentioned to be good clean fun and turning them into frightening monstrosities. We need to say nothing more than the phrase EVIL clowns for you to catch our drift. And now people abandoned Disneyland in China.
Another great example of this principle in action is the abandoned theme and amusement parks scattered all throughout the planet. What we have now are soulless spooky shells of what was once meant to be a haven of family-friendly fun and make-believe.
One of the most common examples of this ill-fated and doomed skeleton of fun and family vacations is in China. At a now overgrown and dilapidated park known as Wonderland. If Mickey Mouse ever had a crossover film with Mad Max, this is exactly the kind of environment. It would make for the perfect backdrop for that film.
Facts Verse Presents: Inside China’s Disturbing Abandoned Disneyland
Before we start our spooky journey through one of the creepiest locations on earth, make sure you hit the like button and subscribe to our channel. When you do, tap the Bell icon so you can turn on notifications. We put out videos that you’re not going to want to miss.
By the way, you’re really going to want to stick around for the whole video. After we take a tour through the abandoned wasteland that was once Wonderland, we’ll take a little detour and see whatever became of Michael Jackson’s abandoned amusement park compound Neverland. You won’t believe how much it has deteriorated since his death in 2009.
The Early Years Full Of Good Intentions
The unsettling tale we are about to tell you all starts with a businessman named Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang. He helped lay the foundation for a very successful investment collective that was called Reignwood Group during the 80s.
The 90s are quickly approaching. He had to come up with a new business plan for his investors to be excited about.
Then, he started looking towards the west for ideas and noticed that parks like Disneyland and Disneyworld were booming. It brings in the big bucks.
He made the decision to build his own fantasy-filled ‘Wonderland’ modeled after the image that Disney had made so iconic. And he already had the perfect location picked out for his soon-to-be dead-in-the-water project.
45 Minutes From Of Beijing
The Doctor thought that he had found the perfect spot to set up shop. In a beautifully scenic piece of lush countryside that totaled about 120 acres with majestic views of the mountainous rock-faces. It is packed full of wildlife, he thought he had found his ideal theme park locale.
He had such high hopes for the place. He had the vision of a thriving, bustling park for all age groups full off restaurants, live-shows, gift shops, and everything else you’d come to expect from one of Disney’s parks.
The problems started however when Reignwood Group began to make some shady business dealings to materialize the project – despite the fact that they had a great reputation in Asia at the time. That reputation would soon be tarnished.
Mounting Problems Right Out Of The Gate
Forget about copyright laws! Who needs them right? Well, that’s what the investment group that was building the park thought when they blatantly ripped-off Disney’s font for the park’s Welcome sign. Even the parks castle centerpiece was a clear emulation of Disney’s.
But that was only the beginning of the problems that the park builders would start creating for themselves.
In 1998, suddenly construction was completely halted resulting in a whirlwind of opinions, rumors, and speculations to begin flying around. It soon became clear that the project was being abandoned.
The main rumor that was going around in those days involved land disputes between local farmers about how much the acreage should be sold for. That rumor turned out to be false.
Soon Locals Began Doubting That The Project Would Be Completed
Years went by with no progress being made. Not so much as a dump truck showed up to the site. Everyone had figured that the park had been scrapped until out of the blue one day, a new group took the reigns of the dismally destined venture.
But instead of being rich big-wigs in business suits, this new group of tenants wasn’t what you would expect.
Local farmers and children flooded the un-finished gates of the abandoned park to make it their own. The overgrown post-apocalyptic looking park soon became a popular spot for kids to play and for farmers to plant rows and rows of crops – mostly corn.
The Real Reason Construction Was Halted
A solid decade after Reignwood Group halted projection of the project, It finally came to light what the real reason was for why they had stopped construction. It had nothing to do with running out of money or motivation but all hinged around laws intended to protect the land.
An Fang, from the investment group, revealed that it was right after substantial flooding in 1998, that the government ordered them to stop moving forward with the project immediately.
It may be hard to believe following such a massive failure, but Reignwood Group wouldn’t just give up on their development dreams. Even though the theme park was completely torn down in 2013 they decided to go ahead and build a luxury mall called Badaling Outlets in its place.
One piece of the park that once stood there wasn’t torn down. The castle still stands and serves as a grim reminder of what once stood on the cursed land.
Another Landmark With A Troubled History
If you are familiar at all with Michael Jackson then you know that he had a pretty tragic life. Maybe it was his childhood that robbed him of his innocence that served as the motivation for him to build his own personal fantasy world where he could be a kid forever – or at least until his death.
Neverland Ranch was Michael’s attempt to find some a fleeting bit of joy while living a confusing life of fame and fortune that only seemed to bring him misery and heartache. At one point, there were all sorts of animals and beautifully landscaped arrangements on the property but those days have long since passed.
The rides and games are now all run down, dirty, damaged, and destined for a landfill. The dream is over and the magic has left. Assuming there was any magic there in the first place. As you may know, Michael was not immune to controversy. In fact, it haunted him for his entire life.
Neverland Ranch Once Was The Place To Be
Well at least if you were a child star like Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin. Michael would constantly bring children to his theme-park-like home for fun and festivities. Between all the rides, the lawn clock that looked like something straight out of Alice and Wonderland, and the tiny train that would take tired tots around the property, it felt more like you were at some creepy trap-like property than at an amusement park.
In addition to the rides, the ranch also had a pool with 2 diving boards. It was here that Jackson would get his chance to connect with his guests more intimately than when they were running around the park playing games and riding the Merry-Go-Round.
Adjacent to the pool was a large outdoor kitchen that Michael would use himself to make his guests burgers and such to make sure they were always happy. He always had to be a people pleaser after all.
Criminal Accusations Brought His Empire Down
Michael couldn’t keep his fantasy world afloat. Eventually, multiple criminal accusations would shut the gates to Neverland for good.
In 2003, investigators would conduct a full-fledged raid on the ranch following multiple child molestation charges that were raised against Jackson.
Neverland wasn’t just a theme park, but it was also Michael Jackson’s home. Neverland was an obvious reference to Peter Pan, the beloved children’s tale about a boy that never grew up. Much the same as Jackson viewed himself.
The ranch has been vacant since Michael’s death in 2009. Many an urban explorer has taken it upon themselves to venture into the property to take handfuls of pictures since there has never been a clear-cut owner of the property since his sudden death. The photographs of the property these days are quite spooky. It’s doubtful that the property will ever sell.
Other Oddities On The Ranch
At the entrance to the ranch is a mural. In this very large piece of art, Jackson is depicted as leading a long line of kids into the direction of what can be safely assumed to be Neverland ranch. It’s a beautiful day out with the sun shining and balloons fluttering through the air. It’s a rather surreal art piece considering everyone looks so joyous when we can only assume that not every day on the ranch was full of sunshine and rainbows.
Another disturbing piece of art is a doorknob that leads to Michael’s mansion. The custom piece depicts two young children kissing. Considering the accusations leveled against Mr. Jackson, this is a pretty disturbing decoration to adorn one’s house with.
Neverland was also once home to a full-fledged zoo which included gorillas, monkeys, tigers, reptiles, flamingoes, and even an elephant. Eventually, Michael acted upon his vet’s – Martin Dinnes – advice and rehomed each animal to a stable environment.
Children always got into the ranch for free but adult visitors are who Jackson would charge to visit. Right above the vintage cash register that was used for this purpose is an odd piece of art depicting Michael as some kind of extraterrestrial overlord.
A Legacy Of Pain And Mystery
There is no hiding the fact that Michael Jackson was a deeply troubled soul. Although Neverland Ranch is left in a state of faded glory, we may never know exactly what happened on that property back when it was in it’s prime.
Rumors continue to circulate and certainly the children that actually stayed there will always remember what it was like but unfortunately, we don’t have a time machine to go back and see for ourselves.
Much of Jackson’s life still remains shrouded in secrecy. We still never found out who the surrogate father of his children was. It’s even been suggested that Macaulay Culkin was the donor behind Paris and Prince’s conception. Mark Lester is another candidate – you may remember him from the film Oliver! Either way, we can only imagine what Jackson’s children think about their father and the ranch he once called home.