Wunderland Kalkar

Most theme parks fall into neatly-defined categories. There are many that attempt to copy Disneyland, boasting multiple themed lands based around westerns or fairytales. Others dispense with the theming and simply host a range of steel contraptions hastily dumped on a slab of concrete.

Some parks, though, opt to break the mould. Featuring crazy attractions and off-the-wall themes, they stand out among the crowd (though not always in a good way). Bored of Six Flags, Universal and Disney? Head to one of the bizarre theme parks below.

10. Republic of the Children (La Plata, Argentina)

Republic of the Children

Image: Patricio Lorente, Wikipedia

Opened by the Eva Perón Foundation in 1951, Republic of the Children actually predates Disneyland itself - leading to rumors among the local population that Walt Disney based his park upon it. That's a bit unlikely, with the park being aimed primarily at educating children about democratic society. It features recreations of parliament and government buildings, a theater, an airport and even a complete city. The parliament building even hosts its own government, elected from groups of local students.

9. Holy Land Experience (Orlando, Florida)

Holy Land Experience

Image: David Joyce, Wikipedia

Located right in the theme park capital of the world, the Holy Land experience is nevertheless ignored by most Orlando visitors. Aimed entirely at Christian guests, it recreates 1st centry Israel. Highlights include a street market, a "Judean Village" and a version of the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.

8. Išgyvenimo Drama (Nemencine, Lithuania)

Išgyvenimo Drama

Image: Išgyvenimo Drama

Ever wanted to live in Communist-era Lithuania? This is the theme park for you! Housed in an ex-Soviet Bunker, Išgyvenimo Drama lets guests learn the Soviet anthem, don gas masks and be put through an interrogation.

7. World Chocolate Wonderland (Beijing, China)

World Chocolate Wonderland
Image: Yuxuan Wang, Flickr

Few theme parks suffer from the operational issues of World Chocolate Wonderland, where the attractions melt if it gets too warm. As a result, the "chocolate theme park" is closed from May through December. The displays include a model of the Great Wall of China, plus a stunning recreation of the Terracotta army. You'll put on weight just looking at them.

6. Tierra Santa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Tierra Santa

Image: Roberto Ettore, Wikipedia

Take a stroll thorugh the streets of biblical Jerusalem at Tierra Santa, which recreates key events in Jesus's life. Sitting awkwardly alongside this are belly dancing performances in the town square, all overlooked by a 40-feet-tall plastic Jesus that rises from behind a rock every hour.



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