China's Version of Disneyland: Ghost Amusement Park
China is full of ghost shopping malls, ghost office buildings -- even entire ghost cities in the middle of nowhere. But perhaps the spookiest Chinese ghost property of all, is the ghost "Disneyland," begun in 1998, and crumbling away ever since in a wasteland.
Construction on Wonderland began in 1998 with the intention of building the largest amusement park in Asia. The project was scrapped after funding was withdrawn and the developers and the local farmers could not come to terms over ownership of the land. This past year, UK-based photographer Catherine Hyland braved the harsh land to capture the crumbling park, which has been reclaimed by nearby villagers who regularly tend to the grounds.
Hyland’s images reveal a strange landscape of half-built structures amid corn fields and cracked pavement. The park is strewn with fragments of anachronistic landmarks, anchored by an unfinished fairytale castle whose inchoate construction dissolves into the smog. Had it all been completed, Wonderland may have rivaled Disneyland, with undoubtedly larger crowds and plenty of in the way of spectacle but few genuinely new experiences. In its ruinous state, however, it offers something much more rare but infinitely more interesting. _Atlantic