Top 10 Strangest Dark Rides Around the World

For most theme parks, dark rides define the true character of what their park is all about.Personally, I find it to be the most fascinating, unique and intriguing form of storytelling. However, there are some really bizarre dark rides out there and I figured, why not highlight a few?

Keep in mind, this list only highlights the dark rides found in video form online.  There are plenty that existed before video cameras were easily accessible and affordable, but what fun is talking about a dark rides when you can’t see them?

#10 Gremlins Invasion Adventure – Warner Brothers Movie World Germany

I loved the original Gremlins movie when it came out in 1984. It’s perfect for a theme park attraction and they created a great one in Warner Brothers Movie World Australia. They duplicated it for their park in Germany, with one major change – it starred Alf.  Yup, Alf from the Planet Melmac that had the sitcom back in the 1980s. Apparently he is huge in Germany.

#9 American Adventure – Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park

This American Adventure has nothing to do with the show at Epcot.  Rather, it’s a shoot-em-up dark ride in China that gives riders the chance to kill cowboys. Want to read more about Beijing Shijingshan park? Click here.

#8 Nights in White Satin: The Trip – Hard Rock Park

Even though Hard Rock Park was only open a few months, this dark ride was their crowning achievement.  The Trip referred to acid trip, even though top brass at the park never admitted to it. Instead, they called it a “psychedelic experience” and the results are both bizarre and soothing.

#7 Hollywood Tour Boat Ride – Phantasialand

Imagine Disney’s The Great Movie ride, in water. Now add in scenes from Universal properties like Jaws, King Kong and even Alfred Hitchcock. Now cut the budget in half.

#6 Bermuda Triangle Alien Encounter – Movie Park Germany

Back at Movie Park Germany, there are aliens in a volcano who seem to be ticked off.  That’s all I can figure out.

#5 Pleasure Garden – Hitachi Kaihin Park

It’s not exactly a haunted house and there’s a Japanese serpent woman and a cat meowing in the background nearly the entire ride.

#4 Vi Pa Saltkrakan – Astrid Lengren’s World

Based on a popular Swedish television series, this dark ride follows the adventures of the Melkerssons on Sea Crow Island.

#3 Fata Morgana – Efteling

Even though it’s totally off-the-wall, Efteling can build some amazing dark rides and this one is no exception. Great effects, an amazing soundtrack and fantastic scenery. Yet, it’s still creepy as hell.

#2 Zombie Small World – Suzhou Amusement Land

I honestly can’t find the real name of this boat ride. It’s a great rip off of Disney’s  small world, but look a little closer and the dolls seem to be possessed. You may also spot Ninja Turtles and Transformers…..?

#1 Magical Powder – Lagunasia

That’s right, Magical Powder is the name of a dark ride in Japan. Enough said.


Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Twitter and like our Facebook Page! Doing any online shopping? Click on the Amazon links on this page and it helps TPU pay the bills and costs you nothing extra!


Videos Copyright: Sally Dark Rides, Theme Park Review, Wacky Weazle, World of Parks, Dark Side of Disney

This entry was posted in Theme Parks 101 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

One Comment

  1. plantaloons
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Great Article. Efteling sure does have some weird-ass dark rides. Carnaval Festival is a, shall we say, less racially sensitive Small World knock-off.

    An (dis)honorable mention should go to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Alton Towers, UK, which manages to strip away all the whimsy and magic of the original story by having almost nothing to view in any of the show scenes. A woeful example of a park blowing all the budget on the licensing rights and then not having enough left to do the IP justice. And it replaced a wonderful dark ride called Toyland Tours. The track was shortened, Journey into Imagination style, and we were left with an inferior ride.

  • Search Theme Park University

  • Categories

  • About Theme Park University

    TPU covers how attractions are designed, constructed, operated and maintained.

    In addition to theme parks, we cover anything in the world of themed entertainment from dinner shows to immersive theater, haunted attractions to miniature golf and much much more.

    Contact Us

  • Subscribe to Theme Park University Radio on iTunes

    TPU Radio

  • Support TPU on Amazon

    Doing any online shopping? Search Amazon using this link. It helps TPU pay the bills and costs you nothing extra.

  • Latest Tweets

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 121 other subscribers

  • Log in to comment

Powered by WordPress. Built on the Thematic Theme Framework.

The views and opinions of Theme Park University Staff are not associated with any themed entertainment company and are clearly our own. Please don't sue us.

%d bloggers like this: