In Rio de Janeiro nestled smack in the middle of the elite neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, sits Terra Encantada.
With investments reaching the $220 million mark and a promise to employ more than 12,000 people, Terra Encantada was one of the most expensive and modern theme parks to ever grace South America. Unfortunately, the ill-fated park was not long for this world.
Suffering financial setbacks and false starts, the park finally opened its doors in 1998, but was soon plagued with a myriad of troubles. The bad luck streak included an actress being injured within the opening month, a 61-person riot, a street fight between jiu-jitsu fighters, and an employee strike. In June of 2010, after only 12 years in operation, a woman was thrown from the Mount Aurora ride and died from her injuries. The park was deemed unsafe and liable, and the owners were charged with manslaughter.
After the Mount Aurora accident, the gates of Terra Encantada were closed for good, and the fate of the abandoned park and its giant attractions are uncertain. It currently serves as a set for a local soap opera, but the impending arrival of both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics to Barra da Tijuca threaten chances of the park being left standing, much less reopening.