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Lemery, Philippines

Fantasy World

The abandoned medieval theme park was meant to be the "Disneyland of the Philippines." 

A castle sits atop a hill in the Philippines, its colorful walls adding an unexpected pop of color to the surrounding greenery. The stalwart structure, which looks like an image straight from a fairytale, seems oddly out of place.

There were grand plans for the castle and its surrounding theme park to become the “Disneyland of the Philippines.” Called Fantasy World, it was meant to rival the beloved international amusement parks.

But for the people behind Fantasy World, opening the park was a dream that never came true. The businessman who backed the project ran into financial issues before construction was complete, forcing him to abandon his plan.

Now, the castle’s once-bright exterior is fading. Paint peels from the walls of its unfinished rooms. The rides lay dormant, never able to grumble to life beneath hordes of delighted children.

Though the park couldn’t open as planned, you can still enter and explore the Disneyland that could have been. You can walk across the rope bridge that leads to the park’s tree house, which offers beautiful views of the local scenery. You can even climb the castle’s towers and feel like a real-life Rapunzel surveying the empty kingdom.

Know Before You Go

Though it never opened as planned, tourists can still enter (for a fee) to wander around and take pictures.