Mangyongdae Funfair – Pyongyang, North Korea - Atlas Obscura
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Pyongyang, North Korea

Mangyongdae Funfair

This abandoned-looking amusement park is frighteningly open for business. 

The Mangyongdae Funfair is an amusement park in Mangyongdae-guyok, and it may just be the saddest, least amusing amusement park in the world.

Seemingly a parody of what an amusement park should be, this run-down, poorly kept, often empty amusement park refuses to close its doors.

Most of the rides in this rickety operation seem to be falling apart at the seams. The roller coaster, merry-go-round, and train ride are functional, in a way that is both pathetic and terrifying. Luckily for the few patrons, the rides are regularly tested – not by employees or safety experts, but by local farmers, to avoid the injury or death of anyone important, like a paying guest.

Allegedly, when foreign journalists visit the park they are commonly kept on a bus until local residents can be rounded up to make the place look at least a little bit livelier. Thousands of North Koreans, including government and military personnel, risk the lives and limbs of their families each year to experience the closest thing they have to Disneyland, but when they see foreign visitors they let them go first, in the spirit of keeping them happy and spending foreign money, a big priority for the proprietors. 

While the local-tested death rides are bundles of fun, it’s not all rusty carousels and suicide-mission roller coasters. If you do value your life but still want to enjoy some good, old-fashioned amusement park fun, you can visit the shooting gallery where everyone gets the chance to enjoy taking aim at some imperialist aggressors.

Kim Jong-un inspected the park in 2011, and needless to say, Supreme Commander was not pleased. He ordered the park to be cleaned up and brought to the standards of the Songun era, with the “Military First” ideology that officials serve the people. No word on any improvements being made just yet.