I’m sure most of us have fond memories of amusement parks, whether it be at the Happiest Place on Earth, school field trips to Camden Park, or thrilling visits to Cedar Point or Kings Island. Recently, my brother and fellow Mid-American Culture contributor Chase introduced me to a YouTube channel that produces videos about various amusement park attractions that are no longer in operation, or cease to exist entirely. That channel is called Defunctland, ran by Kevin Perjurer, and I’ve been watching tons of those videos lately, so I thought I’d share some of them with you all today.
The first video of his that I saw was about the infamous New Jersey-located Action Park, a theme park/waterpark that had a…well…controversial tenure. Without giving anything away, let’s just say that Action Park had its fair share of fiascos. This video was a wild ride, and after seeing some of their ride designs, it’s no surprise why Action Park gained a negative reputation.
Another great video is this one, which profiles the Nickelodeon Family Suites, a Holiday Inn which was transformed into a Nick-themed resort. I know I remember seeing advertisements for this place while watching Nick in my younger days, and I’m sure I wanted to stay there. And while the resort featured a lot of stuff that I’m sure kids would have loved, it was unfortunately rebranded into a Holiday Inn Resort. Watching this video brought back memories of seeing this place in ads, while also going more into detail about what the resort had to offer. Check it out for yourself:
I’m sure many Ohioans and fellow Tri-State inhabitants are familiar with Kings Island, and Defunctland featured one of the most scandalous roller coasters in the park’s history in a video: Son of Beast. This video goes through the ride’s history, as well as the events that led to the removal of Son of Beast’s trademark loop, and its eventual closure.
Finally, I’d also like to mention part 1 of a two part series on Defunctland’s channel (part 2 can be found in an annotation at the end of part 1). The video chronicles Disney’s decision to open a park in Europe, as well as the economic and social impact that ride had on both Disney and France. These two videos may be my personal favorites on the channel due to the explanations of why Disney Imagineers chose to design the park the way they did, and also seeing what Disney did to increase Euro Disneyland’s reputation is quite interesting.
I look forward to watching more of this channel’s content in the future. The way the videos portray the creativity of Disney Imagineers and other designers, describe the events that led to the closure of certain attractions, and describe the financial/social consequences of the failed experiments and attractions makes Defunctland one of the most interesting YouTube series I’ve ever seen. If you gave any of these videos a shot, let me know in the comments what you thought, and make sure you give the videos a like on YouTube if you enjoyed them. As always, thanks so much for reading, and make sure you check out all the other content here on the site, as well as our weekly playlist. See you all next time.