Nara Dreamland

Nara Dreamland

Nara Dreamland is an abandoned theme park near Nara, Japan, inspired by Disneyland in California. It opened in 1961 and closed on August 31, 2006. The park was left abandoned.

Wikipedia

There’s a handful of abandoned amusement parks here in Ohio alone that I’ve yet to explore. Though I’m sure they aren’t as intriguing as Nara Dreamland in Japan.

From what I read online, this park was supposed to be Disneyland of Japan when it opened, but negotiations fell through when it came time for licensing terms with Walt Disney himself.

Due to declining ticket sales, the park eventually closed in 2006 and was abandoned.

Definitely check out the post Nara Dreamland: Bizarro Disneyland – Nightmare Edition to see more fascinating images.

Image credit: Tom Brickner

 


New life for old Taco Bell buildings

Old Taco Bell buildings were unique and easily distinguishable from the road. It seems that a majority of them have been re-purposed as new businesses.

Taco Bucks

For Taco Bell particularly, empty or re-purposed restaurants are easily recognized in the suburban landscape. Their distinctive architecture (another franchise requirement) of arched “bell” window frames and pitched roofs may spark a craving for Nachos Bell Grande, but they’re also a marker of businesses that couldn’t keep up.

Rian Dundon, Photos: The amusingly sad second lives of former Taco Bells

I came across this article earlier today and wanted to share. While they aren’t abandoned, I do like how they found new life as other business ventures. Humorous? Definitely. Still, it makes me wonder why Taco Bell didn’t just tear them down. Oh well.

I think there might be a few of these buildings not too far from where I live. I’ll have to go driving and see what I can find.

Here’s a photo group on Flickr if you’re interested in seeing more uses for old Taco Bell buildings.

Image credit: Taco Bucks by vanherdehaage (via Flickr)

 


Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo - Nation Novel Writing Month

“What are you writing this year?”

It’s the question on everyone’s lips at the regional NaNoWriMo kickoff parties. The answer, even among seasoned NaNoWriMo veterans, is often “I don’t know.” If you don’t know either, relax—you’re in good company.

If you’re looking for ideas, you’ll find plenty of resources to get you going. The NaNoWriMo forums, and Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! are two of the best.

As this is my tenth year participating in NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d add to the mix with a quick how-to on the techniques that have worked for me.

How to Get Ready for NaNoWriMo by Steve Shepard, developer of Storyist

No matter what writing tool you use this November for NaNoWriMo, whether it’s Scrivener, Storyist, or another writing app, this handy guide by Steve Shepard (of Storyist fame) will help you get prepared.

I have a small list of apps that I do recommend for writing, so be sure to check them out. I use Storyist and Scrivener, and highly recommend them, but there are others that may work better with your environment. There’s no wrong answer as long as it gets the job done.


The Life and Death of Geauga Lake Amusement Park

Hard to believe Ohio was once known as having the world’s largest amusement park in Aurora, Ohio, former home of Geauga Lake and Six Flags.

Abandoned Geauga Lake

Do you have time for a tale? Sit back, relax, and dive into the interesting and timeless case of Geauga Lake, a tiny family park that started humbly enough, before rocketing overnight into international headlines by combining with a full-sized SeaWorld to create the world’s largest Six Flags.

A gargantuan park of mega-coasters, killer whales, dizzying flat rides, a Batman water ski show, dolphins, log flumes, Hurricane Harbor, and motion simulators for one price, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure was conceptually prepared to become the best theme park on Earth.

Theme Park Tourist

I’ll admit: I visited Sea World with my family in the early 90s as a pre-teen, and so I don’t recall much about Geauga Lake. However, I was aware of Six Flags Worlds of Adventure while in college but never visited. I didn’t realize that it was the world’s largest amusement park for a short time. Even worse, I’m ashamed to admit that even as an Ohio citizen, I never knew it closed down just shy of 8 years ago until reading this article.

Sit back, grab a drink, and read the incredible history of Geauga Lake Amusement Park. Side note: I despise the conglomerate known as Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.


Images Of Pripyat After Chernobyl Incident

The Chernobyl incident in 1986 still haunts the Ukraine to this day, and brave photographers captured haunting images of time standing still.

Prypiat + Chernobyl

If you have time and want to see some incredibly haunting pictures of the town Pripyat in the Ukraine, I urge you to check out this photo set on Flickr. Abandoned hospitals, schools, and an amusement park make up the bulk of the images, but there’s a lot to go through and discover.


Image credit: Stijn D’haese