12. Nara Dreamland
While many people think of Nara Dreamland as a Disneyland knock-off, the Japanese park was actually developed with help from Walt Disney himself.
Back in the 1950s, Japanese businessman Kunizu Matsuo, president of the Matsuo Entertainment Company took a trip to Disneyland and was seriously impressed. Matsuo struck a deal with Disney to create a Disneyland in the old Japanese capital of Nara, and construction began. However, Matsuo and Disney were ultimately unable to reach a licensing agreement for the use of Disney characters and properties in the park. With construction nearly complete, Matsuo was forced to create original characters for the park, which would now be named Nara Dreamland.
The park prospered for years as Japan’s answer to Disneyland. However, in 1983 Tokyo Disneyland opened, initiating a decline in Dreamland’s attendance. The 2001 opening of Universal Studios Japan dealt the final blow to Dreamland, which closed for good in 2006.
While the abandoned park was a popular attraction for urban explorers, demolition of the site began in 2016, and was completed in December 2017.