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5 Insane Theme Parks You Won't Believe Were Almost Built

Here at Cracked, we've examined plenty of screwball amusement parks that hucksters with dollar signs for eyes had the gumption to actually build. But sometimes these ideas for weirdo playlands never make it past concept art stage. Here are five theme parks you'll never ever attend, unless you know the secret of turning a dump truck full of venture capital into a time machine. And it's too bad, because we really wouldn't have minded visiting ...

#5. The Life-Size USS Enterprise of Las Vegas

The Goddard Group

In 1992, Las Vegas was giddy with a building boom. The old Mafia-run casinos had been run out of town years before, and corporations muscled in. When a prime piece of property opened up at the end of the Strip, a consortium known as the Goddard Group decided to honor Las Vegas' martini-and-Rat Pack past and plop down the entire goddamn USS Enterprise there.

The Goddard Group
Kirk's gambling problem sorta snowballed in the later years.

Yes, this 23-story, 600-foot-long, $150 million Star Trek resort would've resembled the Enterprise if it had traveled back in time, crashed on the Strip, and been outfitted as a casino/theme park so that Captain Kirk always had a venue to perform his spoken-word poetry.

The Goddard Group
Maybe they'd cross-promote with the Luxor and we could hear him sing "Walk Like an Egyptian."

And this wasn't the proposal of a single starry-eyed Trekkie, intoxicated by the prospect of the Blue Man Group painted "Orion slave girl green," surly Klingons manning the craps tables, and call girls whose sole gimmick would be imitating Ensign Chekhov's ridiculous Soviet accent. The idea gained traction over a period of five months with the support of the then-mayor of Las Vegas, developers, studio executives, and presumably die-hard fans who began a letter-writing campaign demanding Jacuzzis shaped like Leonard Nimoy's head.

The Goddard Group
"Live long ... and put it all on red."

In fact, this project was so close to approval that it only came to a halt when the head of Paramount Studios unilaterally canned it. He explained his veto by saying, "I don't want to be the guy that approved [the Enterprise] and then it's a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever."

The Goddard Group
We're sure some Klingon-speaking Google billionaire would have paid well to blow that up.

Las Vegas eventually did get its own Trek attraction with the opening of the much more modest Star Trek: The Experience in 1998. This attraction eventually closed in 2008, but for one glorious decade, Trek fans could make the pilgrimage to Sin City to genuflect before such cherished artifacts as Whoopi Goldberg's space hat.

Photo courtesy Star Trek: The Experience Photo: HO
And then drink with all the great sorta-racist caricatures of the distant future.

#4. Six Flags Dubailand

The Goddard Group

The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has exploded with growth in recent years, constructing the world's tallest building, an indoor ski resort in the desert, and a (doomed) luxury archipelago shaped like the continents of the world.

And given that Dubai is waging an ongoing war against the forces of subtlety, it's unsurprising that the city almost had a psychedelic Six Flags theme park, complete with a spinning spire of hallucination.

The Goddard Group
"Drugs provided by your brain."

Instead of your run-of-the-mill amusement park layout, with specific zones dedicated to such white-knuckle thrills as log flumes, roller coasters, and strangers in terrifying Berenstain Bears costumes, Six Flags Dubailand was to be laid out according to vague human emotions and experiences.

Rollercoaster Freak
Wait, vague? "Bowel-loosening horror" is pretty specific.

That's right: Visitors would psychologically pinball around the park, bouncing between areas dubbed "Play," "Celebrate," and "Wonder," all the while wondering if some unseen malefactor had dosed their morning coffee with Vitamin Crazy.

The Goddard Group
"Shit. That creamer went bad."

But Six Flags Dubailand's fantastical attractions remain solely in the realm of concept art. The Great Recession hit both Six Flags and Dubai hard, permanently scuttling plans for the park in 2010 and leaving Dubai's ne'er-do-well teenagers one less paradise where they could play hooky from school and chew khat until the walls start melting.

The Goddard Group
Honestly, this looks like more of an opium pipe situation.

#3. DisneySea

Jim Hill Media / Disney

In the late 1980s, Disney decided it didn't own enough of California, so the House of the Mouse planned to buy up a bunch of coastal land in Long Beach. Disney originally angled to use this land as a dock for its cruise ships, but instead decided to build DisneySea, a futuristic, oceanic theme park right out of a science fiction novel about a futuristic, oceanic theme park overrun by screaming half-mallard humanoids who refuse to wear pants.

Among DisneySea's noteworthy attractions were several giant glass bubbles called Oceana representing every water biome on Earth, an area devoted to Captain Nemo and his Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, an attraction based on Homer's Odyssey, and tanks where guests could swim in shark cages (obviously, nobody behind this project learned a damn thing from the cinematic classic that was Jaws 3).

Jim Hill Media / Disney
We can't imagine any world where this thing's story doesn't end like the first BioShock.

But negotiations with Long Beach were scrapped when land opened up next to Disneyland, and Disney opted to build the cheaper Disney California Adventure instead. Elements of this grandiose plan were recycled for the far less ambitious Tokyo DisneySea park in 2001. That's right, readers -- DisneySea got watered down. (We'll let ourselves out now. Of the Internet.)

Jim Hill Media / Disney
Or into a shark tank. That might be fair, too.

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