Home Disney, Universal & Other Theme Parks Disney Homage or Ripoff? You Decide. Nara Dreamland Theme Park: The Lost Video Footage

Disney Homage or Ripoff? You Decide. Nara Dreamland Theme Park: The Lost Video Footage

by SharonKurheg

Several months back, I wrote a #TBT post about our visit to Nara Dreamland, which was a theme park in Nara, Japan that opened in the 1960s. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Disneyland should have been very flattered, because Nara Dreamland was an obvious knockoff of (or shall we say “was very much inspired by”) the famous park in Anaheim, CA. As the story goes, the people who were going to build Nara Dreamland were in negotiations with Disney and then…weren’t. But they still kept the Disneyesque look of the park.

Thanks to the building and growth of Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea and Universal Studios Japan, the years hadn’t been kind to Nara Dreamland and by the time we got there in April 2005, it was obviously on its last legs. The park closed in August of 2006 and after sitting abandoned for more than a decade, demolition of the property began in October, 2016.

I had mentioned in my #TBT report that Joe was positive we had video footage of our visit. Well, guess what? We found it!

CLICK HERE to see our original story (Go down about halfway through the post to get to the Nara Dreamland stuff. There are a bunch of cool pictures and stories about our adventures in the park).

And below are the 13 glorious minutes of our not-seen-in-a-decade footage of Nara Dreamland, just 16 months before the theme park was closed, abandoned and eventually demolished.


To see how the park was doing during its better years (when all the rides were working and everything!), here’s some video footage (not ours) from 1990:


Oh, and for you Urban Explorer fans, here’s some footage (again, not ours) of the park AFTER it was closed for good. The sound on this is pretty quiet, even at the loudest settings. I think I hear some adult language in there, though. Just giving you a heads up.

Sayonara, Nara Dreamland!

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!


Leave a Comment