park renovation

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Dadipark Abandoned Amusement Park
Dadizele, Belgium
1950-2002 

Originally, Dadipark was built as a simple playground for children by a local pastor and eventually evolved into an independent theme park in 1980.  The theme park was very successful for quite some time, entertaining a million guests during its peak year.  

Unfortunately, things started to take a turn for the worse as the increasingly rundown rides became more dangerous.  In 2000, a young boy lost his arm on the Nautic Jet ride (Entrance of ride pictured top right). Sadly in 2002, the park closed down for “renovations and the park was abandoned, never to reopen.

‘Dinner in the Iguanodon’ lithograph from the London Illustrated News 1854. When the Great Exhibition of 1851 ended, it was decided that the Crystal Palace which had housed it should be moved to a new site. The structure was rebuilt in a park at Sydenham in south London. The park was renovated and filled with new attractions including the ‘Dinosaur Court’, a collection of over 30 concrete statues of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, which are still present today.

These statues were the first in the world to depict dinosaurs as they may have looked when they were alive (subsequent discoveries have proven that many are wildly anatomically inaccurate). This momentous achievement was celebrated with a banquet which took place in the park on New Year’s Eve 1853. It was attended by 21 people including the sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, geologists, paleontologists, and journalists.

The 8 course meal was served at a table placed inside the mould of one of the iguanodons. A tent was set up around the creature (complete with chandelier) and, because of the statue’s height, a special stage was erected to allow the diners and waiters access. Discussion centred on the latest scientific discoveries, though by contemporary accounts the evening became more boisterous as time went on and the proceedings lasted well past midnight.

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This week has been complete and utter shit. But, then I took my corg to a newly renovated park in Dallas. The swimming area hooks up to White Rock Lake. Em loved it. And it was shallow enough, that I just got in with her. It’s really hard to be in a crap mood when the sun is out, and you’re by the lake with your favorite Pup.