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Tehran amusement parks

Theme Park Guy Rating: 1.51.5
Date Visited:
September 19, 2011
Location: View on map

Review

Wow.

If you have never been to Iran, don’t judge it by the political see-saw you grasp from the news. Yes, at this point in history, Iran is governed by a clan of spooky moralists with – as it appears to me from what I saw – a rather corrupt bureaucracy below them that is hypocritical beyond belief. But what they do not manage to stifle is a modern, 21st-century, open-minded, unprejudiced, hospitable, warm and cultured population that loves the world and its people. And Iranians have these trusting button eyes. All of them.

Young locals enjoy talking about house parties, secret dating places and second citizenships; the older generation recall their happy student times back in the US. What I have heard and seen there was completely contrary to popular perception. Persians are high energy people, certainly no terrorists, and many speak fabulous English; most of them have relatives in Canada, the US, the EU and Australia, which keeps them connected to the world, even though their passports permit only very limited visa-free travel.

The two amusement parks in Tehran are drainingly dull, though: Velayat Park is a new, charm-free indoor park for infants, and Eram Park - remarkably run-down, given that it’s a permanent establishment - hosts two fun fairs at its opposite ends (there is a zoo in the middle) featuring all kinds of rusty amusement rides. Expect carousels, bumper cars, ferris wheels, ghost trains and soft drinks.

Notable is the old and frail yellow looping roller coaster in Eram Park No1. I must admit, I was scared. The loop is the tightest I have ever seen and the soda can-shaped ride vehicle's headrests are too low to keep your head stable. One can hear the riders’ joyful screams rise when the coaster plunges into the loop and vanish within a second once they enter the murderous brain-turner itself. With every new rider, over and over, the same screams and the same silence in the loop. I had to try it. And it really hurts. It took me a while to completely get rid of the persistent neck-tension following this experience. This thing is evil.

Yet, when you turn around, and you see all these smiling, button eyed Iranians in these corroded rides around you, smiling at each other, smiling at you, you can bear that little neck crack. This coaster must feel like living in Iran today. It doesn’t kill you, but it is genuinely uncomfortable and, in the long term, not really healthy.


Time is running Time is running

Tehran in September 2011 Tehran in September 2011

A mysterious city, completely different to other capitals in the Middle East A mysterious city, completely different to other capitals in the Middle East

Taleghani Road in central Tehran Taleghani Road in central Tehran

Embassy of the United States of America, Iran. Closed by force in 1979. Embassy of the United States of America, Iran. Closed by force in 1979.

And this is what graces its walls today And this is what graces its walls today

The Statue of Liberty corpse The Statue of Liberty corpse

On the same day, on another wall, 10 miles west On the same day, on another wall, 10 miles west

Donald is out with the Seven Dwarfs Donald is out with the Seven Dwarfs

Wall painting at the entrance of Eram Park Wall painting at the entrance of Eram Park

Eram Park is Iran's biggest amusement park Eram Park is Iran's biggest amusement park

Mickey is here, as well Mickey is here, as well

Locals on the way to the park Locals on the way to the park

Young Ray Liotta? No, an Iranian guy with a soft spot for being photographed. Young Ray Liotta? No, an Iranian guy with a soft spot for being photographed.

Iranian teenage girls Iranian teenage girls

Iranian family Iranian family

Lake in the center of Eram Park Lake in the center of Eram Park

Luna Park 'Eram' in Tehran Luna Park 'Eram' in Tehran

Para Tower ride Para Tower ride

The evolution of D: 3-D cinema The evolution of D: 3-D cinema

4-D 4-D

5-D! 5-D!

Ride operator taking a break Ride operator taking a break

Hunted by Iranians Hunted by Iranians

Look at this determination! Look at this determination!

And here it is: probably the world's worst roller coaster! And here it is: probably the world's worst roller coaster!

Extremely tight loop Extremely tight loop

Soda can-shaped coaster cars Soda can-shaped coaster cars

Closer view Closer view

Plummeting into the loop Plummeting into the loop

This is the point where riders stop screaming, because... This is the point where riders stop screaming, because...

...it... ...it...

...really... ...really...

...hurts. ...hurts.

Let's take a look from a different angle Let's take a look from a different angle

Pain in the back seat Pain in the back seat

Another rusty roller coaster Another rusty roller coaster

First drop First drop

Eram Park atmosphere Eram Park atmosphere

Ghost train full of spirits Ghost train full of spirits

Ghost train cars. This is the low-quality ride you would expect. Ghost train cars. This is the low-quality ride you would expect.

Bumper cars Bumper cars

Family slide Family slide

This picture proves that (look closely): This picture proves that (look closely):

America is everywhere America is everywhere

Famous US computer game Monkey Island seems to be popular in Iran Famous US computer game Monkey Island seems to be popular in Iran

Iranians are really friendly to foreigners! Iranians are really friendly to foreigners!

Eram Park Tehran Eram Park Tehran

This was supposed to become a water park This was supposed to become a water park

Construction came to a halt, though. Moral issues? Construction came to a halt, though. Moral issues?

Eram Park was open only in the evenings (at least in September 2011) Eram Park was open only in the evenings (at least in September 2011)

Evenings in Eram Park Evenings in Eram Park

Velayat park in southern Tehran Velayat park in southern Tehran

Here you can take the bumper car Here you can take the bumper car

You can enjoy the toy train You can enjoy the toy train

Or play the 'Complete Destruction Machine Gun Game', made in Japan Or play the 'Complete Destruction Machine Gun Game', made in Japan

Tehran view from the mountains in the north of the city Tehran view from the mountains in the north of the city

Up in the mountains: 5-D cinema in an unanticipated location Up in the mountains: 5-D cinema in an unanticipated location

Made in Italy Made in Italy

Iranians getting ready for their multi-D experience Iranians getting ready for their multi-D experience

Here you'll also find the Iran Segway Club Here you'll also find the Iran Segway Club

The Segway is an American invention The Segway is an American invention

If any accidents occur, just call the US costumer service number! If any accidents occur, just call the US costumer service number!

They will help you (in fact, they probably would) They will help you (in fact, they probably would)

Iran's ugly face. But that's just one of the two faces of Iran... Iran's ugly face. But that's just one of the two faces of Iran...

...the pretty one you will experience when you go there! ...the pretty one you will experience when you go there!



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