The South America Trip Report

Including an AMAZING abandoned park
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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby gisco » Tue May 29, 2012 2:43 pm

I love these reports from places that most people have never visited.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby Mrenata » Wed May 30, 2012 4:53 am

Argenpark and Parque Luján - Luján, Argentina

Luján is a city 65km away from Buenos Aires. It's easily accessible by bus (Linea 57 at Plaza Italia) and it is know for 3 things: The petting zoo (Zoo de Luján), the cathedral (Basílica de Luján) and for it's amusement parks.

The petting zoo is one of the few zoos in the world where you're allowed to enter the cages and actually pet tigers, lions and bears (with the company of a trainer, of course). I've only seen those zoos in Luján and Johannesburg.

It's actually pretty safe, and there has never been an accident or injury in Luján.

Luján has 2 known parks: Argenpark and Parque Luján. During my visit I found a third park, with no name and just a few creepy rides along the river. This map shows how the parks are arranged around Luján.

If you are not from South America, you'll find those parks very, very creepy, but this is how all the small parks look like around here.


Some vintage rides that are rare to find nowadays

Ticket booth, called "boleteria" in spanish

There are no unlimited rides wristbands. They use this token as the ticket, and the token colors may vary according to the ride's ticket price. The most expensive ones (the rollercoasters) cost around US$2.

Some kiddie rides and a credit on the background!

Luján's cathedral is HUGE! This picture almost reminded me of Magic Kingdom

More vintage rides

A pretty steep drop for such an old coaster

In the past there was a huge amusement park in Argentina called Ital Park. After a girl's death on the matterhorn ride on the 90's the park was shut down and it's rides were either bought by Beto Carrero, or ended up in Luján. Super Tornado is a 60's coaster that came from Ital Park, where it was called Thunderbolt.

You can tell it is at least 40 years old. It's manually operated and there's a sign saying that the car's ONLY capacity is two people. It means that I had to use all my spanish to bribe a dad into landing me his kid so I could ride Super Tornado.

The seat belt is that bumper car style shoulder harness that both people have to share. Awkward. The car is too tall and too narrow for it's turns, so you feel like you're gonna derail any time soon. The first drop is pretty steep, and at the end there's a huge bunny hop that ejects you from your seat.


From Parque Luján you can either walk or take the cable chair to Argenpark

Argenpark Station

That building on the left is Ital Park's old Ghost Train that Argenpark is trying to restore.


More vintage rides

Super 8, another coaster that came from Ital Park

It has seen better days



On my way back to the bus station I spoted a thid park. Well, it was more like a creepy carnival ride reunion along Luján's river.

It would be just a regular creepy park if it wasn't for the ULTRA CREEPY pirate ship. This thing was insane. It was going really high, it was even hitting the trees. That thing was so messed up that I had to try it. The bars were all rusty and I swear to god that it almost made a loop at some point.
Back to the bus station I found those old fortune teller birds.

Even though Luján may seem a very unsafe place to visit, I had no problem getting around by myself. It's not a place that I would come back every year, but it's worthy a visit.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby mattnz » Wed May 30, 2012 5:09 pm

Wow, some of those vintage rides look hair-raising!

Great TR so far - particularly looking forward to your Parque de La Ciudad update - a park that has always fascinated me.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby Mechanic » Wed May 30, 2012 5:18 pm

Those pictures of you with the lions and tigers are awesome, especially the one where you are kissing the lion. Even though I realize it is, for the most part, relatively safe, I would still be very apprehensive about being within paws and jaws reach of such powerful animals. I applaud your courage for getting those pictures and thank you for sharing them with us.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby beatle11 » Wed May 30, 2012 5:58 pm

Getting so close to Lions and Tigers is incredible!

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby STR8FXXXINEDGE » Thu May 31, 2012 12:00 am

I'm so excited to see another TR from you! I loved following your Europe trip thread, and seeing this new one has made my night. I give you tons of credit for having the courage to do all of this traveling by yourself. I wish I had half the courage that you do. Looking forward to seeing more from you, and thanks so much for sharing your trips!

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby disneyfan1313 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:40 am

Wow! Awesome to see such unique parks and great photos of the non-park stuff as well. What are fortune teller birds?

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby Mrenata » Thu May 31, 2012 3:45 am

Thank you so much guys!

If you're ever thinking about visiting South America please let me know and I'll do my best to help you with everything!

This is how the fortune teller birds work:

They open one of those drawers and randomly pick a paper with a fortune on it and handle it to you

Those fortune teller birds were very popular in South America during the 60's and 70's, but you don't see them anymore. This guy in Luján says they are the only ones left in the world.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby cfc » Thu May 31, 2012 4:58 am

The only other park where I've seen one of these simulators still working is Dutch Wonderland.


Thanks for this look at South America.

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Re: The South America Trip Report

Postby Meteornotes » Thu May 31, 2012 6:33 am

The photos of you with the lions and tigers are amazing. I'd love to do that.

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