Splendid China #ThursdayDoors #TBT

From the Department of What Was Is No More, I give you SPLENDID CHINA.

When Mom and #4 Daughter and I went to Florida/Bahamas and paid for overnight accommodations by listening to a spiel about timeshares in a condo, SPLENDID CHINA theme park was recommended as an alternative to Disney World.

Splendid China was built by the Chinese government as a kind of reverse EuroDisney, a spin-off of a Splendid China-type park in China. The one there is extremely popular and profitable, and the one in Kissimee, Florida was expected to be the same. It wasn’t.

Splendid China was only open for ten years. Maintenance in the Florida sun was difficult, the tourists didn’t flock (except for the three of us; we flocked like anything), protesters protested Chinese aggression against Tibet, Chinese performers at the park sought political asylum in the United States, the man appointed to run the park was recalled to China and arrested for financial mismanagement. It was the Curse of the Mouse, for the park’s temerity to open practically just across the highway from Disney World.

At the end of the post, I’ll link to an article about the park while it was open and one about it after it closed. The second one has some very sad pictures of the park’s deterioration and vandalization. Then I’ll post a link to what’s in that space, now. No, not more Disney!

BTW, this is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors link-up. Go look at Norm’s doors, click on the blue frog link at the end of his post, and visit other doors in other places.


Do you see the sign anywhere? I’d hate to miss it..


I think we’re on the right road.


We have to walk up stairs to get in? THIS IS AMERICA! We don’t walk up stairs, here! Oh, all right.



Splendid China as it was.

Splendid China in disrepair.

And now, where Splendid China used to was, JIMMY BUFFET’S MARGARITAVILLE RESORT! (May take a while to load — ha ha.)

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Send your character to an abandoned place remembered from better times.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Splendid China #ThursdayDoors #TBT

  1. Jane

    February 9, 2017 at 7:30am

    Completely awesome! Thanks so much.

    What device did you take these pix with? They are so travel brochure ready!

    So many places from the past just not there anymore. Lots of little farms and cow-fields gone, making way for shopping sprawl. Places where the tornado plowed through: Cherokee Park’s main entrance looked like the old Central Park comix battles between the Hulk and the Thing! Broken giant trees just lying around everywhere like kindling. The place there we held the Crown Tournament was just scoured clean of trees.

    Well, enough nostalgia.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 9, 2017 at 10:06am

      I don’t know what camera I had then. It was a PhD (Push here, Dummy) for sure, since that’s the only kind I can be trusted with. It was pre-digital, because I had to scan the physical snapshots for this post.

      Add “Fountain” Ferry Park to the list of gone but not forgotten!

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  2. Dan

    February 9, 2017 at 7:31am

    Looks like a lot of walking. I’ve been to a few “attractions” in the broad shadow of Disney. They never quite make the cut. Nice try by the Chinese. Very nice post.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 9, 2017 at 10:09am

      Oh, it was MUCH walking! I had my first known brush with heat stroke that day. I have a picture of me shaking hands with a Terra Cotta Warrior, and my face is as red as … as … as a very red face. But it was a fabulous excursion. If it were still there, I would quite possibly go there again, and that’s saying a lot, for a homebody like me!

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  3. Joey

    February 9, 2017 at 1:12pm

    I’d never heard of it, so thanks. I imagine I’da wanted to go on a cooler day…

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  4. Norm 2.0

    February 9, 2017 at 4:55pm

    I never heard of it either. I think what’s there now is more my speed. I’ll take lounging in the shade with a few Magaritas over walking in the hot sun any day πŸ˜€

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 10, 2017 at 10:54am

      Oh, but Splendid China was, indeed, splendid. Guess I’ll have to save my pennies and go see the one in China! πŸ˜€

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  5. janet

    February 9, 2017 at 10:25pm

    That’s a new one on me, Marian. Big change from Splendid China to Margaritaville!!


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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 10, 2017 at 10:55am

      REALLY big change! Like Norm, sitting in the shade, drinking a Margarita (better yet, a Mojito!) is more my speed these days, but I’m really glad I got to see Splendid China at its peak. πŸ™‚

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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