The Pripyat amusement park a now abandoned fairground in Pripyat, Ukraine. Pripyat’s amusement park was supposed to be a place of joy for families in the city, the amusement park’s grand opening was set for the May Day celebrations in the Ukraine, 1 May 1986. Sadly, Pripyat’s amusement park was never to open, no children would ever get to enjoy this wonderful amusement park as on the 26th of April a few miles away in Chernobyl, Reactor #4 suffered a catastrophic meltdown.
Some reports claim that Pripyat’s amusement park was opened for a short time on the 27th April before the announcement came for the mass evacuation of the city was made. Some websites even have photos of the amusement park in operation. Some suggest that the amusement park may have been opened before it was completed in an attempt to distract the people of Pripyat from the unfolding disaster in Chernobyl. Video footage shows the rides where not completed, for example the Paratrooper ride was not fitted with its canopies while the famous Ferris wheel’s cladding was not completed.
A more widely held view was that the video footage was taken around wintertime, mainly down to the clothing the people where wearing at the time. What the video shows was more than likely just a test. The footage shows there is no panic, just people having a good time.
Whatever the truth may be, today the Ferris Wheel in Pripyat has become a symbol of the Chernobyl disaster.