In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to go explore a place that I definitely find a little creepy – an abandoned amusement park that used to be the 3rd most visited park in the US. It was called Heritage USA, and was a Christian themed park, campground, hotel, and mall. An affair, a hurricane, and financial troubles led to the demise of this once extremely popular park, and now only a few remnants can be seen.
I actually heard about this place soon after moving to Charlotte, and since it’s relatively close to home, I had stopped by a couple years ago. I was surprised to see that much of even what I saw back then is now gone. I guess that means the housing market is actually turning around… Where huge water slides and fake rocks once stood, there is now the early stages of a new housing development on the island (seen above).
Heritage USA actually started out as a campground, and oddly this part of the facility is still in use, and has actually undergone some recent renovations. There was also an old amphitheater nearby where they would do plays and other shows. Apparently the walls and seating of the amphitheater was demolished a year ago, but the dirt pit it was sitting on is still there – that made for a fun little hillclimb. Last time I was there they actually still had some animals, a camel and a donkey, housed out back for a nearby theater production company. I guess those guys had to find a new home.
It is always interesting to see a place that was someone’s dream crumble into decay. There is virtually nothing left of what once was a park visited by over 6 Million people per year.
Another thing I was hoping to see again was the “kings castle.” A creepy old castle that was eventually turned into a large arcade. There was also a large go cart track out back that would have been fun to rip around on – but that is gone too. Residents in the area were happy to see it torn down because it was considered an eye sore. I guess I can see that, but it’s cutting into my exploration of creepy abandoned places – oh well.
Below is our weekly ride video, riding around what once was Heritage USA. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to to date
There’s something decidedly creepy about this place, can’t quite place my finger on it – but definitely a weird vibe in the area. I know I definitely wouldn’t want to live there!