In the U.K., a Theme Park for Dickens

What would Tiny Tim think? Dickens World, a theme park based on the novels and stories by Charles Dickens, opened in Chatham Maritime, southeast of London, on May 25. It’s certainly a far cry from the shiny, happy theme parks of the Orlando ilk. Instead, it’s steeped in a dark, Victorian atmosphere. For instance, there’s a boat ride that coasts through mud-brown water, based on Magwitch’s escape in Great Expectations; a Scrooge haunted house; and a harsh classroom straight out of Nicholas Nickelby. Characters dressed like card sharps and street urchins prowl the cobblestone streets. The park does have an authentic link to the famed author as it’s located in the area where Dickens spent most of his childhood. If you visit this summer, we’d love to hear a report on your experience on our forums. What do you want to bet that there’s a neighboring theme hotel in the works? We just hope they don’t call it Bleak House.

Jennifer Paull