Did Shrubs Engulf Malaysia Theme Park Sunway Lagoon During Coronavirus Lockdown? Fact Check

An image claiming to be from Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia with shrubs covering the escalator is going viral on social media, here is the truth about the claim made

An image of overgrown shrubs covering the escalator of the alleged theme park in Malaysia is going viral on social media. The Twitter post claimed that it was the state of Sunway Lagoon, a popular theme park in Malaysia.

The caption of the tweet that made the claim says it is Sunway Lagoon theme park at Kuala Lampur in Malaysia. Sunway Lagoon was closed temporarily on March 18, 2020, post the government announced lockdown rules. Even logically it is not possible for shrubs to grow to such an extent in two months.

Fact Check

Viral image theme park
Image of an abandoned theme park going viral as picture from Malaysia's theme park on social media. Twitter

After the image with false claims became viral, Sunway Lagoon on its Twitter handle issued a clarification and said, "The escalator is really scary and our luck is still good and the leaves are not filled. But that idea works well for nights of fright 8 bros. new feeling entering the jungle looking for ghosts."

Sunway Lagoon tweet
Replying to one of the claims, Sunway Lagoon put out a tweet clarifying it is not the image from the theme park. Twitter

In a blogpost published under the title Meanwhile, in another parallel universe! by Randy May 15, 2010, the picture of the escalator with shrubs started to overgrow the escalator was posted. Details in the blog stated that Huis Ten Bosch used to be a Dutch-themed theme park earlier. It has been completely abandoned.

Abandoned Park
The image of same park published in 2010 in a blogpost. Blogpost screenshot

The blog claims that this image was taken in Nagasaki Holland Village. The amusement park was located in Nishisonomachi, Nagasaki Prefecture that is now known as Saikai City. The theme park was called Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo and was opened in 1983. It was closed down on October 21, 2001. A Twitter user Benjamin Young Savage had also shared the same image on Oct. 13, 2019 with caption: "overgrown escalator at an abandoned amusement park in Nagasaki, Japan."

Abandoned Park
Image of the abandoned theme park in Nagasaki shared in 2019. Twitter

An article written in the German magazine Woman also published under the title When nature takes over again: 19 unique photos of abandoned places also have the image. The article was published on Feb. 2, 2020, before Malaysia even announced lockdown. The image was shared on Instagram by espinas3.

While conducting the reverse image search similar image shared on Pinterest by a person called Eric pops up with the caption: Overgrown escalator at an abandoned amusement park in Nagasaki Japan.

Image From Nara Dreamland?

This image is also confused with the Nara Dreamland inside Nara Prefecture in Japan. The theme park was closed due to a heavy loss in 2006. Nara Dreamland is also known as an abandoned theme park of Japan was established in 1961. This was Japan's version of Disneyland and heavily resembles California's Disneyland. However, after operating for 45 years the dreamland had to be closed as it incurred heavy losses and falling attendance. The park was demolished between October 2016 and December 2017.

So, the image is not from Nara Dreamland too, but as most people claimed it is from an abandoned amusement park in Nagasaki. Thus, the image being circulated does not have anything to do with Malaysia.

Related topics : Coronavirus Fake news