The Pripyat Ferris Wheel, as seen from the City Centre Gymnasium.
Bumper cars with the ferris wheel in background
The Pripyat amusement park in Pripyat, Ukraine was an upcoming amusement park. It was to be opened on May 1, 1986, in time for the May Day celebrations (decorations for this event are still in place in Pripyat today) but the plans were interrupted when on April 26 the Chernobyl disaster occurred a few kilometers away. The park was opened for a couple of hours on April 27 to keep the city people entertained before the announcement to evacuate the city was made. Today, the park, and in particular the Ferris wheel, are a symbol of the Chernobyl disaster. The amusement park itself is located behind the Palace of Culture in the centre of the city.
Radiation levels around the park vary; the liquidators washed radiation into the soil after the helicopters carrying radioactive materials used the grounds as a landing strip, so concreted areas are relatively safe. However, areas where moss has built up are dangerously high; some areas can emit 25 µSv/h, among the highest levels of radiation in the whole of Pripyat.