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Dickens World (AFP/Getty Images)

The Worst Of Times

Jul 6, 2010

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Barrie Hardymon

I don't love amusement parks — honestly, my favorite part is usually the many opportunities for fried food and cotton candy.  (Can you fry cotton candy?  It seems like the people who started frying up Oreos should get on that.)  But oddly, this list of the worst amusement parks in Foreign Policy (that's right — those kids are putting the "fun" in Foreign), got me kind of interested in checking out, oh, I don't know, DICKENSIAN DEBTOR'S PRISON.

With new Prime Minister David Cameron promising severe spending cuts and warning citizens of "decades" of austerity, it might behoove young Britons to go back to the future at Dickens World, a recreation of grimy, hardscrabble life in the Victorian era. Bring along your prepubescent chimney sweep — umm, child — and show him what decades of welfare spending and the financial crisis has wreaked. Stop by Peerybingles Pawnbrokers or tour Marshalsea Prison for a charming afternoon in the squalor, poverty, and disease of late 1800s London.

Also, be sure to check out the borscht at Grutas Park — or, Stalin One Flag.

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