There’s nothing worse than planning a vacation around an attraction you’re dying to see only to discover the majority of it is closed or under renovation. Yet, updates and repairs are sometimes necessary to maintain these iconic landmarks, monuments and parks, whether they’re for safety purposes, design improvements or simply modernization.
Here are a few famous places that are facing closure — at least for a while. If you have these famous attractions on your bucket list, we recommend waiting a little longer to get the full experience.
Disney California Adventure Park — Anaheim, Calif.
You can save money — and get the most bang for your buck — on your Disney trip if you book at the right time. Disney California Adventure Park’s Paradise Pier is the latest to get the axe. It will close Jan. 8, 2018, and reopen as Pixar Pier the summer of 2018.
The new attraction with be reimagined with an amazing Incredicoaster, plenty of entertainment and four neighborhoods depicting favorite Pixar movies “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story” and “Inside Out.”
Alternative Place to Visit: The Original Disneyland Park in California.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall — Bangkok
Formerly a royal reception hall and parliament house, Anata Samakhom is one of the most important museums in Bangkok. It shuttered its doors indefinitely on Oct. 1, 2017, for renovation, reports Time Out. With no timetable for reopening, visitors were left perplexed.
Alternative Places to Visit: Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho are also important Bangkok landmarks. There are also alternative destinations you can visit in Thailand.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum — Hiroshima, Japan
One of the most prominent landmarks of Hiroshima, Peace Memorial Park stands as a stark reminder of the horrors of war. The museum documents the aftermath of the first atomic bomb and the devastation that followed. History buffs hoping to get insight into the explosion should know that the main building is closed for renovations until July 2018, but the dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and other exhibits remain open.
Alternative Place to Visit: You can learn more about the war at Pearl Harbor in Oahu.
Columbia River Gorge — Hood River, Ore.
This popular Pacific Northwest nature area is a spectacular canyon where the Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountains. Rocked by the Eagle Creek fire, many favorite trails and campgrounds south of the Columbia River, east of Sandy River Delta, north of the National Scenic Area boundary and west of Hood River are closed until spring 2018 at the earliest. There is no specific timeline for repair, but that is when the trails are believed to be safe to start the restoration.
Alternative Places to Visit: Snoqualmie Falls and Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area are also beautiful natural areas in the region.
Big Ben — London
One of London’s most iconic tourist attractions, Big Ben — or officially, the Elizabeth Tower — will be closed for renovations from August 2017 through 2021. The clock will continue working a majority of the time, but the bell will not chime.
It has been 31 years since the last major maintenance project took place on the more than 150-year-old clock, and repairs are needed on the hands, mechanism and pendulum to address issues with the masonry, erosion and rusting. An elevator will also be installed to improve safety for emergency evacuations.
Alternative Place to Visit: The Old Town Hall with its astronomical clock in Prague is a centerpiece of the city. You can tour the interior and underground areas.
Arches National Park — Moab, Utah
Currently undergoing a number of resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation projects collectively known as the 3R project, the entire 26-mile road throughout Arches National Park is being revamped. Major sections of the park and campgrounds will be closed from October through early December 2017, and all guests are required to exit by 7 p.m. nightly. If you’re headed to Moab, you’ll want to check the national park website for current alerts and updates.
Alternative Places to Visit: Neighboring Canyonlands is fully open and accessible. Or, visit one the most breathtaking national parks for cheap.
Typhoon Lagoon — Orlando, Fla.
One of Orlando’s most popular water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is the place where families get wet and wild in Florida. The park closes annually for refurbishments and will shutter from Jan. 7 through March 18, 2018. The Shark Reef closed permanently in early October.
Alternative Places to Visit: Discovery Cove, SeaWorld’s Aquatica or Volcano Bay, the new Universal Orlando water park.
Space Needle — Seattle
The Space Needle in Seattle is one of the most popular tourist attractions to avoid. Undergoing multiyear renovations dubbed the Century Project, the observation deck will be expanded and upgraded with glass floor-to-ceiling windows designed to offer 360-degree views of the Puget Sound. And, the restaurant will be outfitted with a rotating glass floor. While portions of the observation deck remain open during construction, the upgrades will be worth the wait. The restaurant is closed through spring of 2018.
A grand staircase and elevator are also being added for easier access. Construction began September 2017 and is anticipated to be completed by June 2018.
Alternative Place to Visit: Check out 360 Chicago, a breathtaking glass observation deck in the John Hancock Building that overlooks Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park — Tennessee
Recent hurricanes decimated the Southeastern United States, some of which will take years to recover. In the Great Smoky Mountains, America’s most-visited national park, Clingmans Dome Tower is closed for the duration of 2017 for rehab, while a smattering of other popular trails are also closed indefinitely to repair fire and storm damage. The National Park Service has all current alerts available on its website.
Alternative Place to Visit: Make plans to see the second-most-visited national park in the country instead — the Grand Canyon.
Washington Monument — Washington, D.C.
One of the most popular places to visit in the capitol, the National Monument is closed until 2019 for elevator upgrades to improve the safety of the structure, which has had ongoing mechanical and electrical issues. The rest of the National Mall and memorial parks are unaffected.
Alternative Places to Visit: Lincoln Memorial, National WWII Memorial or the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.