Fantasy Land rides from 1996

SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/user/jducharme

You can also see photos of the park on his website: www.karenandjay.com

Amazing video of riding Danny the Dragon. Although, I wish Mr. Ducharme had taken footage of the area surrounding the actual ride. Captured in what little footage he did take is some brief shots of the Thunder Bolt, the Carousel, and the Dumbo elephant ride.

Fantasy Land was one of the areas that kept The Great Escape grounded in it’s history. Once they removed everything to make room for the Boomerang, that was it. One of the worst mistakes ever made with the park.

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Storytown USA mascot, Chipper’s..of Chipper’s Magical Mystery ride

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rippinkittin8/5716844611/

the original Storytown mascot, Chipper’s..

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rippinkittin8/5716844611/

Storytown featuring International Village sign

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mobili/7383202160/

A rare photo of a sign not seen on the internet until now, as far as I know. This is a great photo showing how the sign was changed through the years as more theme sections were added to Storytown. Also, I’d like to say thank you to the flickr user for linking to this website.

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mobili/7383202160/

Vintage Photos

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25726169@N03/

Vintage Photos 1978

These photos are phenomenal. Posted by Bill Douglas in the Storytown USA Facebook group. I cropped and resized but included originals. I wish I could step into these photos for just one day and visit the park when it was still like this.

Arto Monaco Historical Society

SOURCE: artomonaco.org

Read more about the connections between Storytown and The Land of Make Believe here.

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SOURCE: www.lakegeorgeguide.com

LP

Whoever sent me these photos and mp3’s, please comment so you can be sourced. It took me years to finally upload them, I no longer have the original e-mail.

A: Happiness is children
B: Storytown U.S.A.

Souvineers

Ghost Town – Ten Souvenir Pictures

Mother Goose Land – Ten Souvenir Pictures

Saying goodbye to Storytown

In an earlier post I expressed my disappointment upon realizing that when The Great Escape announced they were to bring back some of the old Storytown relics, they meant as roadside scenery to the fifteen minute train ride. Well, tonight I found a video clip of that ride, featuring the Storytown relics.

It has literally been decades since I have ridden that route on any Storytown train. During my last trip, the person I was with and I were all set to ride it, however, her ten year old son was about to ride solo on the Boomerang and I kept saying things like, “You’d never catch my ass on that thing”, “I wonder how often they do safety checks”, and “Have you ever visited that site where they report all the amusement park accidents and deaths?”. After that she pretty much yanked me out of the line because she was all concerned for her kid. I can’t imagine why.

What it is, to be exact, is a final farewell to the original park and it’s legacy. At least, that’s how I see it. First, Storytown USA, some of the fairytale monuments which used to reside where Timbertown now is. Then it’s Ghost Town, some scattered about wagon wheels and buggy parts and an old stage coach replica. Lastly, it’s Jungle Land.. which I have to say, pains me the most.

You might want to keep watch on the young girls who can be seen throughout the video sitting in front of the camera man. They look at the relics in wondrous curiosity, never to know where they truly came from or what they mean to people like myself. They will never have the pleasure of climbing on PoPo or standing in the mouth of a giant whale (who sadly is not seen on this train ride with his friends). They will never have to worry about Humpty Dumpty falling down or seeing mice run down the clock. They won’t be scared to walk through Jungle Land because there aren’t any animals there anymore. Ironically enough these previously animated and joyful creatures have been taken from their natural environment and reduced to depressing, motionless, silent statues. Just like the animals in the circus.

I had forgotten just how isolated the ride is from the actual park. It’s not only creepy but it also seems fitting considering the Storytown relics which have been sequestered there, like artifacts in a museum. Look but don’t touch and before you have a chance to really see them, they disappear before your very eyes. The only way to see them is to ride the train (or swan boats I imagine), like a time machine, taking us back, if only for fifteen minutes, reminding us that “nothing gold can stay”.

Perhaps I am too sentimental over things like this. But without sentiment, life would be somewhat unbearable. Maybe I should just be grateful these relics still have a place in the park, no matter how hidden away they are. Without them, The Great Escape would also be somewhat unbearable.

SOURCE: themeparkreview.com
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8MZd9azCZQ

“The Call of the Carnival”

I have the chills reading this excellent piece on why we are drawn to amusement parks and carnivals despite their creepiness and the undeniable fact that they can be complete danger zones.

I myself cannot tolerate height and movement. I also suffer from anxiety disorder. Needless to say I am unable to enjoy “rides” unless they are safely rooted to the ground I stand on or unless I can walk through them free from the worry that I might succumb to their ominous death grips. You will never see my ass on a roller coaster or on a ferris wheel or on anything moving at high speeds as it spins around like ice cubes in a blender. I want no part of it.
Especially given all the amusement ride casualties, one of which is mentioned in Kristi’s article.

But since an early age, I have always been drawn to amusement parks, even though I’ve only been to two my entire life. I love watching eighties documentaries on amusement parks. I love looking at websites devoted to dark rides, flat rides, and fairytale theme parks. I tend to think about these places as possible warp zones right here on earth, and part of me believes that these parks have some way of swallowing us into their permanent world where we ourselves become the statues, part of the fairytale exhibits forever.

I enjoy the atmosphere, the landscapes, the feeling as though I have wandered into another world, one where reality has no place. I draw these feelings from my experiences at Storytown USA. I found the monuments to childhood creepy, even as a child. I found the forestry enveloping and very much alive. The more the park expanded the more afraid I became. The loud drones of the steel coaster wheels meeting the track, the high pitched screams of people reaching the climax of the swinging sea dragon (me included, one year only).

The last time I went to The Great Escape I took special interest in the warning signs in front of each “thrill” ride, imposing danger to anyone who suffers from heart problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, etc. “That’s me,” I said. “I can’t go on this even if I wanted to.” I always stood in the sidelines observing, much as I have done in life.

Anyway, enjoy these photos, and be sure to read Kristi’s nod to amusement parks and carnivals entitled, “The Call of the Carnival”.

PHOTOS SOURCE: THE CALL OF THE CARNIVAL