Fairyland For Everyone—Storyland Amusement Parks

One of the things I always loved about Oakland is Fairyland, a sweet little park filled with quirky and vintage rides and storybook-themed play areas.  It was always so unique in its charm—I even wrote about the first time I took the Peach there. Legend has it that Walt Disney loved it too and even used it as a bit of inspiration for Disneyland. See how cute it is?

Then one day while cruising the Internet, I found a picture of a certain boot:

But wait….Children’s “Storyland”? Hmmm…Looks pretty familiar to the one found at our beloved FAIRYLAND!

Turns out our sweet little Oakland Fairyland was part of a big Storyland amusement park franchise all across the entire US in the fifties.

Turns out, there was a Fairyland in Tampa:

And in Upper Jay New York a “Land of Make Believe”…

My personal favorite has to be Storytown, USA!

And if you were up to it, you could even check out Ghost Town and Jungle Land.

These amusement parks were more like a hometown version of Disneyland. They were all geared towards the seven and under crowd and don’t feature rides so much as they do “exhibits” —like one of my favorite things at Fairyland, Willie the Whale.  As  you can see, my sea mammal friend had quite a few cousins located  all over the country….

Here’s one that had little seals playing in the water!

And here is Jonah the Whale–a different spin. And different color…

But my sea faring heart belongs to this polka-dotty friend! CUTE!

This sweet but sad old whale that has certainly seen better days. Poor guy!

But whichever Storyland you went to, you were sure to seem some seriously charming stuff!

Although the majority of these charming little amusement parks are closed, there are still quite a few out there that offer affordable super cute vintage fun.  So, East Coasters, if you can’t make it to Oakland’s Fairyland, maybe you can make it to Glen, New Hampshire whose Storyland has swan boats and a Cinderella Coach, powered by a tractor! Or check out the version of Storybook Land in New Jersey.  And for folks in the South, there is one in New Orleans too!   A full list of parks can be found here.

Have you ever gone to one of these parks? What was it called? Is it still open?

4 thoughts on “Fairyland For Everyone—Storyland Amusement Parks

  1. I LOVE these whimsical places! Did you ever go to one of those Santa’s Villages when you were a kid? We had one in the Santa Cruz mountains. I believe they were also a kind of franchise. One of my other favorite places was Frontier Village, down in San Jose. That place was AMAZEBALLS. Tragically, they tore it down and built condos and car lot. Heartbreaking.

  2. OMG, Dottie! I am not exaggerating when I say that Storyland in Glen, NH is some of the most fun you can have with your little ones, ever! I grew up in NH and have such great memories of that place, and last summer I finally got to bring Oliver, then almost three, and Stella, who was six during our east coast summer vacation We had THE BEST TIME. They are as excited to go back to Storyland as they are to visit Disneyland again! It’s wonderful.

    We were staying in a cottage an hour south of Glen, but just FYI we passed great looking motels and such for around $50/night! xo

  3. There used to be something similar in Edmonton, Alberta when I was little, Storyland Valley Zoo. It’s since been changed to Valley Zoo and unfortunately all of the Storyland aspects have been removed. I love it as a child and remember going into the whales mouth, Humpty Dumpty, etc. These places are so magical for young children it’s a shame that’s not appreciated anymore.

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