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?