|New York Fairy Tale Parks|
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|Magic Forest [gone]|
Lake George, NY
|Magic Forest opened in 1963 and I assume that most or all of these statues were built then. Some of them may have come from another fairy tale park. Note the similarity between these figures and the cavepeople at Prehistoric Forest in Ossineke, MI. The statues may have been created by the same artist around the same time. Magic Forest had many other statues including these. In 2018, the owner sold off most of the statues at the park. In 2019, the place reopened as the Lake George Expedition Park and Dino Roar Valley. There is a chapter about Magic Forest in this book.|
Old Forge, NY
The Enchanted Forest (originally Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks) was designed by Russell Patterson and opened in 1956. Built on 80 acres of swampland, it was conceived of as a small theme park "for the Young and the Young at Heart. The Paul Bunyan, the Crooked House, the Peter Pumpkin Eater Pumpkin, and Ali Baba's Cave are just some of the original features. In the 1960s, the park hosted the Great Wallendas high wire act, Tarzan, clown and circus shows, and lumberjack contests. Circus and high wire acts are still featured today.
In 1968, the arch from the 1964 New York World's Fair was installed in the parking lot out front for use as a sign. The Sky Ride was built in 1969 with balloons added in 1970. The popularity of kiddie rides led to the development of "A Step Beyond" which had bumper cars, a Scrambler, etc. The Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house was designed by Jack Molesky and built in 1985. In 2005, a Museum of Enchanted Memories was built to display many old photos and artifacts from the early days of the park.
Today, top billing is really given to the Water Safari portion of the park. The park's first water slide, "Wild Waters" opened in 1984 (replaced in 2002 with "The Shadow"). This development expanded with "Raging Rapids" in 1986 and "Water Safari" in 1987 which had 16 water rides with an African safari theme. There are now 31 water rides at the park. For more, see this website. There is also a great chapter about the Enchanted Forest in this book.
More New York Fairy Parks:
Storytown U.S.A. (Lake George, NY) [open; now part of Great Escape]
Central Park Zoo (New York, NY) [remodeled]
Land of Makebelieve (Upper Jay, NY) [gone]
Fairy Tale & Santa Parks
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Tips & Updates. If you have suggestions about places that I haven't covered, historical info, or updates about places/things that have been remodeled or removed, I'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.