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ENCHANTED FOREST

("Where the fun never stops")

07/14/2007

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by Kelly

On a recent Saturday, Ham and I decided to check out one of our area's oldest amusement parks, Enchanted Forest - Water Safari. You can read all about the history of the park (well, sort of...) on their website, linked above. Just click "Inside The Park" and "History." When the park originally opened, in 1956,  it was primarily host to what they refer to as "Storybook Lane." This consists of miniature buildings built to look like the settings of famous nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Today, Enchanted Forest is mostly known as the biggest water theme park in New York State. But some of the old Storybook Lane remains - and they've added new exhibits over the years. Storybook Lane is what we wanted to explore. In the pictures below you'll find at times I cropped one or the other of us out of a photo - that's what it means when there is an unusual black glob. I apologize in advance - we got so busy taking funny pictures of each other that we forgot to take a lot of photos for the site (the fun never stops)! Also, in a stash of things from my father's childhood I came across a few old photos from Enchanted Forest. They appear to be souvenirs bought there the year the park opened. I will include them when they're relevant (and even if they're not!).
 

We'll get to the famous Paul Bunyan statue in a few minutes. The first stop on Storybook Lane is at Sleeping Beauty's house. We didn't get a picture of this, but you can sort of see it in the background of the Paul Bunyan photo at the bottom of this page. This is one of the oldest items still in the park. When you enter the house you can see a diorama of Sleeping Beauty sleeping in her bed. If you stand there long enough a speaker will eventually come on and scare you to death, to tell the Sleeping Beauty story. The tape is old and crackly sounding, but it's part of its charm. Moving on from Sleeping Beauty you will soon come across the Crooked Man and his Crooked House:

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It seems there's been some landscaping done and the crooked house has gotten a funky paint job sometime over the last 60 years. And the Crooked Man has gotten a makeover:

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Totally neat, though! We were both amused by this painting in The Crooked House, wonder if it was there in 1956? Something tells me "no."

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Snow White is one of the newer sets at the park. We didn't get many pictures of it, but here is the sign, and one of the dwarf's cars:

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This is one of the older displays, Cinderella's coach:

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And here's Ali Baba - who was inside a dark cave-style display:

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One of the Three Blind Mice. Yeah, I sat on him - it's ok, he has a seat on his back (I don't remember that part from the rhyme!):

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This is my favorite place in the park - their ode to the craziest, creepiest of tales from The Brother's Grimm: Hansel and Gretel! This is the witch's candy house:

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And this is some of her fencing and yard work - used to entice the daftest of little children:

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For no apparent reason whatsoever, this guy was panning for gold in the middle of the fairy tale displays:

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Peter Cottontail pretty much rocked. Yeah, that's a sheep behind him. It's a petting zoo where they were playing the most excellent 80s pop tunes on a loudspeaker:

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The Alice In Wonderland area was pretty old. And pretty creepy!

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Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum entertained us, while the White Rabbit checked his pocket watch:

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Painting the forehead red!

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The name is Humpty, pronounced with an "umpty":

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At the end of Storybook Lane we found The Little Engine That Could, a relatively new addition to the park (I think!):

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We now found ourselves at the edge of an old western town: 

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Yeah, it looks barren here, but we had to stand there five minutes waiting for the walkway to clear to get a good shot. It was packed for a cool, overcast day. The restaurant to the left in the photo, Klondike Kate's, was styled to be an old west bar. Complete with band:

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Jamming on a little "Cotton Eyed Joe":

Yes, that is Chuck E. Cheese and his band (the dude strolling by in the video is right!). They can't fool Project Absurd! We noticed it right off. What the hey? I mean, tell me this isn't Chuck E. Cheese, albeit looking a little drunk:

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We ordered pizza, salad, Pepsi and pink lemonade - just like in the old west!

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More junk stolen from Chuck E. Cheese:

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There were old-school video games at one end of the "restaurant" (use the term loosely!). One guess where they probably came from:

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We were at Enchanted Forest, we didn't expect a Chuck E. Cheese to break out! But hey, we are so down with that!

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That's almost the end of our photo journey, but let's go back to Storybook Lane a moment. Here's Mary Had A Little Lamb. Perhaps I just missed it, but I don't remember this display being there on our trip:

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And this photo booth was nowhere to be found, unless I'm mistaken:

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That was probably the booth where my grandmother picked up these nifty photographs!

I cannot leave you without discussing the Paul Bunyan statue. What seems to be some kind of re-tooled Muffler Man, Mr. Bunyan has stood in the same spot at Enchanted Forest since it opened in July of 1956. I am not kidding when I say just about everyone that's walked through the gates of Enchanted Forest has had their picture taken with the Paul Bunyan statue. It's like a right of passage for any upstate NY-er.

Vintage 1956 Paul (originally posted in the Stuff Found In A Shoebox post):

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And Paul Bunyan 2007 (with me blobbed out):

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(Posted 07/2007)