Friday, August 04, 2006

50 Years in Mother Goose Land

Story Book Forest Turns 50

LIGONIER, Pa.— A doorway beckons visitors to pass through a book made of concrete that stands some 28 feet high. The simple verse on its open pages reads in part, “Here dreams are real ... and so are your story book friends.”

There are no massive roller coasters, bumper cars or swings that spin visitors high in the air at this 17-acre attraction, tucked into the rolling mountains of western Pennsylvania.

But for the little ones in the family — or anyone who is simply young at heart — you will find Mother Goose, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood waiting to play at Story Book Forest. Part of the larger Idlewild amusement park, Story Book Forest this year is celebrating 50 years of making the characters and scenes in children’s stories and nursery rhymes from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Snow White” come alive.

Story Book Forest was built in 1956, an era when many children’s parks based on storybooks were sprouting up around the country. The Pennsylvania attraction was created by Idlewild’s then-owner C.C. Macdonald and Arthur Jennings, who was a performance clown at the park. Jennings had always said he wanted to create a theme park “based on emotion rather than motion.”
In 1983 Story Book Forest became a part of Idlewild. Read about history of Idlewild from the website.

Read full article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette News, Worcester, MA