Story Land

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Story Land
Logo of Story Land.png Cinderella's Castle, Story Land theme park in Glen, NH.jpg
Slogan"Where Fantasy Lives"
LocationGlen, New Hampshire, U.S.
Coordinates44°06′58″N 71°10′58″W / 44.11611°N 71.18278°W / 44.11611; -71.18278Coordinates: 44°06′58″N 71°10′58″W / 44.11611°N 71.18278°W / 44.11611; -71.18278
OwnerPalace Entertainment (Parques Reunidos)
Opened1954
Attractions
Total23
Websitewww.storylandnh.com

Story Land is a theme park located in Glen, New Hampshire, which opened in 1954. The park is meant to appeal to children up to the pre-teen ages.[1]

History[edit]

In the few years prior to opening, the founders, Bob and Ruth Morrell, had purchased a large number of dolls from Germany based on storybook characters.[1] This was the basis for the park. Originally known as "Story Town", the park was renamed Story Land after its first year, due to another park in upstate New York of the same name.[1] When it opened in 1954, the park had just one ride—an old fire truck, "Freddie the Fire Engine".[1] At the time of its 50th anniversary, the park spanned some 35 acres (140,000 m2)[2] and had 20 rides.[3]

Story Land was operated by the family-owned Morrell Corporation from 1954 to 2007. After Stoney Morrell, son of the original owners, died, the park was sold to the Kennywood Entertainment Company.[4] Kennywood was in turn bought by Parques Reunidos the following year. In 2009, it was placed under Parques Reunidos' American division, Palace Entertainment.

During the park's 60th anniversary year, a new wooden roller coaster, Roar-o-Saurus, was opened.[1][5]

Voyage to the Moon[edit]

Voyage to the Moon in 1983

After a year of study and preparation, Story Land announced in 1981 that it would add a new, original, state-of-the-art dark ride. It would be housed in a fabric-covered dome 50 feet (15 m) tall and 124 feet (38 m) wide. Bob Morrell had seen a similar structure in a Florida cow field and was determined to add one to the park. The interior of the white fabric roof was painted black, and two of the creative collaborators on Heritage New Hampshire, artisans Peter Stone and David Norton, were hired to create the storyline and scenes inside. The dome took shape in 1981. The skeletal steel of the huge cannon was ready in winter 1982. "Space Fantasy", later renamed "Voyage to the Moon", officially opened in June 1983 after nearly three years of engineering and construction. Governor John Sununu shared the first five-minute voyage with Bob Morrell,[1] riding in one of the bullet-shaped cars built by Bradley and Kaye of California. Each car had speakers to broadcast sound effects triggered by an antenna underneath, computer-synchronized with lighting effects. The cars moved slowly through the cannon on a chain-driven conveyance into the darkened dome, slowly winding back down through a series of fantasy scenes such as a candy land and a polka dot sea, each populated by friendly, animated, imaginary creatures.

By the mid-1990s, the high maintenance costs and low capacity of the Voyage to the Moon led to consideration of alternative uses for the domed structure. Story Land's only dark ride operated for about 15 years before the dome was converted to Professor Bigglestep's Loopy Lab play area during the winter of 1998–99. The Loopy Lab contains an indoor playground full of foam balls, giant vacuums and hoses, and compressed air cannons. The original blackened ceiling was replaced by an all-white one in 2008.

In recent years, a full ride-through of the former attraction has appeared on YouTube.[6] One of the ride's original bullet-shaped cars can be found at a miniature golf course in nearby North Conway.[1]

Heritage New Hampshire[edit]

Heritage New Hampshire exterior in 1976
Heritage New Hampshire interior in 1976

Heritage New Hampshire, an attraction owned by the Morrell family and dedicated to New Hampshire history, was located next to Story Land for 30 years, opening on July 3, 1976, and closing on October 22, 2006.[7]

Heritage New Hampshire was an interactive museum that featured several actors that would play the role of a person who impacted New Hampshire's history. There was the captain of a tall ship from England, a woodsman, a newspaper printer, Mathew Brady (famous Civil War photographer), an engineer of a steam train through Crawford Notch, and others. The Morrell family often directly employed British university graduates as actors under the auspices of the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) "Work America" work exchange programme for the summer season; this was a reciprocal arrangement which thus allowed American graduates to work in the UK during their vacations. The family was known for their hospitality and their foreign employees often featured in the Story Land yearbooks.

As guests would move in between different sections of the museum, they would see some video footage, some animatronics, and some exhibits. There was a gift shop at the end of the museum tours. After the closure of Heritage New Hampshire, the building was used for storage by Story Land for a decade, and was then repurposed as Living Shores Aquarium.

Living Shores Aquarium[edit]

Alterations on the building that had been Heritage New Hampshire started in the fall of 2017.[8] In early 2018, it was announced that the facility was being repurposed to house an indoor public aquarium that would operate year-round.[9] Living Shores Aquarium is slated to open in 2019.[10]

Rides and attractions[edit]

Rides[edit]

  • Huff Puff and Whistle Railroad, a 20 in (508 mm) narrow-gauge ridable miniature railroad that serves as an attraction and shuttle service through the park.[11] The trains are run in three sets of six cars in the colors red, green and blue, pulled by Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotives, numbered #2, #4, #18, and #47. #2 pulls the red trainset, #4 pulls the blue trainset, #47 pulls the green trainset, and #18 is used as an emergency back-up.
  • Alice's Tea Cups
  • Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach
  • Story Land Queen (removed 2018)
  • Pirate ship Buccaneer
  • Antique German Carousel
  • Los Bravos Silver Mine Tours
  • Turtle Twirl
  • Bamboo Chutes
  • Polar Coaster
  • Great Balloon Chase
  • Crazy Barn
  • Dr. Geysers Remarkable Raft Ride
  • Flying Fish
  • Antique Cars
  • Swan Boats
  • Eggs-traordinary Farm Tractors
  • Cuckoo Clockenspiel
  • Whirling Whales (removed 2016)
  • Slipshod Safari Tour (re-themed as RapTour Safari in 2019)
  • Dutch Flying Shoes
  • Splash Battle Pharaoh's Reign
  • Roar-o-Saurus

Attractions[edit]

  • Grandfather Tree (Interactive Playground)
  • Ball Pit
  • Pirate Ship Playground
  • Horse Race Game (a themed Elton Games Roll-a-Ball game)
  • Shooting Gallery (featuring cameras instead of rifles)
  • Dutch Milking Cow
  • Oceans of Fun sprayground
  • King Neptune's Crab Crawl (A themed Bob's Space Racers Ramped Water game)
  • Professor Bigglestep's Loopy Lab (play area and show area)
  • Dr Geyser's Mini Geysers
  • Little Dreamers Nursery Rhyme Play area

Featured interactive nursery rhymes and fairy tales[edit]

  • "Humpty Dumpty"
  • "Mary Mary, Quite Contrary"
  • "The Old Woman in the Shoe" (Shoe and Character)
  • "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" (House)
  • "Little Red Riding Hood" (Grandmother's House)
  • "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (School House)
  • "1,2 Buckle My Shoe"
  • "Little Miss Muffet"
  • "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater"
  • "Cinderella" (Castle & Character)
  • "Heidi" (Grandfather's House & Character)
  • "Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes" (Character)

Animal attractions[edit]

  • "Mary Had a Little Lamb" – lambs
  • "Peter Rabbit" – rabbit
  • "Three Billy Goats Gruff" – goats
  • "Heidi" – goats
  • "Goosey Goosey Gander" – geese
  • "Chicken Little" – chickens
  • "Three Little Pigs" – pigs

A complete lists of Story Land rides can be found at their website.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Garnick, Darren (May 20, 2014). "Discover the Secrets of Story Land". New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "At the Park". storylandnh.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2004 – via Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Rides". storylandnh.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2004 – via Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Kennywood parent buys New Hampshire's Story Land park". seacoastonline.com. AP. May 2, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  5. ^ "Roar-O-Saurus". coasterpedia.net. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "Voyage To The Moon, Complete Ultimate Tribute". 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2019 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ @LivingShoresNH (August 3, 2018). "Living Shores is located in the building that was formerly Heritage NH" (Tweet). Retrieved March 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ @LivingShoresNH (August 5, 2018). "Construction for Living Shores Aquarium officially began in fall of 2017" (Tweet). Retrieved March 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Eastman, Tom (May 1, 2018). "Aquarium taking shape at former Heritage-NH". The Conway Daily Sun. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  10. ^ @LivingShoresNH (December 18, 2018). "Color is bringing our aquarium to life! We'll be seeing you in 2019" (Tweet). Retrieved March 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Story Land - Rides". Storylandnh.com. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Story Land - Attractions". Storylandnh.com. Retrieved 29 August 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]