An Interactive Fairy Tale
Seen through a camera lens.Generations of New Englanders haven't needed to trek to Florida to check out Cinderella's glass slippers. Predating Disney Land by a year (1954), Glen's Story Land still charms little princes and princesses with scenic rides in a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage.
North Conway's Bob and Ruth Morrell founded Story Land as a low-tech amusement park inviting children to interact with their favorite fairy tales. Kids could wave to Humpty Dumpty before his fall, sit on Little Miss Muffet's tuffet and scope out real animal versions of Peter Rabbit and the Three Little Pigs.
The secret to Story Land's longevity has been targeting young families with children under 10, a much easier demographic to impress than fickle technology-saturated teens. Even the thrill rides are grandma-friendly in terms of speed
Jim Miller is the park's former general manager and his insider connections deliver a treasure trove of classic photographs in the recently released "Images of America: Story Land" [Arcadia Publishing, $21.99]. He reveals that the original Old Woman in the Shoe home was laced with an old firehose and shares why the Little Black Sambo carousel was discontinued (Shocker: It was considered insensitive).
The park is now owned by a Spanish conglomerate that runs seven theme parks and 10 water parks in the U.S., including Water Country in Portsmouth.
- by Darren Garnick