So we pay our $24.00 flat fee per person and are permitted entry into Storyland. The fee allows you to ride all the rides, however many times you want, all day. This is 35 ACRES of land, folks. And about twenty zillion rides. So we felt it was a pretty good deal.
The first section we entered was THE Storyland area. It was charmingly and cleverly done – all sorts of interactive displays based on Mother Goose nursery rhymes.
Cute and charming.
But then, right away, there's this guy.
Julia is trying to befriend the unfortunately big-headed lad, but Alex…well, he was raised to be polite, and he's trying, but you can see he's not all that interested in hanging with Master Dumpty for too much longer.
You can't tell from my photos – they weren't timed right – but young Humpty's eyes move. Back and forth, back and forth. Julia seems to have noticed this, and Alex…Alex is silently imploring us to please let him get far, far away from egg-headed boy.
I can't say as I blame Alex. I find that if I stare too long at Humpty Dumpty's face, I expect that it will contort into some expression of evil, like the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man. Or Chucky.
We moved on.
There were several displays like this one, with little verses and accompanying farm animals:
And this one:
(The Three Little Pigs, in case you were unsure. Each house had the little pig's name on it, and I gound it interesting that, unlike in the story, all three pigs were GIRLS! Just one more example of the subordination of women back in the day. Even female pigs had to dress up and pretend they were male if they hoped to get anywhere in the world. Tsk tsk.
There was also a little set-up of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, but unfortunately none of the goats were all that adventurous about heading over the bridge. In fact, they were all kind of snoozing in the sun. And none of them had horns or any size. And…once again, I think they were all girls.
It's a shame when the veil is torn away and we are forced to see our storybook heroes for who they really are. Or aren't. Or something. I don't know, I'm being overly dramatic.
Here's Julia skipping over the famed and crumbling London Bridge…
Fortunately for our family, it wasn't falling down, falling down, falling down at the time, and Julia made it safely to the other side.
And here we have the main characters from the story of Little Black Sambo. Yes – that's what it was called when I was a child, and I didn't know from stereotypes back then, so I didn't really think about the characters' names or any of that. I just thought it was fascinating that (SPOILER ALERT!) the tigers ran around and around and around and turned (or churned) themselves into butter at the end. THAT was way more memorable to me than anything considered controversial in later years. At Storyland (and yes, I kick myself daily for not photographing the little hand-lettered verse) I think they left off the "Black" part, and if I remember correctly, one tiger and the little boy actually became homeys and went on to have a rather successful recording career.
As you can see by the picture below.
Unfortunately, Sam went the MJ route and had a few too many skin-bleaching treatments, and el tigre, fed up with what he thought was his buddy's denial of his true self, broke up the band and applied for a job with Seigfried and Roy, but, alas, was told his fur was too dark. Disgusted with showbiz completely, he retired to Switzerland skiing, baking cookies, and entering yodeling competitions.
The first ride anyone went on was the fast and furious Teacup Ride over in the Alice in Wonderland area. Julia didn't want to ride in a big teacup, so she and I hung out while Bill and Alex waited in line with other combinations of parents and children.
This is the sign that was posted at the entrance to the ride:
Humpty Dumpty's Guide to Safe Fun.
I didn't realize Humpty Dumpty was the CEO of Storyland. I thought he'd had that Great Fall and never recovered, despite the best efforts of All The King's Horses and All The King's Men. (Not sure what the horses could have done for him anyway, but whatever, it was before my time, things were different back then.)
Apparently, Anakin-like, Humpty was able to live on in some sort of mechanized armor and go on to rule the amusement park.
His marketing people must have advised that he use old, pre-fall photos for the signage and for his likeness at the entrance to the park. You know, so as not to terrify the children.
Humpty apparently has rather odd rules about who can ride in his china.
As you can see by the little pictures at the bottom of the sign, the following are not permitted entry into the teacups: Misshapen blonde women…dark-skinned women with babies…stick figures…crippled people…carcinogens…overpriced beverages and foods…poorly designed wine glasses and antibiotics, and poverty-stricken mice begging from toilets.
Julia hung out with the locals while Alex and Bill – neither of whom was forbidden from riding, according to the signage – hopped aboard the spinning dinnerware.
Of the two…
It's hard to tell who had more fun.
As fun as Wonderland had been, once the ride was over, it was time to move along…
Time to visit Once Upon a Time…
(Quite the cliffhanger, I know.)