Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fantasyland, PA - Then and Now

Tucked away in the woods, just a stone's throw away from the battlefields of Gettysburg, PA once sat a quint little children's fairytale park called Fantasyland. I actually wrote about the place a few years ago. It was a small park, similar in idea to Maryland's Enchanted Forest or New Jersey's Storybook Land. Unfortunately for Fantasyland, the people of G'burg do not like anything un-Civil War related anywhere near their battlefields and so the park was eventually purchased by the National Parks Service and the park was removed from the map and also from the memory of most people around these parts. The park is not a sacred childhood memory like the Enchanted Forest is to me and others that grew up near it. I've never really been able to dig up too much info on the park. Years ago, I went snooping around the land where the park once sat and snuck past a few No Trespassing signs and snapped a few photos. I've been wanting to share those pics here for quite some time, but only just found them this past weekend.

The fence in the photo above still stands, but the rest of the park entrance is long gone. The area was used for overflow parking to the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center, but in recent years that facility has moved into a new building further away so who knows what's going on in Fantasyland's parking lot now...?

There wasn't much to see when I went snooping around the former Fantasyland. But my coolest find was an old stone bridge sitting in the middle of nowhere. Here's a before and after shot of the bridge. The first snapshot is a publicity photo from the park probably somewhere in the 60's or 70's.


And here's the bridge in 2001. I found the old photo later on, it would have been neat to look for any other remnants of the Santa Village over the bridge. Here's some more photos I snapped...the first picture looks like it's a hay bale from a Little Boy Blue attraction. (Click the photos to enlarge them!)

Now here is the above pictured lake in it's glory days...


Finally, one more picture. This structure was one of the only buildings still standing on the property. My guess is that it was a snack bar of some sort...

Perhaps when the weather gets nicer I'll head back out that direction and snap a few more pictures of the state of this former kiddie park.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went there as a kid when we lived in Virginia back in the early 60's. It's sad to learn that it is no more. Thanks for the pictures.

Donna T said...

I Loved Fantasyland! We went every summer. I am 50 now and still remember how excited I would get driving up and seeing The entrance and knowing I would soon see Mother Goose and The Enchanted Forest where Little Red Riding Hood would give you a cool plastic ring from her basket. God, the place was pure Magic to a child. I have often wondered If anything is left, thanks for posting the photos I wish we could see more!!!

Anonymous said...

I only went there one time and I'm over 40 now. I was there towards its ending seasons. I was 9 when I was there and - still smile when I think of walking up to the entrance. Going in and seeing all the characters and playing at the slide is still a good memorie. The sliding board was from "the little old lady who lived in a shoe". The ladder was up the back of the heel and you could climb inside and slide down the inside of the boot and come out the toe. I also remember sitting in the stands at the fort and watching the cowboys and Indians. How I would have loved to have taken my kids to such an enchanting place.
Myrlann

Anonymous said...

Wow. Memory lane!!I was born in Carlisle and then moved to California where I have lived for 35 years. I have fond memories of Fantasyland trips with my mom. Also trips to Williams Grove Amusement Park and Roadside America. I dont have any photos so I was excited to see these.If you go to Fantasyland, gettysburg pa it has really good photos.
Thank you for keeping it alive.
Leslie Scroggins
Paso Robles CA

Noah's Mom said...

I remember Fantasyland and the fun we had going as a child! I try to find where it was when I drive over that way, but cannot remember. Where would I find the area just to show my husband the location? Was it along Route 30? I want to find it to reminisce!

Rachel said...

Thanks for posting this i just found a penny souvenir in my fathers things and it says Fantasyland on it . I was curious where it came from so this is interesting.

Mike said...

Wow thanks for the walk down memory lane. My grandparents were from Waynesboro and I went there as a 5 year old in 1962. It was a magical place for me. I couldn't remember the name of the place but I remembered the lollipop trees and Mother Goose. Amazing what you can dig up on the internet. To be a kid again if for only a moment. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I knew people who sang and danced there as Fantasy land characters for their summer jobs in the early 70s.

Anonymous said...

I worked there as a kid. I was in the parking lot and when the visitor was in the park it was my job to put a Fantasyland bumper sticker on the car. Also, I made cotton candy and spoke as mother goose. It was a neat place to work.

Victoria Johnson said...

I remember going here and I mostly remember a tree that had Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole how I wish I could have that tree !

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