Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Enchanted Forest

I had strange dreams last night and woke up thinking of the (now derelict) Enchanted Forest amusement park near Baltimore, Maryland. The Enchanted Forest was an independent fairy tale themed park which opened in the 50s, around the same time as Disneyland. By the 80s it was a picturesque mashup of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and stories of Robin Hood and the Arabian Nights. I spent many childhood summers in Maryland and visited the park several times with my grandparents and assorted aunts, uncles and cousins. I was young enough that everything seemed completely magical, and not at all awkward or handmade.

Here's a narrated video about the Enchanted Forest:

and some vintage home movies taken in the park:

The inimitable John Waters also shot part of Cry-Baby there around 1990:

Some of the buildings and attractions have been moved to a nearby farm and restored, and the rest of the park has sadly fallen into ruin.