Theme parks are absolutely one of the happiest places on Earth. Who would have thought that these happy places would turn out to be so gloomy and creepy especially when left abandoned for years and years. With all the vines and weed growing everywhere, the marks left by previous operators and patrons of the park, the one happy and lively place slowly turned to something that is sad and long forgotten. Let’s take a peek into this eerily beautiful and creepy abandoned theme park: The Enchanted Forest.
The Enchanted Forest is one of the United States’ first theme parks. Established the same time as Disneyland, the park opened its doors to patrons on August 15, 1955. Unlike Disneyland, it initially didn’t feature mechanical rides but showcased well-loved fairy tail buildings and characters. It was located in Ellicott city, Maryland on Route 40.
Back then, admission cost only $1.50 for adults and $0.50 for kids. Kids and the young at heart enjoyed 20 acres of beautiful fantastical structures and different characters from fairy tales. Later on, track rides were added as attractions to the theme park. This includes the Alice in Wonderland ride where guests can enjoy riding in tea cup shaped cars, the Cinderella Castle with mice shaped car rides, the Little Toot that took kids to a replica of Mt. Vesuvius for giant slides, and the Jungleland Safari where guests can ride Rover type vehicles. The park welcomed up to 300,000 guests each season.
The theme park also served as a popular venue for children’s birthday party. Picnic areas surrounding the area were used for such celebration and has definitely made unforgettable memories to children back in the day. Aside from bringing joy to its guests, the park also provided local jobs especially for teenagers who looked for part-time work or summer jobs. Most of them were assigned to ticketing booths and ride operations.
In 1989, the park was closed for the first time after having sold to JHP Development for $4.5 million a year before. A part of the park was then demolished to give way for the construction of a shopping mall. Majority of the park remained undistributed and it even reopened in the summer of 1994 to cater to birthday parties. The park closed in 1995 and since then, many people volunteered in the preservation of this once beautiful tourist attraction.
The park remains isolated by chain link fences and volunteers work on preserving the structures found in the theme park. They Enchanted Forest Preservation Society coordinated with the owner of the land to have the structures moved to Clark’s Elioak Farm for display. The moving stated in 2005 and the association welcomed contributions in 2011 to help in their project.
Are there interesting abandoned places in your area? Tell us more in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends.