Many years ago, in the late 90’s, when I was just a duckling, I would watch with fascination a certain stretch of road. We didn’t come this way very often. When we did, it was usually to visit the pet store or some other such place that wasn’t close to home. And if I was paying attention, I would spot a certain king atop a sign, pointing the way to a little white castle nestled at the edge of the woods. Nearby, the words “Enchanted Forest” were written plainly upon a large sign shaped to look like a big, red book.
And of course, I couldn’t forget the best part of all, a green dragon reclining above the castle’s entrance with some sort of stringed instrument in hand.
I would often ask to visit the Enchanted Forest amusement park, but my parents were always too busy to stop, and we would pass it by yet again as I stared, captivated, at the castle as it retreated out of sight down that stretch of road. One day, I thought. One day, we would stop, and I would see that dragon up close. I would walk through those castle gates and finally behold for myself what lay beyond.
One day, Mother Duck decided that she would take me to the Enchanted Forest. After a drive filled with utmost anticipation, we parked and walked up to that little white castle, not yet aware of the fact that something was amiss. We arrived at the castle gates, where I believe there was a sign that said that the park was closed for good.
Nay, say it wasn’t so! We peeked over the nearby fence, gazing down the slope into the woods beyond, empty of life, nothing but trees and I believe an abandoned structure in view. Thoroughly disheartened, we returned home, our day taking a very different turn from what we had expected.
Now, it turned out that the Enchanted Forest had been closed the entire time we had been passing by that way. From what I read online, the Enchanted Forest opened in 1955, one month after Disneyland, in fact. It was aimed towards younger children and themed around nursery rhymes. Though it was closed 40 years later in 1995, from 2005-2015, many of the park’s structures were relocated to Clark’s Elioak Farm. Interestingly enough, I believe when Mother Duck and I visited the abandoned park, the whole place was probably intact, even if we couldn’t really see it through all the trees.
I have since become fascinated with abandoned places, especially theme parks, which I often watch being explored on Youtube. In fact, you can even see Youtuber Adam the Woo visit both the original site of the park and Clark’s Elioak Farm where it was relocated in the video below. It’s rather exciting that Mother Duck and I were able to visit a little bit of abandoned theme park history all those years ago, even if, you know, we weren’t able to actually see it when it was open.
Video from Youtube User: TheDailyWoo
Does anyone here remember the Enchanted Forest? Or have you, perhaps, visited Clark’s Elioak Farm instead? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!