Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dutch Wonderland! July 1967

Today we're going to visit Dutch Wonderland, near romantic Lancaster Pennsylvania! The park was started by a potato farmer named Earl Clark, who personally built the stone façade for the castle seen in this first photo. The park is 48 acres and has amusements aimed at families and kids, and it debuted in 1963.

Yep, that's for kids alright! There were seemingly dozens of "Mother Goose" themed parks around the country, and Dutch Wonderland clearly used many of the same concepts, such as this giant shoe slide. I'd rather have a shoe phone, but I'm a loner and a rebel.

Please don't tell me that this giant soft pretzel counts as an attraction! Still, this young miss seems to be enjoying it. Tell everyone it was designed by Claes Oldenburg. The little cottage in the background? I say that it was the baños.

You know what's wrong with city kids these days? Don't get me started! One thing is that they have never known the joy of milking a fiberglass cow. Why do you think they do drugs and wear crocs?

You could take a relaxing stroll through manicured gardens and enjoy miniatures of some of Europe's famous sights (much like Madurodam). Here you can see the Leaning Tower of Pizza and the Waffle Tower.

Dutch Wonderland has a Monorail, and while I don't have any photos of it, you can see the beamway here.

Might as well show a postcard of the monorail so that you don't cry!


The Viewliner Limited said...

That monorail scares the hell out of me. When was the last time they inspected those beams? Cow and pretzel... huh! What a concept for a TV show.

Matt said...

I was lucky enough to make a pit stop here gosh, late 90's or so? You could pay a small fee and just ride the monorail, which we did. Cute little park, and the monorail was vintage and awesome!

Katella Gate said...

Actually quite nice, but the Dutch do everything nice, including the hooker display windows in Amsterdam, but that's for another day.

"A" for effort on the entrance castle, but be broke the first rule: Leave lots of space around your Marquee. The way the cars and supply vans can park against it makes it look like a really eccentric dentist's office.

I wish the attractions were more interactive. The cow is especially disappointing. Now, if those udders were warm, or that big vein was blue and throbbed like the head of the Keeper of Talos IV... Well I know I'd want an annual pass.

The picture of the sign bothers me. The word in the lanterns spells out "CASIIF"! Must be Dutch with those weird double vowels. Was there supposed to be a CASINO, and the mob put the kebash on the competition?

Major Pepperidge said...

Viewliner, I get the feeling that the monorail is pretty small, but you are right... the supports for the beamway look pretty insubstantial!

Matt, I lived pretty close to Lancaster PA for about 3 years, but wasn't even aware of Dutch Wonderland. Wish my family had gone at least once.

Katella, I think Imagineering learned a lot from the red light district in Amsterdam! They probably stopped by there while in Europe to see Tivoli Gardens. I agree with the parking ruining the marquee. Star Trek references that I actually get - must make me a nerd!

Nancy said...

i have been past this park a few times but never went in. the first time it was only March, and here in PA that is too cold for this sort of thing. the other time was overnight and of course it wasnt open :( hoping one of these days we are in Lancaster when it is actually open and before nightfall!

it looks so nice, i remember being mad that we couldnt go in! thanks for these great photos :)

Rack-Rite said...

CASIIF is probably CASTLE, I would think. Like the castle building out front of the park.

Hey, here's a thought. How crummy must your castle look when the cars parked up against it are cooler looking?

Hrundi V. Bakshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hrundi V. Bakshi said...

Funny Katella mentioned Casino. The sign and monorail beam reminded me of Whiskey Pete's in Primm!

Anonymous said...

Growing up in PA, this was a stop for for our family from time to time in the 60's and 70's. It was great to see some of the things we enjoyed as kids.