Friday, April 4, 2014

Abandoned Places: The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest has been a very popular name for kid-oriented theme parks over the years. Unfortunately, most of those have been abandoned. The sign above is from a park in Rhode Island that opened in 1972 and operated for about 30 years. The grounds have been for sale for a decade while the remaining rides become overgrown.
Above images used under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic  and are by Muchadoville Studios or Daawn.

The Enchanted Forest of Indiana opened in 1957
and lasted until 1991. Most of the rides have been moved to a park in Wisconsin. [The only images I could find are older photos from when the park was still in operation.]

The Enchanted Forest park in Maryland was the first amusement park on the east coast and the second in the United States, opening just one month after Disneyland in 1955.
The park operated for a bit more than 30 years until the original owners sold it to a development group. After that, the park was periodically shut down due to financial difficulties and finally closed for good in 1995. For a decade, the Enchanted Forest was neglected. Finally, a preservation group was formed and most of the structures and figures have been moved to another location for restoration.

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  1. How sad. How could such a child's playground be left to rot?

  2. Enchanted Forest ... Instantly made me think of the Enchanted Wood that featured in a few of the novels of Enid Blyton.

  3. I'm surprised Disney hasn't copyrighted the name.

  4. Note to self: if opening an amusement park, DON'T name it 'The Enchanted Forest."

  5. I bet the guys from American Pickers would have a field day at those places.

  6. There's nothing sadder -- or more creepy -- than an abandoned theme park. It's very post-apocalyptic looking. :O

  7. There's a place similar to this near my town in Waterbury, Connecticut: "Holy Land USA." This place might actually gain your interest--I know it has mine!

  8. It's sad to see amusement parks abandoned. Presumably financing in all the cases. I wonder why they didn't move some of the stuff though.

  9. Looks like it could have had some potential. A shame it always seems to be "financial woes" that become the undoing of such places.

  10. Unlike the others in your series (so far at least) these don't seem that eerie, or even that sad. Those bright colors and rounded edges are defying nature, time, entropy. There's probably a metaphor there. "Childhood something something something dreams." (I did the hard part, you fill in the rest.)

  11. It is a great name. Too bad all those family parks went bust.

  12. I've heard of those. What a shame.

  13. I agree with Briane, this is the creepiest of all. It's got Stephen King style weirdness written all over it...
    Now off to get my free book - thanks!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

  14. Hello, Andrew

    Thanks for the visits. :)

    Isn't this such an indication of the state of the world? Children don't play the way they used to; now it's indoors on a computer.


  15. That's so cool! I love the history--and isn't it crazy that it didn't fall into disrepair until it left the hands of the original owners? I bet if they'd kept it, it would still be alive and ticking today.

  16. If that's not creepy, I don't know what is.

  17. Ooh, abandoned amusement park. A horror movie could take place there. I can see that creepy face being involved somehow.

  18. The Enchanted Forest in Rhode Island would be fun to visit. Rather eerie. It makes me think of that sci-fi series, Revolution.

  19. These photos are haunting, I would love to take a walk there.

  20. Anthony: It's always about the money.

    Kathryn: I haven't heard of that author, but I'm sure "enchanted forest" and "enchanted wood" are terms that are thrown around a lot.

    Karen: Well, they can't copyright the name, but it is potentially something they could try to trademark, I suppose.

    JeffO: That was my thought exactly.

    Alex C: I've never heard of that. I'm just going to assume it's some kind of TV show. Although, I have to say, it sounds like it could have to do with noses.

    Lexa: They often are, yes.

    randi: That's pretty cool. I mean, freaky, actually. That place is spooky.

    Jo: They did move some of it. And some of it has been taken for restoration.

    Mark: It is a shame, but, then, building it does not assure that they will come.

    Briane: The bright colors are on restored pieces.

    Susan: It is too bad.

    David: I had not heard of those and was surprised there were so many.

    Tina: Sure!

    Fe: Well, with these, it's also that kids and parents want big roller coasters, and I can't quite blame them.

    Crystal: That could be true or, maybe, the owners sold because they were having financial difficulties.

    Cathy: Um... I got nothin'.

    Jeanne: I agree.

    Su-sieee!: I haven't seen that; I'm not even sure I've heard of it.

    Haneen: It would be cool to walk around in.

  21. Is it at a bad location for potential customers? A decade is a long time. Sad that it went under.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Love your theme for the A-Z Challenge. Thanks for sharing these photos.

  24. Sheena: I don't know if it's a bad location other than that it looks like a not very developed area. Good for an amusement park, I suppose, but not for other things. And they already showed that an amusement park can't support itself there these days.

    Stephen: Thanks for stopping by.

  25. So sad that they all shared the same name. :/ And there's something extra creepy about abandoned theme parks. There are quite a few of them in Japan, too, though the only one I know by name is "Dreamland" in Nara.

  26. Alex H: Dreamland is on my list of possibles. I've started work on N, but there's also going to be a book review in that post, so I'm not sure that Nara will make it in.

  27. Now it really is an Enchanted Forest. This is one I'd especially like to check out.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  28. Lee: I'm not sure which of those I'd pick. Maybe the one in Maryland just for being the 2nd park in the US.


  29. I was there last year around this time... I have tons of photos of The Enchanted Forest on the site...Places like this are amazing and incredible! with the most beautiful architecture and sometimes disturbing but yet interesting history. Most people over look all of the abandoned and decaying things they pass everyday and ignore all the history and stories that are left behind with the crumbling buildings. This website shows it all and tells some history! its great!
    Take a look!

  30. Phil: There are some great places that have been forgotten. Some of them right in front of our faces.
    I'll go by and take a look.