When I was a kid, my home wasn’t my house: it was an amusement park. Actually, it was more like a land: Storyland. Storyland is an amusement park in Glen, New Hampshire, that features not only multiple rides but the presence of multiple fairytales and nursey rhymes that we are all know and love. It wasn’t the reenactment of my favorite fairytales that made me love Storyland, however. It was all of the childhood memories that were created there.
1995: My first trip to Storyland. The ability to explore all the different fairytales on my own was limited as I was constricted by a stroller, but I still managed to fall in love: from riding in Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach to meeting the old woman in the shoe, I was sold. My eyes had been opened a childhood full of unforgettable memories.
1997: It was a rare rainy summer day but it didn’t matter. The Batchelder clan visited Storyland in rain or shine. Walking down the curved path passing my favorite water ride, Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride, my sister and I noticed the clear rain drops glisten as they landed on the pieces of gold at the end of the rainbow. We stopped to touch the gold, hoping some of the luck would rub off on us.
1998: The fun never ended at Storyland. Not only was it fun for me; it even offered my parents the most effective form of punishment: putting me behind bars. As I gritted my teeth in a joking manner, my family began to laugh, creating another memory here; I never realized how fun jail could be.
1999: We decided to take Marney and Grampa, our grandparents, to the wonderful world of Storyland. They convinced me that I was ready to ride the real rides, instead of spending all my time immersed in the fairytales that were displayed at the park. I took a deep breath and my sister and I squished ourselves in between Marney and Grampa in order to ensure our safety on the Turtle Twirl. My age did not restrict me that summer; I found I was finally brave enough to go on any ride at Storyland.
2002: Sure, this was my seventh year at Storyland but the joy never deteriorated. The Bamboo Chutes still made my stomach drop as I held on to the bamboo sides waiting for the inevitable drop. Storyland brought family together: I laughed with cousins who I usually wasn’t able to see; it was a time when my parents weren’t working but solely focused on having fun; my sister and I found it possible to stop bickering with each other and enjoy all of the rides together. Unlike so many other parts of life, days at Storyland were fully focused on having a good time.
2004: I was now an expert at Storyland. As I walked around and watched all the little kids get their picture with Humpty Dumpty for the first time, or introduce themselves to Heidi’s Grandfather at the top of the hill, I found myself reminiscent, thinking about the days when that was me. Look how far I’d come. I was a Storyland veteran: so much so that a short video of me riding the infamous Polar Coaster was featured in their commercial.
It takes a lot of work to find a place that you truly call home. I am lucky enough to have grown up in an atmosphere as joyful as the one Storyland provided.. And although I have outgrown Storyland, it holds memories I will always cherish and when I have my own kids, I plan to bring them to Storyland, so that they are able to have a childhood as magical as mine.