Sunday, July 14, 2013

From The Vault: Dutch Wonderland 1996 Brochure

A park aimed at families with smaller kids may not be the most exciting proposition for thrill seekers, but we cover all sorts of parks here on NPN, mild to wild.  One that's definitely mild is Dutch Wonderland, the focus of this week's From the Vault.

Dutch Wonderland opened in 1963 and the main draw at the time was the large castle facade on the entrance building, which also houses a large gift shop.  The front of this brochure shows both of these aspects of the structure, which can be seen from the nearby road and helps draw attention to the park.

The park operated for decades under the same owners and business plan, expanding here and there along the way - but never adding anything too enormous.  That just wasn't their plan.  In 2001 Hershey Entertainment purchased the park and began to advertise it along with their main property, Hersheypark.  There were some new attractions added but overall no huge expansion took place and things remained largely as they were.  The addition of a small water area, a play structure and a couple small lagoons, was probably the biggest and smartest move that Hershey Entertainment made.

Then in 2010 Hershey Entertainment sold the park to Palace Entertainment, a part of the larger park operator Parques Reunidos.  In current day Dutch Wonderland still caters to smaller kids, advertising themselves as a Kingdom for Kids.  I could have missed it, but I'm not sure that the new owners have added much at all since they purchased the park.

The rides the park offers are similarly mild, and include the Kingdom Coaster (formerly Sky Princess), which was the first coaster ever built by Custom Coasters International.  There's also a log flume, giant slide, frog hopper, and plenty of fairy tale themed attractions. 

In 1996 the park was one part of several tourist attractions in the Lancaster area, and they were shown off here to drum up some business, I suppose.  The Wax Museum of Lancaster County History sounds really exciting.  Ha!