Storybook Land! Yes, Yes we finally made it. And yes it lived up to all the mama hype I have been hearing. I realize that a ton of you have already made it there and already know what I am about to say below so forgive me. This review is for the new parents that need to add it to their list. I do think their website is not that helpful so hopefully this review will help you figure out how to plan your trip.
The outside with its castle and giant toy solider entrance is a good mix of cheesy and nostalgia a.k.a very New Jersey. The inside is a shady, tree filled park of every ride a toddler could ask for. The park is clean, has a great lay out and is flat so you can just about see everything. Basically for the Sherpa (you) the place is really manageable. So manageable in fact that I did not bring or rent a stroller. Yes we carried the boys out of there when it was time to go home but most the time they walked.
Each ride has a theme from a classic children’s story and there are little houses everywhere that are also connected to a specific story. For starters we did the choo choo that takes you all around the park. Big Hit. We followed it up with the tea-cups, tilt-a-turtle, they passed on the roller coaster, they drove those cars that stay on the track, they did a beanstalk drop that gently “drops” and bounces you to the ground, Alice and Wonderland Maze, Dumbo flying elephants, Puff the flying dragon, Tilt-a-Whirl, the merry-go-round and a few others.
My favorite was the giant slide that was built into a hill. You get all the advantage of a tall slide without all the scary steps. I do get the feeling that a lot of thought is put into the rides, layout and upkeep of the park. To sum up our visit I am going to throw out two words I never use: easy and delightful.
Is it worth the 60-minute drive and tolls from Philly? Yes. Especially since we spent four hours there. It is an even shorter trip from the beach so the next time you are down there for a week and you get hit with a cloudy day…don’t make them climb to the top of the Lighthouse (link) because from Cape May (the farthest south shore point) it 45 minutes door to door.
I am told by my expert panel of mothers that although Tuesday are discount admission day it is a lot more hectic. Some parents even warned to stay away from Tuesday all together.
You can bring your own food in which I saw a lot of people do. It is the kind of place where I saw a family wheel their wagon over to the picnic grove, set up their tablecloth put their coolers on top and then went to enjoy all the rides. I love anywhere I can set up a home base and not have to go back to the car or lug everything around. That is exactly what I am going to do the next time we go.
HOW DOES IT RANK?:
How does Storybook Land (60 + minutes) compare to Dorney Park (90 minutes) and Dutch Wonderland (90 minutes)? I think Storybook Land is the most toddler friendly, best laid out and easiest to manage. If you were going to pick between Dutch Wonderland & Storybook Land I think Storybook Land is the better bet. Being able to pack all your own food and set up a picnic is huge as well as free close parking.
Know Before You Go:
*View more pictures of the park on hipsterhenry Flickr
*As always I am going to start with the price. I said both boys were under two so they were free. So I only had to pay for three adults, which came to $70. This make it more affordable then Dorney Park and about the same as Dutch Wonderland. Not the end of the world but not cheap either.
* My youngest is 20 months and he was able to do a lot of the rides but I was glad I waited until now. I do think older siblings as old as seven would still have a good time.
*Most rides require kids be 36” to go on by themselves. There was only one ride the Tick Tock Drop that required kids to be a minimum of 40” to ride it. So basically they could and did go on everything.
*There is a main picnic grove that I mentioned. There is also a main cafeteria to get “real food” and then two smaller spot in the park that have basics like hot dogs, popcorn and drinks. The one spot is located in an old train caboose. You grab your food in there and then sit at the shaded picnic tables outside. The boys loved that.
*You do have to be on the look out for little kids being impatient and cutting the line. The park is so safe that a lot of the parents give their older kids a little freedom. They don’t mean to do it but waiting in line is hard for everyone and their cutting might mean you having to wait for a whole entire turn. Nip it in the bud.
*We went on a Thursday at 11:00 a.m. and there were very few lines. I do not know what the lines are like on the weekends.
*We did not do the splash ground but it did look really nice and fun so be sure to toss their suit and a towel in your bag if it is a hot day. The park also requires the kids to be fully clothed to do the amusement rides.
*Stroller Rental is $6 for a single and $8 for a double. I think you don’t need it but will be glad you had it by the end if you have one under two.
*There is parking out front that fills up quickly but there are guides to show you to the side lot, which is not a hike from the entrance. That is always appreciated.
*Bathrooms are clean. Almost spotless.
*They have events during Halloween and Christmas.