Looking for something different to do next time you head down to the Jersey shore area? Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township is a unique amusement park especially for young children. Located just 10 miles west of Atlantic City, the park is a quick drive from most Jersey shore points and it provides for a refreshing change from the beach.
Admission. By amusement park standards, Storybook Land is an incredible bargain. As of 2006, the admission is $17.95 per person, which includes all of the rides and attractions. Children under 12 months of age are free. Most major credit cards are accepted and you may be able to find discount coupons available online. In addition, parking is free.
Planning Ahead. Storybook Land is a great place to bring toddlers, but if you have really young children you will definitely want to bring a stroller with you. The park is deceivingly big and you will be doing a lot of walking throughout the day. Also, although much of the park is shaded, there are some very sunny spots. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and some water bottles for everyone in your group.
Your children will be thrilled when you first enter Storybook Land – the building entrance is actually a castle and it provides for some great photo ops. A map of the park will be given to you when you pay your admission, so you can find the locations of all of the attractions and dining spots ahead of time. While the map is helpful, it’s not really a necessity because the park layout is pretty straightforward. Unlike other parks which seem to run like a maze, Storybook Land has a nice flow to it and if you just follow your way around the park, you can be sure to see everything (there are a few attractions in the midway, which can be checked out along the way).
Not to be missed. Storybook Land boasts some great rides for young children. Most of the rides would be deemed too babyish for children over the age of 9 or 10, although I do believe a 10 year old could have fun at Storybook Land if he or she is riding with a sibling (a 10 year old just may not want to admit it). Almost all of the rides are suitable for young children and Mom and Dad can ride on most of them with their child. Some of the best rides include the Whirly Bug, Rock Spin Roll and Jumping Jumbos. There is also a beautiful carousel that the whole family will enjoy and most youngsters will enjoy cruising through the park on the J&J Railroad train. The Old Tymers car ride is another popular one, as your child gets to man the wheel of an old fashioned car (it runs on rails so your child can’t lose control of the car). The wildest rides are Bubbles the Coaster – a small-scale rocking roller coaster that hits some quick turns – and the Turtle Twirl, which goes rather fast as it spins around. Unlimited access to all of the rides is included in the admission price. Best of all, the wait lines for the rides aren’t too bad – in fact during my family’s visit we didn’t have to wait in line for any rides except for the roller coaster. Height restrictions and limitations are posted by every ride.
Storybook Attractions. One of the greatest things about Storybook Land is the adorable story-themed attractions. Just about every classic childhood story and fairy tale is represented, with life size cottages and displays throughout the park. Peek in a window and you will see a puppet vignette of a tale like “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. There are displays of other great stories like “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Three Little Pigs”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and more. Your children will be fascinated as they see their favorite storybooks come to life (adults will get nostalgic, too).
Dining. There are a couple of good dining spots located within the park, including the Gingerbread Snack Bar and the Caboose CafÃ?Â©. Both places serve casual fare like pizza and hotdogs at reasonable (by amusement park standards) prices. Unlike most parks, Storybook Land does allow you to bring in your own food and drinks from home and there are some picnic tables available for outdoor dining.
Other things to know. There is a cute gift shop located in the castle where you can buy souvenirs, t-shirts, toys and treats. You can easily bypass the gift shop if you want to avoid it, but the prices are reasonalbe and there is a wide selection of souvenirs.
Also, there are some special events planned at Storybook Land throughout the season. They have a Trick or Treat weekend in October, where kids can come dressed in costumes for some non-scary Halloween fun. The arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus every November is another big attraction at the park.
The bottom line? Storybook Land is a great day trip if you live near or are visiting the Jersey shore area. The admission price for unlimited rides is well below what you would pay for a day at the shore boardwalk, too.
Planning to go? The park is open on weekends starting in April. It’s open daily starting in May through the first half of September and then it’s open 4 days a week until the end of October. For more information, contact Storybook Land at (609) 646-0103 (Ext. 5) or listen to the informational recording at (609) 641-7847. The address for Storybook Land is 6415 Black Horse Pike (Routes 40 / 322) in Cardiff, NJ.