Last summer I had just given birth to my younger son (YS) via a c-section so Storyland was out of the picture for us. Originally it was going to be out of the picture for us this summer too due to
Overall, I was really happy with the experience. Basically, it's an amusement park for little kids. Every thing is downscaled so that if you're 3 you can go on anything. Most importantly, parents can accompany the kids on all the rides as well. The other nice thing for spinning ride newbies is that if the children need to get off mid-ride (or presumably adults), all they have to do is point their thumb down and the ride is stopped. The ride operators announced this before starting every spinning ride. Fortunately we didn't have to take advantage of this feature. The park is relatively clean (we did encounter one stinky bathroom), the gift shops are set back so you don't ever have to walk through them, and the food is very reasonable. We paid a $1.50 for a hot dog. You don't feel like they're trying to rip you off.
I am glad that paramedics have a fast response time to Storyland in an emergency, but I am sorry that I got to witness it when a toddler fell off of a bench about 10 feet away from me and landed on his face. Thankfully, other than a giant goose egg, the paramedic said he was alright.
My only real complaint was that I had been told by friends that my younger son could go on the majority of the rides. He's 14 months old. However, he's not walking and the rule is that the kids need to be able to walk for most of the rides. It seemed ironic that a 9 month old who was both younger and smaller than my son was able to go on the spinning whale ride, while my son could not. There were still other things for him to see, including the shows (which we didn't get to see), storybook houses, and a few lower key rides, like driving antique cars. Another consequence of his current lack of mobility is that he was pretty much stroller-bound. The park is cement city, and it was pretty crowded when we went. There was nowhere for him to really crawl around.
I have to admit, I was expecting to feel a Disney-like magic, and I didn't. It is perfect for kids who are old enough to walk but otherwise still pretty young. It's not somewhere I can imagine going with older kids. They would be bored.
Here are a couple of tips to make the trip a little cheaper:
- You are welcome to bring food into the park
- If you buy your ticket after 3 pm the day before, you get admission for the rest of that day as well as free admission for the whole next day
- The American Lung Cancer Association of New Hampshire sells a kids Fun Pass that lets in one kid per paying adult. They have lots of other coupons for NH, MA and other parts of New England. If you're going to go to Storyland and one other place in their extensive list, it's worth it. (My kids were free this year because OS has not yet turned 4, but next year we'll get this.)
- There are guest appreciation days in May and June where tickets are $19 instead of $23 per person.