Business & Real Estate

Iconic Sacramento amusement park expanding, adding exhibits

The Old Woman in the Shoe and Mary’s little lambs are about to get some new friends.

Sacramento’s Fairytale Town announced plans Thursday for an expansion of one half acre into surrounding Land Park. The first phase will begin this month and will involve moving the amusement park’s southeast exterior fence to accommodate a multipurpose “story center,” an outdoor classroom area, a new entry plaza, additional restrooms and improved pedestrian access.

The project is estimated to be completed in two to five years at a cost of $3 million to $6 million.

Fairytale Town described the Sacramento Story Center as a building with multiple rooms to be used for programs centered around costumes, props, video recording technology, and more. The center will include exhibits focused on reading and writing and a public use community room, according to a news release.

“Millions of children have grown up at Fairytale Town, and now Fairytale Town will be growing too,” Fairytale Town executive director Kathy Fleming said in the news release. “We are excited to debut our master plan to the community. Not only does the plan increase Fairytale Town’s footprint, it expands the impact Fairytale Town will have on our community.”

The proposed outdoor classroom area may be used for workshops and school field trips, while the entry plaza can provide faster admissions to the park, according to the release.

Fairytale Town said the expansion will help serve a high volume of guests at the park — as many as 250,000 per year. More sidewalks and lights will be installed for easier pedestrian access, according to the release.

“Well over ten million children and families have experienced the magic of Fairytale Town over its 59-year history,” said Sacramento Councilman Steve Hansen in the release. “The increased space dedicated to children’s play and early literacy, as well as the new and upgraded amenities, will help ensure this beloved community asset will continue to serve our region’s children today and for generations to come.”

Additional phases of the expansion will include five new play sets, expansion to existing garden areas, improvements to the Dish and Spoon Cafe and further walkway renovations, according to the release.

The city of Sacramento has already approved the expansion and Fairytale Town has contracted WMB Architects for designs, according to the release.

“Fairytale Town is full of iconic structures, from the Old Woman in the Shoe Slide to the Crooked Mile,” Tim Mattheis, principal architect at WMB Architects, said in the release. “Our vision for the Sacramento Story Center and new admissions building is that both will add to the playful character of the park, enrich the guest experience, and become landmark buildings for Fairytale Town and William Land Park.”

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.