City Park’s Storyland reopens after major $800,000 makeover

Storyland's renovation unveils four new exhibits and updates the existing beloved exhibits.

Following an $800,000 makeover, New Orleans City Park will reopen the gates to Storyland at noon on Saturday, Sept. 28.

City Park officials announced the grand re-opening date for the revitalized Storyland after temporarily closing in July for its first major renovation in nearly 35 years.

Storyland
Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

“We’re excited to be able to present to the children of New Orleans and the region a chance to live inside of the stories they read,” City Park CEO Bob Becker said via a release.

Storyland’s renovation unveils four new exhibits and updates the existing beloved exhibits. City Park says it also focused on three key aspects during the revitalization — incorporating STEM and interactive-play for the whole family, increasing ADA accessibility for more exhibits and increasing inclusion.

When the storybook-themed playground reopens, visitors will find three new exhibits including Humpty Dumpty, Tortoise and the Hare and Boudreaux the Zydeco Gator. The fourth new exhibit, Jack and the Beanstalk, will open later this fall.

Existing renovated exhibits include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and Jill, Pinocchio and the Whale, Cinderella’s Pumpkin, Puff the Magic Dragon slide, Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Old King Cole and the Storyland Castle.

Storyland
Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

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City Park officials say large enhancements have been made to Alice in Wonderland, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Gingerbread Man’s Candy Lane, and the Little Mermaid, where children and parents alike will be able to drive motorized pirate ships around the pond.

There will also be photo opportunities to become an astronaut or a mermaid, and children can sit on Anansi the Spider’s back.

The enhanced Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit will now be ADA accessible and will display educational information within the space ship that features the history and diversity of NASA.

“We’re also excited to announce City Park as the new home for the Charles Bolden, Jr. LES Space Suit acquired on loan from NASA. Bolden was the first African-American to permanently hold the title of NASA Administrator. He also served as a NASA astronaut for 14 years and has logged nearly 700 hours during four space flights,” Becker said.

The suit will be in City Park for five years housed inside the Oscar J. Tolmas Visitor Center, the main entrance to Storyland. The suit connects to the Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit, which celebrates the diversity of NASA.

A staple of City Park since the 1950s, Storyland features classic fairytale characters as larger-than-life storybook sculptures.

City Park’s Storyland is located at 5 Victory Avenue in New Orleans.

Admission is $5 per person. Children 36 inches tall and under receive free admission with paid adult. Friends of City Park members receive free admission.

The cost for the renovation is $800,000 from private donations.

For more information about Storyland or to purchase tickets, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.