Written by The Business Journal Staff
Storyland unveiled its newest attraction, Jack and Jill Hill, last Friday.
The basic attraction consists of a rounded hill covered by synthetic grass, which children can climb and slide down from on cardboard boxes.
Though it appears simple, Storyland/Playland vice chair Bruce Batti said Jack and Jill Hill actually cost $30,000 to create by the time the dirt was compacted to the point where children could safely play on it and the turf was added. The expense was underwritten by Storyland community partner Jimmy Maxey of JD Foods.
“The goal of the attraction is to engage children,” Batti said. “While the stories themselves are great, it’s important to offer children something interactive to do related to the stories.”
Storyland recently reopened in September 2015 after falling into disrepair and closing its doors in March 2015. Community members stepped up restore the beloved children’s entertainment venue and its sister park Playland, so the parks could educate and entertain generations to come.
When it first reopened, Batti said the goal was to restore Storyland’s old attractions to their former glory but efforts were concentrated initially on cleaning up park landscaping and hiring people to play characters in costume. This year, Batti said they are finally able to focus more on enhancing the attractions.
Jack and Jill Hill is just the first of three major projects planned for Storyland in 2017. Next up, Batti said Storyland plans to update its key-accessible audio boxes with new technology. The once-popular Jack and the Beanstalk attraction should also make a triumphant return later this year. Minor projects, such as adding a treasure hunt dig near the Storyland pirate ship, are also in the works.