Oakland’s “Fairyland” Is About to Get Much More Diverse
Thank you to The Oaklandside for letting us know that the Children’s Fairyland plans to reopen safely and with more diverse representation.
America’s first storybook theme park (which predates and partially inspired Disneyland) Children’s Fairyland will mark its anniversary in September, but it might take a little bit more magic to survive its 70th year.
So far they’ve raised $172,000 as part of their goal of $300k for their Reopening and Recovery Fund. No reopening date has been set yet.
The iconic park, which has been closed since March 13 has lost over $1 million in revenue. Kymberly Miller, Executive Director of Fairyland said, “We don’t want to change so much because of the pandemic that we are not who we were.” There will be noticeable changes and the park will follow public health guidelines from county and state medical officials to determine when it’s safe for rides and performances to reopen.
New Changes for the Reopening
With a capacity of 2,500 people that number will be limited to 700 people once the park reopens. To prevent the spreading of germs, the park will have two separate open shifts: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. During the hour that the park is closed, staff will sanitize its surfaces, and different employees will work each shift. New sanitation stations will be set up throughout the park and only one family at a time will be allowed to enter bathrooms. To help maintain a safe distance, social bubble circles will be drawn onto the grassy areas of the park.
Oaklandside also reported that admission fees are also going to be reduced temporarily.
More Diversity in Puppet Shows & Stories in Park
Children’s Fairyland will also be working to include broaden the stories its park shares. They want to make sure children from all backgrounds feel represented. “Most of the stories represented in this park are northern European tales,” Miller said. “How do we become flexible in representing our constituency? Not getting rid of those tales, but mixing in with those tales and those of the people of Oakland and their heritage.”
The park’s puppet show will be also be revamped with a committee of Oakland librarians who will help diversify the content of the show.
>> Help bring the magic back: Donate to Children’s Fairyland Reopening and Recovery Fund