Character Meet and Greet: Story Land NH

Pooh Bear
All Images: Sarah Pinault

A trip to Story Land in Glen, New Hampshire is rapidly becoming one of the yearly traditions for our family. There’s just something about my husband’s memories of a childhood in the area, combined with the imagination that Story Land’s use of fairy tale characters inspires. This year, we decided to shake it up a little and go on a character weekend. We went to meet Winnie the Pooh.

Upon entering the park, we followed directions to the character meet and greet, which were so simple and fool proof that we second guessed ourselves and missed it! Note for next visit: When a cast member points, go where they point, not where you think they must mean. My preschooler was more excited about meeting Winnie the Pooh than I had anticipated, so this delay was not to his liking, even with a few spins on the log flume while on our detour.

DSCI4271When we finally found Pooh, it was clear to see that this had been worth the wait. Pooh had his own little “house” adjacent to Mother Goose. Pooh sat on a simple, yet large, bench for photo opps. When my boys saw Pooh Bear for the first time, it was not through crowds of people, or at a distance. He was simply there, and the look of pure joy on their faces was priceless. Of course there were other guests visiting with Pooh, and yes we had to wait. But the wait was not long, and Pooh was always within an unobstructed line of sight. My eighteen month old had a big smile on his face in the run up, but still needed a little encouragement in order to approach the larger than life bear. My preschooler jumped right in. We got time to say hello, take several pictures, and leave at a leisurely pace. When my youngest ran back to Pooh, and to the other family now visiting him, there was nothing but smiles all around. The lone cast member, there for Pooh’s “security,” let our families deal with it amicably. As we left, we got to visit with Mother Goose.

DSCI4305Much of what we loved about Story Land last year, we loved this year. Lamentably, the ball pool has been replaced with a wooden play area. Though it is understandable; cleaning that many plastic balls each day would have been a mammoth task. The Polar Coaster was appreciated more this year, but it was Bamboo Chutes, a long flume with a  decent sized drop, that was favored yet again.

Since my pre-schooler will strip down to his skivvies in a heartbeat should he hear the words “paddling pool,” it was no surprise that in addition to Bamboo Chutes he took three more chances to get wet:

  • Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride, a traditional tyre water ride complete with leaky bath tub.
  • Splash Battle: Pharoh’s Reign, a 300′ long waterway with water cannons on both the boats and the walking path around it.
  • Sprinklers. Plain, old fashioned water gushing up out of the pavement. Thankfully he played in one of the park’s smaller areas and I managed to avoid the Oceans of Fun Sprayground!

If your child has a similar penchant for water, a spare set of clothes is not optional when in Story Land. We always carry one, and I offer a public apology to those parents who do not, whose children took their cue from my son before diving fully clothed into the Sprayground. Also, apologies to those waiting for a turn on Dr. Geyser only to be privy to the naked butt dance that ensued.

Story Land continues to impress me with its commitment to family and imagination. This year we ate at the park, and I was impressed by the food options. Yes, the restaurants offer mostly the same fair food of other parks, but I was able to have a delicious Turkey Burger while my son ate Smuckers Uncrustables, so there are some decent choices to be had. Yet again, I am impressed by the cleanliness of the park in every area.

For the remainder of the 2013 season, you can meet Olivia the Pig, the Cat in the Hat, and Eeyore. I look forward to next summer’s line up of characters.

Admission was provided for review purposes.