Bubble car of the future delivered the presents.
Bubble car of the future "Starship" delivered the presents.

Charles Dickens Land of Enchantment (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Charles Dickens Land of Enchantment was a unique tourist attraction, "a family excursion thru Christmas Past, Present, Future," according to its promo brochure.

The Land of Enchantment featured "over 200 Life-Size Automated Animated Characters in 50 Disneyland-Like Displays." The letter on the back of the brochure, supposedly penned by Charles Dickens, touted the attraction's Old London Scrooge Town, its Birthplace of Jesus (with live animals), and its cotton ball snowy simulation of the North Pole.

Inside the brochure, 1985.

Darryl Starbird -- famous for his custom fiberglass bubble-top cars and vans -- was the producer and the recorded host. Dads were pleased to know that ten or so of Starbird's sexy 'Vettes and Trik Trucks were on display out back. This was a completely indoor Christmas village, under a tin roof. It was not air conditioned. Trying to find oxygen amidst all the fake snow and slowly frolicking mechanical squirrels and skunks made you pine for the cool Christmas season.

Enchantment scene.

The walk covered scenes from "A Christmas Carol," as well as from TV Christmas specials, such as Peanuts and The Grinch. Of special note were the Birth of Christ rooms, where female glamor mannequins were given helmets to wear and black-yarn beards -- voila, Roman centurions! Even vogue mannequin Mary looked stunning in her simple gown as she held her baby doll Jesus.

Darryl saved the best for last -- his Christmas of the Future! In this large room, Santa showered Mr. and Mrs. E.T. with gifts. Mr. E.T. was behind the wheel of a Darryl Starbird bubble car. Next to that, Yoda sped away on a motorcycle, its sidecar filled with packages. We can only hope this Christmas yet to come happens during our lifetime.

We visited in the mid-1980s. Sadly, Charles Dickens' Land of Enchantment soon became a ghost of attractions past, gone by the 1990s.

Charles Dickens Land of Enchantment

Was on Hwy 62 E., next to Country Shindig.

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July 19, 2019

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