Upper Jay, New York: Land of Make Believe (Gone)

Children's-scale theme park with western town and fairy tale buildings created by designer Arto Monaco. Ran from 1954 to 1979, when it was flooded by the Ausable River. Castle destroyed in 2011 hurricane.

Was in the Adirondacks in the hamlet of Upper Jay, New York. Whiteface Mtn. was nearby.

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Land of Makebelieve

Arto Monaco was the creator of Land of Makebelieve in Upper Jay, New York. Arto also created Santa's Workshop/North Pole which was the first theme park in America. This video is a tribute to a remarkable man who loved children and those persons who are children at heart (The soundtrack is the song "Arto Monaco" recorded by Monsterbuck of Jay, New York). Tragically, much of Land of Makebelieve was destroyed and the park closed in 1979. The castle and the remaining buildings were destroyed a few years ago in a hurricane.

[Clint Maust Jr, 06/04/2015]

Enchanted castle at Land of MakeBelieve.

Land of Make-Believe - Vague Recollections

I'm sorry to hear about the Land of Make-Believe no longer being in existence. I was just going through some old slides from 1977, scanning them onto my hard drive, and thought I'd share a picture of the kingdom's former glory.

I remember there were several "themed" sections to the Land of Make-Believe, including a "Storybook" section where the pictured castle was located, and a "Jungle" section, which included a paddle-wheeler named the "Billabong Belle."

[Jeff Dunne, 07/02/2006]
Land of MakeBelieve - Vague Recollections

Arto Monoco is the creator of Land of Make-Believe. He is also the designer of Santa's Workshop, North Pole in the same Adirondack region of New York. I visited the Land of Makebelieve many years ago. When my brother and I got older we traveled to Jay, New York but discovered that the park was closed. I understand that a storm that caused the Ausable River to overflow destroyed the village. I believe that Arto is still alive and some of his work can be found at Great Escape, Lake George, New York. Arto was the designer of Cinderella's Castle in Disneyland. He was also one of the creators of the exhibit of "It's a small world." If you've ever visited "Land of Makebelieve" I am sure you would have many wonderful memories.

[Clint Maust, 06/18/2003]

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