Chicago Fire, Freedomland USA, Bronx, New York, New York, 1961
Due to Popular Demand — A Final Tour Date Has Been Added – MAY 7, 2006!
This week the theme of theme parks continues. This is America’s lost theme park!
The city is on fire. Chicago is burning! A warm-weathered crowd of onlookers have paid to see it. Employees costumed as firemen rush to put the flames. The big blaze happens every twenty minutes. Then the gift shop has a “fire sale”.
The legendary Chicago Fire of 1871 was one of the star attractions at Freedomland USA. The short-lived early American history theme park was located just thirty minutes from the heart of New York City in the Bronx. It opened in 1960 and closed in 1964.
The park was laid out in the shape of the United States and was four times the cost and size of Disneyland, its obvious inspiration and model for success. Several attractions bore a sticking resemblance to those found 3000 miles away at the Magic Kingdom. What a coincidence!
Freedomland USA was created by one of Walt Disney’s top execs that oversaw the construction and opening of Disneyland, after, according to the legend, they had a major falling out.
From the beginning Freedomland USA was plagued with problems. And there was too much doomsday in the mix. In Old San Francisco-”land” there was an earthquake ride and, ironically, a twister ride in New Orleans-”land”
After the 1964 New York World’s Fair opened Freedomland USA closed and was soon demolished to make way for enormous high rise apartment buildings.
Here’s to FREEDOMLAND USA and you!