NEW ORLEANS – The revitalization project is almost complete, and the grand re-opening is set for Saturday, September 28.
The grand re-opening will start at noon, with $5 admission. Entry is for Storyland only, this does not include Carousel Gardens.
The renovations were started on July 8, and are expected to finish in late September.
Nearly 35 years after the last major renovation, the revitalization brought in four new exhibits and updated the existing beloved exhibits New Orleanians know so well.
City Park’s focus for the revitalization include: incorporating STEM and interactive-play for the whole family, increasing ADA accessibility for more exhibits, and increasing inclusion.
“We’re thrilled to announce the grand re-opening date for the revitalized Storyland. We’re excited to be able to present to the children of New Orleans and the region a chance to live inside of the stories they read,” said Bob Becker, City Park CEO.
New exhibits include: Humpty Dumpty, Tortoise and the Hare, and Boudreaux the Zydeco Gator. The fourth new exhibit, Jack and the Beanstalk, will open later this fall.
Existing renovated exhibits include: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and Jill, Pinocchio and the Whale, Cinderella’s Pumpkin, Puff the Magic Dragon slide, Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Old King Cole, and the Storyland Castle. Large enhancements have been made to Alice in Wonderland, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Gingerbread Man’s Candy Lane, and the Little Mermaid, where children and parents alike will be able to drive motorized pirate ships around the pond. There will also be photo opportunities to become an astronaut or a mermaid and children can sit on Anansi the Spider’s back.
The enhanced Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit will now be ADA accessible and will display educational information within the space ship that features the history and diversity of NASA.
“We’re also excited to announce City Park as the new home for the Charles Bolden, Jr. LES Space Suit acquired on loan from NASA. Bolden was the first African-American to permanently hold the title of NASA Administrator. He also served as a NASA astronaut for 14 years and has logged nearly 700 hours during four space flights,” Bob Becker explains.
The suit will be in City Park for five years housed inside the Oscar J. Tolmas Visitor Center, the main entrance to Storyland. The suit connects to the Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit, which celebrates the diversity of NASA.
In addition to featuring Bolden, the exhibit highlights the first African-American female and male astronauts into space, Mae Jemison and Guion “Gay” Bluford, Jr, the first American female into space, Sally Ride, and the African-American females who blazed new trails for NASA, known as human computers, Dorothy Vaughn, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson. The exhibit also touches on other historical events within NASA with a nod to the future possibilities for the next chapter of Mars discovery.