The Joan De Arc Crusader presents
A Tribute to a Bygone Arizona Amusement Park
Sounds On
A Tribute to a Bygone Arizona Amusement Park
Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Guest Book

Please leave your memories and comments in this public guest book so we can share your thoughts with our other visitors.

If you experience a problem trying to post to the Guest Book, you may contact us with your entry.

Date: 02 Mar 2006   Time: 20:08:46
Comments: I loved Legend City i wish it could come back my best memories of my chilhood were there thanks Debbie.
Date: 28 Feb 2006   Time: 14:44:50
Comments: Everyone thought I was dillusional that arizona was home to an amusement park once upon a time....I am glad you were here to back me up. It goes to show that you can find damn near everything on the net. Thank you.
Date: 24 Feb 2006   Time: 17:35:11
Comments: I worked at the city in the 70's.
It was a great experiance, and I would not trade it for anything.
Date: 19 Feb 2006   Time: 10:50:41
Comments: 2/19/06
what a great web site. it sure brought back a lot of good memories. my grandmopther took me ther often in the late 1960's. thanks for taking so much time to put together a wonderful and complete site.
Sharon Douglas
Date: 15 Feb 2006   Time: 18:10:20
Comments: i can't believe it a site about ledgend city this is wonderful i loved going there as a kid great site
Date: 23 Jan 2006   Time: 11:57:01
Comments: Great memories. This site has it all! Thank you for bringing back sites and sounds from the past that I thought were long lost. Long live Legend City!
Date: 21 Jan 2006   Time: 16:22:03
Comments: I was 14 years old when they closed LC. I really enjoyed looking through your website. It refreshed some great memories. Thanks for doing all this work.
Date: 19 Jan 2006   Time: 13:31:06
Comments: AWESOME WEBSITE! BRINGS BACK GREAT MEMORIES. DEFINITELY A SITE TO SHOW MY KIDS.
Date: 15 Jan 2006   Time: 21:13:10
Comments: Great site. I have fond memories of legend city having grown up in the Phoenix area in the sixties. Mike Branham class of 1969
Date: 13 Jan 2006   Time: 18:59:46
Comments: As an adult & a kid-at-heart father, I loved Legend City. I took my kids there throughout its existence & wish there was still a Legend City in AZ. If so, I'd be taking my grand-kids as often as possible. Thanks for this great site. It brought back a lot of memories. J. Hale, native-born Prescottonian
Date: 13 Jan 2006   Time: 06:54:15
Comments: This site is awesome - really brings back some memories from days past. I spent plenty of time here when I was in grade school as well as high school! Thanks for compiling this.
Date: 08 Jan 2006   Time: 00:15:22
Comments: Thanks for the trip back to a time in Phoenix and in my life when it was Great to be a kid.
Date: 07 Jan 2006   Time: 21:41:56
Comments: I visited Legend City as a small child. So, my memories of the park are very vague. I'm glad you put up this website. It has helped jog some memories.
Date: 06 Jan 2006   Time: 08:30:42
Comments: wonderful times remembered. wish my kids could have remembered it. took them there to see wallace and ladmo but they were too young to remember. makes me home sick.....


Della Williamson
Date: 29 Dec 2005   Time: 12:18:51
Comments: I am an Arizona Native and it was truely a sad moment for us when Legen City closed. This was a place full of history and alot of memories for me. It is missed.
Date: 29 Dec 2005   Time: 07:02:38
Comments: If anyone has one of the Park Maps from the early to mid 70's please let me know! I am going to be making a model of the entire park hopefully to be displayed at the Arizona Historical Museum, and that map would help me out alot. Thanks.
Steve Austin
email; austinsteev1@cox.net
Date: 28 Dec 2005   Time: 12:38:15
Comments: Very Cool!!! Reminds me of old times, the best of times!!
Big Redd
Date: 26 Dec 2005   Time: 19:01:53
Comments: My father, Donald Haley, helped build Legend City and had the first and maybe only 'Gold Camp' where people could pan for gold and keep what they found. They were given their gold samples in a plastic container with a cap on it. My mother and I worked in our concession stand where we had jewelry with gold flecks in them. My father also put a microphone in the 'miner's shack across from our concession. When people would look into the shack, my dad would talk in a gruff voice to them. Sometimes it made the people jump! It was a good time. My father is gone now, but my mother is soon to be 93 and she still remembers! So do I.

Bonnie Haley Redus
Date: 21 Dec 2005   Time: 20:39:41
Comments: Sure enjoyed visiting your site John, content and layout. Susie your wife, my sister told me about it. Great Job!

Ted
Date: 14 Dec 2005   Time: 07:16:00
Comments: KIDDIELAND...absolutely...are you old enough "K". to recall the "Nasty Brothers" episode on "It's Wallace?",where they're riding on all the "Kiddie Land" rides & train?
http://www.arizonaandpacificrr.com/spot/encanto/encanto.html

Had few B-Day parties there,and then at the Thomas Rd. location.
Desert Rat (for life too...even if "they", and we know who "they" are,keeps bulldozing it down)
WL&G Fansite
Date: 04 Dec 2005   Time: 13:50:38
Comments: Thanks for this great site! Like everyone else who grew up in the Valley, I have cherished memoires of Legend City and Wallace & Ladmo. I worked at the park in the summer of '69 as a waitress and dancer at the saloon. What a fantastic job! And the people who worked there sure knew how to party too! Many times we'd close up, then head out to party somewhere till early in the morning, then up again the next day to do it again.
My favorite memory at the park was the day we landed on the moon. We had the only tv in the park, and people kept coming in all day to see if it we'd landed yet. When Armstrong finally set foot on the moon, I witnessed it with a room full of people and lots of cheering. It made the experience even more memorable to have shared it with so many. What a night!
Carol
Date: 03 Dec 2005   Time: 03:33:18
Comments: Thanks dosen't seem to say enough but I'll say it any ways,THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to remmber when Phoenix was still a GREAT place to grow up.For the past twenty some years I have felt like a displaced refugee in my own back yard.Just like LEGEND CITY, I have out lived my time.Thanks for the cherished memories...K.Rivers Dizona a desert rat till death.

P.S. Dose anyone remmber KIDDIE LAND??
Date: 28 Nov 2005   Time: 13:57:13
Comments: I used to LIVE to go to Legend City during the 70's. I am now working at an Architecture firm that is located where the Royal London Wax Museum used to be. When i look out my office window i see the current SRP building, but every time i look out the window i remember Legend City and all the various changes it went through. I would like to know if anyone has one of the old park maps from the 70's, not the original when it opened but one that shows the giant wooded roller coaster that was never constructed. I would also like to know what restaraunt in town has the old Sky Ride car. If anyone has either of these things please let me know. Thanks so much for putting this site together.
Sincerely,
Steve Austin
email; austinsteev1@cox.net
Date: 28 Nov 2005   Time: 07:34:46
Comments: Hi everyone!
For a week(Nov.26th-Dec.2nd maybe longer?) we'll be having some LEGEND CITY memories,and contest fun at:
http://www.WallaceLadmoGerald.com
There'll be several great and RARE LEGEND CITY prizes to give away.
~note to Russanne:You'll learn ALOT about Legend City and it's relationship to the local kid show
WALLACE and LADMO at the fansite.
Most Valley residents who visited the park,
associate both of these two whenever they reflect about those great times.
Rob
Date: 13 Nov 2005   Time: 22:20:18
Comments: Hello all. My name is Russanne Erickson and I'm a graduate student in the history department at ASU. I'm currently writing my thesis on Legend City, and I'm looking for information about the park. More specifically, I'm interested in anyone who was a manager or owner at the park, or has information regarding the financials of Legend City, or any other information about the operation, advertising, special events, etc. Also, if anybody saw concerts at Compton Terrace, and any dates they saw those shows. You can email me at pippy281@hotmail.com Please put Legend City in the subject line so I can differentiate between that and all the junk mail hotmail sends me. Thanks! Russanne
Date: 11 Nov 2005   Time: 19:01:11
Comments: cool site brings back alot of memories
Date: 04 Nov 2005   Time: 15:55:03
Comments: It's hard to believe that this used to actually be there. We lived nearby when I was a kid, and being a little boy I loved the train. There was a handcar ride for small children that went around a small track and I remember riding on that many times.
My Dad hated the fact that they had someone there putting Legend City bumper stickers on the cars in the parking lot.
Date: 04 Nov 2005   Time: 10:31:56
Comments: wow what a site!!

never been there but i have a full map of Legend city copyright date is 1963
Date: 03 Nov 2005   Time: 21:58:05
Comments: This is awesome! I moved here from N. Dakota in 1961 when I was 2. Someone asked me about how it once was. This was great to be able to show them this website. Thanks and it brought a tear to my eyes!
Date: 18 Oct 2005   Time: 11:22:05
Comments: Thank-you

Thomas Blanco
Date: 17 Oct 2005   Time: 17:40:46
Comments: I love this site, wish the park was still around.
I know where one of the original skyride cars are. I emailed you with information.

- Chuck Browne
Date: 15 Oct 2005   Time: 02:44:38
Comments: Legend City was OUR version of Disneyland.
They have a mouse with four fingers on each hand and we had an image that looked strikingly like "Gold Dust Charlie".

Frankly, I wish that LC stayed and Disneyland closed. I wish there was a way to bring it back. Same location and theme.

Growing up does get in the way of life at times.
Thanks for the site.
I'll come back often.
Date: 13 Oct 2005   Time: 20:45:31
Comments: If you had your top ten places you would go back too in a "way back machine"...
Many a night I think back to the great times I had at Legend City as a kid/teenager. My friend's father helped build a ride back in the late sixties, early seventies, and as such was allowed to have a family pass. A group of us (Mike W., Scott C., Nate K.) would go at least two to three times a week (open to close). As we ran through the entrance we would hit the arcades first since there was always a few left over extra game rounds from the night before. I remember the store called "The Company" with all the black light posters and can lights with the flicker bulbs; the ice cream parlor, and best of all, the girls we would track throughout the park in hopes for a shared ride in the sky ride. In my memories I try and trace the park with all the twists and turns, rides, and shops; the maps on this site really brought it all home. From the list of comments looks like I was not alone in finding this site a real treat and fond memory.

Thanks for the great work bringing the elements together. Also thanks for all who have shared their memories. Isn't it funny how one person could inspire such a wonderful legacy of shared experiences and memories that have endured for so many. Now about that Legend City bumper sticker...Mark H.
Date: 09 Oct 2005   Time: 11:40:59
Comments: I have been in the valley all my life. I spent a great deal of my time growing up at Legend City. It was an amazing place to go. I will always remember the fun we had there and I will always regret seeing it close. I hope someday there will be another "Legend City" in our city. I must say the park lived up to its name, it has become a Legend. If you grew up here in the Phoenix Area, you will remember Legend City.
Date: 03 Oct 2005   Time: 16:04:09
Comments: So glad to see that Legend City is still alive! It is great to see the old photos. How I miss those days... Jacque (Mock) White

PS: I worked in the Candy Store at Legend City
Date: 30 Sep 2005   Time: 14:08:40
Comments: I wish Legend City was still available to the Valley/State/visitors...it was a friendly/fun atmosphere for kids and adults alike.
David & Cindy Evans Phoenix, Az.
Date: 29 Sep 2005   Time: 07:39:09
Comments: A friend of mine sent me this, what a wonderful site this is!! As a child, I remember going to Legend City when my big brother would come home on leave from the Air Force. This was out special time together and something I will always hold dear in my heart. Thank you so much for bringing back some incredible memories.
Date: 26 Sep 2005   Time: 23:15:44
Comments: Neat site. It really brings me back. I only visited a couple of times as I moved to AZ in 1977 as an eight year old. Arizona lost an icon way back when. We need a new theme park here for sure.
Date: 21 Sep 2005   Time: 17:35:27
Comments: Great website, Brings back many memories.
I worked at Legend City when i was in high school,was a ride operator for a couple different rides. Also during the summer was employed to help clean the park fduring the day. Legend City ruled!!! Thanks for the memory
Bill Majercin
Date: 21 Sep 2005   Time: 01:44:00
Comments: This brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood. I visited this place many many times. I was raised in Scottsdale and spent alot of time at Legend City in the 60's-70's. Why did this place close anyway? Thank you for a walk down memory lane. It was nice. Shirley Schoenherr
Date: 04 Sep 2005   Time: 21:54:28
Comments: I was born in 1954 too JJ....it was a very good year."It's Wallace?" began it's 35 year run,
and a man named Louis Crandall (creator of Legend City)might have started dreaming about building an amusement park in Arizona,after Walt Disney's venture around that time.
But all I know people like you and I were born,or raised at the right place..and the perfect Valley times!
My good buddy Jason"John Bueker" Beaver(creator of this super-fine website),and I hope to have our annual salute to LEGEND CITY this Fall,at the NEW and improved-
http://www.wallaceladmogerald.com/
The Official(enough)Wallace,Ladmo & Gerald Fansite!
Promises to be ALOT of fun..with plenty of Legend City and Wallace & Ladmo related prizes to give away.
And ya never know who might show up there at any moment! WALLACE...PAT....even Gerald's Monster pops-in from time to time!
Be sure to enter your name for our monthly BARREL DRAWINGS done by THE LEGEND...Mr. WALLACE!
Desert Rat
Date: 30 Aug 2005   Time: 22:43:51
Comments: Being born in Phoenix in 1954 and growing up with Wallace and Ladmo and Legend City, these reminders are wondeful of a great time in Phoenix!

My memories of Legend City, the (few) dates I took there in high school (yea Central), are sweet. To look back on it today brings tears to my eyes. Happy tears and sad tears that it is gone, Ladmo is gone and that my generation is getting... I hate to say it... old! I wish it were still there as... how I'd love to go back just one more time!

Thanks! Outstanding work. Maybe someday, Legend City could be built again! Only in my dreams I guess.

"JJ"
Date: 29 Aug 2005   Time: 23:45:19
Comments: I started searching "Legend City" on the internet since the internet's inception in the late 80s. I came across your site and was blown away. Fantastic!!
I moved to Chicago in 1987. I grew up in south Phoenix
and Legend City was a huge part of my childhood. I've been there many times and cried when they tore it down.
I lost my quarters and dimes on the Skydiver because I couldn't keep the damn car from turning upside down!
At 13 I rode the log ride 8 times in one night. I wanted to sit in the same car that Wallace and Ladmo were in when they filmed an Armour Hot Dog commercial. They were my Heroes!!!
I was there one evening during a tragic mishap on the Zipper when a girl was thrown from the ride.
I remember that the Az Republic printed many stories
about it. The Park was getting bad publicity but it was not enough to keep me away in my teens when I first got my driver's
license and was able to take my Laveen School friends
to our beloved Legend City.
I'm glad to say I was there and your site takes me there to this day. Thank you for the virtual trip
back!
Bill Latour
Date: 15 Aug 2005   Time: 01:09:15
Comments: Thank you for making this site. I just went to visit my "uncle sonny" (Louis Crandall) in Provo UT. His museum is amazing. I was too young to remember Legend City however at least now I can see it and what all the talk is about. This is a great site!

Thank you,

Christy Zandlo
Date: 14 Aug 2005   Time: 11:12:19
Comments: I have some fond memories of Legend City I visited the park many times in the 60s.. I'll never forget the Lost Dutchman Shack where water ran uphill!! I also loved the Lost Dutchman mine ride where the outhouse door slams and the guy says "Can't have no privacy around here!" I went to an all night high school graduation party in 1970.. that was a lot of fun..Also I saw Wallace and Ladmo at there stage shows. The last time I visited Legend City is when they had the grand opening of "Compton Terrace" with Stevie Nicks and John Stewart... Legend City will always have a special place in my heart... Dan Griffin
Date: 13 Aug 2005   Time: 15:46:16
Comments: thank you - I've lived here since the 4th grade and am now 48. I didn't know this site existed. I am having my 30 year class reunion at Arcadia this year and someone mentioned this site in an email. I remember my teen years vividly at Legend City. It makes me said to think it's gone. Just like Compton Terrace. Thanks again for the trip down memory lane....
Jan Roberts
Realtor with West USA Realty
JanRoberts_Realty@yahoo.com
Date: 04 Aug 2005   Time: 19:35:39
Comments: This is great!! I worked at LC from 1979 to the bittersweet end, starting on the SkyDiver with Chuck the Mutant Carnie and ending my stint working in games for my soon-to-be Father-in-Law Dave Ramage. I remember sitting around the Mexican Village in the heat, waiting for Taryn to mosey on down to give us the ride assignments ("Oh Dear Lord, please don't put me on that damn train..."). I remember the softball games, the Batcaves and rushing to Circle K to cash our paychecks after work. Does anyone remember the money drop over the park? It was the closest thing to a WKRP episode I ever saw. There were people diving in the lagoons and the logride flume hoping to catch some cash.
We could always count on Matt Williams to send some foul balls into the bumper cars from the stadium. It was fun to work when Compton Terrace was there, we heard a lot of great acts and had a lot of fun throwing trespassers back over the fence. The worst gig in the park? Working those leaky paddleboats on that stinking lagoon. It would be 110 in the shade and the humidity was worse.
But no matter what you worked, it was always a great time because of the people you worked with. Tayrn, Ivan, Billy, and the rest of the gang made it fun and they made sure we took care of the customers. I worked for Dave at CircusWorld in Haines City, FL, until it was bought out by HBJ. Michelle and I were married for five years.
Anyone heard from Bob Nelson?
Dave Williams AKA screaminremo303@aol.com
Date: 02 Aug 2005   Time: 18:37:12
Comments: THIS IS GREAT!! I worked at LC ("We're the one's for fun!") from 1979 to the end, starting on the SkyDiver with Chuck the Mutant Carnie and finishing my stint as the soon-to-be son-in-law to Dave Ramage. I remember many hot, sweaty nights sitting around the lagoon at the Mexican Plaza as Taryn gave out the ride assignments. I really miss all the gang - especially all the guys who worked the logride. Are there any alumni that remember racing down to the Circle K to cash our paychecks after work, only to exchange them for beer before we headed out to the "Batcaves?" There are a pretty fair number of guys who went into law enforcement after LC, including Todd Baty (Mineride), Joe Gilligan (Logride/relief), and a couple of the guys who worked the coaster. I ended up working for Dave Ramage in Florida at the old CircusWorld in Haines City until it was bought out by HBJ and turned into Boardwalk&Baseball. I was married to his daughter, Michelle, for about 5 years. I still have a bunch of old belts, badges and t-shirts stuffed away in a box. Does anyone remember Admiral Bird? I heard the train concession at Freestone Park (Gilbert) is run by the Copell's. Dave Williams(screaminremo303@aol.com)
Date: 31 Jul 2005   Time: 02:56:21
Comments: I worked as a carney at legend city 81-82 while I was in high school, and was in the navy when it closed, it was a damm shame its gone...

Corey Collins
Mesa, arizona
Date: 26 Jul 2005   Time: 22:33:39
Comments: What a geat site. I lived in Phoenix, Az., from 1962 to 1970 and have great memories of going to Legend City with my brother and our parents. It's a shame a place like that has to be taken away from kids for the sake of real estate improvement, but money does talk.
But with sites like this the "Ole Legend City" will never really be gone!!!
Thanks for the memories!
Chuck Dicken
Lewistown, Pa.
Date: 20 Jul 2005   Time: 12:59:13
Comments: Hi I moved here in 1993 from a suburb of Chicago. We too had a couple of great places that went by the wayside. One went befor my time which was called Riverview, my parents remember it well, the other was called "Old Chiago". It was alot like the Mall of America in MN or like the Ammusement park at Circus Circus in Vegas. It was indoors and had a mall around the outter edge. it was great because you could go there evein in the dead of winter and ride the rides because it was all inside! I obviously did not get the opportunity to see your park, but it looks like it was a big hit. I love the southwest and mining, I would have loved your park I only wonder why it did not stick around. My girlfrind says she remembers it well, she has lived her since 1971. Anyway it is a great website. I wish we had an ammusment park in AZ it sucks to have to go to another state to have fun. Thanks for the site. minemanmike@yahoo.com

Mike
Date: 21 Jun 2005   Time: 16:29:19
Comments: I spent many days there with my brother! It's nice to see a blast from the past!
Date: 19 Jun 2005   Time: 12:50:51
Comments: Great site, were in El Paso is the Train and who owns it? If you know please let me know. This site brings back very good times.
My e-mail is priklypearranch@cgmailbox.com

Thanks,
Steve
Date: 16 Jun 2005   Time: 08:36:59
Comments: thank you for bringing me back to the time of . . . no cell phones - no pagers - no tattoos - no nose rings - just standin' on your tippy toes to meet the height requirement of your favorite ride(s) . . . awesome
Date: 10 May 2005   Time: 10:34:40
Comments: Alpha & Omega: the beginning and the end. I was at the opening of and the closing of Legend City.
8 years old in 1963 when the "Legend" opened and 29 in 1983 when the "Legend" closed. Legend City has now truly become a legend in the minds of those that remember it, the family times there, Wallace & Ladmo, returning as a young adults, and it's inevitable and sad closing.
My consolation prize: I still dream about Legend City every once in a while. In these lucid dreams I soon realize that I am nothing more than an image replaying recorded moments. Yet I still walk the grounds with enthusiasm but followed by a shadow of sadness.
Last night I dreamt of visiting "Wallace". I was surprised when he recognized my now adult form. In my dream he said he remembered generations of children that grew to love him and Ladmo. Realizing that Ladmo is gone I was crushed by a devasting sadness though.

"THANK YOU FOR ARCHIVING THESE WONDERFUL MEMORIES! YOUR WORK IS APPRECIATED BY MORE PEOPLE THAN EITHER OF US COULD EVER IMAGINE!"

Regards,
Jerry Foisel jerryfoisel@yahoo.com
Date: 06 May 2005   Time: 17:02:05
Comments: As the Park manager from 1976-78, I still have many fond memories and laughs about some of the stunts that drew the Phoenix valley crowds to our door.
What a fun place to work.
Date: 28 Apr 2005   Time: 15:46:54
Comments: Great website. Met my husband on a blind date to Legend City July 1,1983--just before it closed. Great memories. Linda
Date: 20 Apr 2005   Time: 17:57:45
Comments: Thank you so much for making this site! It takes me back to a wonderful time. I miss it so much! I am sure there are many others with the same thoughts! We really needed it then, and need something like it in AZ now. Thanks!
Date: 05 Apr 2005   Time: 11:13:36
Comments: This note is for JPB Publishing: Hi John. It was great to see you last month. Wesen and I really enjoyed seeing everyone. This site is a lot of fun. I had just purchased a book of old photos of Detroit. The City had three theme parks, the last which closed around the same time as Legend City. They couldn't compete with the mega park (Cedar Point) along Lake Erie about an hour and half away in Ohio. It was fun seeing those old pictures.

Here is my one Legend City link. My sophmore roommate (Hugh) at U of A was Wallace's nephew. Uncle Wal-boy as he called him. Hugh grew up in St. Louis and all our friends from Phoenix were really impressed with his famous uncle! Now I know why.

Best wishes, Bill Peterson
Date: 02 Apr 2005   Time: 20:15:10
Comments: Great memories! Thanks for keeping this part of Phoenix history alive and available for future generations.
Date: 27 Mar 2005   Time: 22:37:06
Comments: Nice site! I was going through some paperwork from my late parents. I found an original Legend City Stock Certificate! Not worth much now...

I remember going to Legend City as a kid and teenager. It was a great place.

Shaune
Date: 26 Mar 2005   Time: 08:55:27
Comments: Sharon Kelley tipped me off on this
latest Richard Ruelas Az.Republic article
of his(This is why he's our FAVORITE newspaper columnist):

Legend City offers lessons for new amusement park

Mar. 21, 2005 12:00 AM

It's much smaller, but Bill Capell faces many of the same challenges
running the kid-friendly rides at Encanto Park as he did when he
operated Legend City, Phoenix's fabled amusement park that closed in
1983. The main one is this: People don't show up on afternoons in the
summer, the busy season for amusement parks.

"It's hot to get on rides in the summertime," Capell said during a
tour of his 6-acre Enchanted Island park in central Phoenix. His nine
rides are testament to that. Most are covered by a rainbow-colored
canopy. Even during the summer, with kids freed from school, the park
doesn't open until nighttime.

The brutal summer heat has always been given as the quick reason why
Phoenix has no major amusement park. Longtime residents will tell the
story of Legend City, the massive park built between Phoenix and
Tempe in the 1960s - back when there was actual space between Phoenix
and Tempe. They will say how it was a financial blunder because it
wasn't fun standing around on asphalt waiting to get on metal rides
in 100-degree heat. advertisement




But Capell said the truth is more complicated. "Our best time (for
business) was nights during the summer," he said. "If they brought
back Legend City now, I think it would work."

A group of investors is trying to have another go at filling the
roller coaster and midway void in Arizona. It wants the Legislature
to create a special taxing district that will generate $1 billion in
bonds to help create two parks. The first would be a large one near
Williams, serving as a lure for Grand Canyon tourists. The other
would be near Cricket Pavilion on the west side of Phoenix. It would
have an outdoor amusement park and an indoor water park. All total,
it would sit on 60 acres. That size, oddly enough, was exactly the
size of Legend City.

Those two words bring instant nostalgia for those who grew up with
the park. Those words, though, also conjure up the failed grandiose
dream of sticking an amusement park in the middle of the desert. That
stigma could be why, despite Arizona's massive population growth in
the past 20 years, an amusement park hasn't gotten past the tentative
planning stages.

But Capell said the park didn't close because it was bankrupt. On the
contrary, it was grossing good money, more than $1 million a year,
during the eight years his family owned it.

But the land underneath the park promised to bring more money on the
real estate market. The site is now home to the corporate offices of
Salt River Project.

"Now could be the time for this," Capell said, looking over old
pictures of Legend City in his office. "Maybe this was ahead of its
time."

The concept for Legend City was visionary. It was supposed to be a
park on the scale of Disneyland, with attractions featuring the
state's history. Louis Crandall, who grew up in Mesa, sketched out
the idea for it at the age of 29. "I was young and didn't know what I
was doing," Crandall said. The native of Florence is 74 now and
living in Provo, Utah.

It was supposed to be a can't-miss idea. At least that's what
Crandall was hearing from friends who were executives at Disneyland
and Six Flags in Texas. Of course, one of them was living in Southern
California and didn't consider the heat. The other had a successful
amusement park between Dallas and Fort Worth and didn't think about
the small population in Phoenix.

Legend City was built as a true theme park. The roller coaster took
riders on a trip through the Lost Dutchman's Mine. There were staged
gunfights along an Old West street. Performers took the stage in an
authentic-looking saloon. A printing press churned out the day's
program in newspaper form.

"Where the exciting history of old Arizona is re-created in fact and
fantasy," Crandall said, reading from an old Legend City brochure.

Of course, creating that theme cost money. Much more than Crandall
had to invest, much more than was coming in through sales of Legend
City stock, which sold for $1 a share if memory serves.

Legend City opened in 1963. It was bankrupt within six months.

Two other owners tried and failed after Crandall.

The Capell family bought it from a Japanese ride manufacturer in 1974
after seeing an ad that promised a "gold mine" in Phoenix.

The Capells had been in the carnival business and figured Legend City
needed to be more like that to succeed. They brought in more "iron
rides," industry parlance for roller coasters and Ferris wheels. No
themes attached.

Of course, there was still lots of "theme" left around from the
original Legend City. Those Western buildings provided enough of a
unique experience to keep people coming back to what was essentially
a permanent carnival.

The scaled-down park could get by with steady nights from locals.
Capell said most of Legend City's customers in those last years came
from east Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe.

That would be a problem for the new park, which would need to at
least get customers from all over Maricopa County, Capell said.

"There's no exact science to it," Capell said, when asked what advice
he'd give to the latest amusement park dreamers. "Just don't shoot
for the moon."

Crandall, the original architect of Legend City, said he is sure that
present-day Phoenix is ready for a park on the scale of what he had
envisioned.

"I just built it 40 years too soon, that's what I did," he said. "I
just built it in a little bitty burg that couldn't handle it."

Now, though, with a metropolitan population of 3.5 million, Crandall
said it's a can't-miss. "There's so many people. You'd get enough to
say, 'To heck with the heat,' " he said. "I think it would go."

He paused.

"But then again, I missed the first time."

The article(IF it wraps around?)..just copy n' paste
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0321ruelas21.html


Desert Rat
Date: 25 Mar 2005   Time: 10:30:17
Comments: I am so very glad to have found this site honoring Legend City. My parents were involved in the first stirrings of the amusement park's development. I remember personally seeing construction of part of the train depot when I was probably no more than 5 or 6 yrs old. I remember many fun times going there with family and friends, and visiting friends who worked there when I was a teenager. I miss driving up Mill Avenue or Washington St after dark and seeing the bright green lighted supports for the skyride. So sad that Legend City had to pass as so many of our beloved Phoenix area landmarks have already gone. Sadly, even more are passing now, and undoubtedly will in the future. Thank you for bringing the memories fully alive again with this website. Kevin M.
Date: 23 Mar 2005   Time: 20:18:41
Comments: Sorry I missed the excitement! I have a friend who found a stock cert. for 100 shares in her parents papers. Are you interested?
Date: 23 Mar 2005   Time: 16:25:18
Comments: Born and rasied in phoenix Legend City was before my time, but after visiting this site I only wish that I had a chance to experiance one day at Legend City instead of only hearing stories.
Date: 22 Mar 2005   Time: 08:14:43
Comments: I loved going there as a child.
I have memories being there with my family in the early eighties before it closed. I was ther on the last day it was open. I have been looking for information on the Park recently since the talk of Arizona buliding a new one. Wonderful website and thanks for bringing back wonderful memories.
Date: 21 Mar 2005   Time: 21:49:02
Comments: Forgot to mention in my last post that we took our two sons when they were little. We also used to spend every July 4th at the Phoenix Giants Stadium so we could watch the Legend City Fireworks during the ballgame. Embe
Date: 21 Mar 2005   Time: 21:25:42
Comments: Man you have brought back some of the greatest memories of my life. Like another post, I moved to Phoenix in the late fifties. We came out in our Packard from Indiana in 1958. I was at the Park when it opened, when it closed and too many times to count inbetween. I took my wife of 38 years to Legend City on our first date in April of 1964. I still have the scars on my forearms from her finger nails while we did all the rides. Thank you very much. I have added the site to my favorites and will send to all I know. Embe Kugler, Maryvale Class of 65 ekugler@msn.com
Date: 21 Mar 2005   Time: 13:16:17
Comments: If they would open this park today it might be successfully called "Undocumented Immigrant City!"
All the signs would be in Spanish....free water
too!
Date: 21 Mar 2005   Time: 00:35:37
Comments: Thanks for the wonderful site and great pictures. Although I have lived in Phoenix since 1973, I never got to go inside Legend City. My parents were afraid of the "hippies and drugs". Ah well.
Date: 20 Mar 2005   Time: 11:38:43
Comments: WHAT A BLAST FROM THE PAST! SO MANY MEMORIES FROM ONE LOCATION, WHERE DO I BEGIN. JOSEPHINE
Date: 18 Mar 2005   Time: 12:58:51
Comments: What a great website. I barely remember going there as a small child in the early 80's. Too bad there isn't anything around these days for people to do.
Date: 12 Mar 2005   Time: 14:55:16
Comments: Thanks for the memories, I grew up in Tempe and went to school with Ladmo's kids. I wish my kids had a place like that to go to.
Date: 19 Jan 2005   Time: 18:24:31
Comments: Can't tell you the childhood memories this brought back. They were fun and seemingly innocent. I sure miss those days but thank you very much for the trip down memorie lane. Sincerely, C.L. Tucker age 37 Phoenix resident then and Scottsdale resident now about 2 miles from the Legend City property site.
Date: 17 Jan 2005   Time: 21:46:25
Comments: Hello! I am visiting on a tip from John - we are in a NAU web course together. I love that there are others in the world who appreciate the things that I feel made my childhood special. Aunt Maud, Captain Super, Ladmo Bags, and trips to Legend City are things that are spoken of with such fondness in my home, and it seems there are so few out there who can share wonderful memories of mornings with Wallace and Ladmo. Wonderful job!
Melanie Griffin
Date: 07 Jan 2005   Time: 15:03:28
Comments: WOW!!! THIS BRINGS BACK ALOT OF MEMORIES... I GREW UP TOTALLY WITH LEGEND CITY AND HAVE THE SCARS TO PROVE IT. THE LOG RIDE WAS THE PLACE TO BE. DITCHING HIGH SCHOOL AND TRANSFERING THE HAND STAMP TO YOUR FRIENDS FOR A GREAT DAY AT THE PARK WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEARS. THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES AND I WISH MY KIDS HAD A PLACE LIKE THIS TO GROW UP.
Date: 28 Dec 2004   Time: 17:08:48
Comments: WOW..I feel like a kida again..
I played at Legend City with my band back in the 70's...
Thanks for the flashback
Bob ZAppier
Date: 23 Dec 2004   Time: 10:21:15
Comments: Okay.... okay. So it's Lost Dutchman Mine. Just remember, the Mine (mind) is a terrible thing to waste. Paulinski
Date: 23 Dec 2004   Time: 10:17:07
Comments: So cool! Man I miss Legend City. AH, the good times I had there. Favorite - Lost Duchmans Mind.
Paulinski
Date: 10 Dec 2004   Time: 14:59:18
Comments: A great contribution to Arizona Nostalgia. I remember attending Legend City in the early 60's, and low and behold who was working there as a saloon hall girl dancer; the future Miss America Vonda K. Vandike. In 1962 she attended Arizona State College in Flagstaff.
Date: 07 Dec 2004   Time: 15:13:05
Comments: An excellent tribute to one of my favorite hangouts as a teenager. My friends and I would frequent Legend City in the early 70's in hopes of meeting cute guys and having fun on the rides. It was so, so sad when they tore it down. Legend City, Cine Capri Theater (the original one), Kachina Elementary (my alma mater)...all just memories. Thanks so much for bringing back a page from my youth!
Date: 06 Dec 2004   Time: 13:40:08
Comments: Your tribute to Legend City Website is awesome! it is a shame it was ever torn down. I remember the Wallace & Ladmo shows there. Great memories!
Date: 10 Nov 2004   Time: 21:37:31
Comments: This brings back great memories.
I am speechless
Date: 09 Nov 2004   Time: 20:40:22
Comments: What a refreshing find!! I was trying to explain to my wife about Legend City,(she's from the midwest). So many memories I wish I could remember more?? Great web site!!! thanks for all your hardwork.
Date: 09 Nov 2004   Time: 14:37:40
Comments: Whoa, does this bring back memmories. I was at the grand opening.(My Dad sold stock for the conmpany) when the park was re-bulit, I worked there on the refurbishment. The original sky ride was gone, and we repaired and instaled one that was brought in from Somnewhere in california I think. That was when one end of the sky ride was re-located outside in the parking lot. we had a lot of trouble keeping water in the lagon as it leaked like crazy. We ened up digging a big trench in teh parking lot & filled it with rock & put in a pump to put the water back inb the lagon. When building the trench, a man was kiled. It wa a sad day when the Park closed. Anyway, thanks for theh memories

Bernie McCready
Date: 05 Nov 2004   Time: 18:06:10
Comments: thank you for this website. brought back a lot of memories. i moved to scottsdale in 1961. my dad worked for motorola on granite reef and mcdowell. prior to the opening of Legend City, motorola had a special day for the emplyees and family. i was fortunate to attend, thx to my dad. for years after that, i would go to Legend City. your website brought back memories that i have not forgotten to this day! watching the stage shows with wallace&ladmo, taking my grandmother for a drive in the model T car, and i didn't have a license to drive. the lost duthman ride, where i remember the outhouse and the voice of "can't get no privacy around here, is this grand central station". i always thought there was somebody in there. i found out later, by way of the sky ride that all there was,was a speaker on the bench. the duthman's shack, where on my first date, i took my sweaty hand and held hers. later on going to the poster shop and buying a john&yoko poster which i still have to this day. i have been a beatle fan since 1964. the kirsten brothers book, had wallace,ladmo, and gerald in the sky ride. the train ride where there was always a train robbery. and let's not forget mike condello's salt river navy band. ironic the property was sold to salt river project. i currentley live in peoria, with my wife barbara. you have a 69 poster that is in a peoria restaurant. could you let us know which reataurant? i would like to see it. this is a fantastic site, and i wish there was a Legend City museum. could that be in the works? i hope so!
Date: 25 Oct 2004   Time: 18:16:21
Comments: I remember going to Ledgend city as a young kid, up too the age of 16. I loved that place so much, had so much fun there, and I truly miss Ledgend city. Too bad it isnt still around for all to enjoy. Thanks for the website, to help me relive some great times.
Date: 17 Oct 2004   Time: 03:15:23
Comments: Let us not forget the remembrances of Legend City and the original Compton Terrace which was next door.

Seeing this site brought back memories of swinging on the Sky Ride, over the Amphitheatre. They apparently had some trouble and had to stop the ride to disengage and car.

For about 45 minutes, me and my roommate hung at just short of the highest point on the ride, listening to some garage band wail on "More Than a Feeling" by Boston as well as other songs.

When we finally were brought down, the attendants apologized and offered free passes for our next visit. I didn't mind. Bacardi 151 and some leaf made the wait bearable.

Thanks for posting this site. Of all of possible memories of Phoenix, this is a Grand Slam.

"Legend City" having a website? Get out!

Yep!
Date: 15 Oct 2004   Time: 13:23:37
Comments: I wish I had been apart of this. I moved from Il. to Az in 1987 and missed it all. I really like this website showing what I had missed and I heard of all the good memories from other native Arizona's. So now I can place a picture with their memories. It's too bad it didn't work out, hopefully someone can bring something like this back to our state again (we need something besides the STate Fair).
Date: 15 Oct 2004   Time: 03:46:29
Comments: I had tears in my eyes, after viewing the web page about Wallace, Ladmo, Mike, and Pat. I grew up in Phoenix in the 60s and 70s (Maryland Grade School; Washington HS), and the only reason I joined the Brownies was because I knew we would be going to the studio to see a taping of the show. I turned in my Brownie belt immediately after that. I lived near Christown Mall; and never, never missed going to the Saturday morning Monster Movie/Wallace & Ladmo Show at the old theater. My brother was actually handed modeling clay by LADMO HIMSELF...still the high point of my life (is that good or bad? Good, I think!). I was within one foot of Ladmo! Who can ever forget Aunt Maude, Ozob the Clown (the very first crabby clown), Captain Super (always trying to rip the phone book in half...what town was the phone book of?) Gerald, Gerald's Monster, Mr. Grudgemeyer ("Feed the birds...feed the birds"); Ladmo bags, the original wall of toys, etc. This show introduced many of us to an adult sort of humor; still funny for kids, but rather snide and sly at the same time. My mom always watched the show with us and would be howling in laughter at things that at the time, I didn't understand. GOD BLESS WALLACE, LADMO, PAT MCMAHON, MIKE CONDELLO, and EVERYONE else associated with that show. When my mother called me to tell me Ladmo died (I was then living in San Francisco)...I CRIED. I wonder if these people have any idea of the impact they made on so many, many desert rats' lives?
Date: 13 Oct 2004   Time: 17:09:04
Comments: First off let me say thank you for the awesome Website. Like so many others I have been searching for a site like this for a long time. I am an AZ native born in ‘64 and have a lot of fuzzy early memories of Legend City that are now more in focus thanks to your website. I think I was about 4 or 5 the first time we went to the park. Honestly the only memory of that time is the giant spider, the train, and how really bent my Dad was about that [explanative] bumper sticker on our brand new ‘68 Toronado. Some of my best memories are of our family going with the next-door neighbors and our parents cutting us loose for the entire day. We would eat everything in sight, push our way through the crowd to get the best look at Wallace & Ladmo and ride rides until we couldn’t walk straight and race for the nearest trash can to blow chunks. Great times!! Does anybody remember the Skeeter boats? It is a shameful thing that a city as large as ours has almost no real family entertainment. It’s ridiculous that we have to take our kids to, and spend our money in California for an amusement park. Our city leaders seem more interested in paving over the desert and putting up tract houses and glass and steel. Maybe we should start a petition to the Governor, our Mayors, Senators, Congressmen or whoever to attract investors and developers interested in building a theme park. Thanks again for helping us remember. Emerson
Date: 12 Oct 2004   Time: 15:39:24
Comments: I am a AZ native and I remember going to Legend City when I was a girl scout and when my sister would take me( around the late 70's) I loved the log ride and the Sidewinder roller coaster. As I looked at the memorabilia I remember having one of the Legend City tumblers (circa 1980) and it made me smile!! Thank you for bringing back the great memories. I hope you put these memories in book fashion and sell it. I know the die hard arizonans would love it!!! It would set on my shelf with my Wallace and Ladmo books gladly.
Date: 08 Oct 2004   Time: 11:10:02
Comments: Wow. Great memories!
Date: 05 Oct 2004   Time: 23:01:48
Comments: Nice website! Unfortunately I moved to the Valley a decade too late. Legend City looks like a great place. I have been living here since April 1992 and it is a shame Arizona dosen't have an amusement park.
Date: 04 Oct 2004   Time: 22:06:15
Comments: It was the good old days we will always remember. Thanks for the great web site we will tell our friends and visit again . I'm a resident from 1955 my wife since 1963, so we saw the beginning and end and visited legend city many times. like Wallace & Ladmo It will always have a special place in our hearts.
John & Kathy Apache Junction, Arizona
Date: 23 Sep 2004   Time: 22:25:08
Comments: I was 10 when Legend City closed and I was there on the last night of operation. I remember standing in the parking lot before leaving, looking back at the lights and buildings and just thinking that it was over, no more Legend City... I hated SRP for a long time. Your website is great and it brings back a lot of memories. Thanks!
-Jeff Case Phoenix, AZ.
Date: 17 Sep 2004   Time: 23:48:38
Comments: Fantastic trip down "Legend City Lane." Thanks for your hard work and great web site! I still have my huge wall map of Legend City. I wish it were still there, instead of the unimaginative SRP offices--Sad!
Kevin Barbee
Los Angeles, CA
(originally from Phoenix, AZ)
Date: 09 Sep 2004   Time: 22:12:17
Comments: Hey, great website! I was just talking to a friend of mine today about the good old days. Legend City came up during this conversation. I remember going as a kid a few times during the early to mid 70's. However, it wasn't until the Summer of 1979, when Compton Terrace opened up, that I frequented Legend City all the time. I remember seeing a lot of concerts there, Cheap Trick, Jerry Riopelle, Queen, Nazareth, Aerosmith, Grateful Dead, Triumph, Phoenix's own Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Fleetwood Mac, The Cars, Blackfoot etc.. Compton Terrece/Legend City was the best venue for entertainment this state has ever had. I loved being able to meandor back and forth between LC and CT. Viewing this site as brought back some very fond memories, coupled with a little sadness. Thank you for the stroll down memory lane. Vincent Curtis
Date: 09 Sep 2004   Time: 15:25:30
Comments: Thanks for a truly first-class website. I have been punching "Legend City" into various search engines since I got on the web in 1996 and have always been disappointed that nothing much ever came up. What a great surprise when I came upon your site.

Several months ago, I enlarged and printed out the "Legend City" bumper sticker located in your memorabilia section. I laminated it and glued it to the bumper of my truck. Even though I live in Las Vegas, people are constantly approaching me to find out where I got the sticker so they can get one like it! I always knew there were a lot of native Arizonans living here, but it's amazing how many people here have memories of this great old theme park.

Those of us who grew up in the Valley of the Sun in the 60's and 70's were truly fortunate. The Legend Cities and Wallace and Ladmo Shows of our youth couldn't exist in today's world of cable television and corporate giants. Thanks for helping to keep the memories alive.

Andy Windes
Las Vegas
Date: 01 Sep 2004   Time: 17:23:22
Comments: Its just me agian with just a few memories of my days as a ride op at LC.I worked at the park in the late 70's until it closed(still can't believe that),but i can remember the times that after work we all meet in the employee parking lot to discuss where we were going to party at...well there were 2 spots we favored for our "AFTER WORK PARTYS'" one was the river bottom....the other we used more frequently a place in papago park we called "the bat cave"...we knew the the TEMPE PD couldn't get to us if we were there..now i can tell you we were all hell yuns in those days we drank,we smoked and of course other stupid bad stuff..some of us became cops!!!lol..(imagine that) others like myself became firefighters and paramedics..if i thought i could get away with telling you details on our parties i would...and some nights we would go to the tempe theatre and watch our favorite traditional midnight movie"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW"..of course that movie was always better stoned...lol T.J Robison

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