The Joan De Arc Crusader presents
A Tribute to a Bygone Arizona Amusement Park
Sounds On
A Tribute to a Bygone Arizona Amusement Park
Monday, May 27th, 2024

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 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.

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

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

"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

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
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 water
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
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
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.
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!

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 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 T.J Robison
Date: 29 Aug 2004   Time: 15:57:41
Comments: HOLY SMOKES! Your website is AMAZING! I've wanted to do something like this for years, you've done a much better job than I ever could. Fantastic website!!

- Mike Conrad
Date: 24 Aug 2004   Time: 23:30:38
Comments: my cousins and I would sneek in all the time we lived across the street and some indian boys that lived down the street from us would have some bolsa wood that they used for carving those kachina dolls,we would carve out the hand stamp which was of a train.well when the log ride open we were thare and they snap a picture of us on the ride and used it for there billboards all across phoenix if anyone has a picture of this please E-MAIL it to me that would be GREAT by the way i had some great memories and alot of fun thanks for the web site
Date: 18 Aug 2004   Time: 22:49:04
Comments: I stumbled upon this website from another site. I was 3 or 4 when Legend City closed down so I didn't even remember it existed until today. I had many vivid memories from that time, and I could never really pinpoint where those memories were from. Because of your website, everything is sooo much clearer. Now, I can remember many more things about Legend City. Thanks for a wonderful site. This is definitely getting a bookmark.

Date: 10 Aug 2004   Time: 11:21:03
Comments: Thank you , thank you, thank you!!!

Boy what wonderful memories. I can't wait to tell my sister's and brother!!! I was so sad when they closed it. Phoenix was never the same after that nor will be. It was great to be yound then and have the opportunity to go and spend the day and night at Legend City!!

Keep up the great work!!

Thanks again for the wonderful memories.

Annette, Globe Az
Date: 02 Aug 2004   Time: 10:35:40
Comments: Jason and Rob,
Thanks for a wonderful, exciting ride down memory lane! A great time was had by one and all in the Wallace and Ladmo Clubhouse during Legend City month!! Keep the ideas coming for a reunion picnic for all those who loved Legend City!!! Hopefully, a day and time can be announced during the Last Stage Show of Wallace and Ladmo, at the Arizona State Fair on Oct. 17, 2004. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the man whose dream inspired and built Legend City, Louis Crandall, could be there??? Then we could personally thank him for the wonderful memories we all share. I'll take this space to thank him now. Mr. Crandall,
Your dream of a safe place where family and friends could gather to relax and play was realized in Legend City. Bless you for investing in the lives of the people of the Valley of the Sun. Your reward, rather than monitary, is heartfelt thanks. Thank you Sir, for those exciting times and happy days and nights. You'll never be forgotten by us!
The Fly
Date: 27 Jul 2004   Time: 18:13:30
Comments: What wonderful memories! Thank you for bringing my childhood memories back to me. So sad my kids could not have enjoyed such a magical place.
Judy E.
Date: 26 Jul 2004   Time: 12:34:48
Comments: Me and my friends had a blast at Legend City. I drive down 56th street now and look east and say to myself remember when!!! It sure would be nice to see a place like that be built in the valley somewhere!!! I believe with the population we have now it would survive. Thanks, Darrell Camelback High 1982. 26 July 2004.
Date: 26 Jul 2004   Time: 06:51:18
Comments: Legend City !! Wow! The memories just come flooding back. I can remember hitting the rides when I was a young kid in the 60's and 70's, Wallace and Ladmo shows, and then attending my first concerts at Compton Terrace as a teen. Pat Benetar, Journey,
What a great site, thanks for keeping a little of my childhood alive.
Sheri in Denver
Date: 25 Jul 2004   Time: 13:38:12
Comments: My Dad was a "stock holder" in Legend City, I think back in the late fifties or early sixties when the City was first being conceived or built. We lived on a farm in Pinal County and this gentleman came to our home to sell stock in Legend City.

My dad purchased $100 worth of "stock" and we had the opportunity to attend Legend City for the first time on a "stockholders day." Free admission and ride all the!!! It was cool as a kid!! We built our own little Legend City back at the farm, using many of the Park's ideas for our miniature park: graveyard, moveable, lifesize figures (which we had to move manually), signs and secret trapdoors.

Always wondered where Legend City was located and what happened to it...this is a really cool website; thank you!!

David Felix
Date: 07 Jul 2004   Time: 02:48:05
Comments: what a wonderful site..... I can still remember winning a ladmo bag at legend city... thanks for the memories...
Date: 06 Jul 2004   Time: 22:25:25
Comments: Thank you for a wonderful website about a place that is a part of my childhood.
Date: 04 Jul 2004   Time: 12:32:57
Comments: WHAT WONDERFUL MEMORIES!! I can clearly remember my boyfriend and I (now, my husband of 33 years) walking the streets of Legend City on a Saturday afternoon date. We were still in high school, eating cotton candy, wearing our bell bottoms and listening to rock music being played on the p.a. system (Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4"). What great memories!! We both grew up with Wallace, Ladmo and Gerald, so we always made sure to see at least one stage show while we were there. Then that night we'd get some of our friends together and go to Bill's Hamburgers in Mesa, buy 10 hamburgers for a dollar and get a free gallon of root beer. We'd all climb in the car and go see a movie ($1.00 per car load) at the Pioneer Drive-In. It doesn't get better than that!!! Thanks so much for the great website and the great memories!
Date: 24 Jun 2004   Time: 21:51:32
Comments: Hi everyone. Jim Hill again with a few more memories from LC.

I remember rounding-up the Buffalo before the park could open (their names were Ralph and Erma, and they had the run of the park while it was closed), and cleaning-up the piles they left. Once they both got stuck in the queuing line for the Ferris-Wheel and we had a real challenge getting them out. I think we were the first people ever to try to teach a thousand pound Buffalo the concept of backing-up? We were unsuccessful; the Buffalo went over the queuing line, with almost complete destruction.
We had an air compressor that supplied compressed air to the animations in the Mine and River Rides and each night, after the park closed, this huge compressor hidden in a wash behind the river ride, had to be turned-off. Many moonless, and totally black, nights I bumped face-to-face into Ralph or Erma while stumbling blindly through the brush. Talk about bad breath (it comes out of their nose as really foul steam)�Buffalo breath (and the drool that blows out with it) is an eternally lasting memory. Yuk.
The Buffalo in the Ferris-wheel story reminds me of another�one night Steve Bergman and I got a radio call asking us to respond to an emergency on the Ferris-wheel. What can possibly go wrong on the Ferris-wheel? Well, it seems that the operator had stopped the wheel after one of the riders started screaming in pain. Naturally the screaming passenger was at the very top of the now-stopped wheel. We climbed the framework to the top and found that a teenaged girl had her pigtail wound-up in the seats axle. Really wound tight, so that her head was being pulled into the axle. We had the operator reverse the wheel rotation, moving the wheel very slowly backward, but it just pulled her hair harder, and the screams got louder. Our solution was to remove the teenagers pigtail with the only tool we had on us�wire cutters. We resolved the problem and created an entirely new hairstyle at the same time. The new hairstyle didn�t really catch on. We never saw the girl again either, but I�m sure we hold a special place in her memory.
Then came �parking lot duty�. Nobody liked the job of sticking the Legend City bumper stickers on every car in the lot. Some car owners got really upset if they caught you �defacing� their car. I wish today I had kept just one of those stickers.
Then came the Sky Ride. Finally, after months of work erecting the towers (110 feet high), stretching the cable, hanging the counter-weight, and standing on top of Sky Ride Cars attaching a phone line between the end stations, the Sky Ride was ready to open. Darrell Hamby the 26 year-old park President, insisted that we prove it was safe before risking the life of a paying customer. So, with Legend City supplying free beer and food, dozens of employees volunteered to risk their life by operated and riding the Sky Ride for 24 hours straight (I can remember a contest of dropping huge rocks from the ride onto the ducks swimming on the lagoon below. Never successfully, but we scared a few.). We proved beyond any doubt that even a mob of reckless twenty-something�s who were dead-tired and half-drunk couldn�t get hurt on the Sky Ride.
Another memory, probably true, was when I was walking behind (and under) the Ferris-Wheel with Sioux, Steve Bergman, and Chuck Haltigan (Fat Chuck). Chuck got plastered with a warm, wet, chunky substance. He looked up and prayed �Please God, let that be a Coke�. God wasn�t listening that night because it wasn�t a Coke.
One of the rides, The Rage Cage, was known to be such a �puker� that the operators dreaded being assigned to operate it. We actually had a garden hose handy to hose-it-out.
Most of the employees were, like me, also ASU students. We would try and balance being full-time students with working at Legend City. During the months the park was shut down, our Legend City workweeks often exceeded 100 hours. Because our first love was the park, our ASU studies usually suffered. One summer when we remodeled and rewired the Mine Ride, my roommate Steve Bergman and I almost never saw our Sin City Apartment. Just as well, the apartment is where we perfected our train robbing technique, and the manager really objected to the gunfire when we practiced our quick-draw.
Catching �spitters� in the Mine Ride was always fun. Usually the kids were a little afraid anyway, just from being inside that spooky ride. So, when a kid spit on an animation we would shoot him with a pea shooter from some dark corner. We were probably responsible for several religious conversations, and maybe we drove a few over the edge. Sorry if any of you were on the receiving end of a pea.
I still feel the pain inflicted during our tackle football games on the asphalt parking lot by the maintenance shack (usually while we were on the clock). The blood and scrapes were not even considered an inconvenience, and nobody ever admitted to being hurt.
Many other employees were fun to be around, but most names have faded in my memory. There was Fast Helen, who ran the golf course, Popcorn Patty in the popcorn stand, Boom Boom Betsy, in the Boom Town Arcade (a real hottie), Bobby Vanslow with his pure bred dog �Sir Edger the Tuna�, and Dave Dresser and Randy Padilla, who tried their best to discover what was happening with all the Ice Cream disappearing from the Ice Cream Parlor freezer, which the Sound Department had stolen a key for.
Those bright-red, and really sought-after Legend City Windbreakers were really hard to come by, but the Sound Department had cases of them hidden in our �rock� by the River Ride.

Great site. Thank you for bringing back all these memories.
Date: 22 Jun 2004   Time: 19:01:42
Comments: Well, I think this web site is a wonderful tribute to the past. I grew up in Tempe & lived there from 1957 to 1979. Moved to Enumclaw Washington where I currently reside. I will be retiring in the Phx area in a few years. We remember the park as if it were yesterday. The "That 70's Show" helps me keep my past in prespective. Legend City played a big part in my youth. We used to sneak in to the park many times just to have a good time on Friday nights. The Tempe High Class of "71 Graduation party was there. The night was a blure. That was the night my first love & I started our journey together. Only for a few years though. I can remember That night and many others as if they were yesterday. I keep this Web site as one of my saved favorites. Thank you for providing it for all of us.
Your friend, Bruce McArthur
Date: 22 Jun 2004   Time: 18:54:05
Comments: Attn. JIM HILL...
YES..yes..we'd love to hear more from you,
about your Legend City experiences!
Also I'd possibly like to conduct an "email-interview"with you,to post at the Official Wallace and Ladmo Fan Club during July's salute to the park.
Please contact Jason here-SEE E-Mail...
and let us know if you'd be willing?
But tell us more here too! :)
Rob Cook
Co-Founder Of The Wallace & Ladmo Fan Club
Date: 19 Jun 2004   Time: 13:52:43
Comments: CALLING ALL LEGEND CITY workers,
shop owners...and others who were part of this WONDERFUL park,and those FANTABULOUS times!
We're having a Legend City Reunion...of sorts
at the Official Wallace & Ladmo Fan Club!
Starts in this>---->
PLEASE come and "join" the fun,
the admission price is-
ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just bring your memories, and supply your own cotton candy!
See ya there! :)
Rob Cook aka Desert Rat
Co-Founder of the Official Wallace & Ladmo Fan Club
Date: 18 Jun 2004   Time: 17:13:32
Comments: I found your site very interesting. I grew up in Phoenix and remember several visits to Legend City. Nice job...
Date: 18 Jun 2004   Time: 15:43:54
Comments: Very Impressive !!
I Had a ball
Thank you!!
Marty Martinez
Date: 18 Jun 2004   Time: 02:35:02
Comments: Great site. The plethora of info and pics on this site brougth back great memeories on the "little" Valley of the Sun I grew up in.
Date: 16 Jun 2004   Time: 20:32:36
Comments: Hi Jim Hill -- Yes, we're interested! :)
Date: 05 Jun 2004   Time: 22:29:07
Comments: This site has really refreshed many memories, and I have a story to tell. Like most stories, mine have probably �improved� with each telling.
My name is Jim Hill and I worked at Legend City after getting out of the service in the summer of 1969. My future (and still) wife, Sioux Larry, who was running the Candy Shoppe and the Gay Nineties Arcade, caught my attention by decorating the cast on my then-broken leg. My jobs were to help keep the arcades running, fixing the animations in the Mine and River rides, work to build�and later climb the Sky Ride towers to reset the safety switches (whenever a bird would land on them they would trip, stopping the ride and stranding everyone on it), fixing pin-ball machines, and robbing the train.
Once Steve Bergman and I actually set a ladies hair (wig) on fire when one of our blanks shot-out a fireball, while robbing the train. This wig went up like a giant, hair-spray-soaked cotton ball. Jackie Hill, my sister, our boss, and now Steve�s wife (Jackie Bergman) was furious with us, but did her best not to laugh while standing before this lady with the black, stringy, smoking hair and telling her how sorry we all were (actually, I think the ladies husband wanted to laugh too, but he knew better)�and as usual we were lucky not having been fired.
The group I belonged to was called the Sound Department, and was headed by Howard Kelly (his brother Bobby Kelly was head of purchasing). The Sound Department (made up of me, Steve Bergman, Steve Sanders, Howard Kelly, and Jack Darandahl) would hangout inside a large rock near the River Ride entrance. This rock housed the sound and animation controls for the River Ride, and the Park Music machinery. It also provided cover for many parties and a get-away for lots of other park employees. Lots of beer, appropriated from the Red Garter Saloon, was consumed there.
The River Ride, and our Sound Department rock hideout, hold most of my memories. The River Ride�s water (and the lagoon�s too) came to us after it was too filthy for the zoo to keep using, so we didn�t want to get in it very often. When the River Ride�s waterfall would get stuck (sometimes it wouldn�t shut off when the boat went through it, filling the boat with green, slimy, stinky water) we had to get in the water and fix it. Because the smell of this green slime would get in your clothes and stay, we would usually shut the ride down, strip off our clothes, and plunge into the �water� naked to make the repair. One night the next shift on the River Ride didn�t get the word that the ride was closed, so they loaded a boat and sent it through. We could hear the boat coming, but the slime kept us from being able to climb the slick sides and hide. We just held our legs away from the boat�s prop and pretended to be new animations begging the boat�s operator, Sarge, for help. Sarge instantly realized the screw-up, and played along with our improvised act. Several people commented on the new animations being really lifelike. Only the opaque green water kept the riders from realizing that these �new animations� had a very embarrassing secret.
This is way too long, but there are sooo many stories. Maybe more later, if anyone�s interested�.Jim Hill
Date: 03 Jun 2004   Time: 15:58:02
Comments: Ijust posted a comment here and i would like to add this...TO ALL MY FRIENDS THAT I REMEMBER(FORGIVE ME IF I LEAVE YOU OUT,ITS AN OLD AGE THING),Mike Rutollo,Mike Gravens,Jeff Smith,Holly Ravenscroft,Frank LEISNER,RHONDA,Kenny Hablutzel,Matt Swartz,Shelly,Beth,Mike with the "MUSTANG MACH-1",Marco the crazy indian,and the many others i would love to here from HERE IS MY E-MAIL FIREGHOST@CAROLINA.RR.COM and lets not forget.....TARYN! "I DIDN'T DO IT!" love you all...miss the good old day.... THANKS "T.J."
Date: 03 Jun 2004   Time: 15:10:11
Comments: hello god i have finally found a site related to one of my first name is tim robison,i work at lc from 1977 til the day they closed.i started when i was 15(lied about my age) and worked my way up the ladder becoming a relief ride operator(supervisor) i saw many people come and go through there it was sad when it closed..all my friends worked there and they used to call me "T.J." i'm not sure if i know you or not i have a few memory pics i'll have to send you.i would love to have a "Family Reunion" with all the past employees that i knew.I now live in concord,nc and from time time reflect back to those great high school days and working at the city.would love to here from ya. thanks for listening.
Date: 02 Jun 2004   Time: 15:25:56
Comments: Wow, Thanks for the memories. I am a native of Phoenix and I remember going to Legend City at least two or three times a year. Seeing Wallace and Ladmo was always one of the best parts. I really enjoyed getting soaked on the Log Jammer on those hot summer nights. I only wish the place was still around, I know my children would enjoy it as much as I did when I was a kid.
Date: 26 May 2004   Time: 22:37:27
Comments: Damn! I really miss phoenix the way it used to be...Legend City was the best place to have fun outside of Disneyland...and when they opened it up to touring nat'l bands by adding the original Compton terrace with a free admission to Legend City after the show, it was phenominal! I saw the Grateful dead there for the first time, with my good friends Chris and Kurt Kirkwood, who would later form the Meatpuppets...a ton of great memories from there!
Date: 22 May 2004   Time: 15:42:36
Comments: Wonderful tribute. Never had the pleasure of visiting the park, but looks like the sister park to Frontier Village that was located in San Jose, Calif. Designer was Lauri Hollings?
Date: 11 May 2004   Time: 15:18:03
Comments: This has been a great experience, reminds me of the "old days" Thanks for putting this together.
Date: 08 May 2004   Time: 23:34:19
Comments: Thank you for creating this website. It was fun seeing all those pictures and reliving old memories. I'm sad that the park closed before my daughter had a chance to visit it.
Date: 08 May 2004   Time: 18:16:42
Comments: im elliott from los angeles calif my dad lived in phoenix from 1970 to 1975 sadly i did not live in phoenix because i had to finish high school in los angeles i visited phoenix on every vacation i had during my school years i never visited legend city but i heard all about it at times. please check out for another bygone era from la calif.
Date: 06 May 2004   Time: 10:54:51
Comments: I LOVE your site! Thanks for all of the hard work. Might I suggest a section dedicated to the late seventies (the log ride, the sidewinder, the dome laser light show, the local music etc). Legend City is where I spent many an adolescent night in the late seventies. Saw my first concert at Compton Terrace.

Again, so glad you have done this! Great memories.
Cathy Swafford-Rhodes
(East Valley Native)
Date: 05 May 2004   Time: 22:26:37
Comments: My mother and father used to work at Legend City. That's where they met. I spent a lot of my early years there. I've always regretted not going to the park in it's final years. {{sigh}} Thanks for a great memorial.
I'll miss Wallace and Ladmo, too.
Date: 04 May 2004   Time: 19:14:09
Comments: Thank you! I loved Legend City. It was the best place to go when I was in high school. Thanks for the memories.
Date: 04 May 2004   Time: 10:58:57
Comments: I was supposed to be working but "stumbleld" upon this Legend City site! THE MEMORIES! It was our "Disneyland" when I was in jr. high. It's a little heartbreaking to look at the pictures and know it's gone.

Thanks for the great place to come and remember!

Patty - 05/04/04
Date: 30 Apr 2004   Time: 17:35:13
Date: 30 Apr 2004   Time: 14:28:09
Comments: Thanks for the memories! It's nice that someone had the fore thought to hang on to some of these things and take pictures. I spent many fun times at the park. Too bad those days are gone for good.
Date: 29 Apr 2004   Time: 17:52:08
Date: 22 Apr 2004   Time: 16:38:08
Comments: Thank you for the terrific memories. I was only 9 years old when Legend City closed, but I remember many weekends spent there with my family. I am 29 now and wish that it was still here to share with my husband. I hope other people will keep adding thier memories to this site. Again, thank you.
Date: 21 Apr 2004   Time: 15:31:27
Comments: Our family moved from the Phoenix area back in 1978 when I was 14 years old. I returned to the Valley for the first time in 2002, only to find that Legend City was gone. Needless to say, I felt a terrible void because I had been extremely fond of that place as a child. I had a great time when I was there. The sudden news of its demise left me in shock, but this webpage has helped to ease the pain and bring back many good memories. This was an awesome tribute to an awesome place.
Date: 13 Apr 2004   Time: 15:40:14
Comments: What fun it was to be a kid when Legend City was here!! Too bad it had to go away!! I miss it and would love to be able to go again. Looking at all the pictures and memorabila made me smile, just like spending the day there used too!!
Date: 11 Apr 2004   Time: 20:56:03
Comments: hello to all my name is Danny Farrow i worked at legend-city from 1976 to i think 1979 i worked under the caple bros i was assigned to ladmo birthday parties as his body guard sure do miss him
taren was my supervisor would like to know more about an reunion and if there are any outher securty guards that might have worked with me hope to here from you often thanks for the memories Danny
Date: 09 Apr 2004   Time: 21:20:35
Comments: I was born in Phoenix in 1982, and today is the first time I have heard about Legend City. I'm saddened to see that something like this once existed here but was replaced with an office park.
Date: 09 Apr 2004   Time: 10:39:09
Comments: I just posted the above comments and forgot to leave my name, its Jodene Schimkat.
Date: 09 Apr 2004   Time: 10:31:08
Comments: Growing up in Tempe my brother and I went to Legend City all of the time. It was fun and a great place to meet other teenagers. I even got my first kiss from my future husband while riding on the Sky Ride. Great memories. I wish it was still there for my children to enjoy today. I also miss Wallace and Ladmo. What a great childrens show. My brother and I even managed to be on the show 3 times! Two of my most treasured pictures are of my brother and I standing with Ladmo holding our Ladmo Bags! Thanks for making this site.
Date: 03 Apr 2004   Time: 15:57:25
Comments: I am sad to see the long lost memory I had enjoyed so much as a child. I wish it were still here with us. Thank you for the memories captured in this site.

Date: 15 Mar 2004   Time: 14:38:31
Comments: Lived in Tucson, but had family in Phoenix, and looked forward to every summer trip we took to Legend City from the mid 1970's until the park closed. I loved it so much that when we had friends from out of state, we would all drive up for the weekend.

Thanks for putting such a cool website together.


Tucson Arizona March 15, 2004
Date: 05 Mar 2004   Time: 22:23:30
Comments: Wow! I went to Legend City every chance I could during the summer with my brother and sisters, and later with my older buddy (he was in hogh school) starting in the late 60's. I can still smell the cotton candy from the candy store and think often of the old skeletons shoveling coal in the Lost Dutchman's Mine, I guess is was. I got suck up on the skyride and thought I was gonna die! And the caboose on the train was a cool make-out spot after you picked up on a chick! I have a photo of Ladmo from one of his birthday including his cake. They had a relly cool gift shop too from where the membrobilia from this site came from. Yep, those were the good old days. I wish my children and grandchildren could have experienced it. This is a great site. Dave Tansy - Phoenix, AZ native.
Date: 05 Mar 2004   Time: 21:20:39
Comments: When i was about 6 till 10 years old, i used to be- believe that wallace & ladmo owned and lived at le- gend city. To me,LEGEND CITY was Wallace & ladmo. It was a long time before those notions faded from how i saw things. As an adult, (yes when even i be-came one), i understand that how i thought of the amusment park differed from actuality. Until then,however, Wallace & ladmo were the mayors of the fun-nest place i knew about as a kid. And when S.R.P.,(where my dad worked) tore the place down to biuld their dumb corporate headquarters, i was very let down. Still, let me just close by saying as i often hear Bill & Pat say. We had a lot of fun. And to this child at heart,LEGEND CITY will always have a home in my heart, and Wallace & ladmo will always be the mayors. Many thanks, Paul j. Chavez.
Date: 01 Mar 2004   Time: 08:23:46
Comments: We've reached 10,000 hits! Thanks to everyone for helping me celebrate Legend City -- John
Date: 25 Feb 2004   Time: 23:45:33
Comments: I just notice a ton of grammer and typos... I stumbled across this site 2 hours ago, and it's currently 2am in Boston. Sorry about the errors.
Thanks again,
Date: 25 Feb 2004   Time: 23:41:49
Comments: This is simply awesome, in the mid '70s after college I joind a tented traveling circus. George Matthews Great London Circus. There I met Ivan Henry. Ivan owed elephants, chimps and other show animals. Ivan asked me to work for him. And to go on the road, at that time he was with the Capell Shows. So I joined up with Ivan in Feb 1975. As the fates would have it we ended up in Legend City with the animals. I was an incredible experience. Being the animal caretaker I was lucky enough to park my 30' travel trailer behind the "Lost Duchman Mine". It was closed down at the time. Can you imagine living inside a theme park. Well for almost 2 years I was that kid. I say kid as I was only in my early 20's. Well my girlfriend became my wife and we had a baby. She actually was introuduced to Shorty the elephant before she even entered the trailer, her new home. I you know anything about elephants you know why I did this. Elephants can be jealous when there handler pays too much attention to anything else. Of course Shorty was only 6 then just a baby himself. Well I left the business when my daughter was about 2, moved back to Boston and became a fairly successful business man. But for many years I always wanted to show my little girl ( she's 27now) just where her roots really are. Thank you so much for all your time and efforts in putting this together. I'm in hi tech and can appreciate all your hard work. By the way I'm getting ready to retire now and guess what? I'm going back on the road as "The Guesser" you old carny's know what that is. Thanks again, Michael Cappi
Date: 24 Feb 2004   Time: 14:45:49
Comments: I grew up with Legend City and I miss it very much
John Bristow
Date: 29 Jan 2004   Time: 17:11:13
Date: 26 Jan 2004   Time: 16:04:02
Comments: i Remeber going to Legend City as a youngster growing up here in the Valley Wish we could do a new one on that disputed Los Arcos Mall land
Date: 25 Jan 2004   Time: 20:32:46
Comments: Your website is a wonderful tribute to one of my all time favorite places to go as a child! I grew up in Arizona since 1960-61 and we went to Legend City as often as we could afford to go. I'm glad that two of my own kids had a chance to experience this piece of history before it was demolished in '83 as so many other fun places in Arizona have been. Thanks for the memories! Gema (Avery) Kaminer
Date: 20 Jan 2004   Time: 12:15:51
Comments: I worked at legend City from 78 - till closing. It was so much of my life. At this time the Capell family owned it. I have tons of Pictures and even a hand that belonged to one of the dummies in the mine ride. It was a struggle to try to keep the park opened, but I remember on closing day everyone came to show their support - the park was jammed! (i even have closing day pictures) Would love to hear from others! Taryn -
Date: 08 Jan 2004   Time: 17:44:49
Comments: Thanks for bringing back some great memories!!!!
Date: 08 Jan 2004   Time: 13:23:16
Comments: I remember it well, and spent much of my childhood there, and my young adult life in the beer gardens, back then drinking age was 19!

Native of Phoenix...Nadine
Date: 22 Dec 2003   Time: 00:40:11
Comments: I was born in 74 so I was very young when I went there but I seem to remember a haunted house that was located close to the entrance? I also remember a gold fish stand where you would throw pennies or something to try and win goldfish that was right outside of the Haunted House...... I would go in the Haunted House over and over and over while my dad waited outside for me. I remember one time I was there and there was also a concert going on....I could be wrong but I believe it was the Grateful Dead......great site. Hearing the Wallace and Ladmo song almost made me cry!! Thanks, Trace Richardson
Date: 14 Dec 2003   Time: 09:54:02
Comments: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am one of those in the age group that you mention that have fond memories of Legend City. From the mid 70's to the early 80's. From rainy summer evenings to Compton Terrace concerts. I have lived in Kansa City now as an aduld and was thrilled to accidently stumble on to this site. It truly brought back wonderfull memories. Well done! P. Alvarez

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