Legend City…..Who needs Disneyland? Bordering Tempe and Phoenix, this 58-acre western-style theme park based on the history of Arizona, was a source of fond memories for local residents and winter visitors alike. From 1963 to 1983, the public enjoyed full scale amusement park rides, western shoot-outs, and live entertainment with many of our local celebrities.
Legend City featured a number of popular attractions such as the famous Lost Dutchman Mine Ride, The Sky Ride (cable car ride above the entire park), Miniature Golf, Cochise Stronghold River Ride, and the popular Iron Horse Train ride (this was also known as the Legend City railroad that circled the park.) You could enjoy an ice-cold root beer and a hamburger at the Golden Palace Saloon and watch a popular ventriloquism act performed by Vonda Kay Van Dyke, former Miss America 1965.
Other celebrities, such as local Scottsdale resident, Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty) from the wildly popular television series Gun Smoke, frequently made guest appearances. The ever popular local kids’ show hosts, Wallace and Ladmo, appeared at Legend City every weekend for the entire run of the parks existence.
Legend City was a perfectly wonderful place for children’s birthday parties and various family celebrations and events.
Unfortunately, the park was never a significant financial success and this fabulous attraction closed its doors in 1983 after a series of owners and bankruptcies. The land was eventually purchased by the Salt River Project (SRP) where it was dismantled and leveled to the ground to make room for their corporate offices.
Nevertheless, after a great 20-year run, the Legend City theme park is still remembered very fondly and held in the memories of the locals who knew and visited the park in its heyday.
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