Fresno101: what is Playland?
Rotary Playland is a shining example of the community spirit of Fresno and more importantly, a great place for affordable family fun. The idea for Playland was conceived by Dr. Joe Logan, who was president of the North Fresno Rotary Club in the mid-1950s. He pushed for an affordable amusement park on City property that would donate its profits to help with other park facilities in Fresno. Compared to most amusement parks today, Playland may be small in size, but it has not failed to entertain sin
ce its opening in the spring of 1955. Admission is simply the cost of entrance to the park ($3). Ride tickets cost $.50 each, and individual or family Fantasy Day Passes
are available. If you are interested in other savings options, click here
for Membership Information. Also, donations to Rotary Playland and Storyland are always welcome and appreciated.
For those of us who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, no visit to Playland would be complete without a “Shipwreck Cove” boat ride and a
Shipwreck Island at Playland.
trip on the Willis B. Kyle Express Train. [I also remember making more trips than necessary for a drink of water, just to stick my head in the lion’s mouth.] The train travels around the lake and stops at both Playland and Storyland to pick-up and let off riders. Ride information, including height requirements, is online.
As with any facilities, use over the years took its toll. At one point, it looked as though Playland might become a victim of its age, but Fresno area residents would not allow that to happen. In true Valley fashion, donors and volunteers came forward to save a unique part of our local history. Recent improvements in Roeding Park and in the Playland/Storyland/Chaffee Zoo area have helped to boost the number of visitors to Playland and the other Roeding Park attractions. The location within the park is ideal for families who may want to incorporate a picnic or visit to Storyland or the zoo. If you have the stamina, you can do all of the attractions in one day, but I would recommend going to the zoo
on a separate day to enjoy all of the animals and special exhibits and shows there.