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Magic Forest Park - Lake George, New York / Don't go to the Magic Forest!

United States Review updated:
63% 40
I visited this park while vacationing in the Lake George area on August 11, 2007. I LOVE Lake George - it's great, but this place!

First - they charge adults so much to get in, but adults can only go on maybe 2 rides. I was almost 7 months pregnant at the time, so I couldn't go on anything. I asked for reduced admission and was gruffly told no... My son wanted to go so what could I do?

The place is so dirty and outdated - the rides didn't even look safe - so I would only let my son go on whatever did NOT leave the ground.

My one year old needed a diaper change - the bathrooms were FILTHY - not just dirt and the norm - I mean a foul urine stench and feces on the toilets and the floors were all wet. PLUS there is no diaper changing station! This is a family park! I asked an employee if there was a changing table somewhere and they redirected me to the bathroom. There was a dirty countertop with boxes and junk on it... I ended up changing her in her stroller!

THEN>>> they have these statues situated around the park - they are supposed to be story book characters (Jake Sprat, Jack be Nimble, Goldilocks...that sort of thing) They are the CREEPIEST things I have ever seen! They would make totally outragious Halloween props - but not for kids! They all have this wirey wig hair - its all crooked - they have mismatched crazy eyes with black circles around them - and black gaping mouths...strange pasty skin - they look straight out of a Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie video! My son was TERRIFIED of them - he said they were zombies and he didn't want to walk near them (this kid is normally afraid of nothing!) I took pictures of them if anyone wants to see....just plain scary!

Then - they have this horse diving show- basically they lead a horse up a ramp and it dives into water. I thought it was cruel. After the day I had, I wanted to talk to someone. So I approached an employee and asked if the horse was OK doing that - some other patron (big fat guy in a BUD shirt and his trailer trash wife) start SCREAMING at me - calling me a tree hugging liberal and people like me are the reason the country is the way it is... remember, I am PREGNANT and I have 2 small children with me - we were all just so horrified. The employee snickers and just shrugs his shoulders and walks away. At this point, my husband said let's get out of here before I lose my mind...so we were out of there.

I wanted to contact the owner and finally got around to it - he wrote me back - just one sentence that basically said Don't come back, we don't need you! I also have that email saved for anyone interested.

SO...I contacted PETA (they responded and said they have been after this place for years) and I reported them to the Better Business Bureau and the Lake George Mayor's office.

Now I just want to spread the word to other hard working parents - DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE! It's horrible and hey, they don't need you! Great Escape is right down the street and it's a nice park, it costs a little more, but at least it's clean, you can change your baby, there are no embalmed bodies propped up around the place and animals aren't being tortured. Plus it is owned by the Six Flags Corp. and I am sure if you did have a problem, they would respond with an apology and a credit or something. I just got told off basically and all I was doing was voicing my opinion as a consumer.

DON'T GO TO THE MAGIC FOREST!!! Lake George is packed with fun stuff to do - this place should be last on your list...not even on your list! I go to Lake George every year - It was my son's idea to go there (they have this HUGE Uncle Sam in the parking lot and he spotted it so we went... so weird)


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D  1st of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Wow- got to this page by mistake, but just had to comment: We've been going to Magic Forest for years and it's a wonderful park for the little ones. We've always had a great time and the staff has always been very friendly and helpful- SO much better than Great Escape! Go for yourself and see- this mouthy rude person created her own unique "experience"- I feel sorry for her kids!
Oh- and some of the staues are a little weird- but that's part of the fun- and you can get some really nice pictures.
D  8th of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I agree with Cindy's comment. This is a delightful park for kids and adults. It is a lovely peaceful spot with fun, goofy statues and lots of classic amusement rides and a frindly staff. Small traditional parks like this need support in the modern world of faceless corporate entertainment. Perhaps the complainer should just go to Disney. I know I prefer Magic Forest! (and it is without question a better value for your money!)
D  8th of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Related to concern about the diving horse show:
I would count myself among the "tree-hugging, animal rights, liberals". I probably would not pay separatelty to see a diving horse show. Nevertheless, having seen the show, and having read what the park, and an animal behavioralist had to say, I am not very bothered by it. This is a horse who jumps in the water twice a day and on a hot summer day the cool water is probably motivation enough. Please look here for the discussion:
D  29th of Jun, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I think this writer's expectations of what the park was turned out to be different than what she experienced. It is clearly a park for young kids, and if you've ever gone to a large theme park, you know how important it is to have a separate place for kids 6 and under. The place is completely creepy and that's why it's awesome. It's straight out of 1959, but Lake George is filled with art deco establishments that are family owned and have been family owned for generations. If you're going to the Magic Forest and expect to get monorails and roller coasters you're in for disapointment. It's a relaxing place for young kids and toddlers to enjoy themselves. I think the writer of this post needs to relax a little bit.
D  30th of Aug, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My Wife, four year old daughter and I LOVED Magic Forest! The Rides were great and my daughter loved them ! In my opinion, anyone who is 7 months pregnant and expects to be allowed on a theme park ride in this age of lawyers and law suits is bound to be disappointed... go figure? As for the diving horse, I was shocked and amazed! Lightning was totally worth the admission price! Six flags doesn't have anything like that! The fact that PETA has know about the show for years and has been unable to shut it down says volumes! Magic Forest gets TWO THUMBS UP from my family!
D  13th of Oct, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
The diving horse shows should have stayed the way they were back then. If you can train a horse to do it safely then it's no big deal. now i would disagree with the diving horse show if they forced them off, but you can train them to do it willingly. also it depends on the horse. some like it, some dont. they have different personalities. so if they were willing to dive then it's not cruel. the diving horses were awesome, and the horses were fine doing it. you just have to train them right. i know because ive been around horses all my life. It is not cruel. I LOVE the diving horses. I wish they still did the big shows. Also if you think diving horses is creul then what about rodeos and racing and jumping and steeplechase? all of those are dangerous. but if they were all shut down by peta gruops then the horse population would dwindle because some people make money from them, and love them just as much. im all for animals being treated right, but peta takes things too far. to me, animal cruelty is not feeding them, beating them, making them fight and what not. Now that kinda thing is awful. But not horse diving. I absolutely love it.
D  11th of Dec, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
My husband, 3-year old daughter and I LOVED the Magic Forest last year. The rides were great for her, and contrary to the complaint, adults were allowed on almost ALL of them. There were ~ 25 rides which a small kid could enjoy, and they were much more fun for both our child and ourselves. Only two out of 25 were as utterly slow and boring as the majority of the "child" rides at Great Escape. I can't imagine what went on the day this poor woman went, but Magic Kingdom is a terrific park for families with kids. We kept our daughter of a couple of the higher-flying rides, but that was common sense, not fear - she was three, not eight!

(Seriously - What rides would you recommend as "exciting" for a seven-month pregnant woman to ride at Great Escape, or any other park? I was quite healthy at that point of my pregnancy, but rollercoasters, spinning, lunging swings, and heart-stopping plunges were definitely not on my list of wise sources of fun at that time.)

Also, this park was much, much cleaner than any time we've been to theGreat Escape, though the bathroom is more old-fashioned. We liked both, but Magic Kingdom will be our favorite for years to come!

By the way, it's much less costly than Great Escape, and we weren't being hit up for $3 to $50 bucks at every turn - far less child-parent stress. And the abundant trees made the place quiet and shady, very pleasant to be in.

Finally, the horse diving, while a touch anti-climatic, was definitely NOT abusive. I, too, love and understand horses, and they made a big deal of how the horse mounted the ramp and jumped on his own, including acknowledging that he's been known to refuse a couple times and if that happens, well, no show that time. So PETA fans please go focus on real animal abuse, and leave Magic Kingdom's sleek, well-fed, and utterly relaxed (we petted him before and after the show) horse alone.
D  22nd of May, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
My husband, 4 year old daughter and I have been going to Magic Forest since she was 2, and we absolutely LOVE IT!! It is so much more kid friendly, it's very shaded so you never get too hot, and you can BRING IN YOUR OWN FOOD!!! We were able to go on almost every ride with her, so it is totally untrue that only "2" of the rides are parent friendly. All of the staff have always been very friendly, I don't ever remember the bathrooms being filthy, and I saw no cruelty in the horse show. We prefer Magic Forest a million to one over Great Escape for overall value and enjoyment. I would definitely recommend this nice, classic, family owned park for anyone with small children looking for a nice day out.
D  4th of Jun, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
You have got to be kidding! The most absolutely dissapointing disgusting place ever. You get the feeling that you need to wash your hands after touching anything there. Don't kid yourself or your kids! Not fair to the little ones to try to convince them that this is fun or acceptable. They would NOT allow a parent to go on rides with the two year olds. There was nowhere clean to sit and eat. The little amount of picnic tables were sitting in mud, they had a large amount of moss layering the table tops...absulutely disgusting. The ride attendants were rude, unattentive, uneducated people who lacked people skills. The rides are obviously an accident waiting to happen. A very UNSAFE place to take your child! The whole place is dingy, dirty, rickkity and old!!(not an exaggeration) There is no value to the money you spend there...puhleeese. This must have been written by an employeee or family member. C'mon, are you serious!??
N  23rd of Aug, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Honestly I think you are over reacting. I agree bathrooms should be cleaner and you should have a nice clean area to change your baby. Agree 100%. But there are very few places that are privately owned anymore. Charlie Wood owned The Great Escape for years originally Story Town and its not even the same fun park anymore it lost its originality since Six Flags took over. As for the horse I am pro animal rights the horse is fine and walks out of the water there is no abuse going on there the horse likes getting wet. I think you should just say the place is not for you and move on. Don't be such a hater and discourage everyone else.
D  16th of Mar, 2015 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Our 4 year old granddaughter spent two WHOLE days there on our vacation in 2014 - couldn't get enough of it. Loved the magic show, loved the horse, loved the rides. We found the staff friendly and helpful, enjoyed that we could bring our own food into the park, enjoyed the shaded rides on hot sunny days. Perhaps someone got up cranky that day and carried it with them. Being a man, I've never been 7 months pregnant but imagine it could be enough of a burden in itself. I agree with the others that say just say it's not for you and don't go back. Not everything in this world has to meet with your approval!
N  1st of Apr, 2015 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Was there end of June 2014, with 3 & 5 yr old daughter. Horse show was cancelled that day. My wife went shopping while I stayed with the kids. They had a blast while I was pretty much there as a chaperone. The smile on their faces was enough to convince me to go back again. Great value for your money. Only down side was smelling the exhaust from the train and tractor ride.
D  30th of Jul, 2015 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
This place is a gem. They don't make places like this for small kids anymore and that's not a good thing. Rides are safe and well maintained. Grounds well kept. Prices are ridiculously low. We've been four times and each time feel guilty because we should have paid more. This is for kids less than around 8 years old for sure. Big kids should go up the road to six flags. But with little kids parents and grandparents who care more about their kids than themselves will have the time of their lives. We found the enough fun in viewing the incomparable collection of 1930's-1960's amusement park artifacts to be entertainment enough, let alone the amazing smiles on the little kids faces. Ride lines are never more than one minute. Most rides kids can stay on until they are tired. There is nowhere like this left, except here in wonderful Lake George. Also we adults road 9/10 rides with our little one contrary to the person who wrote this complaint. We traveled thousands of miles to spend a week here. We frequent luxury resorts in exotic places. But this place is special and we will be back. To the reviewer who wrote this complaint, good luck to you, life will undoubtedly be a sad and miserable experience for you.
D  5th of May, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I took my 4 year old to Lake George for a week last July and naturally we went to the Magic Forest, is this person kidding me? The place is friggin' awesome! The staff is very friendly, the rides are obviously very well maintained, the place was clean. I don't remember the bathrooms so they can't be as bad as they're being described on here, I know we used at least one. Everything in the place is vintage, get over it, nostalgia is in style and it's part of the charm of the Magic Forest. My daughter had a great time and wants to go back, I was more than happy with the entire place, and the prices are fair. It's the perfect place to spend a day with a young child. If I read this review without naming the place I'd swear they meant a different park. What is wrong with people?
D  6th of Jul, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We brought our 1-/2 and 3 year old daughters there last year and plan on bringing them back this summer, because they loved it. My wife and i both rode many of the rides with them and had no issues with staff telling us we couldn't, and most of the small kids had their parents ride with them. Sure, there are things that could use improving but this place isn't a faceless multi billion dollar corporation, it's a small family owned place FOR KIDS. It's shaded, reasonably priced, and gives a nice family atmosphere . If they turned into a corporation and started building bigger rides and attractions- and bringing in huge crowds, it would lose it's appeal. My daughters weren't scared of the statues, in fact we laughed at how silly they were. but then we are not programming them to be offended or frightened by everything in the world either, like maybe the complainant is with her children. As for her love of large corporate them parks- I frequently deal with six flags all over the country through business, and they are about as far from a family friendly corporation as you can get- their marketing personnel may respond lovingly and tell you what you want to hear- but they are bout the dollar, and nothing more. But luckily this is America (still) and we can all choose where we would like to go, or not go. I will choose simple, small kid friendly venues, and she can choose someplace that doesn't offend her superior tastes and misguided morals

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