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Santa's Village AzooSement Park, East Dundee, IL

One day in the late 1970's my sister and I piled in the back of our station wagon along with a few friends and headed back then way out to the far reaches of the Chicago suburbs to take a visit to my first theme park: Santa's Village.

Santa's Village AzooSement Park, East Dundee, IL

Back then the park was "The Three Worlds of Santa's Village" with Santa's World, Old McDonalds Farm and Coney Island being the parks three themed areas.

Santa's Village AzooSement Park, East Dundee, IL

Santa's Village opened in 1959.  The idea for this Santa themed park came from a gentleman by the name of Glen Holland.  His idea was to build a park that looked like a child's version of the village where Santa lives.

Santa's Village AzooSement Park, East Dundee, IL

Santa's Village was also created to be a franchise like a McDonalds.  The idea was to make a ready made amusement park that could be built anywhere someone wanted their have their own Santa's Village franchise.  In 1955 the first Santa's Village opened in Lake Arrowhead, California with a second one opening in Scott's Valley, California a year later.  With two successful parks Holland decided to expand his burgeoning theme park chain (the worlds first) into the Midwest.

Santa's Village AzooSement Park, East Dundee, IL

Of course Santa has his own house in Santa's Village.



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Paul B. Drabek