A Treatment for The Enchanted Forest Theme Park
This summer grab your sunglasses, set your GPS for The Enchanted Forest theme park, and join your favorite furry, finned, and winged Fenton characters as they celebrate America’s favorite lumberjack in “Benny Beaver’s 60th Birthday Camporee.” This coast-to-coast birthday bash is the most ambitious parade in the park’s thirty-four year history.
The park’s five diverse ecosystems serve as the backdrop for this cavalcade of camping hi-jinx that blazes new trails in outdoor adventures with an irresistible mash-up of Fenton animated characters, an infectious pop soundtrack with regional overlays, and performers on the street, in the sky, and points in between.
Jack Fenton, noted cartoonist and ardent wilderness conservationist, has taken a milestone for the company’s most beloved animated character and turned it into a yearlong celebration of the great outdoors that will give Happy Campers, their families, and friends new reasons to stake their claim on their adventures in The Enchanted Forest. The result: memories to be shared for years to come!
As Guests gather along the parade route with their commemorative 60th birthday swag in hand, they “eavesdrop” (via the park-wide audio system) on Fenton characters making last minute preparations before the parade.
Section 1: Lookout Tower
The Camporee begins with the high stepping twelve-member Fenton Forest Ranger Marching Band — in updated versions of their familiar forest ranger uniform, complete with official patch, badge, and signature Stetson hats — playing a rousing Sousa-inspired version of the parade theme song.
Daily parade grand marshals greet onlookers from a “beaver” customized rag-top jeep that unabashedly grins from headlight-to-headlight with bucktoothed friendliness.
A gigantic birthday gift tagged for Benny barrels down the street and plays a hard-driving version of the parade theme. Every now and then the lid raises and showers parade watchers with colorful confetti and streamers.
The Happy Camper dancers (think dancing Boy and Girl Scouts in hiking boots) get the birthday party started by performing infectious choreography that brings the Guests to their feet and gets their hands in the air.
The first official float in the parade: the Lookout Tower. Frank the Firefly, the hard-boiled leader of the park’s firefly brigade, patrols a tiny cabin’s wrap-around catwalk perched high atop a wooden-columned and stone-based lookout tower. Indigenous trees surround its base. Frank waves to the Guests below and near the end of the musical loop, he rallies his firefly troops (LED lights) to spell out “Happy 60th Birthday, Benny!”
An eight-foot-wide pocket compass trails the Lookout Tower, with its magnetic arrow spinning wildly out of control to the point the compass blows apart … only to magically reassemble itself.
Section 2: Everglades
The locale shifts to south Florida as a gigantic pair of brightly colored binoculars flood the parade route with a Jimmy Buffett/Key West version of the parade theme. In the lenses of the binoculars, a pair of reptilian eyes blink in excitement as they dart to and fro across the parade route.
Stilt-walking Swamp Cypress Trees with roots resembling bell bottoms tromp by and wave their branches to the Guests below. They beckon everyone to join the fun as they and the binoculars amble on.
A flock of bright coral Flamingos — with matching feather fans — dance, prance, sashay, and regularly break their routine and strike campy poses for photos to the delight of Guests and …
A gathering of sightseeing alligators aboard an oversized airboat captained by the one and only Ollie Gator (the reptile too snappy to be anyone’s fashion accessory) marvel at the flamingos and the Guests they pass.
A trio of friendly frogs on pond lilies glide by plucking flies from the air with their tongues to the delight of parade watchers.
Section 3: Central Park
Stilt-walkers, dressed as the famous San Remo towers transport parade watchers to the entrance of country’s largest metropolitan public green-space, New York’s Central Park.
Once beyond the towers, a gaggle of New Yorkers and tourists with binoculars frenetically dance on and alongside the Mall — a three-sectioned float lined with benches on both sides and canopied by elm trees — in search of song birds who are nestled in the trees’ branches.
Hack and Sack the Radical Squirrels frolic around the base of Central Park’s most photographed monument, a not-so-static Bethesda Fountain (or Angel of the Waters) as she leads everyone in the parade theme song.
And what would a trip to Central Park be without an over-the-top Uncle Sam street performer?
Section 4: Polynesia
Brightly colored totem poles pound out Polynesian rhythms that add a new flavor to the parade music, their commanding presence along with a super-sized hand-painted ukulele mark our transition to the Hawaiian Islands.
A chorus line of red and yellow dancing Hibiscus girls frolic gracefully along the parade route forming geometric shapes and patterns as they bid the Guests “Aloha!” and invite them join in Benny’s birthday celebration.
Patches the Polar Bear brushes up on his Hula dancing while two Samoans display feats of daring while performing a traditional fire knife dance before a smoldering volcano.
The diminutive brown bear, Cubby, closes out this section as he “plays” an oversized pair of traditional Hawaiian luau pahu drums
Finale: Benny’s Lodge
And now, the moment everyone’s been waiting for: the arrival of Benny Beaver!
At first glance, four stilt-walking evergreens head in the Guests’ direction with a swaggering gait; but upon closer inspection, high atop each “tree” is a high rigger lumberjack waving to the crowds below and heralding the moment everyone’s been waiting for: the arrival of Benny Beaver!
The evergreens part and reveal—
A fantastic six-tiered birthday cake loaded down with candles that zig-zags down the street and plays the final version of the parade theme. At this point the Guests are caught in the excitement of the moment and sing the parade theme with wild abandon.
Lumberjacks and Lumberjills bound down the parade route with the excitement and precision of collegiate cheerleaders. Their athleticism enraptures the Guests and gets them on their feet.
The final float in the parade is a 60-foot-long mobile version of The Enchanted Forest’s iconic central landmark, Benny’s Treehouse Lodge, surrounded by white birch, elm, hickory, and maple trees with their leaves in a full autumn color scheme create a kaleidoscope of. The 3 Bears, Goldilocks, Mother Nature, and other woodland characters stand in prime spots on the float and lead the parade watchers in wishing Benny a very happy birthday while Benny waves to his adoring fans and extends them heartfelt thanks for making the Camporee extra special!