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Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park – What will happen this closed popular attraction?

May 2023

Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park was once a very popular children’s amusement park, a little to the west of Midland, Ontario, based on several famous fairy tales, including Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Merlin’s tower, Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs, with a large medieval castle welcoming guests at the main entrance.

Opened in 1972 by Paul Des Roches, it originally consisted of the iconic 8,100-square-foot, two-story castle, which Des Roches built as a gift shop to sell his handmade crafts and woodworking. Surrounded by a curved stone wall, the Romanesque-style castle featured thirty brightly coloured turrets, arched windows, with a water-spewing serpentine dragon, and a moat guarded by creatures of the underworld, surrounding the front side of the exterior.

In the basement of the castle, Des Roches added a Museum of Medieval Arms, Armour and Heraldry. Here visitors could learn about heraldry and check out the large collection of medieval weaponry and armour throughout the Middle Ages, along with trying on chain-mail suits.

The basement also featured the Museum of Horror, Dracula’s Dungeons, added in 1982. Here visitors descended down a spiral staircase into the basement, complete with cobwebs, where they’d find old-style prison cells with well-known horror characters locked inside.

As the years passed, Des Roches created Enchanted Kingdom Park in the wooded area behind the castle. Guests would walk along an educational nature trail lined and children could enjoy peeking into the seven small fantasy cottages based on fairytales, based on popular fairy-tales including Snow White’s wishing well, Hansel and Gretel’s candy house, Mother Goose and Family, Teddy Bear’s Tea Party, Giant Fountain, Little Red Riding Hood & Grandma’s house, and Three Little Pig’s House. A Grist Mill and Merlin the Magician’s Tower was also added, with an 80-foot suspension bridge across a pond featuring a giant fountain, providing lots of running and climbing options for children.

Des Roches sold the property in 2016, after around six-years on the market, to businessman Deo Moreno, who proceeded to add an assortment of adult activities. New attractions that were added by Moreno included an escape-room adventure called “Escape the Dungeon,” life-size role-playing game events, an archery range, human foosball and a wedding room to host medieval time-themed weddings.

Not all these changes were well received by long-time fans of the attraction and it continued to fall into disrepair, something that had begun while still under Des Roches’ ownership. Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park closed along with many other non-essential businesses with the coming of the Chinese Communist Party Virus in the spring of 2020 and never re-opened. The two-acre property was put up for sale in the summer of 2020, finally selling in the April 2023.

Whatever the future holds for Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park, it’s creator won’t be around to see it. Paul des Roches passed away in December of 2022.

Sources: Unique property up for sale in Midland (simcoe.com), SOLD: Fantasy-themed castle village and enchanted kingdom in Simcoe County off the market | ThePeterboroughExaminer.com, Castle Village And Enchanted Kingdom in Midland Ontario – Ontario Abandoned Places (talkingwallsphoto.com), “Enchanted Kingdom” Castle in Ontario Hits the Market for $1.2M (storeys.com), The Castle Village And Enchanted Kingdom Park – Amusement Park in Midland and Banquet Hall (business.site).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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