Considered the “Disneyland of the Desert,” Legend City was an amusement park located at the border of Tempe and Phoenix, near Papago Park and the Phoenix Zoo. The park opened its doors in 1963 to much fanfare from the community and brought two decades of fun to the Valley of the Sun.
This first video was put together by the Tempe Historical Museum and it gives a short overview of Legend City’s history and some of the iconic sights you would see when visiting.
Here’s another video that shows events from Legend City’s opening day in 1963. How many of those rides do you recognize? (Note: The video does not have sound.)
Unfortunately, the amusement park suffered from quite a bit of financial problems. Within less than two years of opening, the owner went bankrupt and the park went through a series of new owners. The final owners, a carnival business family, began restoring the park and making a profit but eventually sold the land to the Salt River Project for new corporate offices.
The park continues to live on in both memory and museum exhibits. The Tempe History Museum currently has an exhibition of the park running through October 2016. The museum is located at 809 East Southern Road in Tempe.
Source: Arizona Amusement Park