The Kiddie Kingdom song started going through my head in the shower yesterday. Don't ask me why. I had to go looking to see if I could find a video of the commercial. Thanks for the memories.
Gunter Schaub said:October 23, 2009 12:00 pm PST
As everyone is saying this site is amazing and brings back a ton of memories. I worked for the family in the summers of '70 and '71 as a ride operator and again in '74 at the Kiddie Kingdom.
I was the Rock-o-Plane operator at all the carnivals and was on the Merry-Go-Round set up crew with Paul Jr., Rich Doria and Ken Shriver. Ken was the Merry-Go-Round operator during this time and Ken and I went into the Navy together in Oct. '71.
One time while driving one of the heavy carnival truck rigs up to Montgomery Days on I294, I was stopped just past the Franklin Park Rail Yards and kicked off the tollway because I coudn't get the old truck past 49mph. My brother Jeff Stibal reminded me we had borrowed the old pickup shown on the site to take my stuff down to U of I in the fall of '70. Jeff is about 12 years younger than me and he worked at the Kingdom while he went to Bradley in Peoria.
I met my first wife, Jan Schaub (nee Less) at the Glen Ellyn Carnival in "71.
When I started working for Dispensas we were still using the old garage then later we started using the Sears Warehouse for the trucks - what a change.
When I went into the Navy in '71, Johnny Jr. bought my motorcycle which I had bought from Sears in Oakbrook Center.
Great memories, great family - Hello to all! I graduated from York in '68 and am now living in Arizona - email@example.com
Jim Hubbard said:October 14, 2009 11:55 am PST
We just sent you a message, after learning that Dispensa's had a website. My wife is interested if you are a member of the family. One of the photos seems to show Johnny and Randy in it. Would appreciate it if you could reply. Tannks.
Richard P. Doria, Jr. said:October 8, 2009 5:29 pm PST
Well done, my young cousin! If I have anything I can add, I will send it on for your already excellent site. Judging from the guest book entries, Dispensa really did rule the carnival world in Illinois. It was a great life, glad I was a part of it. By the way, I think that's me running the wheel. Can't tell for sure. Might be your father. Hell, we all used the same techinque, could have been any of us.
JoAnn Kruse said:October 1, 2009 3:02 pm PST
Grew up in Lombard. I remember sitting in the car as a child and seeing the castle from Roosevelt Road. It was the most beautiful thing to me. I have very fond memories Thanks for this site. While playing the commercials, my daughter kept asking me if we could visit this weekend. She doesn't understand why anyone would tear it down.
Kathy said:September 27, 2009 8:42 pm PST
What a blast from the past!! I grew up in OBT and have great memories of going to the "Castle" and the amusement park. I remember meeting Ray Rayner there, and the huge Henry dog in the doorway. What a great website!!
Nick Demes said:September 24, 2009 5:10 pm PST
I remember the Dispensas at the New York Toy Fair in 1963. John and his wife walked into the Strombecker showroom. It was my first Toy Fair and very quietly, since they were unannounced, unknown, and without an an appointment, they were politely passed on to a younger salesmen.
I was brand new to the scene and given the privilege of working with this delightful couple. They laid down one of the biggest orders of the day and in cash. This was unknown at that time..
Within the next few hours word spread throughout the 200 Fifth Avenue Toy building and I don't think there were many showrooms that ever again received them without some kind of fan fare.
My memories John and Nick, his mom and the whole Dispensa family has always brightened my thoughts in recall. A wonderful honest family and it was a pleasure to have worked with them for so many years until the Castle was no more.
Larry Gruchalski said:September 24, 2009 11:13 am PST
The four new videos additions are great (any ride $0.25). Yes, a gallon of gas was also just $0.25. Keep up the good work by helping recreate my memories.
Terri said:September 21, 2009 8:58 am PST
Tahnk you so much . My Grand parents and parents took me here every weekend as a kid. I had 10 wonderful years. I loved the train and everything else . I remember the gian stuffe solider in the entrance of the best toy store that was ever around. It was truly heart breaking when it closed. Everytime till this day I think of all the fun time shared there. Bring it back!!!
Kathy Quaid- Rhea said:September 15, 2009 8:02 am PST
Thanks for putting up this site. I've tried to describe this to my kids and now they can see it. It's great.
Jeff said:September 14, 2009 4:37 pm PST
I loved finding the commercials at YouTube! 2 weeks later, both jingles are still playing in my head all day! It makes me feel like a 10 year old living in Villa Park again! Thanks!!!
Tracy said:September 11, 2009 6:26 am PST
I lived in OBT all my life. When I was 7 or 8 my friends and I would sneak across Rt83 at 16th (it was 4 lanes with a stop sign) we would ride our bikes, buy1 ticket for the ferris wheel and buy a bag of cotton candy. I bought all my model trains at the castle. And I remember meeting the Banana Splits there! Thanks!
Lisa B said:September 10, 2009 8:35 am PST
Hey, awesome job putting this together. I am so impressed. I went through the whole website. That was a great time back then. It brought back memories especially seeing the commericial and hearing the tune.
Ellen said:September 9, 2009 7:48 am PST
This is a great website. I loved the Castle of Toys and Kiddie Kingdom. Thanks for the memories
I worked at the Castle and Kiddie Kingdom for several winters and summers in the 1970's. Thank you for the wonderful memories in these photo's. Joe, John, Florance, and Prudence were wonderful folks! I can still hear the carousel music!
Jim Rohr said:September 2, 2009 3:23 pm PST
i remember your family well. ours were good friends going back at least to our grandfathers. i even remember the orriginal store before the castle,, its where my first lionel train, road racing set and 3 speed bike came from. and the carnival coming practically to my back yard every 4th of july. and then there was working for your family. that was fun too,, hard work,, but you knew you were safe and everyone watched out for each other, like we all became part of one huge family. my kids loved going to kiddie kingdom when they were young and atill talk about the place often. your family made a lot of fond memories for many families over the years. to me its been an honor knowing the dispenda family over the years
Penny said:September 1, 2009 7:48 pm PST
Thank you for preserving what you can of wonderful Kiddie Kingdom and the Castle of Toys. It's a shame all of the wonderful kiddie parks are no longer with us. I used to take my son to Kiddie Kingdom in the 70's even though we lived in the far northwest suburbs. The modern theme parks have their place but for young kids they are too big, too expensive, too intense, and there's too much waiting. Thank you so much.
Scott said:August 28, 2009 4:07 am PST
I still remember going there for a friend's birthday party when I was 7. I vividly remember "Storybook Land"! Kids WERE King!!! :-)
mike said:August 25, 2009 7:57 am PST
i used to get all my model airplanes and cars from the castle
Juliette Miranda said:August 25, 2009 6:28 am PST
Thanks so much for creating this site! For years, I've been looking for pictures, commercials, ANYTHING about one of my very favorite places as a kid - so glad you did this!
Dave Berglund said:August 25, 2009 4:44 am PST
I have started a group on Facebook entitled "I remember Elmhurst When I was a Kid" even though Kiddy Kingdom was actually in Oakbrook terrace We considered it Elmhurst since it was right down the street from us. I have over 10000 members in the group. I have uploaded several of the pictures from this site as well as put the link on my page. Great job!!!!
Christopher Conner said:August 24, 2009 9:27 pm PST
I loved Dispensa's Castle of Toys. We shopped there tons as a kid. I espeically liked that you had some non mainstream games.
Kevin N. said:August 24, 2009 6:50 pm PST
Great website, thank you for making it and bringing back memories. I wish the park was still there...
Damon said:August 24, 2009 6:08 pm PST
Kiddie Kingdom ROCKED. I loved everything about that place. I remember going there with the whole family and shopping in the Giant Castle. I'm sure it wasn't as big as I remember but I loved it all the same.
Renee said:August 24, 2009 4:27 pm PST
Best memories ever! Thanks for all the pictures please keep them coming!
Susan S. said:August 24, 2009 4:05 pm PST
Thank you so much for creating this website! I used to LOVE going there and I can't tell you how often I have thought of it whenever I passed the spot it used to stand. The pictures brought back a flood of great memories and I was brought to tears by some of them. This was so great!
Jennifer Schweiger said:August 24, 2009 3:29 pm PST
oh this is an awesome website! ive been thinkin about kiddie kingdom for many years and how fun that place used to be. my poor husband wasnt fortunate enough to have gotten to go there when he was a kid..so this website sure has been nice for me to show him part of my past. it was hard to explain how cool this place was, but this website was awesome to help show him! so sad that it isnt there anymore. but what fond great memories i had growing up there! thanks!
Dawn I. said:August 24, 2009 2:22 pm PST
I am sooooooooooo happy to finally see a Kiddie Kingdom site! Thank you for working on this! Kiddie Kingdom was definitely one of my favorite places to go.... lots of memories!
fran said:August 24, 2009 1:38 pm PST
Thank you for putting together this website. My best childhood memories are from when my parents took me to Kiddie Kingdom as a child.
Irene said:August 24, 2009 1:18 pm PST
Thank you sooooo much for putting together a website! This is incredible! This brings back many happy memories of my childhood! I was sad to see the Castle go. Being a child it was a "magical place" and was everything a kid could ever wish for! I have created a fan page on Facebook for Dispensas Kiddie Kingdom were fans can share their memories as well! I will surely post a link to your fabulous website. This is great!! Thanks again!!! =)
Michael said:August 22, 2009 9:14 am PST
This is SO COOL! When I was a kid, this place was my nirvana. Yeah, Kiddieland in Melrose Park was around, but Dispensa's ruled. You could be a kid, but you could ride the big-kid rides like the Rock-O-Plane, Roll-O-Plane (at one time, which I affectionately called the Hot Dog ride, cuz it reminded me of 2 hotdogs connected to a stick) and the Rock-O-Plane, unlike Kiddieland. It was such an awesome place. Fondest memory was after eating hotdogs with my mom, aunt and grandma, then going on the Octopus where afterwards my grandma turned to my aunt and said, "Estelle, I think I'm gonna be--" and the contents of her lunch wound up on my aunt shoes. Our my Dad locking the car on the Rock-O-Plane in the downward position and say "Look down there," as we stared down at the Scrambler. I loved this place. Saddly, my aunt somehow threw away most of my photographs of Dispensa's, so all I had left were 3 treasured photos--that is until this site. You have done a utterly cool job collecting all these photos. I will be a diehard fan here for a long time. Way to go!!!!
Sharee said:August 22, 2009 8:11 am PST
Unbelieveable! You did a great job. I can remember all of this stuff....which is alot of stuff.
You have done a great job with the archive. It was great seeing the video of John Sr. :-)
You have collected a great archive of stuff full of great memories. I hope you can find photos of Whimpy and James and the Gang. That would be funny.
Thank you for putting this together! You should have great satisfaction knowing that you and your family have touched soooo many people in a positive way!
Chris J. said:August 21, 2009 7:38 pm PST
WOW! My parents took my brother and I to the park several times, but at only 5 years old, my memories are very faded. This site just flooded me with tons of them!! Good job and Thanks! (P.S. I know the train went to a park in Dooy county; was it Thumb Fun, by any chance?? If so, I did get to ride it a few more times before they disbanded. I just wish I knew it at the time!)
Alex said:August 21, 2009 7:56 am PST
Wow! The website turned out awesome! I got your youtube bulletin update! It has so many things, that it makes me feel as if I were alive when it was around! My dad talks about it alot!
Larry Gruchalski said:August 21, 2009 4:46 am PST
Great job! This has brought back so many memories. Time & money was well spent with my father taking me there monthly or sometime weekly to buy HO trains, tracks and land scape items.
The photos of the inside of the store showed how simple, but effective life was back then. Memories are some thing that can never be taken away from you. It is wonderful to compare your memories to actual photos, signs and tickets.
Lisa said:August 20, 2009 5:10 pm PST
Congratulations on the launch of your website! It all looks wonderful. I know your site will be a big success! --Lisa at "Chicagoland Memories"
Dar Davis said:August 20, 2009 2:45 pm PST
Great job, love the slide show. The pictures bring back so many memories.
Joe said:August 20, 2009 12:12 pm PST
Thank you so much for doing this site. I have looked up Dispensa's for years always hoping I would find an official site on it. I can't believe all the pictures and items you have. It brings back so many memories. There will be so many people excited over all you have done. I will be checking back often.
Jennifer said:August 20, 2009 8:40 am PST
This is an awesome website. There is a wealth of information. Thank you for putting up this site. I will recommended it to all my friends who have memories of visiting the "Castle of Toys!"
Thank you, thank you!
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