Almost everybody thinks their grandparents are the best in the whole world, but Steve Dobbs might give them a run for their money. He did, after all, build his two grandchildren a real-life backyard Disneyland-ish theme park, aptly named Dobbsland (!!!).
Dobbs grew up close to Disneyland and watched as the park was erected piece by piece, feeling inspired by the construction. He also had a friend who worked a turnstile at the park, and would let him in for free, according to The OC Register.
His frequent visits created the perfect conditions for a backyard amusement park, obviously. Take an engineering-minded guy who loves his grandchildren and want them around more, a Disney fan with a vested interest in the original construction, and a Polytechnic University professor looking for a way to involve his students more, and you have the makings of the best homemade theme park in the country.
Dobbsland has Sleeping Princess Castle, Freezing Land, a Matterhorn roller coaster, that is certified as a legit ride and goes over 12 miles an hour. Dobbsland also has working teacups, a “Winifred the Pooh” ride, a submarine adventure, and spots inspired by both Finding Nemo and Cars.
It’s as close to the real thing as you’re gonna get in a Fullerton county backyard.
Dobbs recounts to the OC Register how it all started with a dinky little cardboard tunnel over a single-loop train. He remembers, “And they were bored with that after five minutes.” Dobbs’ grandpa-instincts kicked in, and he began searching for ways to make it more fun and interesting for his grandbabies. He says, “My younger grandkids are nuts about Disneyland. I wanted to give them a reason to come over to my house to spend time with me, and Disneyland is tough to compete with.”
We thought that was amazing,” said Mandi McArthur, Dobbs’ younger daughter and the mother of three, and we’re have to agree. Sorry, Grans and Grandaddy, Granpa Steve has you beat on this one.
Check out this incredible video posted by the world’s best grandfather, with pictures of Dobbsland: