On July 4th, 1964 a storybook chapter opened in Tacoma, Washington thanks to Alfred “Al” Petersen. Al’s Never Never Land Park brought fairy tales to life right in the heart of Tacoma’s Point Defiance forest. Visitors to Point Defiance Park could visit Never Never Land where they would be greeted by famous characters such as Humpty Dumpty, The Three Bears, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.
Over time the structures began to deteriorate in the climate of the Pacific Northwest and public interest dwindled. The park was sold to Metro Parks of Tacoma in 1985. Unfortunately in 2001 due to vandalism and further deterioration the storybook chapter of Never Never Land closed for good. In 2010 the last of the remaining fairytale structures were removed.
Brandon Mitzel and his dad, Dave Mitzel, have been hard at work since 2019 attempting to open another storybook chapter for Never Never Land. At fifteen years old Brandon is the driving force in this endeavor. To call Brandon passionate about the park and its history is an understatement. Simply bringing up the topic will cause Brandon to flood you energetically with information about the park.
Brandon and Dave are working with Metro Parks Tacoma to find a way to reopen the park. They are in contact with many of the people who used to be involved with the park. Brandon and Dave have also began a TV show entitled “Wooded Wonderland.” This show aims to further help the cause as well as entertain and teach children.
This website serves as a resource for those desiring to keep up with the Mitzel’s cause or just as a place to reminisce. Be sure to sign up and become a member and share your stories and pictures in the community forum. You can even visit the stories tab where you will find the original fairy tales that you can read to your children. Also don’t forget to check out the gift shop. All proceeds from gift shop sales will help fund the Wooded Wonderland TV show and further assist in the cause to bring Never Never Land back to Tacoma.