Bedrock City! ~ Valle, Arizona
“Bedrock City?” … Yes, it is true! Valle is the home of a full scale village that looks like it came right out of a classic Flintstones Cartoon. When peeking over the wall, the buildings look like they are made out of chiseled stone slabs. There are pterodactyls flying around the volcano, there is a brontosaurus slide holding its head high in the sky and yes, this looks like the place that Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty call home!
Bedrock City is an RV park, campsite and amusement park all wrapped up into one big beautiful prehistoric package. Anything that visitors might need for an extended stay is offered at this ancient looking resort. The Bedrock City Gift Shop offers unique memorabilia that can be found no place else and Fred’s Diner has served up some pretty good prehistoric comfort food since the time when the dinosaurs ruled the earth.
I have to admit that when I was a kid I spent many afternoons watching the Flintstones Cartoon on TV. There was something about this cartoon that captivated all who viewed, much the same as Gilligan’s Island used to do. The thematic idea of these old TV shows involved creating a captivating reality that viewers could escape into. When stepping through the entrance gate at Bedrock City, it is easy to get that same escapist feeling and the separation from the reality of the modern world becomes all consuming after only a few minutes.
When first looking around at the stone slab buildings and the Flintstones characters upon arrival, the cartoon reality starts to sink in. Then the Flintstones soundtrack is heard carrying through the air and this adds to the cartoon land effect. All of a sudden it clicks and all that one can do is stand there cracking up with laugher while smiling from ear to ear! Visiting Bedrock City is literally just like walking around in a cartoon and for an adult the experience is quite psychedelic to say the least!
Visiting Bedrock City was like being a kid again and I actually had to take a look around to make sure that this place was not designed solely for children. There were several other adult parties having a good time too, so visiting Bedrock City as a grown-up is really not an odd thing to do. There were plenty of kids running around, so this animated entertainment venue certainly was designed for visitors of all ages.
Those who have watched the Flintstones Cartoons will have no problem navigating their way around Bedrock City. Fred and Barney’s homes are where they should be. The prehistoric decor of the living rooms and kitchens are just like what can be seen in the cartoon. Wilma, Betty, Pebbles and Bam Bam are all going about their daily routines. Dino The Dinosaur is standing there welcoming guests too. The beauty salon, filling station and market are all there. The stone and wood log foot pedal powered cars, the movie theater and the Bedrock Jailhouse all look just like they jumped right out of the Flintstones Cartoon! All the while, the Flintstones Cartoon soundtrack echoes in the air and this creates an interesting hypnotic effect while strolling about. Once again, it is like a visitor becomes a background character in a Flintstones Cartoon when walking around in Bedrock City!
As one can tell, this article was composed before the recent news about Bedrock City hit the newspapers. Unfortunately all things must pass and Bedrock City was recently sold to a new owner. The new owner plans to turn Bedrock City into a falconry park, but it is difficult to picture this new business theme as being a future success.
The vast Bedrock City property has been squabbled over several times in the past and this entertaining place has closed its doors more than once through the years. With a little luck, good old Bedrock City will survive this interim period intact, so future generations can be kids again in this life size cartoon park. All that can be said is that visiting Bedrock City is a must to do at this time, if for no other reason than to take a few photographs of Fred and Barney one last time!