DiscoverLand Ranch: An update on one of Oklahoma’s staple landmarks!
Discoveryland, one of Sand Springs, Oklahoma’s staple landmarks. Built in the 1970’s, Discoverland amphitheater was home to the illustrious production,”Oklahoma!” a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The play consisted of live actors and animals which brought smiles to families who traveled from all over the region to watch the story unfold. Many Sandite’s remember Discoveryland in its heyday. In the late 1980’s Discoveryland came upon some financial struggles which could have easily brought them to ruin – however, they overcame and continued to host performances until 2011, when they closed their doors due to low attendance. The property officially closed in 2014. After another 4 years of being dormant a membership-only resort was attempted at the Discoveryland grounds – but was soon the endeavor folded.
Not all hope has been lost for Oklahoma’s beloved Discoveryland. In 2019 Jason and Kayla Shipman purchased the property in hopes of creating their dream home and business. Kayla shared with us, “We never imagined we would end up owning this place. But, it was available, and we were talking about the idea of owning some sort of wedding or event venue and this place seemed like the perfect place. It’s such a historic place and it was just falling into disrepair, we hate to see that, we want to try to preserve and keep it up – as much as is left of it.”
The Shipman’s plans are to complete, “remodel and [rehab] what’s left of the amphitheater and the picnic pavilion and then add a new building, an event center. We plan on hosting weddings and concerts and things like that out there” said Kayla. While walking the property, the sheer amount of progress made in two years is astounding. The updated amphitheater has been restored to its glory and then some. The picnic pavilion and event center are coming along nicely and nearly complete! “We are hoping to be finished late this winter or spring 2022, we will have a couple of open houses and start accepting reservations,” said Kayla.
While speaking with Kayla, she spoke into her and her husband’s long journey of revamping the Discoverland grounds, “It’s a work of love and a lot of labor, to bring it back into shape!” Now with the name Discoverland Ranch, the Shipmans are so close to completing this 2 year project and starting on the new journey of sharing the grounds with the public once again.
To follow along with the Shipman’s journey and see more photos of their progress, you can find them on Facebook as Discoverland Ranch.
Read more articles about Sand Springs Places here.