Now before any midwesterners think to themselves “Oh boy, a Disney park in Michigan? Who needs Cedar Point?!?” I must inform you that this is not a theme park, nor is it officially owned or licensed by Disney. This is an art project made by a man named Dmytro Szylak, a Ukrainian immigrant who worked for General Motors.
After returning from GM after 32 Years, Dmytro wanted to pursue a hobby and decided to begin “building his own Disneyland” in 1992, or at least how he would perceive it. The project was mainly for his own amusement, using his spare time to convert his backyard into an art project. He gathered various objects, some old, some new, some bought and some hand crafted, piling them them all together to create something he saw as unique.
The structure itself is built on top of two adjacent garages and stands at 30ft tall. Various objects from Christmas Lights, Wooden Soldiers, Pictures of Elvis, American Flags and a large Wooden Jet Model occupy the space. The piece is meant to be a collage of many things Dmytro thought was appealing. This park had no Mickey Mouse or Princesses or Pirates, but that wasn’t what he wanted for himself, this was HIS Disneyland.
Dmytro worked on this project from 1992 until 1999 when he considered it finished. He kept the place up to snuff until his passing in 2015 at age 92. In 2016 a local art group called Hatch Art bought the property for $100,000 to preserve the area as a local landmark. The houses where the property is located has four apartments which they rent out to help pay for the upkeep. Three rooms are rented out to random people while one special room is rented exclusively to artists.
Video Curtesy of The Carpetbagger on YouTube
The property still stands and is located in Hamtramck, Michigan near Detroit. The next time you are in the Mid-West feel free to stop by and see this one of a kind location. You can’t say that you’ve visited all Disneyland parks unless you’ve visited this one as well.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.