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golden oak mushroom

Golden Oak Ranch

The Walt Disney Company’s Golden Oak Ranch is a movie ranch that serves as an interior and exterior filming site. The ranch is off of Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall, California, less than an hour north of Los Angeles. To reach the ranch, travel north from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Continue onto State Route 14. Take the Placerita Canyon Road exit and turn right. The ranch’s entrance is about two miles (3 km) ahead, on the left.

History

The ranch was named in honor Francisco Lopez who, in 1842, discovered gold in California . The legend goes that Lopez fell asleep under an oak tree and awoke hungry, so he pulled a wild onion up to eat. But surprisingly Lopez found gold flakes in the roots of the onion. the resulting gold is estimated to have garnered nearly $80,000. Walt Disney bought the ranch in 1959 for $300,000. Over the years, thanks to additional purchases of adjacent land needed to prevent the sights and sounds of modern life from intruding upon the movies shot at filming locations on the ranch, the area of the ranch increased to . The ranch manager is Steve Sligh. Two live-in groundskeepers, Pat Patterson and Jesus Guerrero, help to maintain the ranch.

Motion pictures and TV shows filmed at the ranch

The ranch was used to film the episodes of Spin and Marty, a popular segment of The Mickey Mouse Club and parts of Zorro. The first movie shot at the ranch was Toby Tyler. The town featured in Roots II was also built on the Golden Oak Ranch. Segments of Pete's Dragon were shot on this location as well, as were The Apple Dumpling Gang, Treasure of Matecumbe, The Muppet Movie, The Electric Horseman, Little House on the Prairie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Colonel Sanders commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken. A covered bridge spans the man-made stream featured in Follow Me, Boys! and episodes of Bonanza and The Greatest American Hero. The exterior house featured in the original 1961 film The Parent Trap was also shot on the ranch as was as the Peabody farm from the Universal film Back to the Future. In 1988, Big Top Pee-wee was filmed here.

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