The Magic of McKenna Place

Wizard 1

Wizard Wayne holding a photo of McKenna Place.

We have long been fascinated with the spires and gables of McKenna Place on Rowlett road. We first visited this amazing series of structures when a popular gift shop operating in one of the spaces about 10 years ago. There was also a very high end infants’ boutique amid the amazing exterior concrete artistry.  Those stores closed when the widening of Rowlett Road forced motorists to avoid the area. Even so, the embellishments continued and the place has gotten more amazing over time.

Traffic now flows freely on Rowlett Road and businesses are moving back into the area. We kept an eye on McKenna Place, wondering just what new businesses might locate in the Disney-like facility. “That’s just perfect”, we exclaimed when we spotted the “Magic Fun House” sign, and eagerly dialed the number on the sign to get more details. A recorded message informed us that the place would be opening in about a week. The place seems to be a perfect location for magic and fun!


Wizard Wayne & friends

wizard Wayne and friends who just happened to stop by while we were there.

When we arrived on a Saturday afternoon we entered the door to the Magic Fun House  and found a man who calls himself Wizard Wayne behind the counter of a magic store. There was a display case full of magic tricks, wands and potions were available, we were told by the wizard. He suggested we take a tour of the place and told us to go outside and wait at the blue door. Wizard Wayne met us at the door and led us into a cave-like room right out of Harry Potter! It was dark and creepy, with sound effects and moving effigies. A second room had a speaker’s podium and seats, and this, we were told, is where visitors are given a history on the subject of magic. A third room was outfitted in similar fashion, and we admired the magic carpet on the floor in that room. Wizard Wayne explained that visitors are also given magic demonstrations and introduced to the ghostly presence of spirits behaving badly, according to urban legends.

We were given a short dissertation on the history of Houdini and other magicians that the wizard thought we should know. He went out of his way to stress that there is no black magic in any of the offerings at his Magic Fun House, just ordinary magic, if there is such a thing. The Magic Fun House is designed to attract groups of kids and adults who enjoy the mysterious and spooky world of supernatural fantasies.

After several visits with Wizard Wayne at his Magic Fun House, we have decided to feature spooky urban legends in the Garland/Rowlett Messenger in the coming months. Artist and cartoonist Lucas Cervellini is eager to explore the local takes and present them in cartoon fashion. 


Nancy Ghirla, editor