Going back and watching the Wizard Of Oz is always fun and it brings back a bit of nostalgia with it as well. After seeing this Wizard Of Oz themed theme park though, I’m thinking this movie was a little creepier than I originally thought. Located in the North Carolina mountains is a theme park called The Land Of Oz. The theme park was the idea of an entrepreneur named Grover Robbins. He thought Beech Mountain, North Carolina would be a perfect location because it would attract families, and money, to this resort town. On June 15th, 1970, owner Debbie Reynolds decided to open the doors to the public with a little help from her not-so-well-known daughter at the time, Carrie Fisher. You may know her now thanks to Star Wars. Read below to find out some more interesting facts about The Land Of Oz!
During their first full summer, Land of Oz welcomed more than 400,000 visitors! During its heyday, it was not unusual for them to have 20,000+ visitors per day.
The theme park was designed more as a walking tour for visitors to walk through the entire story. They would start at the farmhouse where they would find Aunt Em in the kitchen.
As visitors would stand in the kitchen, they’d start to hear the sound effects of the tornado and then would be ushered into the storm shelter where they would wait it out with one of the many Dorothy’s that worked at the Land of Oz.
After the tornado passed, a door in the cellar would open where visitors would see a tilted version of the farmhouse, recreating the damage from the storm.
They’d also find a pair of striped stockings and along with the infamous ruby-red slippers which belonged to the Wicked Witch of the East.
There is still a Yellow Brick Road that goes throughout the abandoned theme park. Since closing 10 years after the theme park opened, it has since become the victim of fire and also theft. Not only did vandals steal props, they even stole entire buildings!
You can find props in some of the deserted buildings, including one of Dorothy’s dresses from the actual movie which are now located in the park museum.
Because there is truly no place like home, in the 1990s there was a small project called Emerald Mountain which are all volunteers.
They started to restore the park, slowly but surely. The park is opened for 2 days a year every year to raise money to fund its restoration.
Get a tour of The Land Of Oz by watching the video below:
Would you want to visit the Land of Oz during its heyday? Or would you rather go somewhere like Disneyland? Let us know in the comments below.