Originally opened in the 1970s, a Wizard of Oz-themed park in North Carolina is set to reopen for a limited time this summer.
Today, America is home to hundreds of theme parks, from water to adventure. However, the Land of Oz park was the first ever Wizard of Oz based theme park to be built in the world. Opening in 1970, it cost over $5 million at the time, which is approximately $34 million today.
The Land of Oz included a stunning Yellow Brick Road, made of 44,000 glazed yellow bricks, and spanning over nine acres. However, the park had only one ride, a balloon journey that too guests along the Beech Mountain, showcasing its breath-taking vistas.
As the Land of Oz website recalls, “For a brief moment in history, Oz was a real truly live place where performers portrayed Dorothy and her friends and danced along a yellow brick road that curved around a mountaintop a mile high in Western North Carolina.”
Abandoned Theme-Park Is Set To Reopen
In December 1975, the park’s amphitheater and surrounding shops and restaurants were destroyed by a fire. It closed in 1980 due to financial difficulties but reopened for a short time after public interest led to the annual Autumn at Oz event in 1994. This event is currently being expanded into a series of Wizard of Oz-themed special events that will be held every Friday in the Land of Oz, beginning this June.
The hour-long “Journey with Dorothy” event sends guests along the Yellow Brick Road, led by Dorothy Gale herself, in search of the Wizard. They will get the chance to play some of the iconic characters in the story along this journey that begins in Kansas and passes through the famous Tornado into Oz.
The revamped “Autumn at Oz” will feature live shows, food stalls, collectibles, as well as a full cast of characters.
Tickets for the “Journey with Dorothy” tour are on sale at $25 per person. More information on the Land of Oz theme park is available at their official website.