BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. — The mostly defunct “Land of Oz” theme park in North Carolina will open next month for tours.
“It sits hidden on top of a mountain, one of the highest mountain peaks in the eastern U.S., so being there was almost like entering another planet,” Lawless said at the time. “It was surreal and completely beautiful.”
WGHP reports that the park was open from 1970 to 1980. When Oz was open year-round, tourists could explore Dorothy’s farmhouse, meet their favorite characters from the movie and participate in a hot air balloon ride.
There is a 44,000-brick yellow brick road throughout the entire park.
The park will be open every Friday in June for tours, according to the Land of Oz website. The event is called Journey with Dorothy.
The park will open every Friday in June and tours take place at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., according to organizers.
This is the third year The Land of Oz has participated in Family Fun Month by offering an intimate tour with Dorothy.
“This is an opportunity to walk through a classic story with the main character,” Jana Greer, who plays Dorothy, told FOX8.
The theme park is located in Beech Mountain on the western part of the state and operated from 1970 to 1980.
“Escape the ‘cyclone’ and run to the storm cellar and enter into the magic Land of Oz. Skip and sing with the Dorothy as you try to find your way home,” Greer said.
When Oz was open year-round, tourists could explore Dorothy’s farmhouse, meet their favorite characters from the movie and participate in a hot air balloon ride.
Watauga Lake Magazine reported that the park had 400,000 visitors during its first summer in 1970. It was once the second most popular tourist park on the eastern side of the country.
Emerald Mountain Broker Cynthia Keller provided different reasons on Emerald Mountain’s website on why the business may have semi-closed.
The owner died shortly before opening and “changing times, economics, liabilities, maintenance, and other interests of its owners, along with the lack of change at OZ, took their toll on the park,” she wrote.
Tickets cost $12.50 plus a $10 roundtrip lift ticket and online tickets go on sale the Monday before each tour. Participants are asked to arrive early to make it up the chairlift in time for the tour, according to GoCarolinas.