You might have watched the iconic movie of the year 1939 – Wizard of OZ. In 1970 the Land of OZ theme park had its opening under the guidance of Grover Robbins (Carolina Caribbean Corporation) on the basis of the famous childhood novel, Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
This theme park is located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, USA. At first, the park had only hot air balloons as a ride. In the year 1980, the theme park had its closure, due to certain events. Many people say it was abandoned, but that’s not true. In 1975, there was a fire in the Emerald City’s Amphitheatre and many precious things were stolen as well.
In 1991, the park was reopened on Beech Mountain’s Independence Day for the celebration and since then it was in redevelopment. After that, the Land of OZ theme park opens thrice a year in June, July, and September. In June and July, the ‘Journey with Dorothy Tours’ happens, and September is reserved for the Autumn at Oz. The Autumn of OZ is known to be the largest wizard festival in the country.
What is there in Wizard of OZ Theme Park?
As said there are two types of festivities at the wizard theme park. Here in this section, we will try to describe both of them. So that you can get an idea of what happens there. Let’s get down to the yellow road and set on a quest to find the Wizard.
(Singing “We’re off to see the wizard” in Mind!)
Journey with Dorothy Tours
This event takes place in June and July, the date is declared every year on its website. In the event ‘Journey with Dorothy Tours,’ you will be on a tour guided by Dorothy to see the Wizard. The tour starts with the shuttle bus at a ski resort taking you to the top of the mountain.
According to the theme park’s website, the tour will take up to 45 minutes or 1 hour. There is also a scenic chairlift ride to enjoy, but it’s not free. Take your camera, you might want to capture the beautiful scenery at the Land of Oz.
The most interesting thing is, you can dress up in your favorite character’s costume and walk down the yellow road. Have delicious food in South America.
The Autumn of OZ
The Autumn of OZ held every September is the biggest festival of the Land of OZ theme park. The experience you will get during this event will send you back to your childhood. Relive the nostalgia of Wizard of Oz, with the characters playing the whole scene in front of you.
At the festival ‘The Autumn of OZ’, you will meet Dorothy at the Kansas farm. You will see Professor Marvel talking to Dorothy while looking in the crystal ball. Then you will also experience Dorothy’s house after the tornado hit it. Moving ahead you will meet Glinda, the Good Witch, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, The Wicked Witch of the West, and even the small characters as well.
You will see the (almost) original sets like Judy Garland Memorial Overlook and Fountain of Youth apart from Gale Kansas Farm and Tornado Cellar. While walking down the yellow brick road, you will see the mind-blowing and spine-chilling attractions.
In short, the Autumn of Oz is the theatre play version of the movie. You will know what it feels like to be away from home! At the end of the tour, you will be thankful to be home again.
“There’s no place like home!”
During September the climate of Beech Mountain is a bit cold, so it is better to get dressed with layers and don’t forget to put on the sports shoes. Walking down the yellow brick road will have steeps and uneven roads, which might hurt your feet if you wear heels.
Also Read: 15 Places You Need to Know In South America
End of the Virtual Tour to Wizard of OZ Park, NC:
This was all you need to know about the wizard of OZ park in NC. Now you have an idea, what happens in the Land of Oz. Book your tickets in advance as they work on reservations only. This year’s event may have differences or even be canceled due to the COVID-19 situation, visit their website to know more.
For more travel inspiration and itineraries to the specific place, visit Travelila.