Good news fans of Oz! You can now rent Dorothy's House in Land of Oz theme park! Details below…
BACKGROUND: There’s a little-known festival that takes place at North Carolina’s (formerly) abandoned Land of Oz amusement park. The park opens its doors to the public just once a year for “Autumn at Oz,” where former employees and past park visitors reminisce about the weird little Wizard of Oz theme park. Recently, photographer Seph Lawless had the opportunity to explore the abandoned ruins and photograph this whimsical wonderland...
A little bit about Seph and his photography project: Bizarro:
"My work is part of a much larger themed project called Autopsy of America which documents America's most abandoned and dead parts of the country in hopes to finding a cause of death. Most of my projects focus of a particular abandoned theme. Usually a theme that is very relatable and nostalgic for the viewer. Often times they are moved emotionally. The goal is to use art to emotionally move the viewer into some form of activism that can better America. This isn't social media. This is a social movement. Sometimes words just aren't enough, so I started talking pictures.
I set out to photograph the 10 most hauntingly beautiful abandoned amusement parks for my book Bizarro and had to include the Land of Oz Because it's a really unique place. 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. It was surreal and completely beautiful."
The Land of Oz theme park was open from 1970 to 1980 and its opening day saw over 20,000 visitors. Guests enjoyed strolling down the Yellow Brick Road, and hanging out with the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the West. Afterwards, there was a show at the Emerald City, complete with a balloon ride, which was actually a modified ski lift. Visitors could enjoy a breathtaking view of the park amidst Beech Mountain Resort's gorgeous scenery. Unfortunately the death of the original owner before the park opened and a mysterious fire in 1975 marred the initial success of the park and it closed suddenly in 1980. Now, the Yellow Brick Road is missing a few of its bricks, but the park is still there after being lovingly restored.
The park is open once a year for a reunion of former employees and past guests, called “Autumn at Oz.” In 2009, over 8,000 people attended. Every year more characters return and more vendors show up. So, if you’re in the area, drop by for a stroll through the poppy field. [CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION: Emerald Mtn]
Photos via MadFishX
The nitty gritty on renting Dorothy's House:
“Closed January 1 thru April 30″
Spring, Summer & Fall:
$400/2 night weekend
“THIS PERFECT, PRIVATE FARM tucked away atop Beech Mountain has an antique kitchen & parlor, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, down comforters, every appliance, great views, lots of adventure!” [CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION: Emerald Mtn]