Abandoned Land of Oz

"Make the dreams that you dare to dream” really come true

2669 South Beech Mountain Parkway
Beech Mountain, NC 28604 US

3stars based on 245 votes

Abandoned Land of Oz - This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

The Land of Oz is a mostly now-defunct theme park located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. It was opened in 1970 by Grover Robbins, who had been successful with Tweetsie Railroad, and was fully operational until 1980. The park was based on the book rather than the film.

In fact, during the designing phase employees were told not to watch the movie but rather read the book. The costumes of the actors were in fact based more on the book descriptions until later on in the park's history when they were changed to look more like the film.

Visitors could take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road, "experience" the cyclone which struck Dorothy's house, and visit with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. The Yellow Brick Road led to a show at the Emerald City where the characters met with the Wizard.

An artificial balloon ride, a specially modified ski lift installed by Goforth Brothers, allowed visitors to get a bird's-eye view of the park and mountain scenery before leaving Oz. A small museum showcased props and costumes from the film. These were jointly bought by the park and Debbie Reynolds from MGM.

Land of Oz opened in 1970 with the intention of extending the ski resort to be a 'year-round' attraction by offering an attraction at the pinnacle of Beech Mountain. A ski lift was specially designed to become the hot air balloon ride which has since been redeployed to be a ski lift on the back bowl, now Oz run, of Ski Beech. In later years, characters from the story conducted tours, but the original design was for the visitor to assume the role of Dorothy - experiencing everything from Kansas to tornado to the meeting the characters on the yellow brick road to Oz. The visit culminated in Emerald City, where Dorothy appeared with her friends to meet the Wizard.

The park was the top attraction in the southeast the first year. Its opening day in 1970 attracted 20,000 visitors. Dampened by the death of owner Grover Robbins a few months before the park opened, the driving force to keep the park as a special experience gave way to commercial necessities foisted on Carolina Caribbean Corp by the downturn in real estate sales. Emerald City burned on Sunday, December 28, 1975, destroying some artifacts, including the dress worn by Dorothy in the movie. There is some speculation that the fires were set by disgruntled employees who were angered at having been dismissed for legitimate reasons. Land of Oz finally closed in 1980.

After the park was closed much of it fell into disrepair. Props were vandalized, stolen, or left to exposed to the elements. Some of the park was saved, including as parts of the yellow brick road, a few munchkin houses, some of the later costumes, and sections of the witch's castle were preserved.

The owner of the land restored the park about ten years later. In the late nineties, former employees started the Autumn at Oz event as a reunion. Later this became an annual event, and in 2009 the festival had 8500 attending. In 2010 more of the park's original characters returned, the Fountain of Youth had green water, and vendors and face painters were added to the event. Gregory Hugh Leng was guest of honor. A museum now shows costumes from the movie and other memorabilia. The Yellow Brick Road has a few of its 44,000 bricks missing but once again takes visitors through the Enchanted Forest and Poppy Field. Dorothy's house, which can be rented for events, includes a basement intended to make visitors feel the experience of a tornado; the Wicked Witch's legs stick out from under the house. In 2011, the park hosted the International Wizard of Oz Club and some of the original 1970 cast returned to share photos and tales from the original inspiration of Jack Pentes.

Abandoned Land of Oz 2669 South Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC 28604 US

(828) 387-2000

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az2010 az2010
How do I find out more information about this?
8 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
jojojohnson7 jojojohnson7
Has anyone been recently? And if so please share how it was...Thanks!
8 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
sarah.r.eubank sarah.r.eubank
Here's a website to the realty group http://www.emeraldmtn.com/index.html. But, there's a festival every autumn at the Land of Oz. Here's a link to that http://www.autumnatoz.com.
8 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
sarah.levesque.121 sarah.levesque.121
When the park was new, my parents took all 6 of the kids. I was next to the youngest. I remember the old ski lift chairs that took you above the park. I also remember Dorothy's house and feeling the tornado. I remember the fun we all had. Mom and dad also had friends that worked there for a time. Awesome trip and now that I know about Autumn at Oz I will try to bring my family in the future.
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
plavec77 plavec77
Go to the website ALL the info is there it happens the 5th and 6th of this year. 30$ a ticket.
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
buzz.braeden buzz.braeden
Anyone read Jean Houston's book "The Wizard of Us" or done any Wizard of Oz work with Jean? Love to hear from you :)
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
crummcake crummcake
I want to go to there.
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
I remember going their with my Mom and brother when I was around 9 or 10 and loved it. Really made you feel like you was in OZ.
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
annell.wilkie annell.wilkie
My family and I went one of the first couple of years this was open. I remember it was misting that day and no long lines anywhere. Loved it!
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
pamela.barker.902 pamela.barker.902
i went when i was little loved it
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
jim-in-america jim-in-america
Because this event has gotten so popular, you need to order tickets ahead of time. They give you a ticket which allows you to enter at a certain time. If you just show up, you might not be able to get in. If you are a Wizard of Oz fan, this is a neat experience! Sometimes the weather is beautiful, and sometime it is foggy and freezing.
7 months ago Abandoned Land of Oz
Gregory Hugh Leng (1963-) Is a well known artist, author and commercial photographer that lives outside Asheville, North Carolina. He has published 5 books on photography and well known travel spots. Ansel Adams inspired him to be a photographer, David McCullough, the famous historian and author has inspired him to be an author both of which Gregory communicated with by phone and mail. His art is inspired by the great Jackson Pollock. He lives with his 8 year old son and has lived in North Carolina all his life.
23 days ago Abandoned Land of Oz
I honestly hate the title of this article and the fact that "The Land of Oz" theme park is abandoned. At one time yes, it may have been. Now it has been restored enough to bring back memories for those that visited the park from 1970-1980. Even children today love the restoration that has been done by Cindy Keller and Andy. They not only discovered "The Yellow Brick Road" but have cleaned it and restored bricks that people steal. There are a lot of volunteers that maintain the park. You will also find a group of us that heavily promote that the parts of the park are still there. It is still enjoyable and a huge success during "Autumn at Oz." For a couple of days you can visit the park with your family in the Fall. You can also rent Dorothy's home and enjoy the park alone. Weddings and special parties are available by calling Cindy. "The Land of Oz" will always be "occupied' as long as those that love it take care of it, visit it and stop stealing artifacts other could enjoy. I took an award winning photograph of "The Yellow Brick Road" in the 1970's and the world famous photographer Ansel Adams was the only person that owned a copy of it until I decided to publish my historical photography book on the park. He loved the photograph! For the 40th anniversary and since the munchkins that were still living could not make it as guests, I was invited to be there signing my book. I have written the only full color historical book on The Land of Oz theme park after interviewing Cindy Keller, Spencer Robbins (the owner of the park) and Jack Pentes (the creator and designer of the park). My only wish is that I had more original photographs in the book. I do have a lot of what I call behind the scenes photographs that are more recent. I have sold a lot of signed books, limited edition prints, coffee mugs and other memorabilia since 2010. The books are sold on eBay and through me directly at gregoryleng @aol.com. I also have a facebook page in my name and The Land of Oz Gregory Hugh Leng. I would love to write a coffee table book loaded with information and as many pictures as I can find. Many people today never knew the park even existed. It was the #1 tourist attraction in NC for years. The cast, behind the scene workers, promoter's and volunteers do an outstanding job letting people know that "The Land of Oz" theme park is still a part of the magic on top of Beech Mountain. Regardless of what is imagined I make $8 a book and that is put back into printing more books. I promote The Land of Oz because of my love for the park and Beech Mountain. I certainly do not make money from the book sales & if I ever do it will be minimal. I strongly encourage you to get tickets in advance off the website for Autumn at Oz, dress warmly since the weather changes quickly during this time of the year in the North Carolina mountains and take your entire family on an adventure they will never forget. I appreciate what everyone has done to bring back to life what they could and allow you to visit Oz in person. Be thankful to those people that have tried to take you on a trip with Dorothy to Oz. We love it and so will you! Gregory Hugh Leng, 198 Brittany Place Drive, Suite V, Hendersonville, NC, 28792-7130. My book with U.S.Priority shipping is only $46.00. I can sign and personalize them if you wish to a specific person. All books and items shipped signed and numbered. Thank you, Gregory Hugh Leng
23 days ago Abandoned Land of Oz
23 days ago Abandoned Land of Oz
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  • Amusement Parks