Yesterday we explored the history of one of America’s most popular theme parks. Today, we want to look at the history of one of the more eery theme parks in the United States. Land of Oz is a creepy reminder that not all theme parks are successful. The Oz theme park opens it’s doors once a year for a couple days to interested visitors. However, the theme park is abandoned the rest of the year.
Land of Oz is located in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Purchased by Grover Robbins, the park opened in 1970 with the intention of being a year round ski resort. It should go without saying that the theme park was based on the popular movie The Wizard of Oz. The theme park was meant to put visitors in the role of Dorothy, free to wander the park and explore Oz. Along the way they would plenty of friends like the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. The park also included themed rides including a Hot Air Balloon ski lift. The park also contained a museum that housed actual props from the movie.
In the first the year the park was open it was the most popular attraction in the southwest, an outstanding 20,000 guests attended the grand opening. Unfortunately, the owner passed away months before the opening causing the park the park to get off to a rocky start. A few years after the opening a fire erupted in Emerald City, burning part of the museum and destroying some of the original props worn in the movie. The park suffered for ten years to keep their head above water, but they were forced to close the doors in 1980.
After it’s closing the park fell victim to vandalization and many of the props were stolen. However, in the late 90’s the park began to undergo a restoration. In the early 2000’s the park began to open it’s doors once a year to visitors. Past employees come to reminisce on their days spent working the park and new visitors from all over come to see the once glorious Land of Oz. Even though the park has undergone restoration, the property still gives off a creepy vibe to visitors.