They Found An Abandoned “Wizard Of Oz” Theme Park, And What’s Inside Sent Chills Down Their Spine.
Mental Flare Staff
The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movie classics. But with its eerie sets and odd cast of characters, it’s easy to see why many children have been fighting nightmares over it for years.
There’s a real-life place that exemplifies this: the former Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. The park opened in 1970, and everyone thought it would be a pleasant family attraction. When it unceremoniously closed in 1980, however, it was obvious that that would not be the case…
Even though it opened decades after the success of the film and book, the Land of Oz was pulled in 20,000 visitors on its first day.
Developers wanted to make the park a year-long attraction. Since the park was built on top of an old ski resort, the chairlift doubled as the hot air balloon ride Dorothy takes at the end of the film.Johnny Joo Photography
But with time, visitor numbers waned and sales dropped off in the years that would follow. By 1980, the park was closed.
Though the park was inspired by the book more so than the movie, The Land Of Oz did have a number of historical props from the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Some of these pieces were even displayed in a museum on the park’s property.
With shadows and light playing tricks on visitors’ eyes, the park maintains a mysterious beauty unmatched by many places on Earth. Because its appeal was clear, workers and volunteers decided to re-open the park for special events in June, 2016.
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