In 1970, the Carolina Caribbean Corporation opened the Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
The idea was for people to have an entire Wizard of Oz experience with themselves playing the role of Dorothy. They could walk down the yellow brick road, be tossed around by a (fake) tornado, and finally end up in the Emerald City.
In its first year, Land of Oz was the top attraction in the southeast region of the United States. Unfortunately, it didn’t enjoy the same level of popularity in the years following. In 1980, the park closed its doors to the public.
Even in its heyday, you can’t deny that the park was a little creepy.
The park workers would put on the “Magic Moment Show” (pictured above) every half hour.
Every. Half. Hour.
Imagine that being your job.
Anyway, that doesn’t happen anymore. Let’s see what the park looks like these days, shall we?
Here’s what you see as you near the park entrance.
Definitely nothing foreboding or ominous about that, right?
Nope. Definitely not.
And here’s a lovely gate emblazoned with the word “OZ.”
What could be behind it?
Aaaaaand I think we’ve seen enough. Even if it wasn’t covered in fog, this yellow brick road does not look like something that will lead you to a magical wizard who can solve all your problems.
But at least the trees aren’t too spooky.
Never mind. I take that back. Who thought this was a good idea? I demand an answer. It kind of seems like there are spooky things everywhere you look in this park…
Like this cage of birdhouses.
Is this jail? For birds?! That’s not even in the movie!
It seems like this is something that was added solely to spook park guests. And it’s working. Repeat after me: I do believe in spooks.
While walking along the (terrifying) yellow brick road, you might come upon the Tinman’s little house. I guess it’s nice to see that he got a home to go back to after that whole Emerald City adventure.
The Scarecrow also has himself a little place. No word on whether the Cowardly Lion got the hookup. He’s probably being king of the forest.