Put on your ruby slippers, we're off to see the Wizard. October 5 and 6, Oz-lovers of all ages can visit Beech Mountain, North Carolina to see the abandoned Land of Oz theme park during its once-a-year reopening, "Autumn at Oz."
The park, which opened in 1970 and stayed operational for only 10 years, once entertained guests with strolls along the Yellow Brick Road, the chance to meet characters like the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Wicked Witch of the West, and a magical send-off of the Wizard in his balloon.
The park was forgotten for 10 years until, in 1990, the Emerald Mountain project began to develop the area. While many of the buildings are still derelict and some of the 44,000 yellow bricks are missing, other attractions have been reclaimed.
During this 20th annual celebration of "Autumn at Oz," visitors, who are encouraged to dress "Ozzie," have the chance to see Dorothy's farm, visit gazebos, check out the waterfall, pond, and fountain, and walk the yellow brick road. Interact with Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and others during the fantasy weekend. Kids will enjoy the mini-museum, face-painting, and a small petting zoo.
All ticket proceeds go to the upkeep and restoration of the park. While this year's celebration is mostly sold out, you can reserve your own private tour or party through Emerald Mountain at any time or rent out Dorothy's house for a getaway.
Photos courtesy of Thomas Kerns/Kilted MadMan via Flickr