Follow The Yellow Brick Road Inside a Rarely Open Wizard of Oz Theme Park
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If you’re looking for a unique weekend getaway this June, look no further than the land of Oz. No, not Australia, but Oz, as in Wizard of Oz. Bald Thoughts reports that the “Wizard of Oz” theme park, not truly abandoned, but largely closed since the 1980s, will reopen for a few select days this summer and fall for small group tours. You won’t be in Kansas; you’ll find the Land of Oz in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
The “Journey with Dorothy” at the Land of Oz is a 45-minute tour led by Dorothy herself. On June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 and July 5, you can participate in an interactive Oz experience where you might even get to portray one of the iconic characters. Tickets are $27.50 for ages 2 and up.
If this summer doesn’t work for you, you’ll have another chance to go over the rainbow this fall. Those dates are still TBD, but this fall the “Wizard of Oz” movie celebrates its 80th anniversary and the “Wizard of Oz” theme park will open for a festival with props from the original movie and many other festivities. Tickets go on sale in May for the fall festival and they will be priced at $45.
Need to Know
- The closest large hub airport to the Land of Oz is Charlotte (CLT), which is about 2.5 hours from Beech Mountain. Asheville (AVL), North Carolina, is another option but you’ll often find more award flights or affordable cash flights to and from Charlotte. If you are coming from the central or eastern part of the country, Avios might be your best bet starting at 7,500 each way for short-haul flights on American Airlines.
- Boone, North Carolina, is the closest town with points hotels. IHG and Marriott are the chains best represented in the area. Representing Marriott are a Fairfield (Category 3, 17,500 points/night) and a Courtyard (Category 4, 25,000 points/night). Representing IHG are a Holiday Inn Express at 25,000 points and a new Holiday Inn (points rate TBD). However, I would check cash rates first, because most I saw were only around $100/night.
- The Land of Oz theme park is said not to be stroller- or wheelchair-friendly due to uneven pathways, staircases and steep ramps built within the natural terrain of Beech Mountain.
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The Land of Oz theme park is not truly abandoned, but it also isn’t open to visitors very frequently, so circle the dates on your calendar for the summer if you want to live out your Wizard of Oz dreams (or at least take some really cool yellow brick road photos for Instagram).
Featured image by bambithepig / Flickr
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