If you plan to go to The Land of Oz, here's your first clue that you've arrived at that otherworldly locale. For openers, you won't be in Kansas, but in North Carolina, where a theme park dedicated to the misadventures of Dorothy and Toto is located.
And second, there's an element of spookiness to the surroundings in that the park has been abandoned for more than 35 years, so naturally that automatically infers a haunted element enters the premises.
Which is what fans of the L. Frank Baum story, not to mention the 1939 movie that starred Judy Garland, might likely do when the theme park reopens for six days in June. Every Friday that month as well as Saturday, June 30, visitors will be treated to a guided tour (presumably with a staffer dressed as Dorothy leading the pack) at The Land of Oz lasting an hour. Even though the time is short, the staff at the Beech Mountain park will ensure to pack plenty of activities into that period.
For openers, be prepared to revert back to your childhood by getting into interactive mode. Starting at the Fountain of Youth and at various stops on the replicated yellow brick road, tourists will be asked to portray Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man or even the Wicked Witch of the West as part of the quest for an audience with the Wizard himself. As for the munchkins, flying monkeys, witches on broomsticks being part of the package, that's all subject to speculation.
Opened in 1970, the park ran for about 10 year, before the gates closed on the attraction, opening once a year during the 1990s. But interest in The Land of Oz started multiplying when folks posted images of the park, which included a few with missing bricks in the legendary golden pathway, while dilapidated structures losing their battle with natural vegetation also surfaced as images online. Presumably, that's what warranted the park's temporary reopening.
Tickets for The Land of Oz went on sale April 20 and will set you back $25. The good news? You won't have to barricade yourself in your home, waiting for a tornado to carry you to Munchkinland. Regular flights to Charlotte, North Carolina will do.