Beech Mountain, North Carolina: Land of OzA long-abandoned Oz mountaintop theme park, opened by local residents to the public every October.
Visitor Tips and News About Land of Oz
I have traveled to Banner Elk for the past three years for the Autumn at Oz Festival and am quite impressed with what the group of volunteers have done with the park. If it were not for the love of Oz that these volunteers display, there would be no Land of Oz to view once a year.
I fondly remember visiting the park as a child with my mom and my grandparents and feeling the magic that flowed in the mountain air. As a true Oz fan, I am very thankful for the opportunity once a year to revisit my youth and be surrounded by other Oz fans. At nine years of age, I remember being totally heartbroken when the Land of Oz closed.
I plan on vacationing the weekend in October every year and visit Oz. The group of people I drag with me every year gets bigger and bigger. Is it on the same amusement park level that Disney World is on? No, but it is not supposed to be. It costs a lot more than any of us know about to put this on every year. Charging only $15 per person probably barely covers the cost of operation for one weekend a year. It is normally hard to find worthy hard working volunteers also. My hat's off to the special people that put this on every year. Thank you![Crystal Newby, 03/24/2009]
Land of Oz is not what it used to be. You would think that they could fix up the place, at fifteen dollars a head and about ten thousand people in two days! I believe it would be a much better place to visit if it was fixed up as close to the '70's look as it could be (a bigger scarecrow and tin man house, the Magic Moment stage, gift shop for Land of Oz items, and restaurant and a place for people to sell their stuff besides a tent).[David, 02/14/2009]
We visited the Park [for the annual weekend it's open] for the first time. I have memories as a child of visiting the park with my parents. We arrived around 11:00 on Sunday. After an approximately hour wait, we loaded a bus to the top of the mountain (A yearly regular told us the bus line would move much faster than the tractor/hay ride line). Really didn't know what to expect but took my 10-year old daughter and husband along.
The only familiar part of the trip to me was Dorothy's house. All of the characters were in really great costumes. Everyone seemed to be very nice, even though the lines continued to be very long at the top of the mountain as well.
I wish I had seen this website before going so I would have known to visit the museum before entering Dorothy's house. Once we entered the house we were in one continuous long line. We really enjoyed ourselves but not so sure I could make it a yearly event.[Tracie M, 10/23/2008]
Oh my! We had heard such great things about this place from all types of people. So, we packed up our 3 children ages 2 years to 8 years old. What a mess! We waited in line for 2 hours to catch the Hay Ride up the mountain. The ride was fun and the view was awesome!
Once we got up the mountain, again, we were unloaded to simply stand in line the entire trip around the "Yellow Brick Road." So many people! We were like cattle being pushed, literally, through the exhibit. And not much of an exhibit at all. With so many people shoved into such a small area, you couldn't even see anything.
And the place was far, far, far from Disney Land's quality. Very cheesy and nothing much to see at all. Folks were mainly there to get photos with the characters which, by the way, were dressed in very amazing costumes. So, if you enjoy great views while standing in long lines to get your photo taken with Dorothy. Then I say go for it. As for me, we will never go again and make sure we spread the story about what a waste of time and money this adventure was.[S. Rhodes, 10/23/2008]
Flying Monkey Army! Tell everyone the Land of Oz is nothing like Disney Land!
Third trip to the festival with my wife and our three children. Not quite as enjoyable for mom and dad this time around, since there was inclement weather, but the kids still had a blast. They look forward to it every October.
The biggest change I've seen year to year, since 2004, is at the Oz museum. They seem to add new artifacts/memorabilia to it yearly. Otherwise, everything about the "park" remains the same. The characters, the yellow brick road, Dorothy's home, were all sensational as usual.
To those who want to complain: just be thankful that the Emerald Mountain residents are kind enough to open their "backyard" to the public one weekend out of the year. They give you an opportunity to visit the remains of what once upon a time was a grand and magical mountaintop theme park. Many of us who were blessed to see it 30 years ago, through our own eyes as children, can attest to that. As for my family and I, come next October, I guess we'll be "Off to see the Wizard" once more.[Troy, 11/11/2006]
Land of Oz
- Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain, NC
- NC-184 takes you up to the town of Beech Mountain. A winding 2-lane road just to the left of the Chamber of Commerce building -- Beech Mountain Parkway -- will take you up to a sign that says "Emerald Mountain." Through that gate, it's another 1/2 mile, past a bunch of ski lifts.
- 1st weekend in Oct. - Sa 10 am - 4 pm Su 11 am - 4 pm. (Call to verify)
- $20 in advance, $25 at the gate
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour