There are times I amaze myself with the random odd findings of adventure. If I am traveling somewhere, I will pull up every site I can regarding that place and do my research. I particularly love Roadside America stops. I once made Mander ride with me to see a 20 foot duck on the side of the road in Flanders, NY. For no other reason than to see a 20 foot duck.
That ability to find the random place to visit was inherited from Ma. Before internet, before the world wide interwebs, before technology – she would find the most random spots for us to visit. This was never more evident than that time we stopped at the Land of Oz in North Carolina.
Land of Oz theme park is located on Beech Mountain in North Carolina. In recent years it has been a popular post on Facebook with headlines like “creepy abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park…” In pulling up their website, I see that they are open now for events in the fall. Which is awesome! Now I am planning the five hour drive there this fall (NC with fall foliage? Yes, please!). This year is the 80th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz (one of my very favorite movies of ALL times)! AND, Renau and I are making our way through the Wicked book series. The time is perfect, the time is THIS year!
So the actual theme park included a stage where you could watch a live action stage version of the Wizard of Oz. And yes, I have photos.
As best I can remember, we followed Dorothy along part of the yellow brick road, outside of the house that landed on the witch (Nessa Rose) and when she took off in the hot air balloon (well, the ski lift with a sheet on it in the shape of a balloon).
There was also a puppet show. Well hey there Carla Bean!
After the show there was a meet and greet (and yes, I am in these photos along with the characters. I believe these were taken between my fourth and fifth grade years)!
And adjacent to the property was a ski lift that took us along a ridge where we could see people grass skiing. That’s right, some weird hybrid between inline skates and skis that allowed slope bunnies to get the hills in even in warmer climates!
All-in-all it was a great time. I look forward to possibly making the trek down this fall to celebrate the anniversary of the movie and to see if the yellow brick road still has its shine!
Have you ever been to a Roadside America attraction or to an odd theme park? I would love to hear about it!