The Bright Spot: Over the Rainbow to the Land of Oz

BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. – This week’s Bright Spot takes us over the rainbow to the Land of Oz high on top of Beech Mountain – one of the highest peaks on the east coast!

Land of Oz History

This theme park, honors the classic movie – The Wizard of Oz. It was built to draw visitors to the mountain town. Hundreds of thousands visited the park the year it opened in 1970. The Washington Post named it the best theme park in the country. It operated until 1980. Parts of the park were sold and torn down to make room for new homes in the area. While vandals stole pieces of the park left standing as souvenirs – leaving it in a state of disarray. The park was restored in the early 90s. And now annually open it to the public a few weeks a year each September.

Autumn at Oz Festival

The Autumn in Oz Festival is part walking tour, part show.  The immersive experience begins at Dorothy’s house in Kansas and throws you into a tornado where you will travel to Oz. From there, follow the yellow brick road in search of Emerald City. You will meet all the classic characters of the Wizard of Oz along the way.  Austin Scarlett, the first runner-up in Season 1 of Project Runway designed the costumes for the main cast members.

This year the park will feature an updated layout of Emerald City, a vignette show at the witch’s castle, and a restored tornado room, matching the original tornado from the year it opened.

The show will last about an hour, but guests can take photos and explore the theme park after the show ends.

Artisan vendors, food, and beverages will be for sale by vendors. You can also purchase a lift ticket to ride up the mountain for more picturesque views from Beech Mountain. From the top of the mountains, you can see four states at once on a clear day.

How to Get Tickets

Autumn in Oz runs for three weekends in September: 9-11, 16-18, and 23-25. Tickets cost $55. Children under 2 are free. Tickets always sell out, so make sure you get yours before they do.

You can get more information about tickets and updates to this year’s Autumn at Oz Festival here.