Back in the groovy 1960s, brothers Harry and Grover Robbins began looking for a way to turn ski resort Beech Mountain into a year-round attraction. They worked with designer, Jack Pentes, who had a wild imagination and thus decided to turn the picturesque Beech Mountain into a whimsical attraction that is now The Land of Oz!
With just one ride (a gondola disguised as a hot air balloon) and 44,000 yellow bricks, it quickly became one of the hottest tourist spots on the East Coast, giving even the mighty Disney a run for their money. In fact, Disney was so impressed that they sent reps to check out the competition.
On opening day, the park was welcomed by famous faces like Demi Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher, and even Muhammad Ali! But, just a few years later, the company fell on hard times and experienced a fire that destroyed the attraction in 1975. Despite the closure, this Wizard of Oz themed park began to come back to life and in 1991 it held a one day live event that came back each year. Through the tireless efforts of dedicated cast members and a supportive community, these one day events turned into the Autumn at Oz Festival, which continued for one day each year. Thanks to its massive popularity, in 2021 the park officially extended the festival to span over three weekends every September.
It is now open every weekend in September and today, original cast members still strut their stuff down the yellow brick road, and tourists from all over the world visit to experience Dorothy’s Kansas home. The park's nostalgic appeal is undeniable, evoking feelings of wonder and joy that many visitors thought were long gone. For those who return to the Land of Oz, walking through the yellow brick road and visiting iconic locations such as the Emerald City and Dorothy's Farmhouse can feel like stepping back in time.
The Land of Oz has become more than just an amusement park for families; it has become a treasured family tradition passed down from generation to generation. Each year, parents, grandparents, and children alike eagerly anticipate the moment they can return to the Land of Oz to relive the magic and create new memories. Passing down the love and appreciation for The Land of Oz has become a cherished family tradition, and it is one that will continue for many generations to come. And with a close-knit team of over 140 employees, including 60 cast members, you know you're in good hands.
A flurry of new renovations are on the horizon, all designed to keep the momentum of this beloved destination growing stronger with each passing year. The passionate team behind it have set their sights high, with a long-term goal of breathing new life into the legendary Emerald City.
So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your ruby slippers and head on down to The Land of Oz for their Autumn at Oz Festival this September!
Tickets on sale June 2023