Have you ever wanted to skip down the yellow brick road through the magical world of The Wizard of Oz? Now you can!
Update for visiting in 2020: Land of Oz Private Tours Dates: June 17th – August 2nd, 2020 Not Available Mondays or Tuesdays.
The Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina is open on select dates for private tours this summer, and it’s every bit as nostalgic and fun as you might remember from watching its fictional namesake when you were a child.
The park has quite an unusual history. It first opened in 1970, but the death of the owner and a fire that destroyed the Emerald City contributed to its closure in 1980. The park stood abandoned for over a decade until it was re-opened in 1991 for one day. Since then, it has been opened to the public just once or twice a year.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, the 81st anniversary of the Wizard of Oz movie’s release, the park will only be open for private tours. That means you can explore the yellow brick road June 17th – August 2nd, 2020. Not Available Mondays or Tuesdays.
Land of Oz
During your visit to the Land of Oz, you’ll meet Dorothy and walk with her on a tour of her Kansas home just before a cyclone whisks everyone away to the yellow brick road. This brightly colored trail winds around the top of Beech Mountain and is made of 44,000 actual yellow bricks!
The tour takes about 45 to 60 minutes. When it’s over, you’ll head back down the mountain either on a chairlift (extra fee) or on the free shuttle bus. Children under 36 inches tall are not permitted on the chairlift but the bus is nearly as fun with lively drivers sharing tidbits about the theme park and general area along the short 10 minute ride.
TOURS ARE BY RESERVATION ONLY! Group Rates Starting at $150!
Note: Group Rates may vary on size and weekend reservations.
Contact Land of Oz for pricing details, directions, parking, and availability.
Our Journey with Dorothy
After my daughter, granddaughter and myself arrived at the top of Beech Mountain, we enjoyed the mountain views from the Sky Bar area (5,506 feet elevation) while we waited for our tour to begin. The large deck features picnic tables and comfy Adirondack chairs. Soft drinks and adult beverages are available for purchase if you like.
As our tour time neared, we headed over to a gazebo where we were greeted by a friendly park employee who explained the history of the park. She also told us that during the summer tours, the characters of Glinda, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and the Wicked Witch would be chosen from our tour participants. Everyone chosen was a good sport and played their parts very well!
The Tour Begins
The story told by Dorothy and the other characters encountered along the tour closely follows the amazing story brought to life in the Wizard of Oz movie.
We were greeted by Mrs. Gulch, the not-so-friendly neighbor who wanted to steal Toto the dog in the original movie.
Dorothy appears and sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow. (click for video)
After singing the original movie’s most popular song, Dorothy tells us that a terrible storm is on the way. She encourages us all to hurry into the house so we can go down to the storm cellar where we’ll be safe from the approaching cyclone.
As we travel through the house, we pass Dorothy’s and her Auntie Em’s bedrooms. We then head down a dark set of stairs toward the storm cellar.
As we go deeper down the storm cellar stairs, the walls tell the story of the cyclone that hit Dorothy’s home, ultimately landing her in Oz.
After passing through the storm cellar, the house is all tilted and skewed. So much so, it’s hard to walk! The rooms here show how destructive the fictional cyclone was.
After exiting the now crazily tilted house, we realize we might not be in Kansas anymore!
Dorothy leads us away from the house and we arrive at the yellow brick road!
Here’s my daughter doing her best to skip down the yellow brick road while carrying a 20 pound baby in the backpack.
As we travel along the yellow brick road, Dorothy tells us the tale of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. The tour participants did an excellent job in playing their parts with gusto!
Soon, we approach the Land of Oz and Dorothy warned us to not get too close to the poppy flowers lining the yellow brick road. Dorothy didn’t want us to fall asleep like she did in the movie!
Once we arrive in the Land of Oz, the all knowing wizard greets us and gives the Tin Man a heart, the Scarecrow gets a brain, and the Cowardly Lion receives his courage. Dorothy, of course, clicks her heels and we all join her in saying, “There’s no place like home!”
I was pleased to get a moment with the wizard too.
And of course, the Journey with Dorothy tour would not be complete without a selfie with Dorothy, the star of the show!
Back to Kansas
Of course, we never left Beech Mountain, but the Land of Oz seemed like a perfectly magical place where you could just forget the cares of the world through fun, laughter, singing favorite songs from the Wizard of Oz movie, and enjoying a jolly trip down the yellow brick road.
If there’s even a tiny bit of child-like imagination and wonder within you, you’ll most likely enjoy a visit to the Land of Oz. My daughter and I sure did!!
Have you ever been to the Land of Oz or would you like to go? Let me know what your favorite part would be in a comment below.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it!