Travel

North Carolina’s Land of Oz opening its enchanted gates for 4 days

tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Beech Mountain’s historic Land of Oz park will reopen for four Fridays in June with guided tours down its famed Yellow Brick Road by Dorothy Gale of rural Kansas.

Land of Oz was an amusement park in the 1970s and is still rented out for weddings, parties and group picnics. For four Fridays in June, it entertains visitors, and it hosts an “Autumn at Oz” festival in October.

Land of Oz was originally built atop Beech Mountain by the Robbins brothers, Harry, Grover and Spencer, founders of Tweetsie Railroad in Boone. They were looking for an attraction to bring summer visitors to the ski resort. Charlotte artist Jack Pentes designed the park.

Still existing atop the mountain is a five-eighths-scale replica of Auntie Em’s house, where visitors are shooed into the cellar to escape an onrushing cyclone. They pop out in the back, where the house is re-created askew, and find the legs of the Wicked Witch of the East sticking out from under the porch, ruby slippers a-sparkle.

A witch’s castle and other whimsical Oz oddities are found along the third-of-a-mile Yellow Brick Road, paved with 44,000 bricks.

Visitors enter the park via Ski Beech’s scenic chairlift. Six tours will be offered each Friday in conjunction with Beech Mountain’s Family Fun Month.

Take a trip with Dorothy down The Yellow Brick Road on a tour of the once-popular theme park, The Land of Oz, atop Beech Mountain, N.C.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs

Want to go?

Tours are offered June 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 10:30 a.m, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale every Monday prior to each tour. Tickets are $12.50 plus $10 roundtrip lift ticket. Must be 3 feet tall to ride the chairlift. Information: www.landofoznc.com; 800-468-5506.

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