BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. — For more than 50 years, excitement and nostalgia have surrounded the mysterious Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Although it was closed for many years, the park now opens its gates to host special events several times a year.
This year, visitors can travel over the rainbow during the park’s annual Autumn at Oz Festival, which is set for the weekends of Sept. 8-10, Sept. 15-17, and Sept. 22-24.
The event combines a festival atmosphere with an interactive theatrical experience featuring all the characters from “The Wizard of Oz.” In addition to live performances and other entertainment, food and craft vendors will be onsite.
Tickets go on sale June 16 and cost $55 (plus taxes and processing fees). Children age 2 and younger are admitted for free.
From our past visits, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Typically, the events sell out fast, so plan on purchasing your tickets in advance.
- Event parking is at Beech Mountain Ski Resort at 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway. A free shuttle service will take you to the park.
- Tickets are usually sold for time-specific shuttle boarding. Plan to arrive at the parking lot before the scheduled time listed on your ticket. Guests may arrive up to 1 hour prior to their ticketed time but no later than 30 minutes after. (Example: If you have an 11 a.m. ticket, you may arrive as early as 10 a.m. or as late as 11:30 a.m.)
- Since the park was built in 1970 it has uneven paths and stairs and steep ramps and is not wheelchair or stroller friendly. (Small umbrella-type strollers are recommended for infants and toddlers.)
- Tickets to ride the ski lift to the park and access to the observation deck cost extra.
For more info about the Land of Oz, visit landofoznc.com.
Fun Fact: The park’s pathway is composed of 44,000 yellow bricks and winds around the very top of Beech Mountain at an altitude of 5,506 feet above sea level.
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