Completed: 6. Visit Land of Oz
I read about this once abandoned, but now maintained Wizard of Oz theme park (a 6-hour drive from me) last year while browsing Messy Nessy Chic.
It was built in 1970 and in 1980, after low attendance, owners couldn’t keep the park afloat, so it closed. Since then, it’s been hit by fires, vandals, and theft.
Lucky for me, a huge Wizard of Oz AND abandoned building fan, they’ve opened it up for limited tours on Fridays in June.
After spending an hour of a Sunday morning attempting to get tickets (the site went down), I scored my $12 ticket for the first Friday (not including $10 ski lift charge)!
The tour consisted of guides reenacting the movie with the help of the audience as we walked through what’s left of the park. This reenactment included singing, which you should know makes me really uncomfortable, but I survived. I was brave in the face of spontaneous song.
In addition to the tour, experiencing the beauty of Beech Mountain, North Carolina was worth the drive. Here was the view from five thousand feet up.
It’s sad to think of something that was once so full of life and popular a mere shell of what it used to be. I’m so happy I was able to experience this hidden gem.