Land of Oz, a once-abandoned amusement park based on Frank Baum’s 1900 book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is located 5,506 feet above the town of Banner Elk, North Carolina. Although the book by Baum (one of 14 Oz novels he wrote before his death in 1919) was popular, it was the 1939 film adaptation by MGM, The Wizard of Oz, that catapulted the tale into the pop culture stratosphere of Dorothy Gale and her three lovable companions. For the past 80 years, the film, starring Judy Garland, has continued to enchant and inspire generations of children and adults.
Somewhere over the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, way up high, is a place where troubles melt away like lemon drops. But you don’t have to fly like a bluebird or get carried by a twister to land above the chimney tops-just follow the winding, double-yellow-lined road to the top of Beech Mountain.