The Land of Oz theme park opened in 1970 in the town of Beech Mountain in North Carolina. The park was created with the intention to make the ski resort town a year-round destination. On its opening day, it attracted 20,000 visitors. Among its attractions, a small museum showcased props and costumes from the 1939 film.
In 1975, a fire destroyed some artifacts of the museum including the dress worn by Judy Garland in the movie. The theme park closed down in 1980 and for the next decade fell in disrepair with many props vandalized, stolen, or left exposed to the elements. However, some of the park, including parts of the yellow brick road, a few munchkin houses, some of the later costumes, and sections of the witch's castle were preserved. In 1991, the park reopened for a day for Beech Mountain's Independence Day celebration.
In the late 1990s, former employees returned to the park for a reunion. A few years later 'Autumn at Oz' became an annual event. Today, Autumn at Oz attracts thousands of visitors on the first weekend of every October when the abandoned theme park returns back to life.
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