October 4-5, 2014
There’s no place like Beech Mountain the first weekend of October each year as the old Land of Oz theme park comes to life for the Autumn at Oz celebration. The "Wizard of Oz" park is near Banner Elk, about a two hours drive from Asheville. Park at the ski resort and ride the chair lift or ride a bus to the top!
Over the years, Autumn at Oz has grown from a small reunion of former employees to a celebration that draws folks from near and far for a nostalgic stroll along the yellow brick road that was the centerpiece of the popular theme park that opened in 1970, as a living adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel, “The Wonderful World of OZ,” upon which the classic film is also based.
This year, the festival will offer even more activities, food, drink, and sights to enhance the Land of Oz journey. Experience the recreation of Dorothy’s trip from her farm in Kansas, through the twister and down the yellow brick road to Oz. Along your journey, you will meet many of the vibrant characters that made the novel and the movie timeless.
“Kansas,” located in the village of Beech Mountain Resort, will be the start and end point for your journey to the Land of Oz. Stay for live music, dancing, multiple food and beverage options, crafts and merchandise. Their is ample parking for visitors, and transportation (bus or ski lift) to and from the Land of OZ atop Beech Mountain is included.
Along the way, there are visits with the Tin Man, Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Professor Marvel, Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Glinda the Good Witch and the Wizard. The Wicked Witch of the West is also on hand with her Winkie guards and flying monkeys.
Dress as your favorite Oz character and enjoy a nostalgic stroll through this unique place in time! The top of Beech Mountain, at 5,506 feet, (see our Beech Mountain Guide) is an ideal place to venture over the rainbow. Its rock outcroppings and gnarly, windswept trees inspired the creation of the Land of Oz theme park.
Enjoy fall color as well! For more, see our NC Mountain Fall Foliage Forecast and Guide.
Keep in mind the temperatures atop Beech can be very chilly in early October (about 15 degrees cooler than Asheville). So bring a jacket! See more tips below.
Hours/Tickets: The theme park opens at 9:30 AM with tickets available for entrance to the park every hour until 5:30 PM. The last bus leaves at 4:30 PM. Tickets are $20 each, if not sold out. Advance tickets are available online by mid July, and total ticket sales will be limited to 7,000. See tips and directions below!