Chippewa Lake Park roller coaster of the past
Chippewa Lake Park roller coaster of the past
Yellow Brick Road from The Land of Oz – Closed in 1980/Used now for special events (North Carolina, USA)
Image source: http://sarahbethdelk.wordpress.com/
The Land of Oz is a mostly now-defunct theme park located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
Land of Oz opened in 1970 with the intention of extending the ski resort to be a ‘year-round’ attraction by offering an attraction at the pinnacle of Beech Mountain. A ski lift was specially designed to become the hot air balloon ride which has since been redeployed to be a ski lift on the back bowl of Ski Beech. In later years, characters from the story conducted tours, but the original design was for the visitor to assume the role of Dorothy – experiencing everything from Kansas to tornado to the meeting the characters on the yellow brick road to Oz. The visit culminated in Emerald City, where Dorothy appeared with her friends to meet the Wizard.
The park was the top attraction in the southeast the first year. It’s opening day in 1970 attracted 20,000 visitors. Dampened by the death of owner Grover Robbins a few months before the park opened, the driving force to keep the park as a special experience gave way to commercial necessities foisted on Carolina Caribbean Corp by the downturn in real estate sales. Emerald City burned on Sunday, December 28, 1975, destroying some artifacts, including the dress worn by Dorothy in the movie. Land of Oz finally closed in 1980.
After the park was closed much of it fell into disrepair. Props were vandalized, stolen, or left to exposed to the elements. Some of the park was saved, including as parts of the yellow brick road, a few munchkin houses, some of the later costumes, and sections of the witch’s castle were preserved.
The owner of the land restored the park about ten years later. In the late nineties, former employees started the Autumn at Oz event as a reunion. Later this became an annual event, and in 2009 the festival had 8500 attending. In 2010 more of the park’s original characters will return, the Fountain of Youth will have green water, and vendors and face painters will add to the event. Gregory Hugh Leng was guest of honor. A museum now shows costumes from the movie and other memorabilia. The Yellow Brick Road has a few of its 44,000 bricks missing but once again takes visitors through the Enchanted Forest and Poppy Field. Dorothy’s house, which can be rented for events, includes a basement intended to make visitors feel the experience of a tornado; the Wicked Witch’s legs stick out from under the house. In 2011, the park hosted the International Wizard of Oz Club and some of the original 1970 cast returned to share photos and tales from the original inspiration of Jack Pentes.
Abandoned Amusement Park
Marble Falls, Arkansas
“Dogpatch USA was a commercial success in its early years. Investors
tried to parlay that success into a sister park, “Marble Falls,” planned
with a ski resort and convention center. The venture failed and led to
the park’s closure in 1993. The property fell into disrepair.
Dogpatch USA opened and welcomed about 8,000 visitors on May 17, 1968.
The centerpiece of the park was a giant statue of the fictional town
hero, Jubilation T. Cornpone. Capp unveiled the statue during his dedication speech to a crowd of about 2,000. Kim Capp, son of Al Capp, worked as the assistant Public Relations Director. General admission was $1.50 for adults and $0.75 for children.
During the first year, the park’s attractions included a railroad,
surrey rides, trail rides, a stable, an apiary, a grist mill tour, a
slide, a petting zoo, and a “mule swing.” Fishing in the trout pond was another activity offered; the Dogpatch restaurant could then cook the trout for visitors.
Artisans demonstrated their work, including candlemaking, glassblowing,
and woodcarving, and local crafts were available for purchase,
including handmade dulcimers, smoking chips, and embroidered aprons,
though crafts produced elsewhere supplemented the local products. The “alpine-style” Dogpatch Inn provided accommodations for visitors.The park reported a net profit of about $100,000 at the end of the 1968 season.”
Holy Land USA in Waterbury, Connecticut.
(photo via flickr)
Holy Land USA used to be a theme park inspired by the Bible. It closed in 1984, initially to improve and expand the site. But when the owner died two years later those plans were cancelled. The park is now in disrepair and is overgrown with vegetation. This picture shows part of mini Jerusalem.
Submission by artasaweapon.
This now abandoned waterpark opened in 1976 and closed in 2001, due to stronger state regulations involving water parks and pools and low numbers of visitors. Since then slides and other attractions are left in this wilderness. It was the first waterpark opened on the famous Walt Disney World Resort site in Orlando.
Johnson’s Park and Mini Golf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
(photo + submission by placesiam)
Johnson’s Park and Mini Golf was an entertainment park with a waterslide, go karts and a mini golf course. In the picture is a ceramic T-Rex on the mini golf course, one of the many creatures in the park.