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I’m Off To See The Wizard

Updated: May 4, 2023

But I might have accidentally killed a witch….

I had heard of this magical place in the mountains where Dorothy, Auntie Em, the Wicked Witch and all the others come to life for a short time in September and I had to see it. Is it

really that mysterious? Are there really flying monkeys and a yellow brick road? I’m so dedicated to this quest that I bought the VIP tickets so I would not miss out on a thing.

And so the Better Half and I began our journey up - and up - and up.

The trip up that mountain was a bit of experience in itself. Make sure those seat belts are buckled and your nervous partner is in the back seat not looking down. Have trouble with your ears in high elevations? Be prepared for that too because you’re headed to Beech Mountain at an elevation of 5,506.’ Bring a sweater. I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees at the bottom of the mountain in the southern state of NC. Beech Mountain is the highest elevation in the eastern US and you will feel that cool breeze.

And bring your camera. Not just for those wonderful Oz characters, but for those Blue Ridge Mountain views too!

We spent a good amount of time having a glass of wine on those so comfortable deck chairs enjoying that view even before we started our OZ trek. Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

I told you that we had bought the VIP tickets. They say that gives you premium seating at the show, but we really didn’t need that. Shows weren’t so crowded that you needed a special spot. Also VIP gave us a parking area that was 50 yards closer. Probably didn’t need that but some folks might like it. They also said there would be an express line but we didn’t need that either. On the Friday afternoon that we attended, crowds were never too big that a line was ever inconvenient. Why was that? Keep in minding I’m writing this during the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of people are not attending events that might include a crowd. Or, does Dorothy and the Land of Oz fail to compete in a high tech world of Harry Potter and Star Wars? Maybe, but that is a story for another day. For those that are familiar with Frank Capra’s work, this is an event you have to attend at least once in your life.

Upon entry, though, our high hopes for the event started to wane. I’m going to blame this on COVID again, because it was the cheesiest group of outside vendors I have ever seen. And I, the one that ALWAYS has to buy a souvenir, could find nothing worthwhile.

BUT NO WORRIES! We paid the extra $12 for a chair lift ride to the top and that’s where our good times began. Our views were spectacular with an absolutely relaxing 12 minute ride up to the top. After our wine break (see above - you just have to enjoy it a bit), we started our walk to the town of -?- in Kansas. (I just gave you a trivia question/answer right there). There the show begins with Dorothy, Auntie Em and all the other characters.

Auntie Em was so sweet to give us a tour of her house, with us seriously not realizing that through it was the way to OZ. But then she began talking with us in earnest that a tornado was coming and to get to the cellar. We complied and went all the way down where a door opened and there was the wicked witch snarling at me. Yeah - I jumped a bit. You would too if someone came at you yelling that you killed her sister. Fortunately a good witch was there to guide us and help us on our way.

We followed the yellow brick road and met all of our characters who were in excellent form with quick wits and full knowledge of the appropriate lines. The better half “put ‘em up” with the cowardly lion, the tin man became a little rusty so we helped with oiling and the scarecrow helped me see where my brain was located. The flying monkey was actually cute so no worries on your preschool crowd being terrified. No munchkins, though. Hmmmm…..

The absolute best was the Gate Keeper, i.e. the Wizard. I rang the bell and he was appropriately “distressed” with me. All in good character fun.

The one thing that put me off a bit? Toto seemed a little too big for the Toto I remember. Seriously. You’ll have to let me know if that bothered you, too. (I may have a problem with details…..)

So - my end thoughts? A good fun afternoon of entertainment. Allow

about three hours (that’s including the spots to admire the views) so you’ll

need to have more things planned in the area to make your drive worthwhile. But no worries - there’s plenty to do. You’ll just have to wait a bit for me to write about the rest.

Have I added a right amount of suspense? Now - go follow that yellow brick road.

Link to the Oz site for tickets is directly below.

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