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Lost North Carolina Theme Parks
The number of lost North Carolina theme parks I discovered while researching Tweestie Railroad, Ghost Town in the Sky and the Land of Oz really surprised me. I’ve been writing about Disney theme parks, roller coasters and other amusement parks at ImagiNERDing for almost ten years. During that time, I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of parks across the country and experience different types and sizes of parks.
The amusement parks built in the Western North Carolina mountains all but vanished in the 1970s and 1980s. Most were built after the success of Disneyland in 1955 and patterned themselves after the cowboy and Indian films that were so popular at the time. Tweetsie Railroad is still going strong, partially because of the location and their attractions. Many of the other parks vanished, due to changes in tourism as well as popular culture. Why did parks like Tweetsie Railroad and Dollywood (originally it was called Rebel Railroad) survive while other parks struggled and faded away? Was it the economy? Was it changing views? Or did people simply want a different vacation experience once Walt Disney World opened in 1971?
Check out my video on the Lost North Carolina Theme Parks of the western mountains region:
I’d love for you to contact me if you have any information, brochures, photos or great memories of any of these parks. Are there any that I’m missing?
- Ghost Town in the Sky
- Bear Creek Scenic Railroad
- Frontier Village
- Western North Carolina Scenic Railroad and Amusement Park
- Maggie Valley Railroad
- Land of Oz