Dust Off Your Ruby Slippers. You Could Be Off to See the Wizard.
Plans for a park themed to The Wizard of Oz have been brewing for a few years. Developers originally set their sites on Kansas (for obvious reasons), but that project fell apart. Now, a Kentucky-based company has targeted Wheatfield, New York, near Niagara Falls, for The Magical Lands of Oz. According to the Niagara Wheatfield Tribune, developers revealed some details of the proposed $800-million, 442-acre park at a recent public meeting. Using the L. Frank Baum books and the classic film as their inspiration, they would present attractions such as a virtual tornado that would transport guests to Munchkin Land. (I'm holding out hope for a flying monkeys coaster.) Most of the park would be open year-round, and the destination resort would also include a hotel. If the project moves forward--and that's a mighty big if-- developers say that it could open by 2009. Other large-scale U.S. projects in the works (that may or may not proceed) include the Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (which has cleared all hurdles and is a virtual certainty), Utopia, an enormous movie studio/theme park complex proposed for Connecticut, a park in Arizona near the entrance to the Grand Canyon, and Georgia's Steamboat City, a park themed to the era when riverboats ruled the inland rivers.
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