2 posts tagged with themepark by filthy light thief.
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While L. Frank Baum never specifically mentioned where Dorothy lived in Kansas, he did leave some vague and/or misleading hints. They don't quite point anywhere, but two home inspectors did some digging and claim Dorothy's house was near Troy, Kansas, but they're not the first to claim a home for Dorothy. That credit goes to Max Zimmerman, an insurance agent from Liberal, Kansas, who thought of capitalizing on this lack of location. Oliver Brown, another resident of Liberal, knew of a house that resembled Dorothy's, and this was the start of Dorothy's House Museum & Land of Oz. But over 300 miles away, Wamego, Kansas has its own little land of Oz, where you can attend the annual OZtoberfest, or check out the Oz Museum, with its collection of Oz memorabilia on permanent loan from Friar Johnpaul Cafiero. And then there's the abandoned Land of Oz theme park in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, about a thousand miles from Wamega.
Kamikuishiki was a village in the Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan that gained unwanted international attention in 1995 as a key location for Aum Shinrikyo, the religious cult behind a number of acts of violence, including the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. To change the nature of attention given to the picturesque village, a new attraction was built on the former site of the cult complex: Gulliver's Kingdom, a mixed up theme park with a Scandinavian town, a petting zoo, a French puppet theater to tell the story of Gulliver, and a 45 meter version of Gulliver himself, pinned to the ground. The park was opened in 1997, but Niigata Chuo Bank was facing serious problems two years later, collapsing "under the weight of nonperforming loans." The theme park's owners were the largest borrowers from the bank, and the park closed in 2001. The park was finally purchased in 2002 in the 3rd auction attempt. In 2006, Kamikuishiki disappeared, divided and the parts merged into neighboring municipalities. The next year, Gulliver's Kingdom was demolished, leaving behind photos (new and old), and memories.