Oz theme park plans presented to officials in Niagara County

Posted Monday, May 1, 2006 11:13 PM | Contributed by DawgByte II

Local elected officials got their first look at plans for the proposed Wizard of Oz theme park Thursday at an invitation-only meeting in the Wheatfield Community Center. Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, one of those attending the session, said Richard A. Burch, president of Oz Central, the company proposing the $750 million plan, offered no information about how the project will be financed.

Read more from The Buffalo News.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 12:35 AM

The Summit. O'Toole said there were drawings shown for attractions like the "Kansas Tornado," a 650-foot observation tower which is to simulate a tornado once an hour through the use of strobe lights and steam.

Wow. I can't wait to see that in action.

*** This post was edited by UBRhino 5/2/2006 12:36:24 AM ***

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 7:15 AM
I was at the town-board meeting yesterday... and the description does no justice to the drawing of the tower. Not only would it be a 650' tower, but there would also be a 350' needle that would bring it to 1000' tall. The tower looked like it had an open observation deck and shows how the steam would rise & create or simulate what a tornado would look like... pretty sweet.

They also mentioned the rollercoaster briefly that would have the cars in the shape of flying monkies. You can use your imagination what kind of coaster that would be, but their stress is a theme-park, not amusement park (disney... not six flags).

They also want to build a 3-story carousel and have around 80% of the attractions indoors either through Emerald City & the castle, or through domed structures (glass or spray-concrete) where-as having a botanical garden-like atmosphere. Other areas included Glinda's area (the good witch), the bad witch, munchkin land, and a couple others.

The whole thing is based on the 38 books from The Wizard of Oz, but absolutely nothing to do with the movie franchise... although you wonder how much you can get out of a book... they did say that there are actually over 600 characters represented in the book, so it was quite impressive. They focused on a few characters like Tik Tok (who looks like a reject from the Robots movie last year) among others.

People who voiced their concern didn't like the hotel going up so close to their backyard (hello, NIMBY)... but a lot praised the idea. One fat lady said that she didn't like the fact that if she wanted to sit outside in her barcalounger, she'd have to stare at this 1000' tall tower, and asked them to shrink it a bit. Hey lady, turn your chair around a few degrees and you won't have to look at it!!

Most of the park seemed to be very well hidden in the 800 acres, so it's not like anything would be an eye-sore. The overhead map showed that some of the park would be on one of the man-made drainage lakes which covers around 50 acres. It was very very impressive, and it's now only starting to accellerate.

Today has a new news article I'll probably submit as well.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 8:33 AM
Oh... check this out:

http://www.oz-central.com/fig_5_oz_master_plan.pdf

That's what they invision it to look like. Overall, the park would take only 200 of the 800 acres. It looks like it'd be a tight squeeze, but they leave a lot open for expansion.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 1:38 PM
Why do we need this Oz park, when we already have this
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/801224
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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 3:58 PM
While this would be great for Buffalo if it were built, I just don't see many people going to an Oz themed park. Lord of the rings on the other hand....;)
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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 6:08 PM
Wow Kraven, I think those pics of Dorthy & Scarecrow are scarier than the Wicked Witch!
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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 7:26 PM
If you read any of the books, and didn't rely on the movie as your imagination for what Oz is like... then you'd get a WHOLE different idea on what's represented. With over 600 unique characters and a number of different lands... Oz can be an unlimited wonderland with ideas out the yin-yang, especially for unique rides to focus & theme upon.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 9:37 PM
Where exactly in Wheatfield is this Dawg? Is it near the reservoir? How close to the military base? How close to the reservation?

Just trying to get an idea here.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2006 8:05 AM
You know the LaSalle Expressway, the highway that leads along Niagara River from Downtown Niagara Falls right on out? Well, at the very end of that expressway is where it would go, right across the street, on Williams Rd, adjacent to River Rd, just down the road from NF International Airport (I use the term international loosely).

Basically, the park itself would be located here [Adobe Warning]:
http://www.oz-central.com/fig_4_oz_land_use.pdf

The water to the South is Niagara River, and should give you an arial idea where it wants to go.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2006 9:39 PM
Ah ok. Thanks Dawg. Maybe that park will revive the Summit Park Mall. Everyone thinks that place is a joke. I've never actually been there myself.
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Thursday, May 4, 2006 3:09 PM
DawgByte II,

You were at the meeting too???? A WNYer?

The thing I found dissapointing was the fact that so much potential park expansion space is being used for park operations facilities and parking...I do give the guy much credit for attempting such a risky venture. It has to be different to get the draw in that area.

The North East corner could be used for so much more.... Instead they put warehouses there. If the park is to small you will not get repeat customers....

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Friday, May 5, 2006 10:45 PM
Is this the same Oz park that was originally proposed somewhere else but was cancelled?

I wonder how this will affect SFDL and PCW.

X Factor

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