Somewhere over the rainbow lies a magical world of make-believe and Munchkins. It’s a place where scarecrows have no brain, lions lack courage and witches arrive from all points of the compass.
But you don’t need us to tell you that: you know the Wizard of Oz. You’ve followed the yellow brick road, gotten way out of Kansas and have the irresistibly catchy songs in your head to prove it. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the timeless film, we’ve uncovered nine Oz-inspired properties. Fasten your ruby slippers, tap your heels together three times and follow us on a Technicolor journey to the ends of the earth…
1. We welcome you to Munchkin Land
During casting for The Wizard of Oz, MGM scoured the country in search of 100 little people. Each Munchkin had their own costume and makeup to step into each day during the lengthy production.
Guests of these Munchkin Land-style houses in Martha’s Vineyard are not subject to height restrictions: if you can make it to Massachusetts, you can become mayor of your very own Munchkin City.Learn more about this two-bedroom home
If you see a yellow brick road, follow it
2. We’re off to see the Wizard
1. Lick the mixing bowl.
2. True friends don’t talk over your favourite songs.
3. If you see a yellow brick road, follow it.
What’s that green glow in the distance? That’ll be Emerald City, faithfully represented by this swish high-rise on Orange Beach. When Dorothy and her ragtag companions followed the yellow brick road, this is where they wound up. During your stay in this luxurious condo, you’re unlikely to be troubled by the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys, but keep your wits about you just in case.Learn more about this Orange Beach high-rise
3. Follow the you know what
What were we just saying about yellow brick roads? That’s right, always follow. Follow, follow, follow. Sure, 9/10 you’ll hit a dead end, but once in a while you’ll find yourself in a land you heard of once in a lullaby. During production of the Wizard of Oz, MGM’s art department spent a week agonising over the correct shade of yellow to use for the now-iconic road.
This North Carolina condo – fittingly found in Emerald Mountain – has its very own yellow brick road (though we can’t confirm the accuracy of its yellowness). Skip all the way to the end where, once a year, an all-singing, all-dancing Autumn of Oz festival can be found!
Sometimes the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.Learn more about this Emerald Mountain condo
Fly, my pretties, fly, fly all the way to Tuscany
4. We’re not in Kansas anymore
To reach the witch’s castle, you’re going to have to fly, my pretties, fly, fly all the way to Tuscany. When filming on The Wizard of Oz commenced in 1938, the first sequences were shot in the Wicked Witch’s castle. It was here that the only scenes featuring Buddy Ebsen as Tin Man were captured. After suffering a reaction to his aluminium powder makeup, Ebsen was hospitalised and subsequently lost his place in the film. While staying in this Tuscan castle, fulfil your fantasies by holding an Oz-themed fancy dress party – but go easy on the silver slap.Learn more about this Tuscan castle
5. There’s no place like home
Take a sepia-tinged trip to Kansas for a stay in this quaint prairie house. The Flint Hills property, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry’s farm, is pet-friendly, so you can even bring your own Toto. Just watch out for twisters.
When you arise to the morning sun and step into the yard, it’ll take all your resolve not to break into song. Don’t fight it – let it out. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ was almost cut from the film as MGM feared it was too long and wouldn’t be understood by younger children. Thankfully they saw sense and the rest, as they say, is history.Learn more about this Kansas prairie house
The witch was killed but somehow the shoes survived the impact
6. When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest
In The Wizard of Oz, can you remember who Dorothy’s ruby red slippers originally belonged to? The answer’s coming up in a moment, but first, what to make of this: an apartment whose pièce de résistance is a motif of a giant pair of red shoes? We’re unsure of the inspiration behind this Malaga holiday rental, but would like to think it owes a debt to The Most Famous Shoes in Movie History – original prop pairs of which have changed feet for over half a million dollars!
To answer our earlier question, the red slippers were worn by the Wicked Witch of the East who was killed when Dorothy’s house landed on her. (Somehow the shoes survived the impact.) However, in the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy didn’t wear red shoes at all: she wore silver slippers, which were switched to red in the 1939 movie to take advantage of the new Technicolor process.Learn more about this Malaga apartment
7. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
He may have been anthropomorphised, but the Cowardly Lion was an African lion nevertheless, just like the creatures you’ll find at this safari lodge in Kruger National Park. The Cowardly Lion’s costume was made from real lion skins, but Kruger’s largest residents needn’t worry – they’re safe from poachers and the whims of MGM’s props department.Learn more about this African lodge
8. If I only had a heart
No one wants to live in a tin suit. A tin home however…sure, why not? Head over Austin way to find a 1963 Airstream Ambassador that’s been fully restored. This gleaming holiday rental has a lustrous finish that the Tin Man could be proud of – if only he had a heart to burst with pride.
We mentioned earlier how the original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, had to be replaced after reacting to the aluminium makeup (which was also replaced for a less lethal variety). Ebsen may have been cut from the Wizard of Oz, but if you listen closely, you can still hear his voice in the group vocals for the songs, which had already been recorded.Learn more about this Austin Airstream
9. It’s pleasant down that way too
OK, so the Oz connection with this beach palapa in the Mexican Rivera may be tenuous at best. We had to include it though after being struck by its uncanny resemblance to the Scarecrow. Anyone with a brain can envisage the fun to be had under a straw roof – just keep a bucket of water handy in case the Wicked Witch shows up and starts her pyro pranks.Learn more about this Mexican palapa
Fuel your imagination
Bring your favourite films to life with a HomeAway holiday rentalClick for inspiration
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