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Encyclopedia > Ghost Town in the Sky

Ghost Town in the Sky is a wild west themed amusement park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA. An unusual aspect of this park is that it is located atop a mountain which can only be accessed by visitors via a 3370' long chair lift or an inclined railway (Funicular). These start at the parking area beside Jonathan Creek at an elevation of 3150', climbing to the lower level of the park at 4400', a climb of 1250'. The recreated "Ghost Town" sits at 4600', with the highest elevation in the park being about 4650'. The park is located on a ridge extending from Moody Top mountain (which is the summit for Cataloochee Ski Area), which is in turn an extension of the Cataloochee Divide, border to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park's entrance is located on U.S. Highway 19, the main road through the town. Ghost Town is promoted as "North Carolina's mile-high theme park". Great Basin region, typical American West The Western United States has played a significant role in history and fiction. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Maggie Valley is a town located in Haywood County, North Carolina. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ... A chairlift A chairlift is a type of aerial lift, which consists of a constantly moving loop of steel cable strung between two end terminals and generally over intermediate towers. ... Angels Flight, Los Angeles, California with gantlet track configuration Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with full length parallel tracks The Gütschbahn in Lucerne, Switzerland – from an 1893 guidebook A funicular, also called funicular railway, inclined railway, inclined plane, or, in the United Kingdom, a cliff railway, is a system of... United States Highway 19 is a north-south United States highway. ...


Ghost Town, which opened in 1961, was one of Western North Carolina's most popular tourist attractions in its heyday. The park in its later years under old ownership suffered from mismanagement and a lack of maintenance. The park has been closed since 2002 but is now under new ownership and is due to reopen on May 25, 2007 after millions of dollars of renovations and improvements and much fanfare in local towns and media after an advertising campaign.


Before it closed, the park was divided into several "towns", which were located at different elevations of the mountain, and each had a slightly different theme. It is expected that these will remain essentially the same after the park reopens. The heart of the park is the re-created old Western town complete with a saloon, schoolhouse, bank, jail, and church, and various other businesses typical of the day. Each hour, a gunfight is staged right in the street, with visitors lining up on the board sidewalks to watch the action.


At the terminus of the chairlift and incline railway is another section of the park, with games, some amusement rides, and the old Red Devil roller coaster. It was re-furbished and re-named the Cliff Hanger in preparation for park reopening. The coaster is unique in that rather than boarding the train and being towed up the lift hill, its boarding station is at the top of the lift hill already. Once riders board the train, it rolls out of the station, around a 90-degree curve and then straight over the main drop and into its 1 inverted loop. The rest of the track flies out over the edge of the mountain with great views of the surrounding mountains and an extra feeling of excitement due to the proximity to the mountainside.


Above the Ghost Town itself is another section of the park, which hosts a variety of standard amusement rides and a few more shops and places to eat. All are situated at the edge of the mountain, and a couple of rides even swing out over the mountainside - such as the swings and the pirate ship - giving riders an extra sense of exposure when riding. There are great views from the top of the park into the surrounding mountain areas as well.


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