Ghost Town developers enlist creative minds behind Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express and Ghost Town

The company responsible for bringing the Hogwarts Express to life in Orlando are said to now be involved in development plans for Ghost Town in the Sky (Left, Yobab / Shutterstock.com; Right, Gary and Carol Cox)

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Another update was made public today by the Smoky Mountain News about the ongoing plans to resurrect Maggie Valley’s Ghost Town in the Sky.

As reported earlier this month, developers are trying to bring the Maggie Valley landmark back to life.

Read Also: When will Ghost Town in the Sky reopen: The latest 2021 update

Years ago, Ghost Town in the Sky served as a worthy rival to the Silver Dollar City theme park. But as the Pigeon Forge based theme park attracted larger crowds, and eventually blossomed into the park that we now know as Dollywood, Ghost Town fell by the wayside.

Ghost Town in the Sky
A Main Street “shoot out” at Ghost Town in the Sky (photo submitted by Gary and Carol Cox, circa 2007)

Ghost Town was unable to maintain the amount of tourism required to support a park of its size. Park maintenance began to suffer, which didn’t help the attendance issue, and eventually the park was closed.

Since then, several attempts have been made to revive the beloved theme park, but as of yet, none have produced results.

The question is with this latest attempt: What will be different the next time around? And will it be enough to prevent the park from yet another ill-fated reopening or worse – a failure to launch?

Who bought Ghost Town in the Sky?

According to the Smoky Mountain News, ownership of the land where the the now-abandoned theme park sits has officially been transferred to developers.

Citing Hayward County land records, the Smoky Mountain News reports that registration changed hands mid-March and is now listed as belonging to a new entity, Ghost Town in the Sky LLC.

Ghost Town in the Sky LLC, according to state records, was formed on March 20, 2020.

The Hogwarts Express
Storyland Studios are the creative minds that brought the Hogwarts Express in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando to life (Yobab/Shutterstock.com)

Developers enlist the creative minds behind Universal Studio’s Hogwarts Express

The ownership change isn’t the only big headline to come out of this story, which you can read in its entirety here.

According to developers speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Smoky Mountain News, Storyland Studios has been enlisted to help with the design and planning of the resurrected park.

Storyland Studios is owned by Disney alumni Matt Ferguson, who also happens to own a home in Maggie Valley.

Storyland Studios has an impressive resume. They are the creative minds behind the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios and the Legoland Water Park in Orlando.

Naturally, anyone who has been taken a trip aboard the Hogwarts Express realizes the potential behind such a powerful partnership.

Storyland Studios is known for its ability to create incredible immersive environments.

“We are a unique collection of down-to-earth specialists, artists, architects, strategists and problem solvers who believe in the power of story to change the world,” reads the company’s website.

“We partner with brands and with other agencies to create environments and immersive experiences that lift the spirit with deeper stories that shape culture.”

Ghost Town In The Sky coaster
Many of the structures from Ghost Town in the Sky remain on the property, such as the chairlift and the roller coaster, but their condition has understandably deteriorated (photo submitted by Gary and Carol Cox, circa 2007)

What to expect when Ghost Town reopens

While no reopen date has been officially announced, and locals are used to being disappointed by previous failed reopen attempts, it has been reported that early plans include:

  • Rehabbed buildings featuring the familiar Wild West Main Street facades
  • Mixed-use homes, shops and boutiques
  • A large cross that adorns the top of the mountain

And of course, this is all dependent on not only the semantics of renovating a 250-acre theme park, but also developing the local infrastructure needed to support such a venture.

It’s estimated that 200-something employees would be required for operations, all of whom will require affordable local housing, and a strong local economy.

Resurrection of this Ghost Town will likely be no easy task.

Read Also: When will Ghost Town in the Sky reopen: The latest 2021 update

The North Carolina based Smoky Mountain News promises to offer the exclusive as further details emerge

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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4 thoughts on “Ghost Town developers enlist creative minds behind Hogwarts Express”

  1. This is wonderful news!!!! I am so excited and thrilled to hear of the beloved childhood memory being brought back to life!!!!! May it shine like it did when it first was created 😊😊😊😊

  2. Loved it went to Ghost Town back in the seventies when in my 20’s now in my 70’s fond memories excited and hopeful for a reopening soon will be on the “bucket list” 😃

  3. Always enjoyed Cherokee and all the shops after visiting Ghost Town in the sky as it was called back then (’70’s) one memory stands out is that of Chief Henry who would take a poloriod picture with you and was such a nice courteous man still have those poloriod pictures ……days of my youth I will always treasure !!!

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