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Oaks Park

 

My favorite documentary of all-time is PBS’s Great Old Amusement Parks. If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it. One of my bucket list goals has been to hit every (operating) park featured in this program. Oaks Park was one of the places featured.

 

Oaks Park was shown as a well-shaded park with a set of Lusse Skooters and a wooden roller rink. But what would I find on my visit 20 years later?

 

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I'm going out on a limb and guessing these are oaks.

 

My next stop was the Skooter. Due to time constraints, I had to cut out the Knoebels Skooters on my visit earlier this year. So the Oaks versions seemed like a worthy consolation prize.

 

Seemed was the key word. As I approached the bumper car arena, I encountered this abomination.

 

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What are you and what have you done with my Lusse skooters?

 

I haven’t followed Oaks too closely over the years, but a quick search online reveals the Lusse cars have been gone for almost a half decade. It was a sad sight to see.

 

The roller rink was exactly as advertised though. Since I skate as well as Golden Horse designs roller coasters, I took a pass. But I have to admit the atmosphere was infectious with the music and disco ball.

 

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Derek Zoolander couldn't do this. They're all going left.

 

The classic Carousel was a mixed bag. On one hand, the wood-carved animals were absolute eye-candy. I was particularly enamored with the rare creatures like frogs and pigs. But it had one major drawback- the music.

 

I get that not every park still has a band organ. When that isn’t the case, I just ask that the park plays clear, crisp music. Oaks didn’t do that. I’m sad to say the audio was quite choppy and muffled. 6 out of 10

 

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Woohoo a kangaroo!

 

One replacement I agree wholeheartedly with was the addition of Adrenaline Peak. I never rode Looping Thunder, but I have to imagine a snazzy new Eurofighter is better than a Pinfari death machine.

 

Adrenaline Peak is the star attraction Oaks needed. Even though this ride has an almost identical layout to my home park’s Eurofighter, Arenaline Peak is far better for one reason- lap bars. Being able to enjoy the compact layout without headbanging is so refreshing.

 

And the lap bars make the ejector air on the first drop and hangtime on the inversions even stronger. Just don’t put your hands up. Oaks is very strict about this. 7 out of 10

 

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I love the paint scheme!

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It's an upgraded Untamed. The lap bars are godsends.

 

The other coaster had the longest line of anything in the park. Zoom boasted a whopping 10 minute wait. I went in expecting a mundane kiddie coaster, but this thing actually had some balls. Not full balls, but puberty balls.

 

The drop into the helix had some real whip to it. And the finale felt like a bucking bull. It felt like a more intense RMC pre-lift. I bet you didn’t expect me to compare a kids coaster to an RMC. 4 out of 10

 

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Zoom, zoom, zoom brought to you by Mazda.

 

The park’s most thrilling flat is the Scream’n Eagle frisbee. While the spinning pulled some good Gs and the max swing had some awesome floater, there was a problem. Notice how I said max swing and not max swings. The ride only had one max swing. That’s just a tease.

 

It’s also worth noting this ride may have some of the most violently lowering restraints I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure this things are spring-loaded to launch downwards, so be ready for that. 5 out of 10

 

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The midway really came alive at night.

 

As the sun began to set over Portland, I climbed aboard the Ferris Wheel for a bird’s eye view. While I got a great view of the park, I didn’t have the best view of the city.

 

Oaks Park has the same issue as Canobie’s Ferris Wheel, the view is blocked by giant trees. While I was able to see some skyscrapers poking in the distance, I feel like a few extra feet would have made a major difference here. 6 out of 10

 

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Skyscrapers and a sunset.

 

I ended the night with a few more laps on Adrenaline Peak. I could only ride it 1-2 more times since I had a bad headache (not from the ride) and the Gs at the base of the drop were a bit too much to take. But I was able to enjoy the stunning lighting package.

 

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Now this is a lighting package!

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The track changes colors as the train passes over it.

 

Oaks Park is a survivor. It’s a rare city park that hasn’t bit the dust, so they must be doing something right. Oaks Park isn’t exactly a place I’ll be rushing back to, but it’s great for what it is. And judging by all the happy families, I think they’ve satisfied most of their customers.

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the Kangaroo on the Carousel is awesome.

 

was it at least Carousel Music?

 

(still will never get over the stain of riding the SFOT carousel that was blasting Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy Wit It"

 

bleh)

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A Eurofighter with lap bars sounds wonderful!

 

They are. It's so nice not having to ride defensively.

 

the Kangaroo on the Carousel is awesome.

 

was it at least Carousel Music?

 

(still will never get over the stain of riding the SFOT carousel that was blasting Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy Wit It"

 

bleh)

 

Yes it was carousel music at least. The audio quality just wasn't there.

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I too am a big fan of the parks in Great Old Amusement Parks. Visiting all of them one day would be a dream! Surprisingly, only Whalom and Astroland have closed since that documentary was made.

 

Didn't the Astroland segment only include the Cyclone? Since that ride still stands, I feel like that segment still lives in spirit.

 

However, Whalom is long gone. It's sort of sad I never made it to Whalom considering I live nearby, but my parents never took me there since they said it was a run-down dump.

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Thanks for the report, nice pics!

 

Oaks has made lots of improvemwnts that last few years (THANK YOU Gerstlauer!), but the loss of the Lusse scooters is a bummer. I remember thoose from the PBS documentary.

 

I still think though that Oaks is ripe for one of those Gravity Group wooden family coasters. They could stick it in the North end passed the skating rink and behind the mini golf.

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Seaside, Oregon- Lusse Bumper Cars & Fascination

 

Lusse skooters are a gift to the world for those with road rage. They’re a way for us to unleash all our anger in a way that won’t send our insurance bills through the roof. But any enthusiast knows these cars are increasingly rare.

 

Case and point the day prior at Oaks. I went in expecting an awesome set of Lusse Skooters. But to my shock, the cars were gone and replaced by some modern abominations. I was devastated. I needed a pick me up.

 

Fortunately, I remembered cal1br3tto’s report of Seaside, Oregon! It wasn’t exactly on the way between Portland and Seattle, but I made it on the way.

 

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Greetings from Seaside, the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

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I love how the mountains go right up to the beach.

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I just picture narration by Morgan Freeman when I look at this image.

 

The Lusse Skooters I was seeking are operated by Insterstate Amusement Co. They’re literally in a garage off the main street in Seaside. I made sure to call in advance to verify they were open since their hours are among the weirdest I’ve ever seen.

 

Their “normal” summer hours appear to be ~11:30 am – 5 pm. They then take a 2 hour dinner break and reopen from 7 pm – 9 pm. However, it’s entirely crowd dependent. If it’s a slow day they may open late, they may close early, they may not return from dinner, or they may not open at all.

 

I mean just look at this sign.

 

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This is why you call in advance.

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Fingers crossed they return from dinner.

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I love how it's a no frills garage.

 

Each ride on the Bumper Cars will cost you $3. Like the best businesses out there, it’s cash only. So make sure you have some singles handy or else the ATM next door will steal your life savings.

 

I’m guessing you have the same burning question I did. Are these bumper cars better than the ones at Knoebels? The Knoebels Skooters are the gold standard of bumper cars.

 

In a nutshell, no. But they’re still very good.

 

These Lusse skooters are definitely toned down. Combine that with a super slick and cramped arena and it’s challenging to dish out bone-jarring hits. That being said, it is possible if you avoid skidding and perfectly t-bone someone as they round the corner.

 

So while these ones don’t hold a candle to the Knoebels Skooters, they still crap over modern cars. I wouldn’t recommend making a trip to Seaside exclusively for these cars, but they’re an absolute must if you’re there. 8 out of 10

 

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Write that woman a ticket. Texting and driving is a big no no.

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The sound this collision made could be heard down the street. You could also hear the scream of the operator yelling, "One Way!"

 

Interstate is also home to a Tilt-a-Whirl. And this may be the greatest tilt-a-whirl in existence.

 

Let me explain why. The attractions at Interstate Amusement all have tip jars. You may ask, “Why would you tip a ride op?” It’s a fair point and I asked the same thing going into the day. But I now understand.

 

Most tilt-a-whirl operators just press the start button and twiddle their thumbs while the ride cycles. At Interstate, the operator has a big ole lever and adjusts the platform speed. The result is magical.

 

Nobody likes tilt-a-whirl purgatory. It’s that nothingness when you get caught in an endless cycle of rocking. At Interstate, that doesn’t happen. If you stall out and stop spinning, rest assured the operator will flawlessly adjust the speed to have you spinning like a top in no time.

 

After a 3 minute ride where I never stopped spinning once, I couldn’t walk straight. I’d say the operator earned a tip. 9 out of 10

 

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If you want a good ride, give her a tip. A tip. Not the tip.

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Interstate is a bit rough around the edges, but it gives the place character.

 

The last attraction at Interstate is Tiny Tees Golf, a 10 hole indoor mini golf course. While the building is cramped, this is my type of mini golf course. Almost every single hole is either multi-leveled or has an old-fashioned obstacle.

 

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10 holes because the last 8 couldn't fit.

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Make sure to follow the rules.

 

The other star of Seaside (in my opinion) is at Funland. For most, Funland is your typical arcade. It has basketball, pinball, and redemption games. You also have a cruddy set of bumper cars. But most importantly, you have Fascination.

 

I’m not a Fascination virgin. It’s a staple in any visit to Knoebels. However, I spent far more time playing the version at Seaside. Something about not having Phoenix to distract me had me throwing down quarter after quarter.

 

But it really got fun at 8 pm. Funland turned off all lights. They called it blackout. Basically it was an hour straight of cover all in complete darkness. The only illumination was from the Fascination rows and columns. And the place was hopping!

 

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Funland looks like a normal arcade.

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But Fascination is the star. Just look at the eclectic prizes!

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Blackout is awesome.

 

Beyond Interstate and Funland, I just walked around Seaside. It’s a lovely beach town and reminds me of the places I can find in Maine or Cape Cod.

 

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The mall has a carousel.

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But it's nothing special. I was intrigued by the cotton candy machine though.

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Seaside had some weird looking stores.

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Take the freaking Buddha Kat Winery for example.

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Or the Man Store.

 

I’m also glad I visited Seaside before the investable tsunami wipes them out one day. I never realized just how vulnerable the Oregon coastline was. You see, this trip almost didn’t happen.

 

On the morning I intended to visit, a 6.3-mangitude earthquake happened off the Oregon Coast. However, once the threat of a tsunami was deemed unlikely, I decided to make the detour.

 

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I hate earthquakes.

 

As a town, Seaside may not be earth-shattering, but it’s an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon or an evening. There aren’t many places you can ride Lusse skooters and play Fascination.

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Those Interstate Amusement Co. hours sound like they were written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll for those not mad enough to know). Though it's something one should expect that close to Portland.

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I was just checking out Laura's old report from this place yesterday! It is a sort of goal for me to experience as many fascination parlors as I can. So far, got Sylvan Beach, Knoebels, Geneva-on-the-Lake, and Darien Lake. Idiotically enough, I was IN Long Beach a month back and we missed Loof's Lite A Line which now looking at the wiki page for Fascination, is an active parlor. It a slightly different game but similar concept.

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I was just checking out Laura's old report from this place yesterday! It is a sort of goal for me to experience as many fascination parlors as I can. So far, got Sylvan Beach, Knoebels, Geneva-on-the-Lake, and Darien Lake. Idiotically enough, I was IN Long Beach a month back and we missed Loof's Lite A Line which now looking at the wiki page for Fascination, is an active parlor. It a slightly different game but similar concept.

 

There's also one in Wildwood, NJ, at the aptly named "Retro Arcade & Fascination" at 2900 Boardwalk. It's the new version of what was crazy Randy's basement arcade from the basement of the Boardwalk Mall; much smaller than that location but still quite nice with Fascination and a nice assortment of old-school mechanical games.

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Those Interstate Amusement Co. hours sound like they were written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll for those not mad enough to know). Though it's something one should expect that close to Portland.

 

This is why I timed my visit around Labor Day weekend. It seemed like the best bet for success.

 

I was just checking out Laura's old report from this place yesterday! It is a sort of goal for me to experience as many fascination parlors as I can. So far, got Sylvan Beach, Knoebels, Geneva-on-the-Lake, and Darien Lake. Idiotically enough, I was IN Long Beach a month back and we missed Loof's Lite A Line which now looking at the wiki page for Fascination, is an active parlor. It a slightly different game but similar concept.

 

There's another Fascination parlor a few minutes from where I grew up at Nantasket Beach on the former site of Paragon Park. However, I have never been able to make it there.

 

The parlor is different in that you play for cash. Because of that, it has an age limit. And I wish I were kidding, but it usually only opens 1-2 weekends per year. I follow them on Facebook, and I think they only opened Columbus Day weekend this year. I tried going, but they ended up closing early due to a lack of people.

 

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I was just checking out Laura's old report from this place yesterday! It is a sort of goal for me to experience as many fascination parlors as I can. So far, got Sylvan Beach, Knoebels, Geneva-on-the-Lake, and Darien Lake. Idiotically enough, I was IN Long Beach a month back and we missed Loof's Lite A Line which now looking at the wiki page for Fascination, is an active parlor. It a slightly different game but similar concept.

 

There's also one in Wildwood, NJ, at the aptly named "Retro Arcade & Fascination" at 2900 Boardwalk. It's the new version of what was crazy Randy's basement arcade from the basement of the Boardwalk Mall; much smaller than that location but still quite nice with Fascination and a nice assortment of old-school mechanical games.

 

I'm definitely checking this place out when I make it back to Wildwood. I loved Randy's original location.

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I live about a mile from Oaks Park and regularly walk my dog by the park.

 

Screaming Eagle is being removed (its actually already gone) and replaced by a Zamperla Discovery Revolution.

 

I will try and take some pictures in the sporing once it goes vertical

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^ That's really cool they're offering two programs for AtmosFEAR- one where it inverts and one where it doesn't.

 

Kraang's Pandemonium at Nickelodeon Universe was also a Zamperla looping discovery and it was interesting that the operator shared they manually controlled the program with a lever. It will be interesting if it's a set program or controlled by the operator.

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Wild Waves Theme Park

 

One of the risks of visiting a park towards the beginning or end of the season is short staffing. For as much flack as we give Six Flags, they’re usually pretty good at keeping rides open (albeit with the most bare bones crew imaginable). Unfortunately, short staffing was a major issue for this former Six Flags park.

 

I thought I was safe visiting Wild Waves on Labor Day weekend. Seeing nothing listed as closed on the ride board was extremely encouraging. That turned out to be laughable.

 

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Naive me actually believed nothing was closed.

 

I get that rides may be closed, but don’t lie. Half the dry rides were closed. Most of those rides had signs saying they were “temporarily closed” but there was no activity by them all afternoon. So either the park has the world’s worst maintenance or they knew they didn’t have enough staff to run things.

 

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"Temporarily Closed" usually means it will reopen at some point during the day. I guess that means something else at Wild Waves. I could post pictures of a lot more "temporarily closed" rides, but you probably get the point.

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They jumped the gun a bit on this one.

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I don't think I'll be getting on the invisible Octopus today.

 

Thankfully, the main draw was open in Timberhawk: Ride of Prey. S&S’s first wooden coaster is perched atop a hill, so it’s a bit of a hike to reach it. Once you sit down, you can catch your breath and let the ops do the work since this ride has a similar policy to RMCs where riders can’t lower their own lap bars.

 

Timberhawk is relatively tame with some weak airtime and laterals sprinkled throughout, but both the front and back have their standout moments. The back is defined by the great air on the first drop. And the front is defined by the strong floater on this sizable hill midway through the course.

 

I hardly hear anything about Timberhawk. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. On the bright side, it’s pretty smooth outside of some shuffling on the turns. On the downside, it doesn’t hold its speed well. If all the hills were a few feet lower, this could have been so much better. 6 out of 10

 

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I can't believe Cedar Fair didn't come up with this name. It combines two of their favorite things- timbers and hawks.

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Now this drop was quite good.

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And I liked how it ran alongside the woods.

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But it really crawled through the layout.

 

After passing several rides sitting idle, I reached the Kiddie Coaster. I have to give the park credit. I didn’t see any closed kiddie rides, but they predictably had rotating ride operators. As for the coaster, it actually had some decent laterals and it was perfectly comfortable for an adult. 3 out of 10

 

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Note the rotating op sign. This was found on all kiddie rides.

 

I then checked off the final operating coaster in Wild Thing. This coaster originally ran at Rocky Point in Rhode Island and because of the low crowds, the park was giving double rides.

 

For the most part, it was your typical Arrow loop + corkscrew model. The first drop had a nice pop of air, the loop was forceful, and thankfully the corkscrews weren’t too choppy. But it had one odd quirk.

 

After half the train leaves the station, the brakes engage bringing the train to a stop. After about 5 seconds, the brakes release and you continue towards the lift. Does it always do this? 5 out of 10

 

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Wild Thing...

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You make my ears ring (ok not really, but it rhymed).

 

The only non-coaster I rode was Brain Surge, the S&S double shot. It’s a bit unfortunate the ride is located at the bottom of the hill, but I’m guessing that was deliberate since the back of the park borders a residential neighborhood.

 

This one was pretty weak on the airtime, but the launch caught me off-guard. Usually these S&S towers come to a halt before launching. This one didn’t do that. 4 out of 10

 

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If you ride this for the view, you're doing it wrong.

 

I finished the afternoon with a marathon of Timberhawk. Because of its location adjacent to the woods, I feel like Timberhawk would be a fantastic night ride. But the closest I came was a series of sunset rides to finish the day. Timberhawk did grow on me, but it’s still more of a family coaster.

 

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So close to a night ride, but the sun just wouldn't go to sleep.

 

I have mixed feelings on Wild Waves. On one hand, it has a great ride lineup for a family park. But that assumes they're all open. The amount of closed rides and lack of transparency by the park was frustrating.

 

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I didn't exactly have a whale of a time.

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The water park seems to be the big draw at this park. Most people seemed to be there.

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Its too bad about all the closed rides at Wild Waves, I've heard good things about Klondike Gold Rusher, but most everything else looks kinds ehh. Part of me feels like Wild Waves would really benefit from a Six Flags take over, (as much as it hurts to say) like Darien Lake.

 

Oh well, at least you have the best park in the northwest coming up, right?

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^Bummer that so many of the park's attractions were closed... It looks like it is a decent regional park to visit when everything would actually be open.

 

Yeah the ride lineup is quite good for a regional park catered to families. The only closed ride i intended to ride was the wild mouse, which from other reviews seems to barely run.

 

Its too bad about all the closed rides at Wild Waves, I've heard good things about Klondike Gold Rusher, but most everything else looks kinds ehh. Part of me feels like Wild Waves would really benefit from a Six Flags take over, (as much as it hurts to say) like Darien Lake.

 

Oh well, at least you have the best park in the northwest coming up, right?

 

This park's focus on families doesn't really match what Six Flags usually does, but it would give them a foothold in the northwest again. I've ridden a few of the Zamperla mice and the turns can be particularly aggressive on those (sometimes too aggressive).

 

Yes, the next report will be for a much better park.

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Silverwood

 

Silverwood is easily one of the most annoying parks for enthusiasts to visit. Everyone who visits it has great things to say about it, but it’s in a remote park of Idaho hundreds of miles from any other park.

 

A work trip brought me “close” to Silverwood, so it seemed like the perfect time to visit. And when I say close, I mean that it was only a 5.5 hour drive away.

 

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I finally visited one of my big bucket list parks.

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Thankfully the drive was quite scenic.

 

Silverwood feels like a classic park. It oozes charm. However, it’s only 30 years old! In fact, the parks it reminds me most of are Lake Compounce and Kennywood. That comes with both the pros and cons. Just take a look at these parallels.

 

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You park across the street and enter the park through a tunnel.

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You have traditional architecture.

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You have classic, historical attractions.

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You have a lineup heavy on wooden coasters.

 

But you also have one train ops.

 

The latter was particularly troubling since I was visiting on Labor Day weekend. While Lake Compounce and Kennywood are known for running one train even on the busiest of days, they at least have second trains. Silverwood doesn’t even own second trains. In fact, their rides don’t even have transfer tracks.

 

But the real problem was the dispatch speed. This may be a hot take, but the dispatches at Mt. Olympus or Six Flags America are way faster. The culprit was a painstakingly slow seatbelt check done separately from the lap bar check.

 

I feel bad saying that since the staff of Silverwood was so nice, but it has to be said. Fortunately, I have nothing else but positives to say about this amazing park.

 

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At least they're honest some lines move slowly.

 

My most anticipated attraction was Tremors and it did not disappoint. Tremors has one of the best layouts of any coaster I’ve ridden. It has four underground tunnels and combines elements of both an out-and-back and twister.

 

The first drop is phenomenal. Back row riders get a strong pop of air and you dive underneath the gift shop. You then fly over this bunny hill with amazing sustained floater air before diving underground yet again. Front row riders then get a powerful pop of air as you enter the ride’s helix.

 

And that helix is something special. The laterals are comparable to Legend’s famous double helix. This is followed by a middle section that has a few more airtime hills. It does feel a bit slow though. Really that’s the only weak spot on the ride.

 

Tremors picks it back up for the finale. You dive underground yet again. If you’re in the back, you get a great dose of laterals and airtime. That’s followed by a great bunny hill similar to the first one before you loop back into the station.

 

Tremors is basically an improved version of Legend. You have comparable laterals, but far more airtime. And it’s extremely well taken care of (the Topper Track probably helps in that regard). 9 out of 10

 

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Tremors registers a solid 9 on the Richter scale.

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You dive underground not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times!

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You even fly through the gift shop, which simulates an earthquake.

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Artsy.

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This layout is fantastic. It's a delightful mess of track.

 

I was really looking forward to Timber Terror. I heard this was an airtime machine. And my anticipation only mounted when I saw the buzz bars.

 

The outward leg was incredible. The first drop had some fantastic airtime, as did the following bunny hill and double up. And the far turn had some powerful laterals. But then the ride dies.

 

The return leg has plenty of speed, but for whatever reason there’s no more airtime. This is true in both the front and back. The first half is a 10, but the second half is a 5. 7.5 out of 10

 

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that both these wooden coasters have a height requirement of just 42”? It’s like a west coast Knoebels.

 

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A volcanic tree? That's awesome! I was bummed there wasn't a t-shirt with this logo.

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Timberrrrrrrrrr

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If only the return leg could match the airtime of the outward leg.

 

I then looked off in the distance and had a case of deja vu. Or maybe it was PTSD? I saw a familiar green structure. However, I told myself Aftershock has the original Vekoma trains instead of the Premier trains that ruined SFNE’s Goliath.

 

While it still had some headbanging, this tracks far better than the one at SFNE. That allowed me to appreciate the incredible drops and Gs on the inversions. 6 out of 10

 

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I miss the OG Vekoma trains.

 

Roller Coaster Alley is also home to Silverwood’s craziest flats. The most unique is SpinCycle. It may look like your average giant frisbee, but this ride is quite unique.

 

For one, it inverts. But the more unique thing is that the swing is slow and controlled. This takes away all the airtime; however, you get an insane amount of hangtime. Further, you’re still spinning at a decent clip while you’re getting that hangtime.

 

I loved SpinCycle since its sensations were so different. Honestly, it reminded me more of those old Evolution rides than your traditional frisbee. 9 out of 10

 

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If Prince Desmond stood under SpinCycle, maybe he would've had enough cash to move the Big Dipper...but still no plan.

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SpinCycle was an attention whore at night.

 

Next door is Panic Plunge, one of those amazing Larson towers. Per usual, the drop was absolutely gut-wrenching. And since Silverwood is surrounded by mountains, the view made this one extra special. 10 out of 10

 

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Silverwood is in such a scenic location.

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Those people are trying to understand what just happened.

 

I then made a lap of the remaining coasters, starting with the historical Corkscrew. This was the first modern coaster to invert and it rode accordingly. It was pretty jostly and had a vibration that was uncharacteristic for an Arrow. 3 out of 10

 

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Corkscrew? More like Corkscrewed.

 

Tiny Toot is one of the most embarrassing coasters you’ll find anywhere. For one, it’s powered. Two, it doesn’t really have a drop. But of course this single adult rode it all by his lonesome. 1 out of 10

 

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Usually I have no shame. This time I had a little.

 

I felt much less dirty riding Krazy Koaster. Maybe it was because SBF spinners are usually pretty fun or maybe it was because the park had a sprayer at the entrance. Yes you’re reading that right. You get wet boarding this ride.

 

Now I said SBF spinners are usually fun. That assumes they spin of course. I got excited when the operator manually started spinning us before she dispatched the train, but we hardly spun the rest of the way. 2 out of 10

 

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Krazy Koaster is so crazy that it's spelled with a k.

 

I did want to try the park’s revered train; however, it was incredibly popular. Like the Dollywood Express, this steam engine only leaves at the top of the hour. Maybe it was just the day I visited, but you couldn’t just walk up and ride it. The train would often hit capacity and people would wait for the next one.

 

I did take a ride on the park’s Ferris Wheel, carefully timing my ride with sunset. I figured it’d be gorgeous overlooking the mountains. The sky was beautiful, but the Ferris Wheel couldn’t quite clear the trees around it so the mountains were a bit obstructed. But the coasters were perfectly clear.

 

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The sky was quite beautiful. I just wish the wheel went a bit higher so I could get an unobstructed view of the mountains.

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But the coasters were even more beautiful.

 

As darkness fell across the park, I made my way over to Tremors. I always suspected it would be an incredible night ride. This is why I chose to visit on a busy Saturday since the park was open late. And my patience was rewarded.

 

Tremors ran like a bat-out-of-hell. Almost the entire layout was pitch black. Remember how the middle section felt slow earlier? My night rides cured that. Tremors was flat out fantastic.

 

I contemplated trying Timber Terror at night, but I couldn’t pull myself away from Tremors. I spent the last 2 hours on Tremors, waiting about 30-40 minutes each time.

 

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This is about all the light you get on Tremors.

 

I have a soft spot for traditional parks and wooden coasters. So of course I loved Silverwood! Tremors alone is worth the trip to Idaho, but Silverwood has so much more. It’s an incredibly warm and inviting place. Just beware of the one train ops on busier days.

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