Way back in the 1990s, my parents took me to Rhode Island’s Enchanted Forest. I don’t remember much, but they described it as a rundown amusement park run by ex-cons. Maybe that’s why it’s now closed.
But that wasn’t the only Enchanted Forest. On the complete opposite side of the country, tucked in the Oregon hillside is one of the most charming kid’s parks you’ll ever find.
I’m pretty sure this park was built in the days before ADA compliance was a thing. The hill this park is built on is treacherous. And the park doesn’t hide it either. Check out these excerpts from the accessibility section on their website.
The entire park is shaded. Even though it was 100 degrees out, it felt like it was in the 70s. Just try to look at the park from Google Earth. You won’t see anything but trees. You’ll question if a park even exists.
The park is built into two loops- Storybook Lane and another loop with all the rides. And every inch of the park is ridiculously charming. It sort of feels like a discount Disney with the theme music and little areas.
I’ll start with one of the most bizarre credits in the world, Ice Mountain Bobsled. The park originally had an alpine slide. After a few years, they decided to convert it to a roller coaster. This thing truly looks homemade, almost like a ripoff mountain coaster.
And it only gets weirder when you see the vehicles. WTF?!? Picture a bobsled with swiss-cheese, plastic coverings. You may think these things are stupid, but you’ll realize they’re 100% necessary when you see some of the clearances on this ride. Oh, and there are ZERO restraints.
The coaster starts with a short lift and slowly weaves through the picturesque mountain. But the real fun occurs when you start ripping down the hillside. The profiling on this ride looks wrong in many places. Most places actually. It looks like it should kill you, but thankfully it doesn’t.
And it’s thanks to the cars. They’re well-padded so there’s no pain, only laughter (remember no restraints). It’s mostly laterals, but there’s at least 1-2 spots of airtime. And it was far longer than expected. I didn’t realize how far down the hill this ride went. In fact, there’s a second lift at the end.
This is my type of coaster. It is extremely screwed up and quite frankly shouldn’t exist. But it does and it’s a a riot. This thing gets way more speed than you’d expect and the lack of restraints results in a surprisingly wild ride. 7.5 out of 10
Up next is the Big Timber Log Ride. You may think it’s an ordinary log flume. But it’s actually a coaster. Now the coaster section is admittedly very short (just one drop and uphill bit), but I’ll count it.
I honestly preferred everything else on the ride. You pass by a nice logging scene and the ride feels a good 100+ feet off the ground since it’s built on a hill. And that final drop is great too. It’s massive and even gives a tiny pop of air.
Due to the heat, I declined the complimentary poncho but those water-phobic coaster enthusiasts should hop all over this. While the final splashdown is massive in size, it’s the first drop that’ll get you. 8 out of 10
Would you believe this little park also has a trackless dark ride? I couldn’t believe it either, but I present to you the Challenge of Mondor. While the show building is extremely small, the ride doesn’t feel it.
The reason is because you stop at several points. Sometimes you just spin in place. Other times you’ll take a quick detour down a dead-end with more targets. The trackless vehicles really help this ride utilize every inch of the building.
I thought the scenes were dark, but what I could see was well-themed. Most of the figures were static, but there were a few animatronics sprinkled in. And the auditory feedback helped me grab the high score for the day. I felt so accomplished beating a bunch of kids. 8 out of 10
The park also has a Haunted House. Considering the park’s audience, I expected some cheesy, blacklit garbage. But this was a bonafide haunted house that could scare adults. There were some loud and sudden jump scares.
I thought the scenes were well-done except for the fact that many had a delayed reaction. For that reason, make sure you don’t rush through it. My favorite scene was this Pepper’s Ghost effect of some ghouls rising from their graves.
There were no live actors, but judging by the number of terrified kids in its current state, that’s probably a wise choice. That’s especially true since this is a pretty long haunt too. I really don’t think this is a great fit for the park, but I enjoyed it. 7 out of 10
With the rides covered, it’s time to talk about Storybook Lane. This walkthrough brings all your childhood stories and fairy tales to life. If you’ve been to Idlewild, it’s similar to the Story Book Forest.
Some are single houses or displays. Others are far more involved. For example, for Snow White, you travel through this mine. For the witch and Little Old Lady in the Shoe, you go down slides. But the standout was Alice in Wonderland.
To say this wasn’t meant for adults is an understatement. I saw the small entrance, but I figured it wasn’t more than a few feet. Nope. This is a claustrophobic pathway that’s a good 20 yards in length. If that’s not enough, it leads into an evil maze with more dead ends than I could count.
In many ways, Enchanted Forest reminds me of a European park. And I mean that 100% as a compliment. It has that laid back atmosphere and some funky things you never find in America.
I know Enchanted Forest is meant primarily for children, but I loved the park. The park’s theming combined with some unique attractions made it stand out for me.