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WILD ONES 2004 MEMORIAL DAY TRIP

PAGE 2:   ENCHANTED FOREST, THRILLVILLE USA

We woke up early Sunday morning, had a decent breakfast and the Phoenix Inn Suites in Lake Oswego, and drove about 45 minutes south to Turner, OR (just south of Salem).  The first park of the day was Enchanted Forest, one of my favorite parks anywhere.  Enchanted Forest is the dream of Roger Tofte and most of the park was built by him with some help from family and friends.  I often describe the park as a "poor man's Disneyland" and I think it's a fitting title.  Like Walt Disney, Roger Tofte had a dream and he did everything to make it come true.  Let's go check out the park.  Whaddya say?

When we got to the ticket booth, we got some great news!  The park now offered an all-you-can-ride bracelet.  Before this you would pay $8 to get in and the major rides would cost a couple of bucks.  The bad news was that the bracelet was $29 (including park admission).  While the price was high, we bought then anyway so we could ride as much as we wanted.  The first stop in the park is the storyland.  Guests enter through the castle and once inside can view scenes from a few fairy tales, a suit of armor, and the "news" of the kingdom.  The storyland takes guests through scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, and countless other stories.  (Kind of reminds you of the castle at Disneyland, huh?)

One of the most famous denizens of the Enchanted Forest is the Witch.  Walk into her mouth and you see a scene of the witch making the poison apple that will put Snow White to sleep.  Climb up the stairs and you can slide down her hair on a slide.  Bubba, Micah, and Micah's 2nd cousin Jasmine get ready to head inside.

The candy house that Hansel and Gretel get trapped in.

This is the old lady in the shoe slide.  Sliders climb onboard a mat and race down.  We spent quite a bit of time here.  To the right, Clay throws and elbow at his wife Cassa as they race.  What a nice guy!

Big Timber Log Ride is one of the star attractions at Enchanted Forest.  Riders climb into a hollowed out log and travel up the lift hill.   After a short trip through a sawmill, the logs head into the woods.  From front to back, Bubba, Aaron, Steve, and Andrew "enjoy" Big Timber in the early morning.

Towards the end of the ride, it travels up a second short lift hill before going down a 25-foot rollercoaster drop.  It heads back up and finally down into the 40-foot final drop.  When these logs hit the water, it creates a huge splash soaking everyone onboard.  (This ride kind of reminds you of Splash Mountain at Disneyland, huh?)

The newest ride at Enchanted Forest is the Krazy Bumper Cars.   They aren't nearly as good as the Skooters at Oaks Park, but they're still really fun.  My Uncle Jim discovered that they go a lot faster backwards than forwards.   This ride is located in the back corner of the park along with a frog hopper, kiddie ferris wheel, and kiddie bumper boats.  The park's outdoor theater is also in this area.

One of the themed areas at the park is the Old World Village (kind of like Fantasyland at Disneyland).  The area has all sorts of hands-on gadgets to play with and look at.  In the upstairs window of one building resides these 2 villagers.  They pass village gossip back and forth to each other.  If you have time, stop and listen to what they have to say.

Inside of the Old World Village is the Fantasy Fountains show at the Jolly Roger Inn.  This is a great water, light, and music show.  I often compare it to the fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas.  While Bellagio's fountains go several hundred feet high, these ones go only about 5 feet up.  The intimate setting of the Jolly Roger Inn combined with the music and water proves to be a very moving, powerful experience.  Pictures won't really do it justice, so just make sure you see the show when you're at the park.

Tofteville is the old west town at the park (like Frontierland).   You can walk through the old boardwalk and peer into the shops along the way.   To the right is Johnny Rio, one of the locals.  "Dirty, low-down scoundrels" can challenge Johnny to a gun fight and always seem to win.  It's a fun little attraction that you shouldn't miss.

Even my mom got into the act at Enchanted Forest.   Here she goes down a long, curving slide at Fort Fearless in Tofteville.  We all had a good time on the slide.  Nearby are the Indian Caves, a maze of passages through a fake maze.  To the right is my Grandma Kay.  Try as I might, I couldn't get her to ride any rides, but I think she had a good time anyway.

The Haunted House at Enchanted Forest is a really cool walk-thru attraction.  In 1991 it was voted the best walk-thru attraction in the country.   Inside, you walk around the old house and see many of the house's current residents.  The inside actually looks like a real house with narrow hallways and corridors.  There isn't anything too scary inside, but if you take your time walking through you'll notice some cool tricks inside.  My favorites are the "ghost hands" playing the piano and the reflection of the chandelier in the mirror (even though there isn't a chandelier around to reflect).

Ice Mountain Bobsleds is one of the most unique coasters in the world.  Guests climb into a 3-car train and quickly realize there is no seatbelt or lapbar.  Instead, the ride ops close a plexiglass lid over you and you head up the lifthill.  After a short ride through a fake mountain (ala the Matterhorn), you drop into the woods for a twisting, turning ride.  Along the way you experience a little bit of airtime by popping your head up into the lid.  As Earthslash said, it's also a bit of a water ride with a small fountain soaking the cars towards the end of the ride.

After a few hours at Enchanted Forest we climbed back into our cars and drove about 100 feet down the road to Thrillville USA.  This is a small traditional park with 2 coasters and a good variety of classic flat rides.  We looked all over for "Thrillman", but we didn't see him walking around anywhere.   Maybe next time.

The big coaster at the park is the Ripper, an old Schwarzkopf Jet Star.  The name fits the ride well as it rips around sharp, steeply banked corners through a maze of track.  Bubba was just tall enough to ride and loved it!  This might be the Ripper's last year at the park, so if you want to ride it, do it fast.

   

The park's other coaster is the Lil' Ripper.  It's a kiddie coaster that is a tight fit for adults, but we did it anyway.

While at Thrillville, my stupid uncle talked me into riding the rock-o-plane.  It was my first time (and probably my last).  It was actually a pretty fun ride, but I came off with a horrible headache and my necks was really stiff.  That's me in the picture, almost upside down.  I did manage to stay completely upside down for one trip through the bottom.

Jim's wife Lynette was there and rode the Octopus with Bubba and Jasmine.  Apparently the kids weren't too excited when it started spinning quickly.   They didn't like the Rock-O-Plane much either.

This is probably the ride we had the most fun on.  These bumper boats cruise around the pond and are equipped with squirt guns too.  The result is that within a matter of minutes we were dripping wet.  We stayed on for about 5 full minutes squirting everyone and everything in sight.  Jasmine and Lee (her dad) are pictured to the right.

Some of the bigger rides were a little much for Micah, but he did enjoy a nice, quiet spin on this whale ride.  The whales bobbed up and down as they went around.  Pretty cute.  We spent one more night and the Phoenix Inn and then visited Grandma Kay at her house before heading home.  With a new dark ride being built at Enchanted Forest set to open next year, you can bet we'll be back down to Oregon very soon.  Overall, we had a great trip and it was a lot of fun.  Thanks to Clay, Cassa, Mark, Scott, Steve, Andrew, the Newsomes, my parents, and Grandma Kay for tagging along on our trip.  The 3 parks also deserve a lot of credit.  None of the 3 are big parks, but they are all really fun and they are all completely different from each other.  If you get a chance to visit these parks, I encourage you to do it.   You'll have a great time!

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