It's been said that a review tells you more about the reviewer than the thing being reviewed. So let me tell you who I am. I am a guy who likes small spaces, minimalism, and things that are odd, different, interesting, and/or funky. I'm also an aging theme park enthusiast who--while generally not unwell--is the heaviest and least healthy he's ever been. When I go to Cedar Point, I barely fit on the rides, and you're not going to find me marathoning The Voyage any time soon. But, happily, there are still places for people like me out there in amusement park land--special places. And I'm here today to tell you about one of those places:
Of course, you'd better not have a problem with hills and stairs....
It had been 10 years since I last visit Enchanted Forest. I'd enjoyed the park immensely then, and I was eager for Misty to experience it.
Boring stuff, because adults like that sort of thing.
The left third of the park (very roughly) is walk-by and/or walk-through representations of classic fairy tale stories.
I'm not going to show you everything, but suffice it to say that this is a small--but very detailed--park.
Hey, kids, let's have fun reading!
Apparently this was damaged and then replaced since my last visit. It looks the same. Indeed, the park really hasn't noticeably changed at all since the last time I was here.
Here's a photo of Smisty's back. See, what happens is, I stop to take a photo, but she keeps walking. I tell you this for no reason.
"Mad as a hatter" is a colloquial English phrase used in conversation to suggest (lightheartedly) that a person is suffering from insanity. The origin of the saying may derive from mercury poisoning (or Korsakoff's syndrome) experienced by hat-makers as a result of the long-term use of mercury products in the hat-making trade.
If you already knew that, you may be old and sad.
So, like, when they say "forest," they ain't kidding.
This is a small maze. It is fun for children of all ages.
While I've made much of how adult-friendly this park is, I wouldn't want to try to push a wheelchair around it.
Wait...bears don't live in honeycombs. This can't be right. I'd like to speak to your supervisor.
The Seven Dwarfs of Enchanted Forest are slightly different than Disney's Seven Dwarfs.
Does that say, "Lumpy"?
Okay, let's be clear: This is the least interesting section of the park, and it's still completely awesome.
One of the park's most iconic images, and the first of its 3 slides. Note also four of the dwarfs who weren't selected for mining duty today, bottom-right. I believe that's Dinky, Shminky, Bobo, and Log.
Enchanted Forest has an unguided crooked house! Also, Enchanted Forest *is* an unguided crooked house!
This was the first thing the park's founder (more on him later) started building at Enchanted Forest.
"Sir, are you all right? Are you having a stroke?"
The middle third of the park is the kinda-sorta western themed Tofteville.
"I can see it now! You'll be a star!"
Remote control boats. I have zero interest, but at least these look nice.
Fort Fearless contains the park's third big slide, as well as "Indian Caves."
It's a crooked town.
Inside the Opera House is a gift shop and continuous-looping history lesson about the park.
Sorry for the spot on the lens. It rains in Oregon. I'm not sure if you knew that.
Roger Tofte, the man who build this park, also drew the park map.
Does this photo seem off, somehow?
Anyway, this small BBQ restaurant is one of the very few new things I encountered on this visit.
So we ate there. Boring old people love to eat.
You know what else older active adults like? Muziums!
I don't get it.
Halloween is the favorite holiday of basically every adult I know. Whereas I like an occasion where I can take more photos of Smity's back. So, hey, how about a walk-through haunted house!
(Also, "3 Tickets" is a weird address.)
Spooooooky ghoooost haaaands....!
Oingo Boingo are like, "This is stupid."
The Haunted House is long, and mostly everything works. It's not particularly scary, and I don't think it really wants to be, but it is fun. Misty says it's the first thing she'd make better if we owned the park.
This is a photo of a pathway that leads through an empty tunnel with no one in it.
I guess this not-terribly-interesting dead-end kiddy ride section is park of Tofteville...? It consists of kiddy bumper boats, a small Ferris wheel, a Frog Hopper, kiddy train, and bumper cars. It's all fine, really. It's fine.
Doesn't look like us old folks are going to be riding that.
We can ride this train, though!. We didn't, but we can. Honestly, the train (while short) is the best thing back here. The landscape is themed with little fantasy buildings and the cars rock back and forth and have little buttons that make animal noises. So that's pretty cool. But even better is that employee's jacket! How do I get one of those?!
That's right. Forget the rides, let's talk about clothes!
One of the park's three big ride, the Big Timber Log Ride. (See, it even has BIG and RIDE in its name.)
They still do loaner ponchos, too. Which is awesome, but also cheating and I'll have none of it thank you very much.
This is seriously one of the two or three best log flume rides I've been on.
At the top of the big lift hill, you enter into a section that's more than a little reminiscent of Knott's Timber Mountain Log Ride--but that's not a bad thing!
Then we follow the terrain a bit, which is nice. Scenery is nice. Let's all have a sit.
The woods here are blurry. It's not the photographer's fault.
Also, I'm using an ancient and temperamental waterproof camera. But I really wanted you to see the waterless dip that's about to happen.
The pacing is really interesting here. First you do the waterless dip and ascend, then a quick turn to the big drop finale. It's a great finish for a great ride.
No poncho for me, thanks. I'm an adult.
Yes, all three of the park's big rides are all right together. But while the Big Timber Log Ride is part of Tofteville, the Ice Mountain Bobsleds are part of the park's third area, the mystical Old European Village.
This coaster was built in house, and has no restraints--unless of course you count being completely enclosed in your car as being restrained, which I guess yeah it is.
Some of the course is icy and some is forested. Magic, I guess.
That looks funky.
There's no airtime, really--but this ride is weird, wild, and fun! You definitely need a car to yourself (especially if you're on the biggerness side) but that shouldn't be a problem if the park's not too busy. (And I'm pretty sure they wouldn't try to put you with a stranger in this thing.)
Everyone has this photo.
Challenge of Mondor is the park's third big ride. I think it was pretty new when I last visited. It's a trackless shooting dark ride.
I didn't get many photos of this one. Because it's a shooting dark ride. But I can tell you the cars stop occasionally and spin. (Slowly, though--so don't worry, grampa!)
The Old European Village proper is full of little details, window displays, and walk-throughs. So, like the rest of the park, it's awesome.
Long John's Lookout is a small indoor seating area with a view of the Ice Mountain Bobsleds.
Smisty's back likes to gift shop!
Geppetto was not racist.
A short simple animation show on a continuous loop. I'm not sure if the MC is supposed to be English or Australian, based on his accent, but it's fun and and and...this thing exists here and that's awesome!
"Free Water Show" sounds like a trap.
It's not, though. This eatery (pizza and burgers and such) has a dancing waters fountain show in it. Do you see why I love this place, yet?
How about now?
Also, I'm Oregonian. Check out my hat.
This is a picture of benches. I'll put this up against a picture of benches anywhere. Go on, I dare you. Hit me with a better bench photo.
Back at the front of the park, looking back up towards Old European Village.
Smisty had a great time (true).
Also, it was her birthday (not true).
She's 5 now (really really not true).
We end as we began, with a photo of the parking lot. But, really, isn't that how all theme park visits begin and end?
Pretty deep, right?
Enchanted Forest. Quite simply, one of my favorite places in the world.
Last edited by Electerik on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:57 pm.
Electerik wrote:Greetings, friends! Erik (of Erik & Smisty fame) here. It's been said that a review tells you more about the reviewer than the thing being reviewed. So let me tell you who I am. I am a guy who likes small spaces, minimalism, and things that are odd, different, interesting, and/or funky. I'm also an aging theme park enthusiast who--while generally not unwell--is the heaviest and least healthy he's ever been. When I go to Cedar Point, I barely fit on the rides, and you're not going to find me marathoning The Voyage any time soon. But, happily, there are still places for people like me out there in amusement park land--special places. And I'm here today to tell you about one of those places:
Greetings Erik (of Erik & Smisty fame)! A review does indeed "tell you at least as much about the reviewer as the thing being reviewed," and as a fellow "aging theme park enthusiast," I thank you for taking me back, back, back to the past. The Enchanted Forest reminds me of all the fantastical places my parents took me during the period of the paleolithic ooze. I took such delight in these storybook theme forests, and it's SO COOL that they still entertain generations of enthusiasts. (I'm from NYC, and, alas, can't remember most of the names of these places in my area, but boy were they ever exciting to me and my sisters.) Thanks for your droll report -- you made me laugh AND feel some bittersweet nostalgia for those wonderful family holidays.
Woah, I'd never even heard of this park before, but the level of detail on those buildings and the theming/landscaping is really outstanding. Very atypical of what you usually see in American parks, more along the lines of how the Europeans take care of their parks. Nice photos and a very good read!
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