TOP 10 NORTHWEST RIDES
The list below is my list of the 10 "can't miss" attractions at Northwest amusement parks. If you are making a trip into the Northwest, these are the rides that you MUST check out in order to experience the best the Northwest has to offer.
1. TREMORS-Silverwood Theme Park. This coaster was rated as the #4 wooden coaster in the world according to the 2004 Internet Wooden Coaster Poll. It opened in 1999 and was built by CCI, the masters of the woodie. Be sure to ride in the front to get a great view going down that first drop and the back to fully experience the amazing array of g-forces that Tremors has to offer. A night ride is also highly recommended as the darkness makes the coaster seem even more insane.
2. TIMBER TERROR-Silverwood Theme Park-This coaster was the first of Silverwood's 2 woodies, opening in 1996. It was rated as the #21 wooden coaster in the 2004 Internet Wooden Coaster Poll. Timber Terror is the definition of airtime. Every hill throws you completely out of your seat. The back seat on this out-and-back beast is especially enjoyable offering riders more time out of their seats than in them. The ride finishes with a bang too; an intense helix that starts out unbanked and slowly turns riders in towards the middle of the helix.
3. LOOFF CAROUSEL-Riverfront Park, Spokane. This is one of only 2 carousel's on the west coast that lets you grab for the brass ring. (The other one is at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.) It was built by Arthur Loopf as a wedding present for his daughter. The carousel is the fastest I've ever ridden and is maintained beautifully. If you drive through Spokane, be sure to stop by for an ice cream cone and a ride on our #3 NW ride.
4. BIG TIMBER LOG RIDE-Enchanted Forest. This is the NW's longest and definitely wettest log flume ride. Located in the beautiful Enchanted Forest of Turner, Oregon, the ride contains a couple of short water drops as it meanders through a sawmill and floats through the woods. What really makes this ride unique though is the 25 foot tall rollercoaster drop immediately before the big plunge. As the ride concludes, the 40 foot final drop comes. As the boats hit the lagoon below, an enormous amount of water envelops the boat and its riders. The ride then floats slowly back to the loading platform.
5. CHALLENGE OF MONDOR - Enchanted Forest. The newest ride in the park is also one of the best. This dark ride features guns which let you shoot at targets along the ride. It's sort of like a video game that you ride through. The theming is top notch and the ride so much fun you can easily ride it 20 times in one day and not be tired of it.
6. ICE MOUNTAIN BOBSLEDS-Enchanted Forest. This has got to be one of the world's most unique coasters. Riders climb into bobsled-type cars with no lap bar, no seat belt, nothing. Then the operators close the plexiglass lid that encompasses the car and the race is on. The ride travels up the icy mountain into a mist filled tunnel before dropping down into the woods. Just before the ride's end, the bobsleds climb another short lift hill and slowly roll back through the mountain and into the station.
7. COASTER THRILLRIDE-Puyallup Fairgrounds. This coaster was originally built by John Miller in the 30s. It was later destoyed by a fire and rebuilt better than ever. From the peak of the 57 foot tall lift hill, to the insane final run through the structure, the ride provides guests with a great ride as well as a tremendous piece of history. Younger riders can ride a coaster that their parents and even their grandparents rode when they were children. The Coaster Thrillride is listed as a "Coaster Classic" by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. The ride has 3 trains: Ol' Yeller, On'ry Orange, and Blaz'n Blue.
8. COASTER-PNE Playland. One of the burliest wooden coasters in the world is located in Vancouver, British Columbia. While it doesn't have the huge height and high speed that some other woodies have, it does provide a ride like no other. Especially in the back seat, riders are treated to the most impressive "ejector airtime" known to man. With each drop riders are literally thrown out of their seats and into the lap bar. The ride was built by the legendary Karl Phare and was, in his opinion, his finest work.
9. SKOOTERS-Oaks Park. No amusement park is complete without a set of bumper cars. Here in the northwest, we have one of the best. The Skooters at Oaks Park are great for a variety of reasons. One is the tremendous speed with which the cars glide across the floor. The floor is so slick that it is very difficult to walk to and from your car without falling on your tail. Unlike some parks, at Oaks, high speed collisions are encouraged and often applauded by the park's employees. The cars themselves are unique too. The headlights burning brightly on the front of each car somehow fit perfectly into the old park's atmosphere. Even the building housing the cars is great. The walls are painted with scenes of Keystone cops type characters chasing down the bad guys trying to escape. The Skooters are without a doubt the best bumper cars in the Northwest and are a cornerstone to the Northwest's oldest operating amusement park.
10. TIMBERHAWK-Enchanted Village. The newest thriller in the northwest is the first wooden coaster from S&S Power Sports. The ride begins with an 84-foot drop straight through the lift hill's supports and continues on a twisting, winding journey. While the ride doesn't have the airtime of something like PNE's Coaster (#7), it does provide a smooth ride that is great for a younger rider just getting their wooden coaster wings. Along the ride's twisting route, riders will travel up to 50 MPH through 20 crossovers and 6 direction changes.
That completes our tour of the Northwest's 10 best amusment park attractions. I have only listed my Top 10 above, but there are plenty of other great rides and attractions throughout the NW's amusement parks. New rides are opening all the time, and it is only a matter of time before newer attractions take the place of some of those listed above. Until then, enjoy the current crop of Top 10 rides in the Northwest.
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