Oaks Park/Enchanted Forest/Thrillville

Associated parks:

Robocoaster and his hubby were kind enough to invite me to stay at their place in Portland so we could do three of the local amusement parks.

We went to Oaks Park for a couple of hours on Sunday night. It was about the same size as Seattle's Fun Forest: one small coaster, one kiddlie coaster, and a handful of carnival rides.

Looping Thunder has the smallest loop I've ever seen in my life. It also had insanely abrupt dropoffs, almost like the ones on wild mouse coasters. It was unnaturally slow in spots, and could have used an additional lap. It definitley isn't as fierce as the Windstorm, which is a good thing considering this one has horsecollars. At least I managed to make it through without smashing my head on them. The seats were a little too hard for my taste. I got off feeling as if I'd just endured a 60-second spanking.

I don't usually get sick on flats. I started feeling ill as soon as our ride on the Round Up was over. Every flat ride I went on after that made me wish I had brought a plastic bag with me. I know, I know...I should have quit after the Round Up. Instead I deluded myself into believing the Spider (Octopus) was too tame to make me queasy. It wasn't.

The Screamin' Eagle looked like way too much fun to pass up. It works like a inverted Frisbee, spinning riders around while swinging back and forth like a pendulum. This swung higher than the Frisbee at Puyallup. The swings' arc seemed to reach an angle of about 110-degrees, threatening to smash riders' ankles into the treetops. On any other day, a ride like this would have had me shouting for more. Instead, I spent the entire time softly mumbling to myself, "No. No. You're not going to do it. It's okay, Ben. Just relax. You can make it. No barfing, okay? Shhh. Shhh." I had rationalized my decision to ride by telling myself the discomfort, inconvenience, and embarrassment of puking would be offset by the fact I'd have a more interesting story to tell. I was, and continue to be, grateful that it didn't turn out that way.

We spent maybe three hours at Enchanted Forest the next day. The scenery was gorgeous. The entire park is on a steep hillside, with maze-like paths to make it seem larger than it really is.

The Haunted House was the scariest thing there. Rob and Brent made me walk ahead of them. I kept expecting an employee to jump out of a corner and grab me. I shuffled through the entire house with my back against walls and my hands out in front of me, like Jodie Foster at the end of "Silence of the Lambs."

Ice Mountain Bobsleds was a charming little coaster. Being completely encased in the vehicle really detracted from the experience, but the frosty tunnel at the top of the lift is so narrow that it's easy to see why they had to enclose the cars. The entire coaster has a rickety home-made feel to it, as if the force of the cars rounding the curves is going to snap the frail-looking supports and send all three capsules bouncing down the hillside towards I-5.

I was surprised to discover that the Big Timber Log Ride had a dry rail section. It's the only log flume I've ever seen that lends riders raincoats to reduce the amount of soakage they get during the splashdowns. If only I'd had the foresight to prop my feet up on that first drop. The water ran off of the raincoat and into my socks. The wind blew my hood back on the second, larger splashdown. At least my glasses stayed on.

We happened to get to Thrillville next door just as they were closing The Ripper for 30 minutes of testing. I'm glad we decided to wait for it. This was easily the best coaster during the whole trip, despite the trailer-town atmosphere of the park. The turns at the bottom of the drops appear to have lethally-strong G's, but the cars sweep through each transition gracefully--which is not to say The Ripper isn't loud and intense.

*** Edited 8/31/2004 6:46:50 AM UTC by Railshark***

*** Edited 8/31/2004 7:01:32 AM UTC by Railshark***

Ben Ryker

Robocoaster's avatar
" No barfing, okay? Shhh. Shhh." I had rationalized my decision to ride by telling myself the discomfort, inconvenience, and embarrassment of puking would be offset by the fact I'd have a more interesting story to tell.
As the guy who was sitting next to you, I beg to differ... ;)

They Live. We Sleep.

Actually, the whole "Shhh. Shhh. Just relax, Ben," thing didn't do a whole lot to make me feel better. I used that mantra to INDUCE vomiting a couple of weeks ago during an intense tummyache at home.

Ben Ryker

Robocoaster's avatar
So you wanted to barf on me??? Next time, you sit next to kitty; she'll eat anything...

They Live. We Sleep.

Speaking of gross things...did you guys ever figure out what was on Brent's shirt, that made it glow in the dark under the UV lights in Snow White's Castle? I started having CSI flashbacks. *shudder*

Ben Ryker

Robocoaster's avatar
Mmmmm, Snow. Ahhh, that takes me back (to my years growing up in the shadow of Mt. Bachelor; not to my college days! Oh who am I foolin'. It takes me back to my dorm days too...) ;)

They Live. We Sleep.

Too bad we didn't have an extra day to do the slides on Mt. Hood. Seeing Brent's scars from last year's trip didn't make me all that eager to go, though. Next year, maybe?

Ben Ryker

Nice TR. Are adults allowed to ride the kiddy coasters at Thrillville and Oaks? I didn't see any kind of restriction on their web site. Also, how close are the parks? Do you think that if you were going to run in and just hit the credits, you could do all three in 3 hours? *** Edited 8/31/2004 3:01:07 PM UTC by Pale Rider***
Robocoaster's avatar
PR, at Thrillville last year, they didn't seem to mind adults riding the Lil' Ripper. It's not like they are busy ever or anything. Don't miss their classic Octopus (eight arms with a single car each) that runs in insane mode all the time; you will catch air on this scary bugger each time the arm dives! Joe and Keith can back up this claim. As for proximity, TV is right next door to EF. Were talking 100 feet away, if that. Those two are just over an hour away from Oaks, providing traffic is thin.

I do suggest that you take the 2-3 hours and enjoy EF. There are many free things to do once inside that are unique. Not anything to write home about per se, but there are lots of slides, tunnels, various caves, and other things to crawl through, even as an adult...
Oaks has some fun stuff as well. Beautifully set amongst a large Oak grove, they have by far the best whiplash-inducing bumper cars I've ever rode. Their haunted mine ride deserves a spin as well. As for the Miler coaster, Zooom!, I'm pretty sure they allow adults to ride. Just don't try to bring your pop on the ride with you, right Ben? (cough* credit-whore* cough) ;)

They Live. We Sleep.

It's a shame that in the three years that I lived in Portland I never made it to Enchanted Forrest or Thrillville. Passed by many a time and wanted to stop but I was always with non-enthusiasts that insisted that we get to our destination ASAP. There's always next time.

I love Oak's Park's setting. Everytime I would go get a cheesesteak at Philadelphia's in Sellwood I'd always take the road that runs along the bluff overlooking Oak's Park and longingly wish that a kick ass woodie lived down along the river.

Is Screamin' Eagle a KMG Afterburner? I love those things. Too bad it wasn't around when I was. That alone would make me hit Oak's at least twice more than normal.

When you moving to Vegas Robo? I'm waiting for you to get there so I have a free place to stay. ;)

Yeah is Good!
Robocoaster's avatar
Mike, it is indeed a KMG. This year they added Up, Up, and Away! (yes, that's the name). It has about 6 gondolas that rise approx 25 ft in the air. As the ride rotates, you can also spin the gondola like a tea-cup ride. AND (dunt-du-na-nah!) it is their first permanent ride; they poured a concrete base and everything! Even the Afterburner is a trailer model, and as you know, neither coaster has actual footers.

As for Vegas, the move is October, it's a matter of when it's better to transfer with the Company. Now, it's tentatively set for October 8-10th. Yipee!!! With luck, I should enjoy my first Scary Farm, and get to ride Colossus backwards. :)

And as you know, Tom Peterson says "Free is a very good price!" ;)

They Live. We Sleep.

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