Silverwood, Athol, Idaho, USA
So Silverwood was offering a deal on tickets for $19.88 which was too good to pass up. So I made the 8 hour drive from Corvallis with a friend up to the park which really is in the middle of nowhere. The park didn't look very crowded, however it seemed very crowded on the inside. The park is very small and the rides have horrible capacity.
Silverwood wins the award for the worst operational efficiency I have ever seen at a park. I knew coming in that the coasters would only run one train, but the rate at which they are dispatched is unbelievably slow. They also seemed to have no clue what time the park opened. Tremors was the only ride that was operating before noon, the rest were at a standstill. Ok so here's how the day went:
First we went to Timber Terror and got in line around 11:30 and waited for about a half hour before they decided to open it. The line didn't seem long but it took 45 minutes to get on. They were only able to dispatch a train once every 7-9 minutes. It was embarrassing. The good news. Timber Terror is a fantastic ride that I got on twice during the day (back and front row). The front is definitely better but both are good. The ride delivers an abundant amount of airtime and the ride has great pacing. The even worse news.. The one train that they have goes through serious downtime. In the six hours the park was open, the ride probably cycled 50 times or less with guests on. 8.5/10
Right next to Timber Terror is Aftershock... and there was an orange fence out in front of it. I asked a manager what was up and I got the most irresponsible answer from an operations department on the situation. Aftershock does not run in temperatures under 65 degrees normally, so we are using this day for training for employees only since we could not run the ride enough prior to opening. Aftershock spent the entire day testing with nobody riding it. I don't know if anyone else feels the way I do, but that is the biggest load of garbage I have ever heard.. especially when you can't keep your other rides open.
Next up was Tremors, and the main reason for making the drive out to the park. Another 45 minute wait with one train operation but the wait was worth it. Tremors is a fantastic ride in both the front and back with the highlights being the second airtime hill out of the gift shop and the back to back tunnels to end the ride. The ride has some serious vertical and lateral G's and has wonderful pacing throughout. There are some strong airtime parts, but the ride has good variety and is well landscaped. 9/10
We then meandered over to Corkscrew, which is obviously not popular with the locals since there was no line and nobody in the station. The ride is relatively smooth but is just way too short. Plus they do not allow re-rides even with the station empty. They might want to re-think that strategy. 5/10
We hit some of the flat rides which are forgettable except for the sky diver, which is one of the most bizarre flats that I have seen. It is a mixture of tea cups, a Ferris wheel, and an enterprise. You should look it up if you don't know about it. The rapids ride is decent and features the best boats of any rapid ride I've been on.
The overall rundown: The employees are nice but are very disorganized. There are points when I believed that their employees knew nothing about running rides. The trains on their coasters look FANTASTIC. They all look brand new and it really adds to the ride experiences. But, this is not a theme park that I would consider on anybody else bucket list. It is too far away from anything and the operations are so slow it will make you feel sick. I'd hate to imagine what it is like on a busy day.
Hope you enjoyed my trip report. Leave questions or comments below
Too bad about the operations/ride efficiency. I've heard the wood coaster maintenance is on the level of Holiday World, hope they can take a lesson at moving people.
About Corkscrew, even though it's simple and short, has to be sorta (briefly) cool to ride the first modern looper/corkscrew.
You're right. The condition of the tracking of the wood coasters is amazing. They look to be in excellent shape. But they do have that buffer of not running nearly as many trains through in a day as compared to most common wood coasters.
And yes the nostalgia value of Corkscrew makes it worth going on and worth being there.
Next to the beauty and awesomeness of the park and coasters, the capacity issue is the thing I always hear. I remember hearing Custom Coasters designed their rides with the idea of later adding a 2nd train (Legend and Raven are 2 great examples). Hopefully Silverwood does this eventually; sure looks like a great park!
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