Saturday, May 14, 2011
This photo of Enchanted Forest Theme Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Fairytale dreams come true at Eugene, Oregon's Enchanted Forest. Essentially wedged into the side of a hill, it took seven years to build - from scratch, mind you. Roger Tofte had no Imagineers supplying him with specs and detailed diagrams for animatronics. Nope - the man had a vision and just built the park on his own (well, with family help and the aid of his small son's Radio Flyer).
The outcome? A thoroughly engaging, beautifully-realized park everyone can enjoy. From Storybook Lane, complete with a variety of your favorite Mother Goose characters come to life, to Western Town(with sidewalks on crazy inclines and a museum with the silliest displays you'll ever see this side of the Pecos), Enchanted Forest delights with clever details and gentle humor. There's Ye Old World Village with surprises around every corner, featuring an amazing dark ride, "The Challenge of Mondor" (which you can read about in the book you'll find in the gift shop. Yes, there's a book devoted to the ride itself!) A nifty bobsled ride and a super-soaking log flume beckon those seeking scarier thrills. And Disney's Master Gracey would be proud to call their Haunted House his summer home.
Oh - the above photo, courtesy of Tripadvisor, comes from the fantastic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs walk-through attraction, where you venture forth in search of those seven little men busy at their day job: mining for jewels. Rainbow-colored caves and stalactites and shimmering pools of water abound. Expect "oohs" and "aaahs" from young and old alike.
Happy 40th Anniversary, Enchanted Forest! So glad my Road Trip is taking two years, because if I'd have rushed my touring, I would've dismissed your park as being too "young" for my purposes.