Sunday, September 7, 2014

Enchanted Forest . . . Disneyland's Slightly Twisted Cousin

  A few weeks ago, my friend Shanti and I took our toddlers to the (in)famous Enchanted Forest. You may not have seen, the local gem that is Enchanted Forest recently made the prestigious list of "World's Creepiest Parks for Kids" (seen here). Note that it didn't say "in Oregon" or even "in America". This park made this list out of all the parks IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. And, boy, did it live up to the reputation! Within the first hour, I can't even count the number of times Shanti and I turned to one another to say, "I can't believe how creepy this is. I'm seriously a little frightened." And luckily for you, I took lots of photo and video to document it!

   A few weeks before we visited, this Humpty literally had a great fall. Hence the ladder and missing bricks.

   The witch animatronic inside here made me scream aloud. Her chin was bigger than my head. I tried to get a video, but it was so dark you couldn't see a thing on camera. I think they do that on purpose.

   Mary and her sheep-dog thing.

This looks way worse in person. Trust me. 

   This was kind of cool, in an I-don't-want-to-do-it way. You could crawl through this long, pitch dark tunnel that went under the walkway for about fifteen yards. Lincoln pronounced it "dark" and "scary", and would not enter. Couldn't blame him. Those words were repeated often that day. You can hear it in this video:
  This was for the seven dwarves, if I remember correctly. There was a whole tight tunnel (but adult-sized this time. But forget about it if you're obese, those things were really, really narrow) that showed said dwarves mining, surrounded by green glowing waterfalls that did not photograph well. It was very eerie.

Jack and Jill did not look like they were "tumbling" down the mountain. Unless "tumbling" is another word for "being chased by monster demons".

   Lincoln was very curious to see what might be up there. By the way, this led to a slide. Don't you love the fangs? Nice touch.

   I like how the Crooked Man looks like a peeping Tom for his own home. 
   I took one step inside and felt like I was going to puke. I'm getting old. Lincoln and Magnus kept falling down. Shanti noped out, but I went through the "dark", "scary" house with the kids. And got to see this face:
   This picture looks more blurry than it is. Know why? BECAUSE THIS WAS PAINTED WITH FOUR EYES. I don't know why, guys. I don't have any answers. I'm only here to document.

Honestly, I've never heard of The Crooked Man, so I don't blame you if you haven't either. But everyone knows the Three Bears of Startling Flexibility!

   This one Shanti and I were like, "Hey, this one isn't so bad! Nothing too freaky about it." Until you get to the other side, and . . . 
   This park didn't make you sign a waver (or maybe it did, I can't remember), but every attraction had signs like this one. 

  After the fairytale/nursery rhyme walk-through section there were the shops and rides. We braved this bobsled ride, which included exactly zero seatbelts. I screamed for a lot of it, but it was good fun, I must admit. It reminded me of the amusement park McKay and I went to in China, where you were seriously afraid for your life the whole time. Added adrenaline!
   This is Shanti, and you can just make out Magnus' head, in the bobsled behind us, going up, up, up!

  The shops are interspersed with more fairytale animatronics, these ones in better lighting so I could share them with you lucky folks! It really doesn't do it justice, though, which is too bad. The blue fairy from Pinocchio looked like she had hung herself after chopping off her feet:

  Really, though, as scary as Enchanted Forest is (Shanti and I were both too chicken to check out the haunted house because, really, I hate to see what they come up with when they're TRYING to be scary), one thing you can say for them is there is a lot to do. A restaurant we took a break in had a fun water show every seven minutes, though even that was terrifying from time to time when the music became more intense and the lights all turned red.

While we were looking through the shops, Shanti told me, "Julia. Turn around." Again, I literally screamed out loud, seeing these guys hanging outside the shop windows:

  The kiddie rides were a big hit, but unfortunately, they also hit your wallet pretty hard. In addition to entrance fees, you needed to buy tickets to go on the rides. These tickets are 95 cents each (so basically a dollar) and most of the rides are 2-4 tickets. The bobsleds were four, meaning it cost eight bucks for Lincoln and I to ride it. Once. Most of the kiddie rides were two tickets (I think), and the kids could go on those without us, so those were a bit cheaper at least. Lincoln's favorite was (unsurprisingly) the TRAIN! The train that looked like it was designed by a 12 year old girl using photoshop in the early 00's.

  Gooooood times. This train was like Enchanted Forest's version of the Casey Jr. train at Disneyland. This train led you through the sights of:

   Old McDonald's Farm! (Cows say: HELP ME)
And Cinderella's castle, surrounded by Pinocchio's village. Aaaand . . . that's it. Those were the three sights. Though, to be fair, there could have been zero sights and Lincoln still would've been thrilled.

  Lincoln also had a grand old time on these motor boats. The second time he went the guy let them go for like 5-10 minutes, which was pretty awesome of him.

  Really, though, we spent three hours at Enchanted Forest and the kids had a blast. Lincoln watches those animatronic videos on my phone over and over. And even with entrance fees and the ride tickets, we were out about twenty-five bucks. Compared to Disneyland, that's parking money. So, while it may not be Disneyland standard, for the fun the kids had and the "wow" factor (not exactly a good "wow", though), it was well worth the price. I think it was a good bonding experience with Shanti, too. We both survived Enchanted Forest with minimal emotional scarring. I think we're the stronger for it.


  1. Oh, I am so glad you posted this! I grew up going to the Enchanted Forest (I think it was our end-of-the-year field trip in 1st grade.) It has expanded over the years; I think the bobsled went in when I was in college, and I didn't even know they had other kiddie rides. I worked at the Enchanted Forest a couple of summers--and one of my jobs was selling tickets for the Haunted Mansion! I'm glad to see that Humpty has been repaired. Creepy or not, I love the Enchanted Forest. It confirmed for me from a young age that some people really DO build theme parks in their own back yards!

  2. I want to go there SO BADLY. Is it in Albany? That Blue Fairy reminds me of the Grudge. She's just hanging out in that closet (window?) and slowwwwwly makes her way out to say hello--eerie.

    1. It's in Salem, about twenty minutes away. If you want to visit in the next few months I'd be happy to take you!