Thursday, August 15, 2013

Offbeat Northwest: Silverwood Theme Park

 Idaho Attraction
Silverwood entrance
As much as visiting home is about seeing family and friends (and eating Mexican food), we also want to use our vacation time to see things we've never seen before. So off we went from Seattle & Washington to the great yonder of Montana, stopping at Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and Silverwood theme park on the way.

Our 4th amusement park in 4 years doesn't sound like much - but theme parks are becoming an addiction. Following our visit to Disneyland in California during Halloween., we've visited Disneyland Paris at Christmas, Europapark (2nd biggest park in Europe), and now Silverwood.

With over 65 rides and attractions, we were ready to get our ride on.

In early June on a weekday, the park was pretty empty. Perfect. We have no interest in waiting in lines and are making it our specialty to go to parks during the off times.

american flag sunglasses sasquatch
Ian found these glasses for $6. SOLD!
We aren't usually big shoppers while touring, but theme parks have been reeling us in with well priced baubles. We still fawn over our 5 euro tumbler from Disneyland Paris and when Ian saw these America glasses for $6 he felt patriotism well up in his breast and dollars fly out of his pocket.

(Paired with this shirt of Washington State from Spokane and the America shirt he wore all over Coeur d'Alene - Ian returned triumphantly 'Merican to Berlin.)

Let's talk rides, shall we?

Rides at Silverwood

Idaho Attraction Originally opened in 1988 with a few carnival rides, main street, and an authentic steam train that traveled in a 30-minute loop - the park has developed nicely since then. It is fairly small - especially since half the park is rides and half a water park (formally known as Boulder Beach and included in your admission). Still family-owned and operated, there are kiddie rides, the steam train runs, carnival rides and a few thrill rides/roller coasters. There was less than I expected, but enough to keep us excited. It didn't help that the most threatening ride, Corkscrew, was closed during our visit. Hmph. (Although I think Ian was relieved. Wussy.)

However, it is the best that we got as Seattlites since it is the largest theme and water park in the American Northwest. The biggest plus for us was that our visits to other amusement parks have been bereft of wooden roller coasters. Silverwood has 2 - Tremor and Timber Terror. Charming and old-timey, the park was high in Americana which is just what we wanted.

wooden roller coaster Idaho Attraction
Timber Terror

Idaho Attraction

Idaho Attraction roller coaster
Wooden Roller Coaster - Tremors

Note that one special idiot stood up on the ride above. Not cool. They had to stop it, with everyone in the car waiting in the sun, and escort them off. Don't be that guy.

Idaho Attraction amusement ride

I bully Ian frequently, especially in regards to his former aversion to amusement park rides. (Considering the amount of parks we've been to recently - I'm winning.) Through my systematic challenges and nagging I've forced him onto almost every ride, but he refused to get on the Panic Plunge. Not surprising, considering he hates the sphincter pull from even riding in a car over a big hill. Refusing to be intimidated by a ride, I got on.
By myself.
Which was embarrassing.

....especially when I really did scream when it dropped.

We had already been soaked once that morning on Thunder Canyon (pro tip - don't get on the water ride - even if there is no line!- first thing in the morning), but by the early afternoon it was hot and we were ready to get wet once again.

Enter the bumper boats.

Idaho Attraction amusement park

I annihilated Ian. Soaked him. Covered him in oily gasoline water from his huge head all the way to his birkenstock-clad toes. He claims that he was heavier so his stream shot straight into the air unless I was further away. Whatever sir. You know I own you.

soaked on bumper boats

By midday we had made it through the park and had happily chomped down on some tex-mex, sharing a burritos and some mexi fries (aka spicy tater tots) with ranch. Germans - get on replicating this kind of greasy delicacy immeaditly.

Silverwood's Water Park: Boulder Beach

Finished with rides, we headed to the water park.  We were immeaditly left with a dilemma - where to leave our stuff? We could head back out to the car and drop our clothes, camera, etc. or use one of their lockers (accessible by locker jockey for $5). I can be extraordinarily cheap, but Ian convinced me to fork over the dough for the locker.

First up was the lazy river where your relaxing ride on an inner tube is repeatedly interrupted by squealing teens, thuggy children, and surprise waterfalls trying to drown you. We were still happy to cool off, and tossed our tubes to the next saps as we made our way for the slides.

 Idaho Water park

I felt extra naked, more than even just being in a bikini, without my camera. I'm sorry, but you will have to use your imagination. The size of the water park matches that of the rides and along with the lazy river includes:
What this transliterates to in "not theme park speak" is 2 large wave pools and a bunch of pleasant to ultra-terrifying slides. There are several group or couple tubing slides, and a set of 3 shoots for single riders. Beware - flying through the air in your swimsuit is an exhilarating and unnerving experience. It is also somewhat painful as Ian experiences some hard landings, both of us got a little scratched up from seams, and much water was shot up our nose.

I loved it.

Tips for Silverwood

  • $5 parking fee - I hate these little clinger fees, and this is just one you have to let go. The place is in the middle of nowhere, yet you have to pay parking. (Also the aforementioned locker fee at the water park.)
  • Bring sunscreen! The place gets hot and if you have skin like me you will burn a little no matter what. Minimize the damage.
  • Teenagers run the rides. This makes sense as it is a summer job, but some of the operators were obviously bored and amused themselves by "entertaining" us. Do your best not to strangle them.
  • No drinks, food or ice chests can be brought into the park. Not surprising, but boo! Food options are numerous and fair enough (our giant burrito & side was around $5.50)
  • If you've got little ones, note the height requirement.
  • Swimsuit Dress code? We didn't have any issue with this, but signs are posted about "swim wear must be modest in design. No revealing or thong swimsuits allowed. Swim wear with exposed zippers, buckles, denim fabric, rivets or metal ornamentation is not permitted." The metal makes sense (those slides could tear you up), but the modesty clause seems a bit Idaho-y (read- conservative).
  • Lodging - This is the boonies so camping is a good option in the vicinity, or you can go to the closet city, Coeur d'Alene. Spokane is also not too far from here. We left Spokane that morning, stayed at the park for the day, and then made our way on to our destination camping at Flathead lake in Montana.

Silverwood Theme Park Information

Address: 27843 U.S. 95  Athol, ID 83801
Phone: (208) 683-3400

Season: The park is primarily open in the summer from June-August with bordering months (May & September) only open on the weekends. Note there is a special Halloween schedule in October.

Hours: The Park is open from 11-9pm most days, 10pm on weekends; Waterpark is open 11-7pm

Silverwood Ticket Prices:

Adult 1-day pass*: $43.99
Students & Seniors: $29.99

* buying on-line offers discounts (i.e. $39.99 for an adult). We've also heard about discounts on tickets sold at Costco in Spokane.


2013 Road Trip to Montana & Visit Home to Seattle


ifs ands Butts said...

TOTALLY forgot about bumper boats! haha

canyonridescom said...

This place is one of favourites on this great planet. Just GO an smell the air. That's one of the best things its got going for it-- freshness.

Grand Canyon National Park Horseback Rides

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008