Monday, July 22, 2013

Aerial Antics: Silverwood Theme Park

Here is a new entry to the Aerial Antics category, Silverwood Theme Park.  The park is located in Idaho, near Coeur d'Alene.  Originally operated as an airstrip - which you can still see running the length of the ride side of the park, it turned into a full theme park in 1988.  The park's authentic steam train was originally the big draw - and still is very popular - but many other rides and attractions have been added since.

The entrance to the park is in a bit of an odd location - you cross under a major highway to get there from the parking lot, and though the entrance area is very pretty, and quaint, it's sort of stuck out in the open by itself.  I'm not sure what the park uses that enormous grassy area for - I would think it must serve some purpose other than to look nice.

Once visitors move into the theme park side of the property they encounter a wonderfully landscaped area filled with rides.  The aerials do not zoom in too much, so you'll have to bear with me here.  You enter the park from the bottom of this photo, and you can see how the rides and attractions spread out from that point.

The park's log flume takes up some land in the center of the area, and the Corkscrew coaster is also located here.  The Corkscrew came to Silverwood from Knott's Berry Farm when it was replaced with the Boomerang.

As Silverwood expanded the park created Roller Coaster Alley, the midway that winds between these two wooden rides.  This is also where this year's new thrill ride, SpinCycle, is located.

The first to have opened is toward the top of the photo, the out and back design named the Grizzly, or I should say Timber Terror.  The name Grizzly didn't last too long due to coasters of the same name at the former Paramount parks.  The ride opened in 1996 and was designed by Custom Coasters.

The bottom ride, a twisted layout that features a handful of underground tunnels, was also from Custom Coasters and opened in 1999.  Oh, and it is named Tremors, which I've also though was just the perfect name for a coaster that roars underground.

If the park's latest roller coaster looks familiar, that's because it came to the park from Six Flags Great America where it operated as Deja Vu.  The Vekoma designed Giant Inverted Boomerang is now located at the far end of Silverwood, where it has operated since 2008.

The park's train really has an amazingly large layout, especially for a theme park.  The ride section we were just looking at is the tiny bit on the upper left - the red dots trace the entire path of the train's course.  That's a really long ride though the woods!  And yes, of course you do stop and the train gets robbed.

The park made a really big expansion in 2003 when they opened Boulder Beach, a full water park.  I think they've found quite a bit of summertime success with the water area, and have worked to expanded it with new attractions.  I wouldn't be surprised for a minute to see them continue to build into that open space surrounding Boulder Beach!

To check out Bing's aerials of Silverwood Theme Park for yourself, click here.