Halloween Haunts at theme parks have become a true staple in the industry. Almost every park has its own version, and Silverwood is no different. Once
the leaves start to turn, and the days get shorter, Scarywood Theme Park looms ever closer in the distance. And folks, it's hard to contain our
excitement, because this is our favorite time of the year when it comes to our little park in northern Idaho. If you've been before, you'll know what
we're talking about. If not, you NEED to get out there!
2018 is a landmark year for Scarywood, in that the event will be operating for it's 10th year. We've attended every October with the exception of
2016, so we feel that we've had plenty of opportunities to get this event down to a fine art. The event has grown from the likes of a corn maze
haunted house into a fully-fledged, award-winning experience. It has been so fun to watch the park change bit by bit over the years into what
it is now.
In this guide, we'll cover all the basics to get you started when planning a night at the event. For more info on the specific attractions at Scarywood,
click here for our 2018 Scarywood Haunts and Attractions Guide. Also, if you're interested in what our "perfect
night" at the park looks like, check out our Scarywood 1 Night Itinerary.
WHEN SHOULD I ATTEND?
Scarywood is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in October. This year they're also open the last Friday and Saturday of September. Thursday hours
are 7pm to 11pm, and Fridays and Saturdays it's 7pm to 12am. If you've ever been to any other haunt, you'll know what we're about to say: the earlier you
go, the better it will be.
Crowds at these events always get worse the closer you get to Halloween, and it's no different for Scarywood. Also, the crowds are increasingly worse the
later into the week you get, as do the prices. We find Fridays to be the best sweet spot, as you still get the extra hour that you miss on Thursday, but
you avoid the Saturday crowds. And that's not to mention weather...obviously the later in the year, the colder it will be.
WHO SHOULD I BRING?
We can't believe we have to say this, but despite warnings all over the park, we always see people every year bringing small children (even infants and
toddlers) into the park. While no one will stop you, we'd advise heeding the warnings. This event is NOT for kids! The park recommends being at least
13, and depending on how your child reacts to scary stuff, that might even be still too young.
Scenes in the park, even just in the scare zones on the
walkways, have very disturbing, gory, bloody imagery. We love all that stuff, but we wouldn't even think of bringing our little ones. Granted, we know it's
ultimately up to each parent to decide what's best for their kids, but we would advise waiting until they're a bit older to take 'em to Scarywood!
Scarywood doesn't have as much in the way of food as you'll find during the regular season. The Pizza place inside the magic theater is open, and will likely
be much busier than usual with the new Magic Show. Lindy's is also open, but doesn't have the full summer menu. You'll find some great snacks and treats
throughout the various food carts in the park, but aside from that
there isn't much to write home about.
And that's not a bad thing. If you want to get the most out of your Scarywood evening, you don't want to be
wasting time eating at a restaurant! Our advice: Go eat at Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese in CDA before getting to the park, and then grab a caramel
apple or funnel cake to get you through the night if you get hungry.
WHAT RIDES SHOULD I GO ON?
We attended Knott's Scary Farm many years ago, well before Scarywood was ever a thing. During the day, the park was open and we got our fill of
coasters in. We talked to several ride ops about what advice they'd offer for getting the most out of the Halloween Haunt that evening. Most of
them said the same thing: skip the rides!! Same thing goes for Scarywood. You can go on the tilt-a-whirl any other day of the year. Ironically,
it (and all the other rides) always seems to have unusually long lines, and we wonder "why"??? You're paying for scare zones and haunted
attractions, so heed our advice: skip the rides, and focus on the Halloween stuff!
The ONE exception to this is Timber Terror Backwards. It's only like this during October, so you don't want to miss out. It's a blast! And, if you
have extra time at the end of your night, the other coasters are fun to ride in the dark as well.
1. The weather can turn very quickly in northern Idaho in October. We've seen it all: strangely warm evenings, freezing (literally) cold nights,
even rain. Watch the forecast, and plan/dress accordingly.
2. We mentioned this in our 2018 Silverwood guide, but for Scarywood it's even more important - if you're coming from
out of town, stay in a hotel
that's as close to the park as possible. With the park open until midnight, you will not want to have a long drive back to Spokane or Kellogg
to get to your room.
3. Get to the park early. Like, at least an hour before it opens. Yes, that means you'll be standing outside the gate for a while, but
trust us, it will be worth your while. Scarywood likes to tout that "there are too many frights to fit into one night". Perhaps this year, with
the new Magic Show and the Log flume on top of the standard 5 haunted attractions might be pushing it. But we have found
that, with a little planning, we have always been able to fit everything into one evening every single year. One of the keys to our 'success' has
been ensuring we are one of the first groups into the gate.
If you liked this post and found it helpful, let us know and share it with your friends! Let us know how you'd plan your Scarywood trip differently. Feel
free to share what tips you'd suggest to first-timers, and long-time visitors alike! Also, if you have a trip planning question that we didn't
cover, leave a comment and we'll be sure to answer! Last but certainly not least, let us know what other topics you'd like to see covered.