As any avid theme park enthusiast knows, it's a scientific fact that rides are almost always better at night. Especially
rides that are outdoors. Silverwood has a lot of these, and we frequently find ourselves hitting up several of them as the
day turns dark. If you haven't experienced Silverwood at night, you are missing out.
First, as we have noted in other posts, the last few hours of the day can often be just about as productive as your first couple
of hours, as crowds and lines tend to thin out. Second, the park ambiance at night is truly something special. The lights on
the attractions, hearing the rush of the coasters zooming through the dark, and the scenery, which leads nicely into our third
and final point: on a clear (or even mostly clear) evening, the sun setting over the surrounding cascade range can make for
some of the most spectacular sights you'll ever see in a theme park.
While Silverwood doesn't have quite the same line up of "nighttime" attractions that you'd find at, say, Disneyland, there are
definitely some rides you'll want to check out. Obviously, the waterpark closes early, so none of the attractions in that side
of the park make the list. But within the dry park, there's plenty to choose from.
As with any "Top 5" or "Top 10" list, we found it difficult to come up with a ranking. After overthinking and changing the list
several times, this is what we're sticking with for now. Here's our Top 5 Attractions to do at night:
5. FERRIS WHEEL
We lament the fact that Silverwood doesn't have a better version of this ride in our Rides Guide
. But the lines
tend to be much shorter in the evening, and the views are pretty tough to beat. You'll get expansive views of Roller Coaster Alley
and Country Carnival from the top, plus a decent view of the mountains to either side.
4. ROARING CREEK LOG FLUME
This is one of the rides that we find to be vastly improved at night. The inside of the building looks
great all lit up at night, almost having a hint of the "Blue Bayou" feel to it. And the outdoor sections of the ride through the
forest are serene, beautiful, and even peaceful. Yes, this has the potential downside of getting you soaked, but we find that
most of the time, folks aren't standing by waiting to soak you with the water cannon in the evening. As long as no one hits
you with that, you shouldn't get very wet. Indeed, one of the reasons we leave Thunder Canyon off the list is that, despite
it having many of the same nighttime pros as the log flume, you simply cannot escape that ride without being soaked!
3. SILVERWOOD CENTRAL RAILWAY
We get that some of you might not agree with ranking this so high, but we find this is a tough
experience to beat in the evening. If you catch the final train ride of the night, usually just before dusk, you get a wonderful
journey through the woods with the sunset. We had such a ride a few years ago, with one of the most amazing sunsets we have
ever witnessed. It was one of the most memorable experiences
we've ever had at the park. The final ride of the night doesn't include the robbery show, but if you're willing to set that aside
on one of your visits, you won't be sorry. Somehow, everything seems a little more quiet, a little more ambient,
a little more...dare we say...magical?
2. PANIC PLUNGE
This should come as no surprise, as it provides the highest "face forward" vantage point in the entire park. The
slow ride up to the top gives you ample time to soak in the surrounding mountain range. Also, if you time it just right and get
a seat facing west, you can get some incredible views of the sunset in the background with the rest of coaster alley in the
1. TIMBER TERROR
Truly it could be said that all the coasters are better at night, but this one stands out for us. The views
on the way up the lift hill, particularly if you look to your left, are better than any of the others. The sections at the far turnaround
where the train dives through the ride structure are even more surprising in the dark. And the trees that have grown around
most of the ride now fully engulf the experience to make it seem even more secluded. We also love the cheesy Christmas lights
along the east side of the track...even if they look a bit silly, they have that old-school "carnival" feel to them, which is
a nice touch. Most of all, if you are riding this at night in October
, you get the backwards version. That, in and of
itself, is the best ride in the park, in our humble opinion.
We know, we know. "What about Tremors??? Are you guys NUTS???" Well, yeah maybe a little. :) We love Tremors, don't get us wrong.
And it has a lot of elements that make it a great attraction at night as well. But we actually prefer that ride during the
day. The tunnels provide a much bigger contrast when the sun is out vs. the dark. Just our personal preference!
What are your favorite rides to do at night at Silverwood and why? Do you stay until the park closes to be sure to get these in each time you
visit? Any questions we can answer? Let us know in the comments below! Last but certainly not least, let us know what other topics you'd like to see covered.