Silverwood Theme Park version 4.0

Scarywood 2018 Photo Trip Report

It's time once again for our annual Scarywood photo trip report. Yes, we know, the park is already closed and the event is over for the year...we're sorry we couldn't get this out sooner. Next year, we'll be sure to get back to early-October coverage! That said, there's so much to discuss about the 2018 version and so much new stuff to review.

Scarywood 2018 marks the official 10th year of operation for this event. To be frank, it's hard to believe it's already been that long. We remember the first announcement in 2009 when we learned that a Halloween event was at long last coming to our little park in the northwest. Thinking back to that time, and our first visit to Scarywood, it would have been hard to imagine just how far it would come. There have been some amazing, out-of-the-ballpark winners, and a few duds along the way (yes, I'm looking at you, Mind Warp)! But overall, we've seen this go from a relatively tame event to what we'd argue is a world-class experience not to be missed.

This year is no different. For starters, the park had three new attractions; more than any other year that we can remember. Pharaoh's Curse took the place of Caved-In, which had graced the space between Tremors and the Log Flume for the previous three years straight. Speaking of the log flume, that also was added this year, with the park hinting at some potential added scares throughout (more on that later). And finally, Nick Norton returned to the stage with a special Halloween Magic Show. It's great to see this much change, and we've got a ton of pictures and thoughts to share as a result. So, let's get to it!

We'll kick things off by jumping right into all the new stuff. As mentioned, Pharaoh's Curse was the new headliner for 2018. This area of the park has seen a multitude of different haunts over the years. First with 3Dementia (2012), then Zambora's Curse (2013), Ancient Ruins (2014), and Caved In (2015-2017). It's kind of ironic that the haunt itself has "Curse" in the title; it's fitting for an area that seems a bit cursed in and of itself to constantly being re-jigged.

Approaching the queue it at first looks to be very much of the same type of attraction we're used to seeing here - Mayan/Ancient ruins site with an archeological expedition theme.

But the further along we got, the more we realized that this was definitely something different.

The queue itself was incredible, boasting some impressive sets, scareactors...

...and yes, even an awesome animatronic Pharaoh head!

Inside, the haunt felt a lot like a demented Indiana Jones excursion, and the theming didn't let up at all compared with the queue.

Tons of great props, scares, and sets lined this impressive maze from start to finish.

Upon exiting the maze, we could confidently say this was the best of all the attractions that have ever been in this area. A small part of us will miss Caved In, but this has a much better repeatability factor, and we definitely hope to see it return.

Moving on, let's shift gears and take a look at "Dillusion: An Eternal Encore", the new magic show hosted by Nick Norton himself. This marks the first time since Scarywood's inaugural year that Nick Norton has done a Halloween-themed magic show.

Back in 2009, the "Nightmare" ran a couple shows each evening. We enjoyed that one for what it was, but "Dillusion" is in a completely different league.

First, the interior of the theater looked great.

We loved all the theming, including the "Plagued Pizza" signs, claiming "The best pie before you die!".

The show was narrated by a "demon" character, and featured several impressive magic acts, all with a Halloween twist.

As we've come to expect, Nick and his wife delivered a stunning vegas-style performance.

Levitation, disappearing acts, and of course, an "audience-participation" act as well.

All of it was perfectly paced, and lasted about 20 minutes, which we felt was just the right amount of time.

We left the theater completely satisfied and convinced this was a great addition.

But what about Sgt Buzz, you ask? Nick has played that part for 8 years straight, after all! Well, we won't hide our disappointment in the fact that Scarywood doesn't do the nationally-recognized Zombiewood Express anymore. That was the most unique attraction ever offered, and a lot of what made it so great was Nick Norton's showmanship and immaculate ability to work a crowd. Although we really like Planet Zombie, we have to admit it wasn't the best use of Nick's talent last year. During that attraction, you only catch a small glimpse of his character, compared with the full 20-30 minute show we were all used to. So, if he's not going to be doing a show on the train ride, this is the perfect alternative for him. Needless to say, we feel that this was a great move.

The final new offering for 2018 was the Log Flume. Having been huge fans of Knotts' versions of the Timber Mountain Log Flume during their Haunt, we've always been excited at the prospect of what Silverwood could do with their flume ride. Of course, we knew there was no way it would ever match the level of Knott's. But with all those secluded sections of the ride hidden in the trees and bushes, plus the tunnel at the end, there's plenty of opportunity to make a fun, scary, albeit short haunted log ride.

Hence, when Scarywood posted on their website that "this time of the year, the drop isn't the only thing to be scared of", we were super pumped. Approaching the ride building, we were greeted with a short queue and got right on. As we rounded each corner and passed each bush, we grimaced expecting someone or something to jump out at us. Alas, there was...nothing...not even a small prop or hint of anything spooky.

Finally we came towards the tunnel and noticed a bright red light shining in our eyes, along with seeing the tunnel completely engulfed in fog. Okay, so surely THIS will be where the big scare is! We braced ourselves entering the tunnel. But again, nothing. Up the lift hill, down the short drop, and the ride came to an end.

Not surprisingly, we were pretty let down by this. Especially based on the tease of it being scary, it was downright disappointing. There was nothing scary or "Halloween"-ish about it.

Granted, it was fun to ride the log ride in the dark, but you can do that during the regular season. Luckily, the water cannons were disabled, so you can rest assured you aren't likely to leave completely drenched. We hope the park takes hold of all the potential this really could become a great haunted attraction if they give it the proper attention.

That's it in terms of new stuff for 2018. In the end we were very happy with the additions, even if the log flume was a bit of a let down. With all that out of the way, let's move on to the haunts that returned from prior years.

Continue on to page 2 >>

to see what we thought of the scare zones, returning haunts, and the theming in general!

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