Sean: Six Flags Magic Mountain’s now relocated roller coasters Deja Vu was one of my all-time favorite coasters. The Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang, the particular type of coaster, was plagued with maintenance and operational downtime which led to the relocation of the ride from Six Flags Magic Mountain to Six Flags New England in 2011, where it opened as Goliath in for the 2012 season. – Fast forward to 2018, it was time for us to check out the last remaining Giant Inverted Boomerang in the United States to run the original Vekoma trains. Thus we made the pilgrimage to Silverwood in Idaho. Home to a Deja Vu named Aftershock.
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Silverwood purchased Six Flags Great America’s Giant Inverted Boomerang (also named Deja Vu) after it had closed in 2007. Silverwood sure made a risky investment by purchasing the troubled ride and opening it shortly after in 2008, but instead of continuing to operate the ride with its many flaws, Silverwood worked alongside Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) to move the ride to Silverwood, and with Vekoma to completely rewire and reprogram the coaster. The park ensured a bright future for the 191.6 feet tall Vekoma coaster. Knowing that after 10 years of running at Silverwood the ride still operates consistently, we decided to fly to Washington and drive over to Athol, Idaho to experience Aftershock.
Before we get into Aftershock some more, it’s important to note that Silverwood was a bucket list park for a few more reasons. Including the fact that I repeatedly was told that it’s one of the cleanest, best kept parks in the country and that the landscaping is impressive. From the get go that was very apparent. Every inch of the park is manicured, including the entrance to the park.
Immediately upon entering it is quite noticeable that the park is very dedicated to landscaping and greenery, the entire park is filled with flowers and small plants, rocks, trees, you name it. I was very pleasantly surprised. I categorize Silverwood in a special category of unique independent American parks just like Knoebels and Lagoon, except Silverwood is by far the most polished, just walking around is a delight.
By now you are aware that the main reason for our visit was Aftershock, the park’s Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang. We were so excited to see it from the freeway exit, and even more excited to jump on. Needless to say it was the very first ride of the day. The ride is located nicely at the back of the park at the end of what they call “Coaster Alley”. At Six Flags Magic Mountain Deja Vu‘s “Butterfly” was facing the midway, at Silverwood the two nearly-200 feet tall towers welcome you instead.
Aftershock ran like a dream! I fell in love with the ride right away, which also brought some relief. I was afraid I had created an expectation after years of not riding a Giant Inverted Boomerang and it would have been entirely possible for me to have been disappointed. Luckily the opposite was true.
Being pulled up to nearly 200 feet in the sky vertically while remaining inverted below the track is amazingly thrilling, but Aftershock wastes no time… the moment it reaches the top of the tower it immediately releases the train which rushes down to earth at 65 miles per hour.
The sheer magnitude of this ride really sets it apart from any other boomerang type rides. I find the Intamin Impulse shuttle coasters quite tall and awesome, but the Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang is taller, and that is definitely noticeable on ride.
Aftershock delivered a smooth ride experience and was a capacity beast, the park has dispatches down for this infamous coaster, about which we’ll talk some more later on in the report. Time to check out what else Silverwood has to offer!
Though we rode Timber Terror first, the park’s more infamous wooden coaster Tremors created a stronger opinion.
Tremors opened in 1999 and is an impressive 3000 feet long while being a 100 feet tall. The ride is one of the park’s most popular rides, and that’s because it is a lot more family friendly than the neighboring Giant Inverted Boomerang. Tremors had a couple of rough spots on the first drop, but quickly improved later on in the ride where more topper track was placed. The cool thing about Tremors is the fact that it jumps around the landscape, has a unique layout and features a total of four underground tunnels.
One of Tremors‘ tunnels is part of the first drop and part of the exit gift shop. The PTC train rush by at the ride’s top speed of 60 miles per hour to create a spectacular effect on your way back to the midway.
The park is also home to some water rides including the Thunder Canyon rapids ride.
Silverwood is home to over 70 attractions so that means the park has a pretty substantial amount of flat rides as well. Some classic ones like Scrambler and Round Up can be found right below Corkscrew.
SpinCycle, as seen in the background, is the world’s largest inverting pendulum ride. The line was consistent and really proves that if you add an impressive flat ride, people will ride it.
Another very notable ride for Silverwood is Corkscrew. The park’s classic Arrow double corkscrew isn’t just any old coaster, it’s the first coaster in the world to successfully have inversions. The coaster opened in 1975 at Knott’s Berry Farm and was then relocated and reopened at Silverwood in 1990.
I’m the guy with the Viper tattoo, so any classic Arrow looper is something I need to ride. I was excited to ride in my usual spot, the front row of the back car.
I’m not the biggest fan of the color scheme but the faded yellow supports, the sleek black track and popping red trains looked better in person than in pictures. Most importantly, the ride was actually very smooth. It’s the oldest looper in the world and yet it runs better than many other loopers out there. Kudos to Silverwood for maintaining it so well.
On to the next ride, the park’s beautiful Roaring Creek Log Flume! This log flume originally operated at Kentucky Kingdom before being relocated to Silverwood. This park has a couple of important relocated rides that all run so well at their new homes.
Roaring Creek Log Flume isn’t very long, and only features one drop, but it is very scenic and has wonderful landscaping all around the ride.
The final drop is elevated over a pond and is aesthetically pleasing. I would have never guessed that this ride was relocated. It fits in very nicely.