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Enchanted Birthday


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Guess where we went for my birthday?

Guess who was really super excited because he hasn’t been there since here was a a child?

I was pretty excited too.

As a literature major, I took a class in Children’s Lit. I still have all the books.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has always been one of my favorite stories. I like the disorientation and the ambiguous moral lessons. Before Disney scrubbed many fairytales clean, they were harsh and violent. People got thrown into ovens and baked into pies and stuff. Or hacked apart with axes.

I didn’t care to get on my hands and knees to see where this tunnel went. I asked a passing couple with a toddler to send their child through to see where she came out. They replied, tiredly, we would skin our adult knees if we attempted it ourselves. Dave advised me that I would be one to shepherd any fruits of our loins through precarious amusement attractions. We will have that discussion later (he’s incorrect).

There were many aspects of the park that were a delight to youngsters, but unsettling to adults. Little kids don’t know the difference between a homemade family amusement park and Disneyland. Every child we saw there was out-of-their-mind-ballistic-happy.

Tuesday was a bright sunny day before the heat set in. The park is built into the side of steep hill with dense, mature forest. It was lovely.

Classic. It’s been almost 30 years since the last time Dave visited. The giant plaster warts on her face and nose were nauseating.

This guy was in the crooked house. Creepy, right? Kids fly right by this without a second thought. But it was another detail among hundreds that any adult will mull over later and wonder, why? Why? Why?

The vast majority of little details were intended to sail over the heads of little ones.

There is a huge cheese factor, but then it’s amazing to think that one man and his family built all of this.

I had a hard time understanding how all the crooked stairs and tight spaces all pass codes and ADA requirements. I imagine the park is grandfathered in somehow.

You can’t compare this to Disneyland or even other amusement parks. You have to compare it to the last time you tried a plaster project in your backyard, or the last time you opened a bag of concrete mix. What the Tofte Family has done with a patch of hillside in the woods is astounding.

If you live in Oregon and you haven’t been to Enchanted Forest, you need to go. If you haven’t been in a long time, go back. And if you have kids, Enchanted Forest will rock their world. You’d be a total ass not to bring your kids here as soon as possible.

Here’s Dave’s write up of our trip.

Comments

  1. How big was this guy’s family that built all this? The little village looks adorable. I’m surprised kids even know who all these old timey fairy tale characters are. No Harry Potter or whatever else kids are into these days?

  2. We have not yet visited the Paradise of Plaster. Must remedy!

  3. @XUP, It took them years to build it. And they are still constantly adding to it. It’s really remarkable.

    @SMM, You must go! Your kids will crap their pants, they’ll be so excited! They seem like a great age for it.

  4. Meredith says

    Wow, neat but eerie. The double eye thing is creepy, but I love the thick forested path.

  5. Meredith says

    You guys should dress up next time you go! Or maybe even make up characters and costumes! Be part of the scenery!

  6. looks fantastic. i love the curved railing on the path. how did they get it to do that, or is it engineered? disneyland makes me tired these days. enchanted forest looks to be more my speed.

  7. I have never actually been to EF, though I’ve driven by it since I was a wee lass on countless trips from the beach. I love Meredith’s (above) idea of dressing up next time. I would love to the costume designer for that trip!

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