July 10, 2002
Playland Park - Rye, NY
Lake Compounce - Bristol, CT
This day was my brother's first road trip, as I needed a traveling partner. We decided to visit Playland Park and Lake Compounce, as per Rob Vaccaro's suggestion that this would be a good touring plan. Both are small parks that are within reasonable distance of home, so we decided to take advantage of Rye's late opening and sleep in, and then take advantage of Lake Compounce's twilight admission to save some money.
We left Long Island shortly after 11 a.m., stopped to get some bagels, liberated a shopping cart from the parking lot (it just started rolling down hill, honestly, and picked up quite a bit of speed before glancing off the bumper of a parked Honda and heading for freedom), and got onto the Long Island Distressway for the ride to Rye. We got there in just over an over, as there was some random, pointless traffic around the construction taking place near the Cross Island Parkway. I payed my $5 to park. Someone told me that they used to put a Playland bumper sticker on every car that came to the park. I'm glad they didn't even try it, 'cause I would've thrown someone into the Sound. No bumper stickers touch my car, ever.
Overall Impressions: The park is small, but very nice. It looks like a county park, which it is; but it really looks the part. It's nice having other facitilities besides the amusement park itself around, too. These proved to be invaluable. Overall, in two hours, the two of us spent $75 - $60 worth of tickets and $15 for 4 hot dogs, sodas, and fries at Nathan's. Ouch.
DRAGON COASTER - I would be lying if I said I wasn't horribly disappointed in this. I realize it started life as a scenic railway sort of ride, and I'd heard that it wasn't all too thrilling, but I was being optimistic and thinking I could find a hidden gem here. It's not. There's a pop of air in the back on the first drop, and that's it. The front offers nothing. The pacing is slow, but the ride is pleasantly long. My brother didn't like it much, either.
5 - because it is a coaster, and it's a classic. Points subtracted for the awful, uncomfortable trains (Morgans?).
YE OLD MILL - Since this was my first time at Playland, I'd not seen anything before it was refurbished. I really liked this ride, as did Matthew, my brother. There was a bit too many stretches of empty darkness, but the effects were fun, and I noticed that there was always *music* playing. Music is key to a really great ride experience, I think. Especially in dark rides. This impressed me.
6 - It's hard to compete with Disney, and I liked Knoebel's Haunted Mansion better than this, still.
ZOMBIE CASTLE - The other ride refurbished by Sally this season. By this point, my brother was tiring of the dark rides, as his adolescence considers them cheesy and old. I was impressed with the range of convulsions, violent shaking, and otherwise ethereal dancing Sally was able to produce. I liked this better than Ye Old Mill, but the scenes seemed a bit repetitive after a time.
7 - A dark ride of the truest fashion, and so it gets bonus points. I was impressed by the animatronics.
DOUBLE SHOT - Wow, this ride was *tiny*. They make portable towers bigger than this, but I guess it's forgiveable since it's a few years old. Still, it's an S&S, and that means ejector air. At $5 each per ride, though, it was painfully short. The view of the Sound, though, was really nice.
4 - I liked its bigger siblings (Dominator, Power Tower and Scream) better, of course.
WITCH HUNT - Another classic. I prefered this over the other two. I don't know why, though. It was just more electrocution, decapitation, and gore.
7.5 - Got me as to why. It was fun, darker, and older.
HURRICANE - A Windstorm coaster. I'm not sure who distributes these nowadays, but it was a bit different from the same model at Adventureland. The lap restraints were different and quite a bit more uncomfortable. There were also some minor mechanical differences between the two. These was a lot rougher than Adventureland's, too.
4 - I like the home park version better.
SKY SKATER - Rob was right. Make this a few hundred feet long, and make it so it reaches 100+ feet into the air, and you've got a potentially amazing thrill ride. Add capacity, too, and turn the seats in the back around so they're facing the other way. This ride was cheap, relatively speaking, and probably the most thrilling thing at Playland. It really is unnerving.
8 - This ride was a riot. Really, this company, or some other company, would be silly not to market a larger version of this thing.
POWER SURGE - I don't like this ride. It does nothing for me. Matthew wanted to ride it.
5 - I don't remember what rating I gave the Power Surge at Knoebel's, but once the novelty of that first ride there wore off, this ride really disappoints me.
Now, out a lot of money, and still with some time to kill, Matthew and I walked around the park some. We saw the location of the new Reverchon Mouse. There's nothing on site yet. We walked along the pier out onto the Sound. Matthew got a splinter and we had to visit First Aid. While we there, a campkid (TM) came in who'd scratched her leg up really well. It seems she missed the step getting onto the park's Sea Dragon swinging ship ride, and her leg fell down between the wooden platform and the ride. She'll survive, but it looked like it hurt some.
Around 3, anticipating the possibility of traffic, and having run out of things to do in Playland, we headed out to my car (still bumper-stickerless), had some iced tea, and took off for Lake Compounce.
I hate I-95 in Stamford and Bridgeport. There was some more traffic for no good reason. Then it was onto CT 8. I am afraid of water, and I'm afraid of hills. I didn't much like this road through a river valley. Finally, once we got into Bristol, we missed the turn to Lake Compounce because my brother, the master navigator, was too busy ogling the satellite dishes at ESPN. So, all in all, it tooks us about 2 hours to get to Lake Compounce from Rye, and that's the first time it's ever taken me *longer* to get someplace than Mapquest suggested.
We payed our $14.95/ea. Twilight admission (after 5 p.m., all the time, apparently.) and headed into the nearly vacant park.
First, since we're lemmings, we saw Wildcat and decided for a ride.
WILDCAT - Back seat ride on the next train out. Ouch. This hurt some. There was air on the first drop, nice laterals at two different points, and that was pretty much all.
4 - This coaster has a really nice layout, and it looks nice built onto sloped land. It's too bad the ride didn't match the appearance.
We would've ridden Wildcat again in 1.1 or 1.3, but my attention was stolen by something else. Of course, Boulderdash. I knew this ride was built onto the side of a hill, but I don't think that sort of description does it justice. Even before riding it, this became one of my favorite rides based on appearance, alone. It is absolutely stunning. I also wasn't prepared to see how high it climbs the side of the mountain in some places. Remember, of course, that I'm afraid of hills.
BOULDERDASH - Weeeeeeeeee!!! First, let me get this out of the way. . . It's no Phoenix. So, with that comparison over and done with it, let's get on with the fun. I managed rides in 6.1 (2x), 6.2, 1.1, and 1.2. The line, while short, still moved slowly due to one train operation. Boulderdash immediately garnered my own award for the most intimidating lift hill. Wow, it sure looks cool.
I loved everything about this experience. The ride ops were a blast. Thanks, in particular, to Stephanie for making our time on the ride that much more fun. She was just fun as a restrain checker, and she was even better when she was running the dispatch panel. It was great how they'd begin their welcoming spiel just after the train *screams* down the first drop and past the station. That thing *moves*.
For my money, this is a front seat ride, but my brother preferred the back. There's more airtime, overall, in the back, I think, but I like the violent ejector sort of air provided by the front seat. Also, the sensation of speed in the front is spectacular. This ride is long, serpentine, and fast throughout. It's truly an amazing achievement. The laterals, air. . .everything was near perfect. My brother's sunglasses broke thanks to the laterals, actually. I wish I could've gotten a night ride, but the park closed before dusk. Wow. I wish they were running two trains. I would've loved to have gotten more rides on this monster.
8.5 - For unhinged speed, crazy airtime, a stunning setting, fantastic ride ops, and the whole package. The only weak spot, I felt, was the trick track. The rest, though, was priceless.
GHOST HUNT - I am starting to like the work Sally does. Again, my brother didn't like it because it was a dark ride, but I think it's just because I beat him (1150 to 340). I wish this were longer, and it looks like it could be a capacity nightmare on a crowded day.
7.5 - for interactivity, fun sets, and a nice bit of humor. Too short, though.
ZOOMERANG - A boomerang is a boomerang is a boomerang is a boomerang.
5 - because it's getting old and the ride makes me nauseous.
TOP SPIN - I don't like this Huss ride particularly much, as compared to their other products. The program was short.
5 - Too short, and, well, I just don't like them.
At the end of the evening, we tried to sneak in for just one more ride on Boulderdash, but Stephanie told us no. I begged, I pleaded, and I pointed out she'd have a half empty train anyway. But, they were closed, and that was that. My brother got really angry with her and I had to slap him around some. She was just doing her job, and I have to respect that. I thanked her for a fun night and we were on our way.
The drive home was uneventful, excepf for more random, pointless traffic. All in all, a good, albeit expensive day. Each park is definitely only a half-day experience at best. Thanks, Rob, for the suggestion of this itinerary. It really worked well for us.
~~~ Maddy ~~~
*** This post was edited by Chernabog on 7/11/2002. ***
I'm interested in going to Lake Compounce sometime, as it sounds like a fun, laid back place. I had planned to go last month, but it aparently "was not meant to be."
"drop rides, not bombs."
*** This post was edited by chris on 7/11/2002. ***
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.
Phoenix is my heaven on Earth. Words cannot do it justice.
Yesterday, I was driving a pasty white Sebring, as we had a little incident with a bird, it's excrement, and traveling at 65 mph. Usually, it's silver, though.
~~~ Maddy ~~~
Sky Skater just rocks back and forth, basically - a lot like a seesaw. The car rolls along the length of the ride, though, and is stopped magnetically at each end.
The net result is that the car winds up speeding toward the end of the track, which is sometimes pointing right at the ground, and other times shooting off into the air.
It's not particularly forceful, except for the abrupt stops, and it's not even all too thrilling in its current incarnation. It is, however, very unnerving. I was surprised at how nervous it made me.
~~~ Maddy ~~~
*** This post was edited by Chernabog on 7/11/2002. ***
You must be logged in to post