Beauty, and a BEAUTY in the Northeast - Canobie, Lake Compounce, and SFNE

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, July 8, 2006 9:05 PM
A short(er) TR for the masses

Tomoko and I had an extra week in Boston after a work convention, so she and I did some travelling.
Along the way, we hit 3 parks, none of which I've ever attended. In that time, we were overwhelmed, let down, and enchanted. Here is my very (for me) short TR of Canobie, Lake Compounce, and SFNE.

Canobie:

First off, I've been saying it wrong for years. It's CAA-noh-bee, no Cuh-NO-bee. Just setting that straight. ;)

This is the most beautiful park I've ever been to, rivalling some parks in Japan, and Europe. With the exception of the Yankee Cannonball running along the parking lot, this park has gorgeous written all over it.

The Canobie Corkscrew - Terribly rough, and sad. That said, the paintjob is beautiful, and the crew was nice. Count this as a credit scored.

The Yankee Cannonball - It wasn't what I expected, either, although I wasn't sure what I wanted from it. It rode much more aggressively in the last car, of course. Overall, a fun ride, with a few surprises, especially on the return run.

The Flyers - If the fins weren't chained down, these would be the flyers that Jesus would own. I've never seen flyers get up to speed that fast, and stay there that long. Damn..... Fast, fast, fast, and fun. :)

The Trabant - This has to be the sickest Trabant I've ever ridden. Hardcore all the way, and a brutal, mind numbing finish. Riding it backwards, like we did, is a new introduction into intensity. Yum!

The Double shot - I finally got Tomoko to ride one, and she loved it. Very nice air on top, and the second shot is much more intense than Holiday World's.

The Skateboard/Halfpipe thingy - Not near as intense as it looked. Honestly, a lot of fun, and very re-rideable. Even Tomoko enjoyed it.

We spent some time in the waterpark, and hit a few flumes. We also ate at Nathans, and was discouraged at the only lame employee at the park. Regardless, a wonderful time, and it only took a few hours of gentle strolling. If I lived nearby, I'd have a season pass. Wonderful place.

Lake Compounce:

Another beautiful park, tucked into the hills West of Hartford, Connecticut. We were awed by the setting, and dug in right away to enjoy this beautiful place.

Wildcat - Yikes. This ride has all the ear marks of old time cunning, and nastiness. I was shocked at certain moments, particularly at the bottom of the first 2 hills. This ride bottoms out in a way thats not unlike riding a bike into a gully, with the pull out at an abrupt angle. It's like the hills are V shaped. Very odd, and brutal. Still, we rode it 3 times. Call me an idiot.

Boomerang - Credit. Yuck. Ugh. Can I say credit again? Credit.

Kiddie Coaster - Short, fun, and actually rather delightful. We had 2 kids with us, and they wanted 6 laps. We got six laps. :)

Boulderdash - Hmmmm..... Thought about this a lot. Not much for me to say honestly. The park doesn't take care of it very well. It was amazingly rough in a LOT of spots, most interestingly on the out run on the flat sections (?). Weird. We rode it 4 times total, once in the rear, once in 2-1, and twice in the front. This IS a front seat ride. Boulderdash caught up to my expectations in the front seat. Yes, there was still some noticeable shuffling, and rough spots in that flat outrun, but the car seemed to race along. In my experience, front seat rides are underwhelming, and always feel like you're being pushed along. Not Boulderdash. The train seems to be pulled by the front. We felt so free, and happy up there. It was the best front seat ride I've ever had on a woodie.... yes, better than Voyage. It's still not anywhere near my number 1, but damn, if that isn't a good ride in 1-1. Note to Lake Compounce. Hire the GG guys to do some maintenance, or something. Sheesh.

We tried the skyride. Fun stuff. It's a long ride, but moron that I am, I left my camera in the car. I guess it's my fear of it being stolen whilst riding. I don't trust cubbies. Anyways, that was a sad thing, but what a view. Seriously.

I did the new S&S ride, the Screaming Swing, or whatever it's called. What a scary ass ride. I love Stan's work. I wanted to drag Tomoko on it, but she balked. Honestly, I'm glad she did, as it would have pissed her off for the remainder of the evening (more on that in a bit), and I wouldn't have been able to go do other fun things. Anyways, I sat facing the queue, and Tomoko got an eyeful of me hanging for dear life. What I wasn't expecting was that much air, given the speed of the ride. At the top, you just feel like your falling out, which is, of course, Stan's intention. That said, the minimal restraint (that one v shaped bar over your lap) gives you the very real sensation of falling out. When you're 100 feet in the air, falling out isn't desirable. Needless to say, it was a blast, and I'd do it again, but I'd do it more out of watching someone else freak out next to me. Good times. :)

We also did the Sally darkride, of which the views are fun, but the guns are terrible. They need to be replaced, or fixed. Not that I'm a total badass, but I only scored a bit, and the targets rarely flashed. I guess I was spoiled with a brandnew one at Holiday World, eh? Oh well. It was a nice break from the heat, and humidity.

The flyers suck.

We headed off towards Hartford to eat, and get our hotel. I figured I'd drive up to SFNE in the evening to get a look at the park. Don't know why, but the thought of getting a lap on Superman in the dark for my first ride was a good idea. We drove off, and eventually found the park on the west side of the river. I spied employee, and preferred parking, and figuring it was late, drove into that lot. They didn't even notice. I told Tomoko I was going to check out Superman, and if it was ok, I'd take a spin, if the line wasn't long. She was tired, so approved. I walked right into the park, right past other employees, and a security guard.

Terrorist school, here I come! ;)

I walked to the queue, and saw the line wasn't even out of the station. I walked in, and found a single rider, and boom... I was on, second to last train, 2nd bench. I couldn't believe it was that easy. It felt surreal climbing the lift, looking at the lights of the park. This was just on a whim, and here I was, getting ready for my first SROS ride. It was a dream.

Down the hill. Awesome. Up the first hill. Awesome. Around the overbank. Awesome. The little dip into the 3rd hill. Cool. The air going over the 3rd hill. Wonderful. The air going over the 4th hill. Crazy, and intense. The flip turn into the first helix. Scary. I started to gray out before the flip turn going into the 2nd helix. The jump over the flip turn was an maximum air moment. Completely freaked me out. Then the turn, and big dive into the 2nd tunnel. Again, it completely freaked me out. Man, you get WET in those tunnels. Mist, my ass. The the turn, and the last 2 hills are pure evil. What REALLY shocked me was at the top of the last bunny, when I realized that the last turn seemed so far down. The last turn was tight, and fast, and pow. Into the brakes. I started laughing. It was only now I realized I really hadn't breathed the entire ride. Can you say holy ****? This is what I'm talking about. As I'd assumed, the other SROS's really don't have anything on this one. What a monster. The only thing that's negative about this ride is it isn't near me.

*Maybe Scooby is right? (see RRC for that inside joke)*

Sleep then back to SFNE for the entire day.

Six Flags New England:

My friend Jim had said I needed to get a Qbot. He was right. I didn't get the gold one, and might have enjoyed it a tad more, but the money wasn't worth it to me. I got so many damn rides on everything it was ok. I spent the entire afternoon in the waterpark, and Tomoko really had a great time. That's what matters the most. A happy wife is a "thankful" (note paranthesis) wife, if you get my drift. ;)

Superman - What else to say? My qbot got me the first ride of the day. I scanned, and went it, before anyone got through the queue. That was hilarious. Tomoko and I hit the last seat for our first ride of the day. She was nervous as hell, but as we entered the station after the ride, she proclaimed it her #1 steel. Granted, not hard for her with her 35 or so count, but still, it'll probably stay there for years. At least until we get to Expedition G-force. ;)

Batman The Dark Knight - Incredible, and a record breaker. The worst B&M I've ever been anywhere near. The layout isn't that bad, as I've heard. No, the ride is the most unbearably rough B&M I've ever ridden. I'd never ride it again over the day, and probably never will again, even if I return. Somebody'd have to pay me.

Poison Ivy - Fun ride. Zierer rides can be so much fun. Those long trains are hilarious.

Mind Eraser - The single reason that Vekoma gets a bad rap for SLCs. Yikes. This one is the worst. I thought Kong was bad. If only B&M could steal their layout for their flyers. Sigh....

Great Chase - Cute, fun, and kids, kids, kids.....

Flashback - Credit. Ugh.

Thunderbolt - Finally, something positive to say again. I really enjoyed this ride. The throughput is so bad, this ride alone was worth the qbot. Still, we got a few spins on it, and it delivered. Fun ride, and it actually generates great speed for a little guy. Nice coaster. :)

Mr Six's Pandemonium - I loved this. Tomoko loved this. The 2 girls riding with us loved this. We took 2 spins on it, and yes again, having the qbot was a blessing. It saved a huge wait in direct sunlight. Come on Six Flags... how's about some shade? The ride is a great twisting layout, and keeps great pacing throughout. Enough spinning to keep it interesting, and enough not to keep from barfing. Yay! A keeper.

The Riverside Cyclone - What to say? This ride scared me. I really don't know anything about its layout still, and I only knew ahead of time that it's a beast that spares no one. Tomoko and I did the last car, as Jim had recommended, and it was a shock. That first drop, althought neutered is a freakout. If you look at the track, you can actually see that sudden angle change. Crazy! Some of the drops are shorter than originally designed, it seems, and there's a very strong trim at the end. I thought it was a good thing, given that it had a very sharp turn to the right, with a dip. I bet back in the day, it was an absolute monster. Still, it was a good ride, but Tomoko wasn't having any more of that. It kicked her ass, what ass she has, that is.

While over there, I did the Sky Swat, the new S&S ride. I sat far right, and enjoyed the hell out of it. After my ride on the Swing at LC, I was a little cautious, but man.... Stan builds 'em. It's not for everyone, and it's massively intense, but still, it was a great change of pace. It is, however, only fun on the forward turn. There's virtually no air on the backwards run.

We did the sky ride, again, at Jim's behest.

We rode Superman the rest of the night, taking pauses only when we had to. It was a nice way to end the day.

I figured this might be easier to read than my other diatribes. Hopefully, this will get you motivated to try these 3 parks, if you haven't already. This trip did 2 things. It absolutely gave me a number one coaster, and showed me that the Northeast is indeed blessed with beautiful old time parks. Go to Canobie. Go to Lake Compounce. Go ride Superman.

Get a Qbot. :)

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Saturday, July 8, 2006 9:41 PM
Great TR Rob! Id agree word for word although a few rides wern't around in 2001.

We got about 40 S:ROS rides on our visit, Had bruiesed thighs out the wazoo the next day.

Cyclone, OMG! The only terrifying coaster left IMHO since Williams grove is gone.

BD, A good coaster but not great IMHO

Skyride, WOW!


Wish I had hit Canobie. That woodie looks like one of those small and surprising coasters I really enjoy.

Again, Glad you had fun!

Chuck

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Saturday, July 8, 2006 10:05 PM
Thanks Chuck. It was a blast. Just right, and just enough to make me happy, without pissing off the wife. ;)
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Saturday, July 8, 2006 10:12 PM
Glad you guys had a great time, Rob! I was thinking about ya! :)

I like your "credit....yuck" way of rating what I call a "check off the list" coaster. ;)

-Tina

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Saturday, July 8, 2006 10:51 PM
Aw, not enough time for Funtown USA? ;) Sounds like a fun trip, anyway, plus you can't go wrong with Superman. Can-o-bee sounds like a nice place...Need to find a way to get there sometime!
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Saturday, July 8, 2006 11:07 PM
Great TR Rob. Glad you finally got to taste the S:RoS.

Did you get a chance to ride BD in front at night? Seems like it becomes a completely different beast.

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Saturday, July 8, 2006 11:45 PM
Is it just me? I wish bots were waterproof and useable at the waterparks too.

Nice TR! Glad you had a great time. *** Edited 7/9/2006 3:45:52 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***

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Saturday, July 8, 2006 11:52 PM
Nope, it's not just you. They should have a system in place at the waterpark, at least for the bigger attractions, most notably, the watercoaster. That was fun, but it was my first ride of the day, and it WAS COLD! :)
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Sunday, July 9, 2006 12:26 AM
I'm glad you had fun.

Yea the air- time on canobies tower ride Starblaster is insane. The top of that tower produces the best moment of airtime i've ever had on any ride. That includes superman!

Maybe you hit Batman on a bad day or something. I have been on that ride numerous times and have never found it all that jerky. The ride is the smoothest in the front.

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Sunday, July 9, 2006 12:39 AM
Nice TR. I often said the same thing about LC and there coaster maintenance since LC and SFNE are my home parks. Why is it that KWs coasters are so smooth and the lakes are not, but BD isn't that rough try SOB if you want to see what rough is.

I will be at SFNE Tommorrow to ride the sh*t out of the best coaster on the planet. I should be hitting my 900th ride on it this week all without flashpass. I'm glad you enjoyed it but its better than EGF which I have also ridden and is my #2 right behind SROS.

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Sunday, July 9, 2006 7:27 AM
One of the problems with riding BD at night is that LC normally closes at 8 PM on weekdays. They are open longer on weekends. Attendance is the reason for this. LC has a capacity that currently exceeds its attendance level. The ride section of LC is about 2/3 the size of KW but LC gets less than half the attendance even with a large waterpark, something absent from KW.

I have often mentioned that LC has tremendous growth potential if a couple of additional signature attractions were added and the park were promoted more heavily in the New York and Boston areas once this was done. With more attractions, LC could draw more families that are turned off by SFNEs high prices and long lines.

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Sunday, July 9, 2006 11:17 PM
I would have loved riding BD at night. Sadly, this wasn't to be, but again, I'll stress... it was a great ride, regardless, up front.

If LC marketed more, yes indeed, there'd be a healthy attendance jump. It's a great place, and very clean. What a change from so many other parks, eh?

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Monday, July 10, 2006 6:15 AM
If LC attendance grew substantially, the park could make some changes to existing rides to prevent visitors from feeling overcrowded. This would involve the busiest rides which are the two wooden coasters and Ghost Hunt.

Boulder Dash could be operated with two trains more often or could possibly be modified with a blocking area to allow 3 train operation (given this ride's track length). Wildcat could also run 2 trains once the braking system is upgraded. As for Ghost Hunt, this could be converted from 2 passenger cars to 4 passenger cars.

Longer hours could also be implimented once the attendance justifies this. Generally the rides in a park with a waterpark are busiest in the evening after the temperature drops.

Naturally some new attractions, both wet and dry, are called for as the park's attendance grows. What is important is to keep a proper balance between park growth and attendance growth. I would like to see LC add a mouse or a junior woodie similar to Idlewild's Rollo Coaster (Boulder Dash Jr.?) or maybe both along with some more flats. Once the attendance reaches around 1 million, a hypercoaster or a flying coaster would appear to be a good idea to give the park the drawing power needed to attract more visitors from the NYC and Boston areas. As for the waterpark, keep adding top attractions and increase slide capacity as the growth occurs.

One more thing. Keep doing the things that make the park so different from SFNE. Free drinks, reasonably priced food and parking, and no Q-Bots or need for them are among the things that make parks like LC more family budget friendly than the big corporate chain parks. Likewise, continue to preserve the scenic setting of this park that is so unique.

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Monday, July 10, 2006 5:36 PM
Well, I'd like to see all these ideas implemented too, but I don't see that really happening to the degree you or I would like. Not at least for a very long time. LC, and other parks like it, have been around so long, so their timelines aren't like ours. I'd like to see additions now. They look at with a yawn, I think.

A perfect example of how NOT to do it is Six Flags in general. Sure, people love to go to the parks, and ride the new things, but that novelty wears off. People, moreso, want warm and fuzzy experiences. This causes a person to return. Rollercoasters, and intense flats don't do that. Most people (not necessarily you and I, mind you) want to go to a park to relax, and stroll. Hence, the reason family parks do so well. People are willing to pay for that alone.

We can dream, eh?

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