Based on all of the reports that I had heard, the pictures I had seen in photo trip reports, and general reports it sounded as if the park was very small, so we slept in and left around 2:30 to get to the park for the 5:00 pm pricing. I tend to like the look of parks better at night anyway, so I thought it was a good call. After fighting against traffic through Massachusetts we finally made it to the park around 5:30, and man was the parking lot full. But the parking was also free, and that was very much appreciated.
From the first view of the park the place looked beautiful. The entrance plaza was way more impressive than most; it looked like a giant castle. The parking lot had some great views of the parks signature ride, the Schmeck woodie Yankee Cannonball. However, I did not see the thing run. I immediately got nervous.
After going through the excellent entrance for the cheap price of 19 bucks, and started walking over to the Cannonball. On the walk there I was very impressed with the theming at the park. The popcorn stand was right out of RCT, same for the hot dog stand. The rides, which were of the normal small amusement park variety (round up, frisbee, pirate ship) were all really well themed. A lot better than I would have expected. Much better than what you see at any six flags or cedar fair park.
The wait for the Cannonball looked pretty long, but at least it was running. However, it was only running one train. Is that typical for this ride? The park was really crowded, and the line ended up taking more than an hour. There was another train in the station, but it was covered with a tarp. Is that train out of commission, do they only run one at a time, or do they only break out the second on weekends?
Aside from being a much longer wait than we had expected, the line was really entertaining because the parks very own original boy band LYRICZ* was playing. I laughed pretty hard for most of the show for these reasons:
1. The boy band craze has been over for almost 10 years at this point
2. They had matching outfits
3. They tried to choreograph their moves.
4. They weren't very good at it.
5. Most of the moves were the same as the various backstreetboys or nsync music videos, but they still could barely remember them.
6.They do this show 3 times a day all summer long, but still none of them could get the moves right.
7. One of the guys almost fell down at one point.
8. They had an autographing session after the show
9. They were actually pretty bad at singing anything in general
10. They played a new kids on the block song
11. We caught some of their late show on another walk through the park, and they now all had different matching outfits on.
(and this one is my favorite) 12. We saw a girl later that night, probably around 15 years old, with a self made sharpie-on-white-t shirt with the LYRICZ* logo and all of the names of the members, and their signatures.
Although I was laughing more for ironic reasons, it did keep Erin and I thoroughly entertained through the first half of the line.
Anyway, after about an hour of waiting we ended up in the front seat of the Cannonball. I'm a big fan of Schmeck's in general, and this one was no let down. Lots of great airtime on the top of every single hill. The whole return run was out of control. For a ride maxing out at 35 mph this one really let loose. It was smooth the whole way, had very little dead track, and very good pacing. That's one great thing about shmeck's in general, I love the little hills in between the bigger hills, they really do wonders for the passing. The one spot of the slow track was the long right turn 1/2 way out. But a really good, smooth ride. I would have liked to get a few more rides in some other seats, but that wasn't really an option with the long lines.
After the Cannonball we decided to go to the Dancing Bear for dinner. And wow, what a great meal. We both got the bacon cheeseburgers, which actually came with fries and coleslaw for only 8 bucks or so. Add in 2 beers, and we had a really decent sit down meal (they even brought the food to our table!) for around 30 bucks. Better than what you'd get at a fridays or other chain sit down place, but a few bucks cheaper. Incomparable to most amusement park fare. Erin couldn't come close to finishing her dinner.
We walked back through the park, enjoying the scenery. The lake itself was a very beautiful setting. It would be awesome to own a summer home on the side of that some day. And also, what the hell was the deal with the random peacock roaming around? I couldn't find anything about it in the park map, but that was a really nice and surprising treat.
We passed up the impressive looking and very enticing Mine of Lost Souls because the queue was full and looked to be around an hour. Is this a Sally shooter, or a regular drive through? I like the regular kinds a lot better, so I hope I didn't miss out of one of those.
We walked over to the Canobie Corkscrew to snag the parks other credit. By this time the lights in the park had all come on and the park seemed even more alive. However, the lines didn't die down at all. We waited around 45 minutes for the standard 'ok' corkscrew ride. This one seemed a little less jarring than I remember the one at MiA being when I rode that a few years ago. And the crowds seemed to love it. I got the feeling that for most of these people, this is the only looping roller coaster that they have ever ridden. The general excitement in the atmosphere made the ride a little bit better. And I typically do enjoy those old school arrow first drops, as rampy as they may be.
We took another stroll across the park, which had become even more impressive in the dusk, and hoped in line for the parks S&S doubleshot, star blaster. I've been on a few of these, including the ones at IB and Rye (is the tower at HW a doubleshot?) Either way, I remember falling in love with the IB version. The setting over the water, the intensity of the launches, that ride was amazing and left a real dent in my memory. I found the Rye Playland version dissapointing in comparison. I guess it was an alright ride, but nowhere near the intensity of the IB version. But this Canobie ride was fantastic. The blasts were very powerful, and the air at the top was actually surprising in its intensity. We ended up on the 2 seats facing out toward the midway with the lake behind it, so the view was amazing.
It was a little after 9 at this point, and the line for the cannonball was even longer at this point so we decided to just head toward our long drive home. Overall, I could not have been happier with the park. Well, I could have enjoyed some shorter lines, but congratulations to the park for packing the people in, and keeping them all happy. There were none of those drawn and exhausted faces you usually see wandering around the six flags parks. I hope I don't come off too negative towards the bigger parks, I do enjoy six flags and say that cedar point is one of my favorite parks. The experiences are just so different.
So it was a really great night. We didn't get to experience the whole park, but that's just more of a reason to get back there some day in the future.
Also their flume is quite good as well, as for other must dos, I love the Mirror Maze they have, and the Caterpillar is I believe the last one of its kind still operating with its canvas top effect.
I must say that I agree with you on the Starblaster too. The airtime on that thing is awesome at the top. Best of any S@S tower raide i've been on.
I have not been to the park in a few years, but to me the park is like a mini kennywood. It has that type of feel to it.
They just added the new entrance plaza last year. As for the YC, she does pack a nice little punch. She was the first "big" coaster I rode.
In case you're wondering about the peacocks, at one point Canobie had a small zoo.
BTW, did you have a chance to ride the Turkish Twist?
Can anyone from the area give me the best way to get to the park. I assume I can't get public transportation there, so I will probably have to rent a car...
Or would I be better off going to SFNE? Any tips would be much appreciated.
Yeah. It's easy to get to CL from Beantown. Find interstate 93 (I-93) going north. (The signs might say towards Concord, NH or just NH, depending on the sign.) DO NOT TAKE I-95. (95 will get you up to the NH seacoast and Maine) When you cross into NH, take exit 2. Bear right at the exit, then bang a left onto North Policy street at the lights, and it's about a mile. You're looking at about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic.
If you go to SFNE, you're looking at two hours, each way, EASY. Plus, you don't have any tolls on I-93 like you do on the Mass. Pike. Not to mention, Canobie's cheaper and worth the Cannonball credit.
How long from downtown Boston would it take to get to Canobie?
Oh, BTW, NH has ZERO sales tax, so you can by stuff on the cheap for the WHOLE family.
BTW, CL's website is simply, www.canobie.com.
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