I arrived at Canobie Lake Park for opening day a little before 10:30, but the main parking lot gates weren't open (employees were driving through the side gate). At about 10:30am, the parking lot gates opened, and I drove in. Usually Canobie opens the front gates at 10:30 to let people walk around the park, but they did not today. I waited in my car until 10:45am, then went to wait outside of the gates. I had my good-any-day passes from the Manchester Wolves game validated at the ticket booth. I then saw Mrceagle and his brother and talked with them until the gates opened a little after 11:00am.
The front gate is now equipped with barcode scanners. As I understand it, if you are using a "good any day" pass, you can bring it directly to the gate. You no longer need to validate the pass at a cashier booth beforehand. In fact, as I understand it, you should not validate passes at cashier booths. I hope that Canobie puts up signs explaining this new system. It is a departure from last year's procedure and may cause some confusion and delay. (It caused me a tiny bit of confusion and delay today.) Also, Holiday Sale passes have the instructions "validate at cashier booth" printed on them, and the instructions are now contrary to the new procedure. The number of barcode scanners may be limited. They had two set up at the left-most turnstiles, and only one was operational today.
I immediately went over to the Yankee Cannonball to get the first ride of the season. Crowds were extremely light as it was overcast, misty, and cold. The ride operators concluded their testing and opened the ride. Sometime before then, SFNE Stinks arrived and so did some ACE women from the Lake Compounce offseason visit day. My first ride on Cannonball was in the front seat. Then I rode again sitting in the middle. Then I rode a third time, this time in the back seat. Because there were no lines, anyone who wanted to could walk onto the next ride after getting off the previous ride. The Yankee Cannonball changes are great. It feels like a faster ride going around the far turn (which was reworked to have a bank). Cannonball was a walk-on ride for most of the day.
For the rest of the day, I basically just wandered around and rode a ride every now and then. This is what I usually do when I visit the park, but it was more conspicuous today because of the lack of guests. There definitely were more employees walking around than there were guests. The ride, games, and concessions employees looked a little bored and cold.
Mine of Lost Souls had almost all the gags installed and running! Some of the gags I've never seen before. It's an amazing ride when things are working. I highly recommend trying to ride this while the gags are operational-- it's a sad ride when things aren't working. The Crazy Cups roof wasn't installed, though the ride was operating in the rain. There was no indoor fog when I rode Psychodrome. Wipeout, the new Chance Wipeout ride, was running after a brief delay. Wipeout is new this year, though it opened for a few days at the end of last season. The Eagle brothers say that this Wipeout is operated at a greater speed and for a longer duration than SFNE's. All I can say is that it is a very intense ride and I'll probably elect to never ride it again. The new Lake Cruise was reported to have been running during the early part of the day.
There's a new patch of concrete in front of the Be Bop Diner. The concrete is in the shape/color of the Be Bop Diner logo. I assume that some sort of show will be taking place there.
Your Hand in Wax was replaced with a Canobie Mining Company gemstone panning store/game. The Palace Arcade had a new "Pitcher's Duel Power Home Run Derby" batting game. It looks like a chain-link batting cage. It wasn't working, I believe. Some mechanical, coin-operated amusements were gone. The world's largest pinball machine was moved to the Palace Arcade. The Tattoo Barn was closed. Surf's Up gift shop was closed. The Pump It Up dancing game was still there.
Poncho Cantina had signs all along its sides and back. The signs were of the food items sold there. The Palace Arcade also had a new sign. Last year's signs for Elvis (and The Beatles) were still up. 2005 maps were not yet available.
The Extreme Smoothie concession stand is still intact, with no changes. The Wipeout smoothie concession was not open. Portofino's, Dancing Bear Canteen, and The Wharf were closed. No Dippin' Dots concessions were open, though the Lumberjack Ice Cream shop was. Remarkably, many people bought ice cream during the time I sheltered under their porch during several rain showers.
There was construction being done on the counters inside the Livery Stable. There appears to be construction done to the roller rink building. I'm not sure whether this is new, but it had house siding along the bottom. There's also a wooden floor installed at the front corner of the building (probably for the new Frog game that will be installed later in the season). Castaway Island was still being constructed. Lobster Trap was closed. I saw no sign of the Park photographers, the Canobie Ramblers, or the Canobie Critters. I looked around for Britney (one of Canobie's new shows this year is a "Britney" show), but she was nowhere to be found.
The closed rides were Da Vinci's Dream, Canobie Express train, Rockin' Rider (it will be SBNO until it is sold), and Rowdy Roosters (the tubs weren't installed). The swimming pool was also closed. However, all of the other water rides, Timber Splash, the Log Flume, and the Boston Tea Party, were open. And yes, people were riding them.
Everything really looked great, with many things being repainted. Canobie really did a great job during the off-season. The park is really beautiful.
It rained off and on for much of the day. At times, the rain was heavy. For the most part, Canobie kept the rides running, though they tended to be wet. I believe that every ride was a walk-on. Canobie closed early, at 4pm, instead of the scheduled 6pm time. I left at 4pm.
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