Lake Compounce / SF New England October 15-16.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 9:38 PM

After the parking lot on I-84 (learn to drive you pilgrims), We arrived with LC closing due to rain in 30 min. Took a ride on Boulderdash, 10/10. which is probably Kennywood Entertainment's best creation to date, and then did the 45 min Haunted Graveyard. I did not think that with no one there it would take 45 min, but I was wrong. The whole attraction is worth the drive itself.

The next morning, entered SFNE at 1130 am, and took my first ride on the Thunderbolt, 8/10. This is a charming old school coaster. Once its repainted this off season, it will again shine. Its probably the best coaster in the park. I love that huge sign out front. Then to Bizarro, 9.5/10. It was running a little sluggish in the cool weather. This is one great ride, but it is not the best steel out there. Pretty darn close though. Catwoman, 6/10 had an empty train awaiting riders.

Then to Mind Eraser, 8/10, the smoothest SLC to date, with a new paint job. Then to Batman, 8/10, a little bumpy, but with the virtual same layout as the B&M inverted, its a great footprint for a mid-sized park. I am 100% certain the neighbors who complained about the old race track along the river now love to hear those coasters roaring overhead nonstop. Across the park to Flashback, 5/10. Somewhat rough, and those hard formed seat contours do not help. Then off to what I hoped was the great ride of the day, the Riverside Cyclone.....8/10. In the front seat, it is a damn good ride, what I expected. In the back seat, the first 3 drops are painfull. Still, its a beautiful ride, with a great staff.

Pandemonium was a surprise for its size, 8/10. No upset stomach caused by spinning mice, and very smooth. This is a great family coaster. I think we should get one ourselves. This park is actually a great asset to the chain. Never as large as Kennywood, Riverside still did quite well, when Ed Carroll sold to Premier Parks. While I am aghast at the $8.99 hot dog, the buildings are well themed, the staff is friendly, the grounds are spotless, they had water rides running, and I did not partake in the Hurricane Harbor or Thomas the Tank Land, this is not a corporate cookie cutter type park. I can't believe how isolated the place is, with wineries and pumpkin fields just steps away from the main gate.

Speaking of isolated, back to LC at 530pm, and after taking a few spins on the Wildcat, 8/10. Again, smooth in the front, and like the Riverside Cyclone, a bit rough in the back seat. Another ride on Boulderdash, 10/10. This time, in the front, which felt the same as last night in the back seat, screamingly fast. After walking the park, which was also spotless, the staff was friendly, and theming was great, we headed back into the Haunted Graveyard.

Very crowded this time, but I think the best scenes are the Raiders of the Lost Ark style sets, and the Creepshow sets with the people dressed like bushes. The butcher's shop and moonshine party were also a hit. This place has like all the greatest hits from several haunted houses and attractions all in one place. I think when they move the road, and expand the waterpark, LC will become the top theme park in New England.

Overall Lake Compounce, 9/10, SF NE 9/10.

Last edited by Agent Johnson, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:01 AM
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:55 AM

I must have just had the worst ride on Thunderbolt LaborDay weekend, I hated it.

Riverside Cyclone, OTOH, was brilliant.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:09 AM

Odd how opinions can vary so much. I was at SFNE last fall, and thought BY FAR that Cyclone was one of the worst rides I've ever been on. It honestly felt unsafe, and if it was at our park it'd be shut down. Maybe they did a lot of track work in the off-season. Maybe I caught it on a bad day, but damn that ride was atrocious.

Thunderbolt on the other hand, I felt was "meh" but not bad. Nothing a little tracking and grease wouldn't fix.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:28 AM

Thunerbolt punched me in the ribs. Hard. Hated it.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:49 AM

The Cyclone, in the front seat, was smooth, a good performer. But, the trains did shift from side to side too much. When kpjb compares, he is correct. But the Kennywood coasters are not agressive, just speed and drops, which is what the Boulderdash is. At no point is there a rough transition.

These mid-sized coasters, packed into a tight footprint, all have rough transitions, and if the side wheels are not set to 0 tolerence, you get the side to side banging, which by the time the last car is reached, you could feel like you were punched in the gut with the lap bars.

Which, the older coasters don't have those nasty fat orange bars wedged into your stomach, so not onky are they smoother, you don't feel the gut punch. The Cyclone is a coaster dying to get reprofiled into a screamingly fast ride. They fixed it once, they can do it again.

The Thunderbolt, was smooth in the front and the back seats. It runs like an older ride should. It isn't over agressive, it appeals to the families. Historically, I think the only over-aggressive coaster to survive the test of time is the Coney Island Cyclone. The others have all been removed.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:00 PM

Agent Johnson said:
But the Kennywood coasters are not agressive

We must not have ridden the same [Kennywood] Thunderbolt, then.


just speed and drops, which is what the Boulderdash is.

Sure, Boulderdash is all about speed and drops, but I don't think that makes it non-aggressive, either. I'm all about aggressive rides, and Boulderdash seemed to be performing over PPP weekend.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:01 PM
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:41 PM

The biggest thing for me on (Riverside) Cyclone wasn't the side-to-side shuffling, but rather numerous times in the ride that felt like the track literally broke and fell about an inch. The most noticeable one was on the top of the hill right after the lift, but there were a couple more, as well.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 2:51 PM

AV Matt said it's odd that I liked Cyclone and didn't care for Thunderbolt as most people feel the opposite. For my ride, back seat, it was smooth, fast, and totally amazing.

But boy does that structure move.

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Friday, October 22, 2010 1:04 PM

I'm guessing the "unsafe feeling" on the Riverside Cyclone is the train riding its up-stops and getting yanked back down onto the road wheels. The big drops with good air slam the train back onto the track at the bottom, much like Predator. Nothing unsafe about it IMO. It's just violent (and causes a maintenance problem--ask Jeff Hammersly)

The day Clint and I were at SFNE, Thunderbolt had for the first time in all of my visits some potholes. The ride is usually butter smooth and fairly tame, but when we hit those couple of spots, it was very violent and Clint flung into the bar.

I too think of Boulder Dash and Kennywood's Thunderbolt as aggressive woodies (two of my favorite rides ever), but not violent. Riverside Cyclone is VIOLENT! :) I love the airtime slams and wish the second half was as crazy as the first half.

Surprised AJ found LC's Wildcat to only be a bit rough in the back seat. I have a high tolerance for rough wooden coasters (I love Riverside Cyclone and Predator), but that Wildcat is BRUTAL in the back seat! I don't know how normal people handle it.

Last edited by Acoustic Viscosity, Friday, October 22, 2010 1:07 PM
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Friday, October 22, 2010 1:17 PM

Tekwardo said:
AV Matt said it's odd that I liked Cyclone and didn't care for Thunderbolt as most people feel the opposite. For my ride, back seat, it was smooth, fast, and totally amazing.

I don't think it's THAT odd....since I feel the same way.

FWIW, I understand that T-Bolt (SFNE's) was once, and could be again, a fabulous ride. As it stands, it just doesn't really *deliver* much of anything in terms of forces. It's more like a compact train ride with hills. Cyclone, OTOH, is a really unique layout, forceful and fun. Then again, I've got only about a hnadful of rides on it....but it always strikes me as odd that the ride really doesn't do much "deep diving" where it approaches ground level.....the entire ride feels elevated to me.

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Friday, October 22, 2010 6:58 PM

Not surprised he liked the layout, Bill. The discussion we had was about enjoyment of the two rides from a roughness perspective. Cyclone tends to get a bad rap (outside of us nuts who love the aggressive ride), where as most people find Thunderbolt to be as smooth as can be, therefore superior (to them), despite it being a fairly tame ride. Clint didn't like the Coney Island Cyclone because of how rough it was, so I expected a similar reaction to this Cyclone.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010 10:29 AM

I couldn't stop laughing on the CI Cyclone. I even braved the back seat. It's got nothing on the LC Wildcat for roughness. :)

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Saturday, October 23, 2010 11:54 AM

I enjoyed CI Cyclone (in 2008) but can't remember where I sat -- probably toward the front, if I had to guess -- but thank God for the heavily padded seats and the fact that only one person can fit into them at a time. I felt the same way on CL's Blue Streak; I enjoyed the ride, but wouldn't want to ride with someone next to me.

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