Lake Compounce, May 17, 2003

Associated parks:

Sunday, May 18, 2003 3:30 PM
Lake Compounce
Saturday, May 17, 2003

I hit the road at about seven in the morning. I had a few goals in mind, first of which was check out the New England Carousel Museum, just five minutes from the park. I actual got there just after ten, not to bad considering I stopped for gas and food.

I walked into the museum and found no one there. I waited for a few minutes, and still, not a soul, not even the sound of anyone around. OK, so I walk into the museum. The collection is very nice, and well displayed. They do not have a carousel at the location of the museum, but they do upkeep the carousel at Bushnell Park in Hartford, CT. I was disappointed because I did not realize they did not have a carousel right there. Anyway, the displays were informative, but I was a little confused by the display of the Derby Racer horse. It stated it was from a Prior and Church derby, but then went on to describe a steeplechase ride. Did P&C make steeplechases too? Still, no one around, so I left, heading for Lake Compounce.

I got the The Lake at about 11, just at opening. Now my rant, a little one, but am I the only one that thinks parking is a rip off? I mean, five bucks to park in a lousy gravel lot, it isn't even paved, that is ridiculous. OK, rant off. I did get a close spot, and headed through the tunnel to the park.

The entrance is kind of neat, you go into the tunnel, not seeing any of the park, then on the other side, bam, it is all there. The gates are backed by a main street type of area, which have the lift hill of the Wildcat roller coaster behind them. It is very visually appealing. I pay and head in.

First up in the Zoomerang. It is a typical Vekoma Boomabang. I actually feel that the boomarangs are fun rides, with the exception of the head banging. I managed to advoid this by pressing up against the restraints, keeping my head out of harm's way, and had a good ride.

Next, I checked out the American Flyers, their set of flying skooters. This is a portable set, and so while it still has ten cars, it is lower to the ground, making snapping impossible. That didn't stop me from trying, with no luck of course.

Ghost Hunt was next. This interactive dark ride had some of the longest lines. It is an enjoyable ride, but not at all scary, something a dark ride should at least try to do. All of the gags were just painted onto the walls or pop-up boards, making everything two dimensional. I still had fun with it, and the mist filled tunnel mid way is neat, thought I bet it really is cool at night.

I could not longer resist, and headed for Boulder Dash. Dash was running just one train all day, but I never waited more then ten minutes for it, and my first ride was a walk-on. Seems everyone wanted to ride in the front. Fine by me, I headed for the back and enjoyed airtime galore. It really is an outstanding ride, with lots of airtime and some vicious laterals, something CCI seemed to be fond of. The first drop is phenomenal, a steep, fast, swooping drop through the trees down the mountain side. The speed does not let up through the rest of the ride either, tossing you up and down the ridge. The only downside of the coaster is something that I am sure will be fixed as the season progresses, and that is operations. It seems to take forever to load and dispatch a train. This, of coarse will improve as the ride ops get their jobs down and get in to a groove. At least they were not stapling riders in, and pulled on the lapbars to check them. I got two click rides all day, with my belt very loose.

I was next going to check out the carousel, but ended up running into the Wildcat's entrance. It is hidden behind a gift shop, I think if I did not chance upon it I would have had trouble finding it. No one else did, as the queue was pretty full. No matter, they were looking for a single rider, and I ended up waiting only about two trains. It is a fun ride, but not one of Herbert Schmeck's masterpieces. I took just one ride in the front, and fount there to be little airtime, with the exception of the second quarter of the ride after the first fan turn. The turns, however, and pretty neat, and really add to the visual effect of the ride.

After the Wildcat, I did get my ride on the carousel, and then took a ride on the train. The train chugs its way around the lake, offering a nice view of the park and lake.

Next I took the thirty minute journey up the mountain, AKA the Sky Ride. This was the surprise of the day. It is startling how long this thing is. It reaches so far up and out of the park that you can no longer hear the sounds of the park. Even more amazing is how steep this ride it. It even had me a little unnerved when coming back down. I highly recommend taking the time to ride this on any visit.

Walking back to the park, I took some shots of Boulder Dash as it roared by. By this point I was hungry, so I headed over to the Potato Patch and grabbed myself some chicken tenders and fries. The price was fair, and the food was excellent, though they could use some thicker cheese for the fries, it all sank to the bottom and was rather bland.

Now on a full stomach I took on some more flats and Boulder Dash a few more times before leaving the park at about four o'clock. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but I had to get back to Philly before dark. I am not afraid of the dark, but my car is, the headlights are not working right now. Oh well, all told, it was a fine day at the park. The park was clean, and the staff friendly. The only overall improvement they could make is getting some price signs up on their food stands, I had no idea how much anything is, and even though I would have paid it, I like to have an idea. That and free park, which I think I did mention, I think.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

Sunday, May 18, 2003 3:57 PM
They probably enforce the 5 dollar parking fee to make up for free soda.
Sunday, May 18, 2003 4:45 PM
I can't wait for my first visit to the Lake in a couple weeks. It sounds like I'll be in for a fun, yet relaxing day.

Eastcoaster Field of 64
Goal for 2003: Match Gonchar's Dorney Visits
Currently at 2

Sunday, May 18, 2003 6:05 PM
Nice Trip Report. I've only heard good things about Bolder Dash, so I'll have to check it out sometime. The skyride seemed cool and different. It seems that parks, this year, enjoy running one train. Anywho, good TR!

Free Falls on Drop Zone: 5!
Batwing Flights: 7!
Superman: Ride of Steel Airtime-age: 10!

Sunday, May 18, 2003 6:20 PM
Nice trip report. It makes me even more anxious to visit the lake again. My first opportunity to visit this year won't come for a month though, and I am getting excited about it already. About the parking charge...I don't mind it much because it is half the price that SF charges (now that is a major rip-off), and I don't need a paved parking lot. I'm more concerned about a fun day at the park, and that is what Lake Compounce does well. I'm glad you enjoyed your time there.
Sunday, May 18, 2003 7:26 PM
Thanks guys. I posted the photos I took HERE

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

Monday, May 19, 2003 1:44 PM
Great pictures! I only wish there was one of the new carousel building and the American Flyers. Oh well. Thanks for all the details about your trip and the pictures too.

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