Lake Compounce (With a Side of Great Adventure)

Monday, July 26, 2010 4:02 PM

My friend Judy came in from the Pittsburgh area to join me at these two parks. She had already been to Dorney and Knoebels in the preceding days.

We split Bayonne headed for the Nutmeg State and Lake Compounce around 8am Saturday. I had gotten some alternative directions from my friend Ellen because I didn't necessarily want to navigate I-95 through the Bronx.I had trouble getting out of my home state..got off at the exit for 9W into NY, but there were several ways to turn at the exit...none of which said 9W. Eventually, I got on the Palisades Parkway and we were fine after that. Unfortunately, my Fort Lee Follies coast us about a half hour. Judy's commented about driving in Jersey, but even Jersey drivers have trouble in the Fort Lee area. Judy had her GPS..I was driving her car...but THE VOICE was insisting we take the George.

We arrived at Compounce about 11:05. Judy handed me cash for the parking, then took it away from me. Not to make me pay, but because she realized the booth was on HER side of the car.

Paid full price cash at the gate. We did stop at a Burger King a few miles from the park looking for discount coupons, but the ones they DID have until recently were invalid after June.

This was my second visit to Compounce, but it's been about 7-8 years since my first. It was Judy's maiden visit. Found out when entering that the Mountain Sky Ride, which I was really looking forward to, would be idle this day.

We knew it was gonna be hot, and planned to hit up some of the water attractions...but you know, we're "professionals," and Boulder Dash was our destination. On my first visit, I liked Boulder Dash a lot. Although it was in the dark days before I really kept track of my rides, I believe I had it ranked as my #3 wood, behind the law firm of Beast and Son. El Toro, Voyage, and Ravine Flyer II have been born in the intervening years, so you can imagine that Boulder Dash was not really a coaster I thought about much. Now I can't stop thinking about the damn thing. This ride is better than ever, absolutely flies through the course, has excellent airtime and unexpected transitions. They were only running one train at first, but they put another one on while we were waiting for our first or second ride (I'm not sure which, but it definitely wasn't on our third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh ride :)
We rode mostly in the back, last or next-to-last seat. The one time we didn't, I sustained the only injury of the day...to my ribcage, what else? On the second ride of the day, in the third seat, I was unexpectedly tossed into the left side at the bottom of the first hill like a 230 lb. rag doll. But as I said, I'm a professional! Professionals play hurt, and the day was just getting started. Boulder Dash has now moved into my top 5, evicting Lightning Racer and posing a serious threat to Beast at #4 (if I hadn't just recently had some great rides on Beast, it probably would have dropped a notch.)

Okay, the best is out of the way. On the other hand, Wildcat, which I remembered as pretty decent, was very rough and painful in the back, and we didn't try it again. Made Predator seem like Millennium Force. It was love at first sight for Judy when she saw the Zoomerang coaster and its purple hues. I thought it looked pretty nice, was not quite as head-rattling as most, but I was really impressed with the sleek look and metallic rainbow color of the trains. It's a very aesthetically pleasing coaster.
They have a kiddie coaster, actually called Kiddie Coaster. Since Judy was getting three credits at Compounce, I asked a mom if I could ride with one of her kids. The little lady even picked my hat up from the platform on exiting and gave it to me. Judy even got a picture of me on it, but did not get on it herself.

That does it for the coasters. We did plenty of other rides. Two laps on a raft rapids ride that did not look too impressive, but delivered the goods on a hot day. The log flume had an unexpected splash AFTER the initial one, and Judy, in front, got that one up the nose. The Enterprise..which we'd NEVER skip...delivered a longish cycle. We took the blah train ride around the lake, and sat about 15 minutes waiting for straggling boarders at the halfway station. We rented a locker and hit the water area. They have a dump bucket, which we both love, but this one dumped mostly into the underlying play area itself, among the "machinery," rather than into a clearing where people can congregate underneath, so it was only semi-effective. There was a line for the lazy river, but it moved very quickly and we took two laps. Very nice. We actually went in the lake itself. It's nice water, but is only waist deep at the rope boundary, So Judy and I spen a good chunk of that time on our knees in order to be up to our necks.

Compounce has a Rotor. I love 'em, and Judy had never been on one. After I went into the barrel, I realized Judy did not follow and I saw her up on the observation deck. She had been turned away because of her sandals. Then I saw her disappear from her spot, and next thing I know, she's on the wall next to me! Turns out the ride operator had graciously offered Judy the use of her sneakers to be able to ride! How cool is that?

A few notes about food. Compounce, like Holiday World, offers free drinks at stations throughout the park. I think that's great, and being diabetic, am glad Diet Pepsi is an option. Unfortunately, I'm not big on soda drinking, especially at parks. HW also offers Gatorade, fruit punch, and I think, lemonade. Compounce offers no non-carbonated alternatives to soda, save for water, which I switched to in the later afternoon.
We hit the Croc Pot cafeteria for a late lunch. The New England clam chowdah was as good as I remembered, and I got a dynamite plate of fried clam strips. Between the soup, clams and fries, I had trouble finishing. Polished off the former two, but most of my fries went uneaten. Judy got barbecue chicken..white meat, not her preference. She got greenbeans and potatoes with it, but said the chicken was a little dry.
They have a stand near the Boulder Dash entrance selling gourmet soups..chowder, lobster bisque, etc. 97 degrees and 7 bucks a cup? I don't imagine they were doing a booming business. We saw one patron at the stand all day, and I don't know that she actually bought anything.

We finished with some night rides on Boulder Dash. I will say, in addition to my earlier comments about the ride...aside from the circuit on which I got hurt...I don't think either one of us has ever LAUGHED that much on a coaster. It's just so much fun!
On our last ride, we got squeezed by some line cutters...about six or seven in a group. I'll always let a single through, or two if there's a little one involved. But this was a big group, and blatant about it. It happened at the top of the ramp, and there's an attendant there separating people into front or back half. I very loudly got her attention and pointed out the line cutters. They made the usual protests, and I worked my way by them. I had gotten separated from Judy as I went through. I'm not sure what happened to the group. I apologized to Judy for my behavior, but, as stated,this was blatant. Out of character for me, but I felt it needed to be addressed. We split the park after that, split the driving, and got back here at about 12:45, and conked out pretty quick.

After church and a McDonald's breakfast we headed to GAdv about 9:30. We arrived at the park after opening. That's THREE park visits in a row for me that I did that..that's soooo not me. On the way down my car started sounding funny. Judy was dozing, and I looked up to see if there was a helicopter hovering..that's what it sounded like. I pulled into the WaWa by the park for gas, and discovered a tire was VERY low. I filled it(free air! how rare is that?) But the sound persisted. Got it checked out today, and I'll be taking another hit very soon.

Anyway, we entered the park about 10:45. We headed to El Toro, but detoured when I saw Houdini was running. I hadn't been on in about 2 years, and Judy hadn't ever. She wasn't impressed, but I believe I picked up a subtle difference. I think the benches swing up a little higher than they used to. It's like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It's a disaster either way.
Instead of hitting Toro, we decided to marathon Dark Knight..oops! Sorry. Bizarro moment there.

We took two rides on Toro after Houdini, and they were terrific. I gave Judy my seat (back right) on the first one. Fortunately, both times we avoided the GUM train. Went back for a third. Train starts to pull out of the station, and stops dead. Front third of the train is in the sun (isn't back seat wonderful?) the GUM train was also sitting in the sun on the brake run. We were soon surrounded by orange reflective vests sported by maintenance workers and the "minor technical difficulties" announcements. We sat for 10-15 minutes, having already been stapled in. They finally manually opened the restraints, took everyone's name and address, and gave us an exit pass...which, of course can't be used at Toro or Kingda Ka. We took the skyride over to Nitro and took a back seat ride. It'd definitely improved since the beginning of the season. We did Congo Rapids to TRY to beat the oppressive heat. The water was too warm. Judy was starting to feel the heat really bad, and felt the need for food. I realized I was hungry too, and we were concerned about the car. We tried to use our skip pass on Batman, but the Flash Pass line attendant wouldn't accept it. We walked through the exit line, and the ride shut down. We ended up using the pass for another ride on Nitro. I was pleasantly surprised at the airtime in row 4, even in unexpected spots. A ride on Skull Mountain got us out of the sun for a few minutes, then we left for Long John Silvers. On the walk out, the topic of returning to the park came up. We decided to make that decision after eating. It was a "NO." Again, it was the car, the heat, and it looked like it was about to storm. It did, for a good chunk of the way home.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010 1:30 AM

I can't get enough of Boulder Dash. It is just so much darn fun. Wish there were more rides like it.

The skyride at The Lake is awesome. Too bad it was closed for you. It took me 4 or 5 visits I think before I finally got to ride it myself.

I'm notorious for like rough wooden coasters, but I agree about Wildcat. It plain hurts. If I think it's that bad, I can't imagine what "normal" people think!

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Saturday, July 31, 2010 5:19 PM

Acoustic Viscosity said:


The skyride at The Lake is awesome. Too bad it was closed for you. It took me 4 or 5 visits I think before I finally got to ride it myself.

I did get to ride it on my previous visit. I was scared (bleep)less!

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 11:36 PM

I liked BD, but can't say that it even made it into my top ten. As to Kiddie Coaster, when we were there last month, my wife was the only one short enough to qualify. She had to ride it 4 times once with each one of us tall folk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v127/columbusframer/2010%20Epic%2...G_2528.jpg

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Monday, August 2, 2010 11:27 PM

Did you ride Boulder Dash at night? It's all about the night rides. IMO it's second only to Voyage.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 8:21 PM

Acoustic Viscosity said:
Did you ride Boulder Dash at night? It's all about the night rides. IMO it's second only to Voyage.

Don't know if you were asking me or Dave (both?) but I did get multiple night rides on BD, and they were awesome..especially climbing the lift hill into pitch blackness. I've only been to Holiday World once, in '07. But I got 50 Voyage voyages over two days, many of them at night. Mind-blowingly great. Voyage is ranked as my #3 mainly because of the after-dark sessions.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:55 PM

I was pointing at Dave since he seemed a bit underwhelmed by BD's greatness. ;)

I am curious though what you rank above Voyage and why.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:00 PM

Acoustic Viscosity said:
I was pointing at Dave since he seemed a bit underwhelmed by BD's greatness. ;)

I am curious though what you rank above Voyage and why.

I don't get into reasons why I like one ride better than another. It's just about the feel and the vibe I get. The coasters I have ranked above Voyage are El Toro and Ravine Flyer II. Voyage did leave a real impression on me, though, and I hope I get to ride it again before it loses its mojo...which it already has begun to do, based on some opinions I've read. Then again, opinions are like you-know-whats..everybody's got one. I think the fact I can basically ride Toro whenever I get the urge helps keep it mentally in my top spot..you know, "out of sight, out of mind."

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