Lake Compounce, Bristol, Connecticut, USA
This past weekend the family took a trip to CT to hit up the 3 local parks and see some friends we haven't seen in a while. Friday, Boogie, (our son - 12) and I made the journey to Lake Compounce for my long awaited return to, and Boogies introduction to Boulder Dash. What we didn't know was that schools in CT don't let out until mid June, and today was Middle School Field Trip Day. As my wife dropped us off at the entrance (She doesn't go to parks anymore, she went to the coast to do some birding) We noticed gobs and gobs of kids making their way in. We came darn close to turning around, but realized that we would have to suck it up if we wanted to visit at all.
After entering the park, we navigated through the mess of young kids around to Boulder Dash. I had talked this ride up to Boogie a lot over the few previous days. It's always been one of my favorite wooden coasters, and truly unique in layout and location. So of course we were both very excited. The line was down the path to the entrance pagoda thingy. Now, I've been reading how BD almost never runs 2 trains, but today they were. In reality, the wait wasn't that long, maybe 30 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. But I'll touch on that later. As for the ride itself, we decided to wait for the front seat for our first ride.
It's unfortunate to say, but BD is running much rougher than I remember. I don't remember the date of my previous visit, but it was after the first re-profile. And before that I had visited the park on many occasions. But even the front row was somewhat rough, and the back rows even more so. That being said, it's still an absolutely amazing ride. The experience of riding with the terrain, through the forest, is unforgettable. Plenty of ground hugging speed (my favorite element of a coaster) and airtime make for a top tier ride, but it's starting to age.
After that, we got drinks, (still free!) and headed over to the Bumper Cars. Now, if it were up to him, Boogie would spend all day just riding BCs. It's hands down his favorite thing to do. And easy to figure out why. Since we're both car nuts, he wants nothing more in this world than to drive. And this is as much fun as he gets to have in a driving capacity. However, the line was long, and again being jumped non stop. When we finally got on, we had a pretty poor ride because this ride lends itself to traffic jams pretty easily. We came back later and had some great rides, however. This BC ride has my favorite thing in BCs, spring bumpers along the perimeter, or "Boingy Walls," as Boogie and I call them. More fun than bumping other riders is to just barrel head first into the Boingy Walls at full speed. What can I say....
Next was the Wildcat. It was stuck on the lift as we entered, and the queue emptied faster than we would have moved up had the ride been operating. Sure enough they got it fixed soon after and we got our ride. Meh.
From here we headed to the back of the park for the Sky Ride. Aaaaahhhh.... finally.... some peace and quiet. The Sky Ride at LC is amazing. Probably 3 times the size and length of Knoebels Sky Ride. I will also say that the view is much more incredible. But of course, the view from Knoebels Sky Ride is of Knoebels, so it's tough to say. (shameless Knoebels fanboyism....) It was just so nice to be back in a peaceful section of the park. We took a ride together on the same bench, and then decided to go again, but stagger. I ran off for a quick bathroom break while Boogie got right back on. (Why they don't have a bathroom right next to the exit of a 30 minute ride remains a mystery to me.) I got back on after and we passed each other at about the 2/3 way up point.
We were able to catch the trolley back to the main park, and again, it became a mass of anarchy. Because of the crowds, Boogie decided that he did not want to wait in line for the Boomerang, and sacrificed a credit.
No Rotor? LAME! I was really hoping that he would be able to experience a rotor before every single one in the world is removed.
We rode the Ghost Blasters ride because it had a short line and the promise of AC, and I was pleasantly surprised. While much of it is the standard layout found at many other parks, there is a very unique tunnel in the middle that was quite fun. Worth checking out.
We also rode the Phlyers, even though we knew they wouldn't be any good. Sure enough, there was no snapping action to be had. In fact, the sails themselves appeared to be custom made and were a smaler size than I've ever seen before. They were also constructed of solid wood, with flat blunt edges instead of fabric wings like most others.
From here we tried to get the credit on their Kiddie coaster. Since this was my first visit with a kid, I still don't have this credit. Normally, Boogie would ride it no problem. Kiddies can be lots of fun. But I think that even though he didn't know these other kids, he didn't want to be seen riding it with his dad on Middle School day. I was able to bribe him with some fried Oreos, because let's face it, fried Oreos are about the greatest thing on this planet. Unfortunately, the "Adults must ride with a kid" policy requires that the kid be under 48 inches as well. So it was a no-go.
We then headed over to the Log Flume, as it looked like it could have an interesting layout. From the midway it looked like it took a trip through the woods much like Boulder Dash. We got in line, but quickly got discouraged when 2 kids in the line decided to let in the other 30 from their group. The constant influx of blue shirted kids, and the incredible noise they made (they were a very loud group of kids) changed our minds about riding the flume.
About this time, our friend Mike, who lives in CT and we were staying the weekend with, got off of work early and joined us for the last hour of the day. We took another ride on Boulder Dash, now with slightly shorter line, this time in the back. Rougher than the front, for sure, but still filled with plenty of air. We followed that with 2 more rides on the bumper cars. These were the good rides I talked about. People actually knew how to operate them properly this time.
At the tail end of the day we got back in the line for BD for the last rides of the day. We sat in the middle (first avail) this time knowing that when we got back there would be opportunity for a re-ride. Sure enough, we returned to a mostly empty station and snagged a re-ride, again in the middle.
Final thoughts? I like LC. Always have. But this was one of the most miserable days Boogie and I have ever spent at a park. The place was absolutely PACKED with middle school kids, and no one else. In fact, I don't think I saw a single adult chaperon the entire day. Though Boogie is in middle school himself, we were both driven absolutely nuts at the amount of noise being generated. Not to mention the line jumping. In their defense, I will say that I'm not even sure that kids that young know that holding spots, or seeing friends outside and inviting them up to them in line is even considered wrong. But it was unbearable. Yet, again, not a single adult in sight. Nor did the park have *anybody* in place to watch the lines. The employees were about as stereotypical of the "apathetic teenager" as you could get. That debacle I mentioned at the Log Flume? The girl in the photo booth turned her head away in an "I see nothing" manner as this went on for many minutes. I understand that the park cannot control who visits. But they most certainly knew that it was field trip day and certainly could have had a few people in place at one or 2 of the bigger rides.
I hate to say it, but with the main reason to visit this park being so rough, and the Rotor being gone, we'll probably never visit again. Don't get me wrong, I love the Sky Ride, but these do not make it worth the $42 price of admission. ($8 off with Dunkin Donuts coupon is available.)
I was gonna ask Boogie's age, but you mentioned near the end he's in middle school...so I guess about 12-13?
Been about 4-5 years since my last visit. Love BD, hated Wildcat, actually liked the Boomerang, especially the color scheme. I hadn't known they got rid of the Rotor. Disappointing..
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
Seeing as I am the "Mike" mentioned in this report I figured I would log back in for the first time in many years. Also, having Mr. Duck over for the weekend and getting to nerd-out about coasters all weekend made me want to come back to the community.
Living close to LC most of my life I think I only went to the park three times prior to them adding boulderdash. Once was for middleschool fieldtrip day, second was algebra field trip day, and third was physics class field trip day.thing but in algebra class.
But the year they added boulderdash was also the year I got my license, and I began visiting the park all the time. It became one of my favorite places. It was beautifully maintained with lots of open grassy areas and nice touches like the retro rotor and the beautiful pirate ship over a waterfall. And although the season pass was more expensive than my SFNE pass, I never felt like I was being constantly up-sold outrageuosly priced junk. The ice cream at that one place in the park charged the same price as my local one. Oh yeah, and Boulderdash was amazingly fun.
It may have been the middleschool madness, but a lot of what I loved so much about the park in those 2000-2005 years just did not seem to be there. I will give the park a lot of credit for letting me park and enter for free given that they were only open another 20 minutes when I arrived (note: 5 pm closure is code for field trip day). But the midways just felt way more cluttered with shops, games, food stands, and employees walking around selling stuff like at baseball games. But again, a lot of that might have been a result of how many of those middleschoolers were crammed into the place.
I felt that Boulderdash was running pretty good overall given it's age. The out run is still relatively smooth with a good amount of very fun airtime, but the turn around has aged horribly. It looked as if it had been retracked within the past few years based on the wood coloration, but I think the park should really just reprofile it and add a good bank. The huge lateral g's used to be a lot of fun when BD was new, but now it's just uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure they reprofiled a bit of the ride after the turn around, getting rid of that one huge pothole the ride has always had and adding an alright bunny hop which was nice. But the rest of the ride back to the station just feels like it's taken too fast. There's pretty good pops of air, but the ride throws you just as hard back down in a way that is pretty jarring, and less enjoyable than it used to be. Maybe that slight drop in speed that the pothole provided was worth the jolt. Finally, the (reprofiled back in 07 or 08 I believe) tripple up before the last big drop just doesn't feel right. I remember enjoying it initially after they added it, but now it's just too much and I found it uncomfortably disorienting. Maybe if it didn't have the weird lateral movement to it would be better, but I don't know.
I appologize if I seem overly down on the ride. It's still a really great coaster with great air and an amazing setting. I still think that the big dive right past a giant boulder 1/2 way through the outrun is one of my favorite coaster moments out there. It's just not as re-rideable as it used to be in the early days. A lot of that probably has to do with me getting old though.
Great report Brian. I look forward to reading your sfne and quassy reports so I can write out more way-too-long replies.
The park spends a lot of money continuously retracking some of the same spots. I have spoke to Jerry Brick the park gm about having rmc come in and fix it with topper track, but i guess they want to keep throwing money away.
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It's been about two years since I visited Lake Compounce and I thought that Boulder Dash was the best woodie I'd ever ridden with the exception of El Toro and Outlaw Run. Not having ridden it in its younger days, I'm not in a position to comment as to whether it's deteriorating. As to paying $42 for admission, all I can say is that you need to get old like me! I paid only $19.99 to get in b/c I qualify for the senior rate and since then it's gone up to only $20.99. If I recall correctly, parking was only about $8. That's what makes parks like Lake Compounce great. Most parks gouge you for parking and many don't offer senior discounts. Hershey is great in that way b/c whereas the regular price of admission is $61.95, it's only $38.95 for seniors. I know that this doesn't apply to most CoasterBuzzers but there definitely are older coaster enthusiasts out there and with so few advantages to being this age, any perks are welcome.
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