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Lake Compounce - Park Info
Location: Bristol, Connecticut, United States
Status: Operating since 1846
Links: Official Website
Opened: 1846 Operating since 1846
Attractions: 32
Lake Compounce - Review
Review by: Webmaster | Last update: 21-Dec-2006 | Based on 2 visits between 06/01-09/06

Lake Compounce is one of the oldest parks in the US. It started out as a picnic park, and over the years developed into the amusement park it is today. Its first coaster was the Wildcat built in 1927. In 1996, the Kennywood Entertainment Company became the managing partner, but it wasn't until 2000 that Lake Compounce was put on the roller coaster map (as far as I'm concerned) when they built the world's first mountain coaster - Boulder Dash!

Lake Compounce is a small sized family park located on the foot of a mountainside, complete with a lake, a water park, and a variety of rides, including two wooden roller coasters. The park is a traditional style amusement park similar to that of Kennywood or Knoebels. Admission includes most rides and attractions, including the Splash Harbor water park.

When I first visited the park in 2001, I was just a pure roller coaster enthusiast and didn't really care much for what else a park might have to offer other than its roller coaster arsenal. I arrived at the park on opening, and after two very disappointing morning rides on Boulder Dash, and a quick blast on the park's other two uninspiring roller coasters, there was not much else to satisfy my thrill seeking crave. The park was also overrun with poorly supervised school children, so after just 1 hour and 40 minutes I left the park, vowing never to return.

For years I lay bemused as to why Boulder Dash ranked so highly on several wooden internet polls, and my conclusion was it must warm up significantly during the day, a phenomenon which is common to many wooden roller coasters, particularly those manufactured by CCI. So in 2006 I decided to return to the park, this time later in the day so I could ride Boulder Dash after it had warmed up.

One of my complaints about the park is the lack of value for money, compared to say Kennywood or Knoebels, which have a lot more rides! Unless you utilize the water park, there is not a whole great deal of attractions to entertain you throughout a full day. However, I was pleased to learn that they now have a twilight admission, which offers almost half price admission after 5pm (I'm pretty certain they didn't have this in 2001, but I may be wrong.)

So I entered the park after 5pm and was now satisfied that I was going to get value for money. It was a weekend and the park was quite busy, but it was a pleasant family crowd where parents were controlling their children, and not bus loads of kids running riot. The lines were reasonable for all attractions, except Ghost Hunt which has terrible capacity. The staff seemed friendly enough and were doing a good job on dispatching Boulder Dash and creating a fun and exciting atmosphere.

This time round I was able to notice the charm of the park, it is a very picturesque park, not just due to the location, but it is also pleasantly landscaped, very clean and appeared well-maintained. I did not eat in the park, but the food prices seemed reasonable, and with unlimited free soft drinks located throughout the park, it is nice to be able to stay hydrated without having pay.

The park offers an assortment of rides including some classic carnival style rides, and an S&S; Power Screaming Swing called Thunder and Lightning. The park has a couple of water rides, including a soaking River Rapids, a decent dark ride called Ghost Hunt, several kiddie rides, and a few transport rides, including a very good Sky Ride up to the top of the mountain and back, which lasts about 22 minutes. I did not venture into the water park so cannot really comment on it.

So after two very different visits, one bad and one good, I would recommend this park to families, or any wooden roller coaster fan; thrill seekers would be much better off visiting Six Flags New England, which is about an hours drive away. I feel the car park could do with some work, since it is only comprises of gravel, and I resent paying to park on that, albeit it was only about $5.

Overall, I enjoyed my second visit to the park, but doubt I would return to the park for any reason other than to experience evening or nighttime rides on Boulder Dash, which would make repeat visits to the park worthwhile.

Member Ratings
Park: 7.5/10 (108 votes)
Coasters: 6.4/10 (481 votes)
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Coasters: 6/10
Dark Rides: 5/10
Flat Rides: 6/10
Kiddie Rides: 5/10
Water Rides: 6/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Food: 6/10
Landscaping: 8/10
Theming: 6/10
Staff Friendliness: 8/10
Staff Efficiency: 8/10
Overall: 7/10
Ideas for Improvements
  • Improve the car park or make it free.
  • Add a few more modern rides.
Lake Compounce Tips
  • If you just want to ride Boulder Dash, then go after 5pm when admission is cheaper, and the ride will be running better.
  • Make use of the free soft drinks.
Related Links
Member Reviews
“Boulder dash is amazing. Parts of the track are actually built directly on the grounds of the mounta...” Read More
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Lake Compounce - Roller Coasters

Operating Rating Votes
1. Boulder Dash - Review 9.25 156
2. Phobia Phear Coaster 7.67 9
3. Wildcat - Review 5.69 146
4. Zoomerang - Review 4.95 131
5. Kiddie Coaster 2.64 39