Lake Compounce

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Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce Blue Text.jpg

Lake Compounce Main Gate.jpg
Slogan New England's Family Theme Park
Location Bristol, Connecticut, United States
Coordinates 41°38′30″N 72°55′24″W / 41.64167°N 72.92333°W / 41.64167; -72.92333Coordinates: 41°38′30″N 72°55′24″W / 41.64167°N 72.92333°W / 41.64167; -72.92333
Owner Parques Reunidos
Opened 1846
Previous names Lake Compounce (1846-1985),
Hershey Lake Compounce (1986-1987),
Lake Compounce Festival Park (1988-1995),
Lake Compounce (1996-Present)
Operating season May through
December
Area 332 acres (1.34 km2)
Rides
Total 44
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 2 (excluding water park)
Website www.lakecompounce.com

Lake Compounce is an amusement park located in Bristol, Connecticut, United States and a part of the neighboring town of Southington; the lake itself lies completely in Southington. Opened in 1846, it is the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the United States.[1][2] The amusement park covers 332 acres (1.3 km²) of land. The amusement park also has a beach and a waterpark which can be enjoyed by guests for no extra charge. The park was acquired from Kennywood Entertainment Company, by Palace Entertainment, the U.S. subsidiary of Parques Reunidos.

Legend[edit]

The lake's name is derived from Chief John Compound, a Mattatuck/Tunxis Native American. On December 3, 1684, his wife and several tribal members affixed their waxed fingertip marks to a deed that conveyed the "Compound's Lake" to a group of white settlers, including John Norton, who had migrated to central Connecticut from Massachusetts, for pennies on the dollar and miscellaneous trinkets, including a large copper tea kettle. Legend has it that Chief Compound drowned while trying to cross the lake in a large copper tea kettle.[3]

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

The park's roots trace back to 1846, when a descendant of John Norton, Gad Norton, hired a scientist to perform an experiment using explosives. Though the experiment failed, Norton noted that thousands of people had shown up for the event and was inspired to open a park. He put a path around the lake, set up picnic tables, allowed public swimming and rowing on the lake, built a gazebo for lakeside band concerts and built a few rides. Lake Compounce had officially opened to the public as a picturesque picnic park. The park prospered as a picnic park through the post-Civil War era.

In 1851 Isaac Pierce, a successful "California Gold Rush 49er," joined forces with Norton; the two established the firm of Pierce and Norton. In 1875 Norton and Pierce petitioned local legislators that their residences be "set off" from the town of Southington to the town of Bristol. A sheep roast was held in appreciation of those legislators and friends who helped secure the granting of that petition. In this quiet manner, the famed "Crocodile Club" was established and, in 2010, celebrated its 136th reunion.

After coming to The United States, Norton named the lake after a fellow trader, Chief Compound, who lived in the area. As legend states, Compound died in the lake, a possible reason for Norton naming the lake "Lake Compounce". The casino, the first permanent building on the property, was built in 1895 with a restaurant downstairs and a ballroom upstairs. A full-course dinner cost fifty cents. Public transportation also began that year as the Bristol and Plainville Tramway Company; later, the Southington and Compounce Line brought thousands of park-goers to Lake Compounce by trolley.

Around that time, Timothy Murphy of Savin Rock, Connecticut, began to assemble the carousel. Combining the works of four master carvers, Looff, Carmel, Stein and Goldstein, Lake Compounce purchased it for $10,000 and it opened to the public on Memorial Day, 1911. This carousel is now included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Green Dragon roller coaster

In 1914 the Green Dragon, Lake Compounce's first electric-powered roller coaster, opened to the public. It was torn down in 1926, and in 1927 was replaced by the Wildcat, a wooden classic designed by Schmeck and built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, which is still running to this day.

The 1930s brought more growth. The casino ballroom was expanded to include an enormous dance floor without walls, so that people could dance under the stars. Huge windowed walls and a high arched ceiling were added in 1937. On Easter Sunday, Glenn Gray and the Casa Loma Band opened the Starlight Ballroom to a full house of big-band enthusiasts. From Dorsey to Calloway, Basie to Kenton, James to Goodman, the ballroom was packed for each performance. The all-time attendance record of 5,000 was set in the spring of 1941, when Tommy Dorsey's reorganized band featured a young up and coming vocalist, Frank Sinatra.

In 1933, citing the effects of the Depression and the automobile, trolley service was discontinued to the park, which dealt it a difficult blow. Lake Compounce purchased a miniature steam railroad designed and built by Connecticut actor William Gillette, the original portrayer of Sherlock Holmes in silent films. The train made its inaugural run in 1944 when more than 100,000 passengers rode on more than 35 tons of 17 gauge steel track which completely encircled the lake.

Lake Compounce prospered during the 1940s and 50s as a unique picnic/amusement park. Local entertainers appeared as a weekly attraction on the Lake Front Stage and featured such talent as Tex Pavel, Colonel Clown, and Slim Cox and the Cowboy Caravan. In 1959, an 18-hole miniature golf course was added (later removed in 2004).

Changing hands[edit]

Through the next several decades, little changed until the late 1960s and 70s when the park's attendance numbers were dropping. Lake Compounce remained under the ownership of the Pierce and Norton Corporation until 1966, when Edward G. Pierce, Isaac's grandson, sold his interests to the Norton family. The Nortons continued to own and operate the park through 1985. During these years, the park made a modest profit and held its own. No major attractions had ever been added since the 1960s but some of the flat rides came and went over the years. The Nortons decided to retire and put their park up for sale in 1984. But they wanted to sell it to someone who would continue to keep it open and not to a real estate developer that would tear the park down and build either a shopping center, apartments, condos, or offices in its place. This had happened with many classic amusement parks over the decades and still happens today from time to time. In 1985, Lake Compounce was sold to Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO), which owned and still owns the very successful Hersheypark in the Harrisburg, PA area. Initially, the park's future seemed promising.

But from 1986 through 1996, Lake Compounce experienced the "decade of the roller coaster." Financial troubles and empty promises from a string of four owners had severely tarnished the park's image. During this decade, Lake Compounce had a checkered history, including mountains of unpaid bills, a barrage of lawsuits and a string of unsuccessful turnaround attempts.

Back in 1985, HERCO had huge plans and immediately invested millions to renovate the park and unfortunately ran into trouble and delays. They did not manage to even open the park for the 1986 season until the first week of July, and even then it was nowhere near complete. The park then became known as "Hershey Lake Compounce." The formerly free admission park instituted admission fees and the park was still only partially renovated. Half the rides did not operate and the Wildcat roller coaster was nonfunctional more often than not. This led to disappointing attendance numbers. Before even completing further renovations, Hershey Corporation abruptly backed out in the winter of 1987 and put the park up for sale for next to nothing.

In the spring of 1987, Joseph Entertainment Group (JEG) bought the park at a very low price and renamed it "Lake Compounce Festival Park". That season the rides were all repaired and ran and at the same time JEG constructed a 20,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. This was completed by the 1988 season and it hosted several large musical acts. One of which, was the group Milli Vanilli and in late 1989 during a live performance on MTV, the group gave the first public sign that they were lip-synching, the recording of the song "Girl You Know It's True" jammed and began to skip. The park broke even for a couple years but was again operating in the red by 1990.

It became apparent that JEG's focus was on concert promotion and the amusement park was neglected. By 1990, the Wildcat roller coaster was again nonoperational and only a few rides operated and the park focused mostly on concerts. In 1991, exposing the financial troubles of JEG, the company bounced a check to would be performers Guns N' Roses, who then refused to play. Later JEG was found to have been almost $1 million behind in taxes and had not refunded ticket-holders for 15 canceled concerts. JEG eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The park closed for the season that Labor Day.

It seemed that the park might close forever, but in hopes of saving it, a group led by Steven Barbarino wanted the park to be able to continue its status as the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States. So it did not open in 1992 except for a few days over the Labor Day weekend minus most of the rides but with modest low budget entertainment. This also occurred in 1993 and 1994, while Mr. Barbarino continued to seek a buyer for the nearly defunct park. In 1994, the park opened for the July 4th weekend with no rides but a concert with a few regional bands as well as opening the beach for a couple days. After failing to find a buyer willing to keep the land as an amusement park, Mr. Barbarino's group eventually repurchased the park in the summer of 1994, and immediately sought a new group to manage the park. Several expressed interest, including Anheuser Busch, Lego, and Funtime Inc. In 1994, Funtime agreed to manage the park and began full-time operations again on Memorial Day weekend of 1995. By opening, it was able to get nearly all the rides back in operation, add a few waterslides, and reopen the beach and swimming area. The park turned a very modest profit by Labor Day, when it would close for the season.

Funtime, however, was bought out by Premier Parks, which had earlier purchased a competitor 50 miles (80 km) away called Riverside Park (now Six Flags New England). Premier Parks opted out of its contract with Lake Compounce to focus on Riverside Park, leaving Lake Compounce in peril once again. Shortly after, however, companies like Anheuser Busch, Cedar Fair, and Kennywood Entertainment approached Mr. Barbarino's group about an outright purchase.

Kennywood era[edit]

Early in 1996, an agreement was signed with Kennywood Entertainment, owners of Pittsburgh's historic Kennywood amusement park, to purchase Lake Compounce. After many years of financial troubles and management issues, Kennywood devoted itself to creating a clean, family-oriented and family-themed amusement park. All the remaining rides were then either repaired or removed. The Wildcat roller coaster also was renovated and reopened. The park opened that Memorial Day weekend in 1996 with real success. Every year since, the park has enjoyed much success and many millions of dollars in renovations and improvements including more waterslides, a couple high capacity water rides, a looping roller coaster, and in 2000, the Boulder Dash, which received the 2004 Golden Ticket Award for the #1 rated Wooden Roller Coaster by "Amusement Today." In 2005, Boulder Dash took the #2 spot and in 2006 tied for 3rd in the Golden Ticket Awards for the best wooden roller coaster. Boulder Dash also was voted #1 Wooden Roller Coaster in the World by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. Over the last 10 years, Kennywood has invested nearly $70 million in rides and attractions.

Between 2001-2004, the park suffered from some bad publicity due to a series of accidents at the park. In 2001, a 5-year-old boy drowned after going down the "Lake Plunge Slide" [1]. In 2004, a 5-year-old boy was killed after a limb from a dead tree fell on his head near the former mini-golf area. Two park employees have also died in accidents since 2001. A groundskeeper was trimming weeds under the Boulder Dash track during the park's regular morning ride testing. The coaster was on a test run, and due to the loudness of the weed trimmer, the man never heard the train coming, was partially decapitated, and died [2]. In another incident, an employee jumped onto the Tornado ride as it was still moving after the ride cycle, and was dragged under the ride when his clothing got stuck [3]. The ride was closed indefinitely at the request of the victim's family and was later replaced by Twister in 2000.

Beginning in 2002, Lake Compounce, began opening earlier in May on weekends. Until 2001, the park ended all operations on Labor Day. Also beginning in 2002, Lake Compounce began opening weekends between Labor Day and Halloween for holiday festivities. They also keep all their non-water rides open during this time.

For the 2004 season, Lake Compounce added the 185 ft (56.4 m) drop tower, Downtime. For the 2006 season, Lake Compounce added a brand new S&S Screamin' Swing ride called "Thunder 'N' Lightning." The multi-million dollar attraction, featuring two giant swing arms, holds 32 passengers who are catapulted to heights of almost 100 feet (30 m) at 60 miles per hour with four Gs of force.

Also in early 2006, there was a dispute between Lake Compounce and preservationists about the fate of Gad Norton's original 200-year-old farmhouse. The park knocked it down to make way for a maintenance and office building.

On November 1, 2006, the shooting of a portion of the film "Reservation Road" took place at Lake Compounce. The film was directed by Terry George and starred Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, Mira Sorvino and Elle Fanning.

The park opened for the 2007 season on May 12, 2007, with several new rides, including a 1956 Corvette car ride, Zoomer's Gas N' Go. Children as young as two are able to ride this '50s themed attraction. Small-scale Corvette cars travel along the 1,000 ft (300 m) roadway. The cars are powered electrically by low voltage via an undercarriage roller system and brushes connected to a copper hot rail on the track. The driver or occupant of the ride is not able to alter the car's speed, but is be able to steer it slightly as the wheels straddle the track. The loading area is themed as a gas station, and along the track are nostalgic billboards, a drive-in, and other landmarks built to match the scale of the cars. A replica of a repair shop houses the cars that are off the track and in for repairs. The attraction also features an on-ride photo system.

A new balloon ride called "Rainbow Riders" was also added in the Circus World section. Rainbow-colored balloons carry passengers 25 feet (7.6 m) in the air and slowly spin around. Rainbow Riders was installed where the Caterpillar Train was originally located. The Caterpillar Train has been moved to a nearby covered pavilion and was surrounded by new theming. Additionally, there is a new cabana boat that transports guests across the lake to the catering pavilions, the Compounce Mountain Sky Ride, and Thunder Rapids Raft Ride. The cabana boat replaced the Mark Twain Sternwheeler, which used to fulfill the same purpose.

Parques Reunidos era[edit]

In late 2007, Lake Compounce's owner, Kennywood Entertainment Company, was made an offer by Spain-based Parques Reunidos and has since been sold. The park opened for its 2008 season on May 10, opening with designated smoking areas, a refurbished Ghost Hunt ride, a fully re-tracked Boulder Dash, and an expanded Lake Compounce Emporium. This new Emporium has been introduced as the park's main exit.

In 2009, the park added three new rides, Jolly Jester, a child pirate ship, Wipeout, a Chance Rides Trabant, and Tunnel Twisters, three twisting and turning water slides. As well, the park introduced new dining options including Slushy Factory and Philly Cheesesteaks. In 2011, the park added Rev-O-Lution, a Zamperella Mega Disk-O and removed Lake Plunge water slide to allow for expansion of the water park.

In 2012, the park had moved Mt. Vernon Rd to allow for the expansion of the water park and the rebranding of the water park to go from Splash Harbor to Crocodile Cove. The park added Riptide Racers, a four across Proslide Kraken Racer, rentable cabanas, and expanded lounge and seating areas along the beach. The park introduced Holiday Lights, a Christmas event where there are light shows, rides (Select Are Open), Holiday train rides, and other holiday festivities. Their operating season now went from May to December.

In 2013, the park added Bayou Bay, a large wave pool across from Riptide Racers which continued the Crocodile Cove expansion. The park also added Johnny Rockets mobile food truck which was used in the water park and new changing and bathroom facilities to the new part of the water park. In 2014, the park will add a campground called Bear Creak Campground with cabins, tent and RV spaces, and a main lodge. The campground will be open during Lake Compounce's operating season.

Today[edit]

Lake Compounce has grown to include three roller coasters and more than forty attractions. The park also includes a large water park by the lake, "Splash Harbor." The water park includes several slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and an interactive complex, making it the biggest water park in Connecticut. The park also has three midway game areas and over ten food service locations. Lake Compounce is known for offering free Pepsi soda to all guests and employees who visit the park. Private catered events take place for such companies as the local Bristol-based ESPN and Pfizer. The park also hosts a 4 July firework show over the lake every year.

During October, the park transforms itself into a Halloween experience for adults and children. The midways are decorated, and many of the park's rides are run in the dark. Produced by Graveyard Productions, the haunted house is dubbed "The Haunted Graveyard." The experience consists of a 45-minute walk-through of catacombs, castles, special effects, and graveyards, as well as many other houses being added every year. The Haunted Graveyard started in 1991 and found a home at Lake Compounce in 2001. Portions of the proceeds are donated towards Juvenile Diabetes research.

Plans[edit]

Plans include doubling the size of the Crocodile Cove water park. This will require the moving of nearby Mount Vernon Road to the north to give the park more room for expansion. The work on the road move is expected to cost $6 million while the additions to the water park are expected to cost $15 million. [4] After years of efforts to begin the project, the road work was finally started in April 2011, and the park is hoping to begin adding new water rides in time for the 2012 season.

The park also received permission from the town of Southington, CT to add a spinning roller coaster, though the park has decided to postpone the coaster project in favor of focusing on the water park expansion. The town's approval is good for ten years, so the park may choose to take up the project in the future.

There are also plans for sometime in the future to move the Haunted Graveyard to the other end of the lake, making space for several more rides in its current location.

The park will add Bear Creak Campground which will allow overnight stays for the park.

Attractions[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Coaster Year Opened Manufacturer Description Ride Alone Height Requirement With Adult Height Requirement
Boulder Dash 2000 Custom Coasters International First wooden coaster to be built entirely on the side of a mountain. The track length is 4,600-foot (1,400 m) long with a 120-foot (37 m) first drop. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Wildcat 1927 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Wooden boards from the original 1927 roller coaster remain intact in the wheelhouse. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Zoomerang 1997 Vekoma A Boomerang shuttle coaster with 120-foot (37 m) drops. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Kiddie Coaster 1997 Molina & Sons A classic children's roller coaster with an oval shaped track. The train consists of five cars with two children or one adult and one child per car. 56-inch (140 cm) 36-inch (91 cm)

Amusement rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Ride Alone Height Requirement With Adult Height Requirement
American Flyers 2003 Rocco Amusements Flying Scooters ride built in 1937. Previously located at many different amusement parks, including Kennywood, before finding a home at Lake Compounce 60 years later. In 2000, the American Flyers were dismantled and kept in storage until they were refurbished, relocated, given a new American flag theme. The ride re-opened in its current location for the 2003 season. The ride consists of 10 cars that are suspended from cables that are attached to sweeps. The ride spins in a counterclockwise direction and riders move their rudders from side to side to make their vehicles fly up into the air. 48-inch (120 cm) 36-inch (91 cm)
Bumper Cars 1997 Reverchon Industries Riders operate a specially designed vehicle to safely collide with other drivers. The ride begins as the grid ceiling is energized and power is transferred to the individual car motors. The cars Riders travel in a counter clockwise direction where head-on bumping is not allowed. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Carousel 1911 Loof/Murphy The carousel was built in the mid-1890s and first operated at Savin Rock in West Haven, CT. It features 49 horses, two chariots, and one goat. It was purchased in 1910 for $10,000. The four main carvers responsible for sculpting the horses were Charles Loof, Charles Carmel, Stein, & Goldstein. The original Wurlitzer 153 band organ was refurbished in 2003, the same year the carousel was relocated to its current building. 46-inch (120 cm) Anyone
C. P. Huntington Train 1997 Chance A family train ride which navigates alongside the east shore of Lake Compounce itself, with stops near the park's main gate and the south end of the park. The locomotives are replicas of classic steam engines and pull open-air coaches. The park owns two locomotive-coach consists, with one in operation, and the other stored with plans of expanding the attractions capacity. 42-inch (110 cm) Anyone
Down Time 2004 S&S Power A Turbo Drop with a 211-foot (64 m) tall tower and a 185-foot (56 m) drop. The ride system has four steel cables that attach to the cart which bring it to the top of the tower. Once the cart has been reached the top, the air tanks fill and pressurize. The cart is pushed down at over fifty miles per hour, faster than free-fall. 52-inch (130 cm) No
Enterprise 1986 HUSS Consists of 20 swinging gondolas mounted on a large horizontal boom and wheel. As the wheel spins and picks up speed, the gondolas swing outward. The boom and wheel lift to a 90-degree angle, taking riders upside down at a height of 65-foot (20 m). There are no restraint devices other than the cage door, as riders are held against their seat simply by centrifugal force. 54-inch (140 cm) No
Ferris Wheel 1997 Chance Consists of 20 gondolas that hold a maximum of 6 people. Riders board a gondola and are lifted through the air in a circular motion. The Ferris Wheel was closed much of the 2011 season to modify and add additional rider restraining devices to the gondolas. 46-inch (120 cm) Anyone
Ghost Hunt 1997 Sally Corporation with new ride vehicles by ETF Guests enter "Bleakstone Mannor" and board a trackless four-seater car equipped with their own "boo blaster". Guests aim for the blue lights under the ghosts, and shoot them with their blasters. Ghost Hunt was completely refurbished for the 2008 season adding the trackless ride system, which replaced the original two-seater cars, and increased the rides hourly capacity. Show scenes were also refresh and updated during the overhaul. 42-inch (110 cm) Anyone
Lakeside Trolley 1997 Osgood Bradley Car Company Car number 1414 is an original trolley car that was built in Worcester, MA and began service in 1911, transporting guests from New Haven, CT to Lake Compounce until 1935. In 1997, assisted by the Shoreline Trolley Museum, it was restored and brought back into service. This open-air, 15 bench car transports up to 90 guests at a time along 1,200-foot (370 m) of track in between the lake itself and Boulder Dash’s track to the end of the park where passengers can exit to the catering area, Sky Ride, and Thunder Rapids. The car is powered from a high voltage line above which transfers power down through one of two pantographs that energize the motors underneath the car. 46-inch (120 cm) Anyone
Pirate Ship 1986 HUSS The ship is suspended from a single pivot point approximately 50-foot (15 m) in the air. A large rubber drive tire propels the ship from the bottom of the hull. The ship swings gradually higher and higher with each progressive swing. Riders experience the thrill of free-fall from the top of the arc until they descend into the platform area. After a few swings, the drive tire drops down and allows the boat to swing freely back and forth. Then the drive tire pops back up to apply the braking force to stop the ride. 48-inch (120 cm) 39-inch (99 cm)
Rev-O-Lution 2011 Zamperla A mega-disko type thrill ride. The disc spins on a track that is over 50-foot (15 m) high. Riders sit in a motorcycle style restraint that faces away from the disc. During the cycle, riders rotate 360 degrees up and down the track at 14 revolutions per minute. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Saw Mill Plunge 1986 Arrow Dynamics A Log Flume with a theme based on the practice of transporting cut tree logs down a river to be milled. Riders board a log boat and are released into the water-filled trough. The log is pulled up on a belt elevator to the top of the lift hill where it travels through the scenic elevated trough-way until it descends the splashdown drop where riders are drenched by water before returning to the station. 46-inch (120 cm) 36-inch (91 cm)
Sky Coaster 1998 Skycoaster Inc. For an additional fee, 1-3 "flyers" are harnessed and raised 180-foot (55 m) in the air. Once hoisted to the full height, one of the riders pulls the rip-cord and the riders free fall and swing as a pendulum as they "Experience the Flight". 42-inch (110 cm) No
Skyride 1997 Garaventa CTEK A chair-lift with 81 gondolas which provide a round-trip taking over 30 minutes to complete. Views allow riders to see northward to the Holyoke, MA. mountain range, eastward to Rhode Island, southward to nearly the coastline, and westward once atop the mountain far into New Haven County. The ride is equipped with surveillance cameras with visible markings noting affiliation with the United States Department of Homeland Security. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Thunder N' Lightning 2006 S&S Power A Screamin' Swing where two giant arms swing up to 115° from vertical in each direction. The ride’s motion is that of a pendulum and it can reach speeds of 60 MPH. If both arms are in use they will swing in opposite directions of each other during the ride cycle. 48-inch (120 cm) No
Thunder Rapids 1997 Hopkins A raft ride with a 1,354’ long concrete trough that forms the course for the ride. Each raft accommodates up to eight riders. The speed and spin of the rafts varies according to the cross-sectional shape of the trough, the placement of weirs, and passenger placement. The water flow and troughs are designed to give the illusion of raging rapids. 42-inch (110 cm) 36-inch (91 cm)
Twister 2000 Wisdom Industries Ltd. A tornado-style ride where up to four riders sit in each of the eight gondolas, all facing a steering wheel in the middle. Riders determine the direction their gondola will rotate and how fast it will rotate by spinning the wheel as the entire ride unit is rotating. The ride also tilts 20° and gondolas climb and drop as they’re spinning. 48-inch (120 cm) 38-inch (97 cm)
Wave Swinger 1986 Zierer A German swing which carries up to 48 guests on individual seats suspended by chains from a center tower. As the ride begins to rotate, the tower lifts, raising the chairs above the ground. The top of the tower tips at varying angles, while spinning, causing the seats to swing out far above the midway. For 2011, the ride's entire lighting system was replaced with LEDs. The new energy efficient lights provide an endless show of changing color patterns. 46-inch (120 cm) No
Wipe Out 2009 Chance Rides A modern version of a classic Trabant ride. Riders sit face to face therefore during the ride, half of the passengers go backwards. As the ride begins to spin, it lifts up into the air and tilts. 46-inch (120 cm) 42-inch (110 cm)
Zoomer's Gas N' Go 2007 Morgan Acquired from Miracle Strip Amusement Park, A 1950s' themed attraction with replica 1956 Chevrolet Corvette cars. The small-scale Corvettes travel the 1,000-foot (300 m) long roadway. The cars are powered electrically by low voltage via an undercarriage roller system and brushes connected to a copper hot rail on the track. The driver or occupant is not able to alter its speed, but is able to steer the car slightly as the wheels straddle the track. Scenery along the track includes waterfalls, retro billboards, and a movie screen that plays classic film clips at night. 1950s’ music can be heard as riders travel along. 42-inch (110 cm) Anyone

Kiddie rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Ride Alone Height Requirement With Adult Height Requirement Maximum Height Requirement
Caterpillar Train 1997 Zamperla Ride vehicle has been themed to resemble a caterpillar. Consists of a powered first car and four non-powered training cars which run around a small scale track at a moderate speed. Ride is housed under its own open-air pavilion. No N/A 54-inch (140 cm)
Drop Zone 2004 Moser A 40-foot (12 m) drop tower designed for children. An adult may ride if accompanying a child under 56-inch (140 cm). Riders are lifted 36-foot (11 m) in the air and then 'bounced' to the bottom. There are four different drop sequences to make each ride feel different. 42-inch (110 cm) 38-inch (97 cm) 56-inch (140 cm)
Drum Circus 1997 Sartori Each ride seat is a drum that spins individually while the entire ride spins clockwise. The drums are fixed to arms which raise and lower automatically. No N/A 56-inch (140 cm)
Fantasy Carousel 1997 Morgan A miniature carousel that has two rows of menagerie animals, including a fish, cat, and horse. Some of the figures are animated while others are stationary and there is one wheel chair accessible bench seat. The ride is designed for smaller children, but adults may stand next to a figure to accompany a child. No N/A 56-inch (140 cm)
Flying Elephants 1997 Sartori The ride rotates in a clockwise direction and has 6 arms, each with an 'elephant' attached. The arms rise when the rider pulls the control stick towards them-self, and the elephant descends when the control stick is pushed away. No N/A 54-inch (140 cm)
Jolly Jester 2009 Visa SRL A smaller version of the Pirate Ship where a motor below the ship turns a drive wheel that allows the boat to move back and forth in the direction of the spinning tire. No adults may ride. 36-inch (91 cm) Any child with a buddy that is 48-52" 52-inch (130 cm)
Kiddie Swinger 1985 Dietz Consists of sixteen swings suspended from chains on a rotating center. No N/A 54-inch (140 cm)
Little Critters 1999 I. E. Park Small scale bumper cars themed as animals which seat up to two riders. Each passenger wears a shoulder strap across one of their shoulders. The overhead grid provides the power to each car motor. Ride is housed under its own open-air pavilion. No N/A 54-inch (140 cm)
Little Dare Devils 1985 Hampton Consists of small scale motorcycles which rotate in a counter clockwise direction. A large umbrella canopy covers the ride and simultaneously rotates in a clockwise direction. No N/A 56-inch (140 cm)
Rainbow Riders 2007 SBF Visa Consists of eight hot-air balloon themed baskets suspended from a center carriage which rotates and raises 25-foot (7.6 m). 42-inch (110 cm) Able to sit up-right on own 56-inch (140 cm)

Water park[edit]

Attraction Year opened Type Experience alone height requirement With adult height requirement Additional requirements
Anchor Bay 2005 Lazy river – with optional water slide 42-inch (110 cm) 42-inch (110 cm) None
Buccaneer Blast 1998 Soak zone – with slides inside wave pool N/A Anyone under 54-inch (140 cm). Under 48-inch (120 cm) must wear a personal flotation device
Clipper Cove 2003 Soak zone 40-inch (100 cm) Anyone None
Compounce Cabana Boat 2007 Pontoon Boat - transportation 46-inch (120 cm) Anyone Only accessible from water park and only operates when water park is open, providing transportation across the lake.
Keeper's Cottage 1998 Soak zone - for toddlers with slides N/A Anyone under 54-inch (140 cm) Children 12 years old and younger must wear a personal flotation device
Lights Out 1998 Body slide – enclosed 46-inch (120 cm) No None
Mammoth Falls 2001 Group raft slide - Enclosed 48-inch (120 cm) 36-inch (91 cm) None
Riptide Racer 2012 Water body slide N/A No
Tunnel Twisters 2009 Body slide - Enclosed with 3 variants 42-inch (110 cm) No None
Bayou Bay 2013 Wave pool 42-inch (110 cm) No None
Wave Pool 1998 Wave pool 48-inch (120 cm) Anyone Under 48-inch (120 cm) must wear a Personal Flotation Device and be within arms reach of an adult

Entertainment[edit]

2011 Show
Magic Secrets: Beyond the Magic - June 20 thru August 28 (Not Tuesdays)
Cirque Cirque En Vol - June 18 thru August 28
Star Star Time! - May 14 thru August 28
Princess The Funky Fairytale Princess and the Pea - May 14 thru August 28
Dance Dance Party - May 14 thru August 28
Venue Noon 12:30 PM 1:00 PM 1:30 PM 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM
Starlight Theatre Magic (2:15) Magic Magic
Cirque En Vol Stage Cirque Cirque Cirque Cirque (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Circus World Stage Star Princess (12:45) Star Princess (3:45)
Street Entertainment Dance

Food[edit]

Name Offerings
Carousel Cafe Grilled chicken sandwiches, quarter-pound burgers, veggie and turkey burgers, foot-long hot dogs, curly fries, onion rings, fruit & yogurt parfaits, bottled water, bottled drinks and milk
Croc Pot Prime rib sandwiches; seafood; ham, turkey and chicken wraps; salads; coffee; hot and cold teas; and milk
Fried Bats Fried dough & fried Oreos, bottled water, cold teas and milk
Funnel Cake Factory Funnel cakes with fruit and ice cream toppings, soft ice cream and sprinkles
Harborside Pizza Hand-stretched pizza, whole or by the slice
Johnny Rockets Hamburgers and french fries
La Fiesta Soft tacos, burritos, taco salads, nachos supreme and churros
Market Place Stuffed grilled panini sandwiches, including BLT, Caribbean chicken, eggplant with ricotta and mozzarella, and turkey; individual Caesar and grilled chicken salads, and personnel pizzas
Parkside Diner Fried fish fillets, kielbasa and kraut, quarter-pound burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, bottled water and milk
Potato Patch Fresh cut potato fries with a variety of toppings, chicken tenders, boneless buffalo wings, baked potatoes, bottled drinks and water.
Sweet Treats Cotton candy, popcorn, and sno-cones. (Removed in 2011, replaced with the Dippin Dots Sundae Shop.)
Dippin Dots Sundae Shop Dippin Dots ice cream.
Trolley Stop Soft serve and hard scoop ice cream, beer, soft pretzels.
Sweet Shoppe Homemade Fudge, Vast Assortment of Confections,Chocolate dipped apples, Cotton Candy, Cold Drinks.
Main Gate Snacks Soft Serv Ice Cream, Flavorburst Ice Cream, Milkshakes

Retail[edit]

Shop Offerings
Chuckles Fun Stuff "Fun stuff" including toys and games; wheelchair and stroller rentals. Jelly Belly jellybeans dispenser. Locker rentals available here when locker booth is closed.
Good Times Gifts Ride and attraction logo apparel and other souvenirs. Jewelry, drinks, and candy available.
Lake Compounce Emporium Lake Compounce-branded gifts, souvenirs, drinks, candy, and apparel.
Splash Harbor Beach Shoppe Swim wear, sunscreen, flip flops, water shoes, and other waterpark essentials.

Former attractions[edit]

Offering Type Year Opened Year Closed Description Former location now occupied by
Miniature Golf Course Extra fee 1959 2004 18 miniature golf holes Anchor Bay
Amphitheater Stage 1988 1997 20,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, home to concerts for many big names bands, and was constructed during the JEG era of the park Zoomerang
Arctic Express Kiddie ride 2008 Miniature version of the Musik Express for children Jolly Jester
Green Dragon Roller coaster 1914 1926 Wooden roller coaster that was replaced by the Wildcat Wildcat
Lake Plunge Tube slide 1999 2011 Tube slide that was enclosed. It splashed out into the lake with 2 variants. It was replaced by Riptide Racer for the 2012 season. Riptide Racer
Musik Express Amusement ride 1985 2008 A Mack Music Express Wipe Out
Top Spin Amusement ride 1997 2002 A Huss Top Spin American Flyers
Twister Sisters Body slide 1985 2007 3 twisting enclosed body slides that were tan in color Tunnel Twisters
Rotor Amusement ride 1997 2010 A cylindrical spinning ride where centrifugal force stuck the riders to the wall Rev-O-Lution
Paddle Boats Extra fee 1985 2005 Rental paddle boats Compounce Cabana Boat
Swan Boats Extra fee 2005 2007 Rental paddle boats themed as swans Compounce Cabana Boat
Mark Twain Transportation 1999 2007 Flat bottom paddle boat that transported guests across the lake, themed as a classic steam boat Compounce Cabana Boat
Gillette Railway Transportation 1943 1997 Train designed by William Gillette, and was borrowed from and later returned to Gillette Castle. C.P. Huntington Train

Timeline of the addition of attractions[edit]

  • 2012: Holiday Lights (December Event)
  • 2011: Dippin Dots Sundae Shop
  • 2009: Slushy Factory, Philly Cheese Steak location
  • 2008: Lake Compounce Emporium, Designated Smoking Areas
  • 2006: Cirque En Vol Outdoor Stage, Panini Grill (Named changed to Market Place in 2007)
  • 2005: Starlight Theatre
  • 2004: Carousel Cafe
  • 2001: The Haunted Graveyard (October Event)
  • 1999: Ghostly Games Complex
  • 1985: Scrambler (later removed), Antique Autos (later removed)
  • 1962: Ferris Wheel (removed 1985)
  • 1962: Speedboats
  • 1961: Stingbadaanan (removed in 1963)
  • 1957: The Little Showboat (removed 1985)
  • 1929: Cris Craft Speedboats (removed in 1962)
  • 1895: The Crocodile Club
  • 1850: The Pleasure Wheel (later removed)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Park Information". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Oldest Amusement Parks in the United States". The Best of America. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "America's First Family Theme Park". Lake Compounce History. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 

External links[edit]