Canobie Lake Park
|Slogan||Just for fun|
|Location||Salem, New Hampshire, United States|
|Opened||August 23, 1902|
|Operating season||May– Late October |
Canobie Lake Park is an amusement park in Salem, New Hampshire. Originally opening as a trolley park on the shore of Canobie Lake on 1902, the park most prominently featured botanical gardens. The park declined in popularity after the automobile became the most popular mode of travel in the United States, but today, three local families run the park, which now draws visitors from throughout the New England region.
Canobie Lake Park's age has resulted in a mixture of attractions from different time periods. One of the park's oldest attractions is a wooden roller coaster named Yankee Cannonball, which dates back to 1936, and is one of the most notable features of the park. The Canobie Corkscrew was originally built in 1975 for the Old Chicago amusement park in Illinois, as the "Chicago Loop". Arrow Development designed the Canobie Corkscrew, and the company was known at the time for building roller coasters with multiple inversions. The ride was relocated to Canobie Lake Park in 1987. The steel coaster named Untamed is a more modern variety of ride, known as a Euro-Fighter, and has various inversions unique to modern roller coasters. Canobie Lake Park's age and history have inspired Stephen King to base parts of his novel Joyland on the park.
Canobie Lake Park opened on August 23, 1902, as a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company. The amusement park has opened every summer since then. In the park's early years, it was known for its flower gardens, promenades and gentle attractions. After the decline of trolley as a mode of travel, the park declined in popularity. Its popularity later recovered, and the Yankee Cannonball was installed, becoming one of the park's most popular attractions for decades. Today, the park is owned by three families, who purchased the park in the late 1950s.
Some films and novels have used Canobie Lake Park as a setting or filming location. Stephen King, an American author of horror novels, based the amusement park in his book Joyland on Canobie Lake Park. A resident of the nearby state of Maine, King visited after searching for a park "that was nice and clean and sunlit, but wasn’t too big". During a visit in 2012, King took photographs inside the dark ride attraction, "Mine of Lost Souls", because he wanted to incorporate a haunted dark ride into his novel. The park was also used as a filming location for the 2013 movie Labor Day, based on the coming-of-age novel Labor Day by Joyce Maynard.
Rides and attractions
Canobie Lake Park features a variety of rides and attractions. The Yankee Cannonball, a 1930s-era wooden roller coaster, is one of the park's best known rides. The park also has a looping, steel roller coaster named the Canobie Corkscrew, designed by Arrow Dynamics. Originally manufactured in 1975, the Canobie Corkscrew operated at Old Chicago from 1975 to 1980 as the "Chicago Loop", at the Alabama State Fairgrounds as "Corkscrew" from 1982 to 1986, before moving to Canobie Lake in 1987. The Canobie Corkscrew is one of the first steel looping roller coasters manufactured in the world and is part of a series of Arrow corkscrew models produced from 1975-1979.
Other thrill rides in Canobie Lake Park include Starblaster, an S&S Double Shot. The Starblaster was opened in 2002, replacing the Moon Orbiter. The park also features a rotor ride named "Turkish Twist", and a shoot-the-chutes ride named "The Boston Tea Party". Canobie has one of the few dark rides in New England, named "Mine of Lost Souls". Passengers board a mine car and are transported into the depths of a dark mine, which begins to collapse. Another flat ride at Canobie is the "Psychodrome", a 12-car Scrambler ride located in a dome, with lighting, music and special effects.
The park once had a simulator ride named "USA Missile", built early in the Space Age by John Taggart and Sam Daugherty. Passengers sit facing the nose of the rocket, which is then inclined. A movie is shown on a screen at the front as a simulation of space flight. This ride was originally built for Palisades Park in 1958, where it was known as the "Ansco Rocket Ship". Once it had been moved to Canobie, it was painted white with an American flag motif and renamed to "USA Missile". Some time later, it was repainted again to mimic the markings used on such launch vehicles as the Saturn rockets. It has since been closed down, and was left standing but not operating.
In 2011, the park added Untamed, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter 320+ model. This is the fourth Euro-Fighter to be added in the United States, the only one in the Northeast, and the first roller coaster to be opened in Canobie Lake Park since the Canobie Corkscrew in 1987. The ride features a 72-foot vertical lift and a beyond vertical drop at a 97 degree angle, as well as three inversions: a vertical loop, an Immelmann loop, and a zero-G roll.
The park added Equinox in 2012, a ride that lifted and spun riders on a giant mechanical arm. Despite the ride's popularity, it was shut down in 2014 after persistent mechanical problems left the ride operating "sporadically". The park has stated that safety was not an issue.
Canobie Lake Park holds many events in the park throughout the year, including live performances and fireworks shows. The park's Dancehall Theater has hosted performers such as Duke Ellington, Sonny & Cher and Frank Sinatra. The park has multiple other venues for live entertainment, including the Country Stage, Midway Stage, and Dancehall Theater. The Canobie Ramblers occasionally perform at the Log Flume Gazebo. On certain weekends in September and October, Canobie Lake Park holds ScrEEEmfest, a special event run in the afternoon that features Canobie's most popular rides plus five walk-through haunted attractions. Past "haunts" have included Merriment Incorporated, The Dead Shed, The Village, Head Hunters at Cannibal Lake, Cannibal Island, Demons of Darkness, and Virus.
List of rides
|Name||Ride manufacturer||Ride type||Year added|
|Canobie Corkscrew||Arrow Development||Steel roller coaster||
|Psychodrome||Eli Bridge Company||Scrambler||
|Starblaster||S&S Power||Double shot||
|Yankee Cannonball||Philadelphia Toboggan Company||Wooden roller coaster||
|Antique Carousel||Looff/Dentzel/Stein & Goldstein||Carousel||
|Antique Cars||Arrow Development||Car ride||N/A|
|Blue Heron||N/A||Boat ride||
|Boston Harbor Patrol||N/A||
|Canobie 500||Arrow Dynamics||Race cars||
|Canobie Express||Crown Metal Products||Train ride||N/A|
|Caterpillar||Harry Traver||Caterpillar ride||
|Crazy Cups||Philadelphia Toboggan Company||Teacups||
|DaVinci's Dream||N/A||Swing ride||
|Dodgems||N/A||Bumper car ride||
|Giant Sky Wheel||N/A||Ferris wheel||
|Kiddie Dragon Coaster||Zamperla||Children's roller coaster||
|Mine of Lost Souls||Sally Corporation||Dark ride||
|Over the Rainbow||Zamperla||
|Sky Ride||SkyTrans Mfg. and Universal Design||Chairlift||N/A|
|Twist & Shout||Sellner Manufacturing||Tilt-A-Whirl||N/A|
|Zero Gravity||Battech Enterprises||Round Up||
|Boston Tea Party||Hopkins Rides||Shoot the Chute||
|Castaway Island||WhiteWater West||AquaPlay RainFortress||
|Policy Pond Log Flume||Hopkins Rides||Log flume||
|Tall Timber Splash||WhiteWater West Industries||Water coaster||
|Name||Ride type||Year added|
|Alpine Swing||Children's swing ride||
|Flower Power||Children's whip ride||
|Jump Around||Children's Wave Blaster||
|Junior Sports Cars||
|Kiddie Carousel||Children's carousel||N/A|
|Mini-Skooter||Children's bumper cars||N/A|
|Name||Ride manufacturer||Year added||Year retired||Notes|
|Bowling alley||N/A||N/A||N/A||After purchasing the park in the 1960s, the owners burned all the pins from the bowling alley to keep warm during their first winter.|
||Replaced with the "Moon Orbiter".|
||A twisting, spinning and flipping ride. Removed due to mechanical issues.|
|Fascination||N/A||N/A||N/A||Replaced with the "Jackpot Casino".|
|Figure 8 roller coaster||Frederick Ingersoll||
|House of Seven Gables||N/A||
||N/A||A walk-through haunted house.|
|Jr. Roller Coaster||N/A||
|Kosmojets||SDC||N/A||N/A||Replaced with "Wipeout".|
||Replaced with a concession stand "Hotdog Diner".|
||Replaced with the "Star Blaster".|
||Replaced with Boston Harbor Patrol|
||Replaced with "Skater".|
||Originally called Galaxi at Canobie before being rebranded/renamed; Replaced with "Xtreme Frisbee".|
||Replaced with "Zero Gravity" (Round Up)|
|Roller skating rink||N/A||N/A||N/A||Used to house ScrEEEmfest haunts|
||N/A||A dark ride that was replaced with the Can Alley game and employee center building.|
||Removed during the construction of a larger main entrance.|
||Formerly the Crystal Orbiter, on broken motor-driven platform.|
||Replaced with Autobahn to make room for "Wave Blaster".|
|The Whip||N/A||N/A||N/A||Was replaced with Matterhorn, then Equinox, until the latter ride was removed. The space has no ride to replace it.|
|Wild Mouse||B. A. Schiff & Associates||
||Used wood supports and steel track. The Paratrooper replaced the Wild Mouse and later the Skater attraction.|
||Removed due to mechanical issues.|
- On July 27, 2001, five people riding the Yankee Cannonball roller coaster were injured when two of the ride's trains collided.
- On July 1, 2014, a family of five attacked police officers after they were told they could not carry weapons in the park. Three of the family members were charged with felony riot.
- On August 6, 2016, a stuntman rolled off of a safety net during Canobie Lake Park's "Rocket Man: The Human Cannonball" performance. The stuntman was unharmed, but was brought to an emergency room for an evaluation.
- "Hours". Canobie Lake Park. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- Seed, Douglas, & Khalife, Katherine (1996). Salem, NH. Volume II - Trolleys, Canobie Lake, and Rockingham Park, Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-0438-5.
- "Park History". Canobie Lake Park. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "A Classic New England Amusement Park in Salem, New Hampshire". New England Today.
- "King novel based on Canobie Lake Park". Eagle Tribune. June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Film crew sneaks into Canobie Lake Park". Newburyport News. August 16, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- Cowette, Colleen (June 17, 1990). "Salem's Canobie Lake Park Has Given 80 Years of Fun". New Hampshire Sunday News. Manchester, NH.
- "Coney Island Space Age Icon - will it be destroyed?". Coney Island History Project. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Palisades Amusement Park - Rides and Attractions". Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-01-04.[dead link]
- "CanobieFan - Decommissioned Rides". CanobieFan. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "USA Missile (Canobie Lake Park)". ThrillNetwork LLC. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- Bullock, Joel (24 November 2010). "Canobie Lake Park adds new roller coaster: Untamed in 2011". Gadling. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- Ireland, Doug (July 30, 2014). "Equinox shut down at Canobie Lake Park". Newburyport News. Newburyport, MA.
- "Trolley Parks: Survivors of an Earlier Era". NBC News. June 26, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Canobie Lake's 'Screeemfest' Provides Halloween Scares". CBS Boston.
- "CANOBIE SPECIAL", Boston Globe, April 16, 1989.
- Sandy, Adam. "The Flat Joint". Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- "More sure signs of spring: Canobie Lake Park opens", New Hampshire Sunday News (Manchester, NH), April 29, 2001
- "Our Clients". SkyTrans Manufacturing, LLC. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- Miller-Medzon, Karyn (July 5, 1998). "For your amusement - Region's theme parks have a host of new rides to thrill and chill you". Boston Herald.
- "Canobie's new Castaway Island water complex opens", New Hampshire Union Leader, May 26, 2005
- "Rides have stranded or injured passengers". USA Today. June 1, 2002. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Roller Coaster Accident Injures 19". ABC News. August 6, 2001. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Vt. family allegedly attacks officers at Canobie Lake". Boston Globe. June 17, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- "Probable cause found against 3 accused in Canobie Lake Park melee". WMUR. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- "Canobie Lake stuntman rolls off net, falls 20 feet". WMUR. August 6, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.