TR: Weekend at Dorney & Lake Compounce
Part 2 - Lake Compounce
Lake Compounce 5/20
I promised my sister, Vicky, that I would take her to a park with me sometime
this spring so I figured LC was the perfect place for a relaxing, lazy day with
someone I don't often get to spend much time with. I take her occasionally to
parks with me and LC was a place she enjoyed going to last year.
Well, it was just GREAT to be back to my "other" home park, known now as The
Lake. And what a contrasting day we had in terms of crowds. While the bus loads
piled into Dorney on Saturday, LC could best be described as EMPTY! I was fully
expecting that since The Lake opened its gates for full operation one week
before Memorial Day weekend which is traditionally their opening weekend. My
suspicions were correct. My sister and I arrived at the park just a few minutes
past opening and I quickly got in line for the longest wait of the day- Fun
Pass processing. Purchasing one was quick and painless but getting it processed
was agonizingly slow! For the first time ever, LC is featuring photos on their
passes which will now allow you to enter the park quick and easy instead of
having to go to a ticket booth upon every visit. Gone are the days of
signatures, here today is the start of picture ID's. I like the passes but
having to wait like a half hour when only like 7 people were in front of you on
line is rough. I understand that this system is totally new to them so I'll let
them slide this time. J
While waiting in line, I saw Rob and Bob Vaccarro and then before entering
through the gates I spotted a familiar face I hadn't seen in years- Jamie
Hanson (aka Noodle)!! What a nice surprise! Well, it wasn't really a surprise
then but it was when Jamie e-mailed me earlier in the week to inform me that he
might be at the park on Sunday. Some of you old school RRCers may remember
Jamie who used to be a regular poster a few years back and then fell off the
face of the earth. Well, he's back, graduating from MIT, and expecting to join
the enthusiast ranks once again a bit more this season. Welcome back!
I absolutely adore Lake Compounce and the combination of non-existant crowds
and perfect weather made Sunday an absolutely perfect day to spend there too.
First ride, of course, was on my baby- Boulder Dash. It's odd but I hadn't been
longing as much as I thought I would this season for BD or SFNE's Superman
(which I still haven't hit this season yet). I can't explain it but perhaps
I've been satisfied with all of the other coasters I've been riding. Well,
after my first ride on BD, it made me realize how much I truly did miss it
after all! My God!!! Boulder Dash is just in a class of it's own. Here it is
mid-May and already it's in mid-season form. Freakin scary!!! I really forgot
how great a ride BD is and I'm already checking my calendar which was void of
many LC trips, trying to find out how soon I can return. Folks, there is
AIRTIME everywhere, the laterals are still super strong and the relentless
speed is second to none. There really is no doubt about it when a coaster could
run THAT good at noon on a May Sunday, it's #1 in my book. My first three rides
were in my favorite 3 seats- row 2, followed by the back row, followed by row
1. Each more amazing than the other! My sister loved the rides too and took the
most amount of rides she's ever done on a single coaster in one day - seven!
Heck, I would have done a lot more but I had to take it easy because of her and
I wanted to check out the rest of the park.
From the BD loading platform to strolling around the park, I met up with (even
for just a few brief moments) many faces familiar to LC- Ed and Brian Nelson,
Rob V., Alan C., CoasterSue and Rich, Steven Fox, Jason Perez, Jason Pytka, Peg
and May, Lee Moon, and eventually Chris Lucht. For most of the day, my sister
and I hung with Jamie, Ed, Brian, Rob, Alan and Chris. Certainly a nice group
of people! I was a little bummed though that I didn't see some other LC
regulars like the Armstrongs, the Parmalees, CoasterMike from Waterbury, Tony
Reynolds, Ruz Ozana and a few others. I guess most of them were there on
Well, on to the rest of the park
As usual, the park just looked great! Everything looked fresh, clean and new.
Luckily, things don't change a whole lot throughout the course of the season. I
got two rides on Wildcat which, holy cow, is GLASS SMOOTH this year! (well, in
non-axle seats any way). I assume the last or next to last section of track was
re-tracked during the off-season and now this coaster just kicks butt. I admit,
from the final turn to the station, it was a bit weak but the roughness is
completely GONE! I expect some warming up and improvement in the ride quality
by the middle of the season. LC has really done an amazing job on this ride
though and over the last several years its gone from a ride I didn't enjoy a
whole lot to one which I LOVE now. Wildcat really is a quality woodie that
compliments BD well!
Something happened to Zoomerang over the off-season because it's running
rougher than ever. I typically feel that this boomerang and most of the new
ones are easy to ride and not really rough at all but for some reason, it was a
bit rough on the wheels on my one ride on Sunday. Later in the day, the train
got stuck on the return lift and they ran empties after that. Didn't really
want another ride any way.
Ghost Hunt was fun as usual. The line was the shortest I've ever seen it! They
seem to be having some problems with this ride this year. I saw attendants
having to push one car to start it up and they also have a car with just one
gun. Odd! Any way, my sister and I split games with scores hovering shamelessly
in the 800s. I won the first one by a narrow margin then got killed in the
second. I need to take lessons from Mark and Cindy! LOL
The only other rides we hit were the trolley and train. We were in line for the
PaddleWheel ship but because of the light crowds, it was giving two trips
around the Lake so we didn't want to wait (plus my sister didn't want to be
seen with a life vest on which I still don't understand! LOL). Rob, Ed, Brian
and Jamie all decided to ride the Sky Ride and urged me to do so too. Well, I
almost did but chickened out when my sister and I were next in line. Sorry guys
but I really do dislike that thing!
Lunch was at the Croc Pot of course and Tom Smith would be happy to know that
Taco Salads return once again this year! I had a Taco Salad and a Snickers pie.
Delicious as always!! Everyone else seemed to enjoy their food as well. I would
have liked to have grabbed some Potato Patch fries later but I guess I'll get
the real things at Kennywood this coming weekend.
It was fun to hang with Chris Lucht again who I hadn't seen all season (nor has
many people seen him). Unlike Jamie Hanson who seems to be returning to the
enthusiast ranks, Chris seems content to just hang around the local parks this
year as he has some other things going on in his life. It's strange because of
how enthusiastic Chris had been in the past but I guess I understand his
decision. You MUST go to PPP at least though, Chris!!!
Any way, LC was totally void of crowds on Sunday with everything pretty much a
walk on. BD ran one train and there was never really more than a 5 train wait
at most. Most of the time it was 1 to 2 trains. The Flyers have been removed
and Mammoth Falls now sits in its former location. I spotted the Flyer tubs in
the park's boneyard behind Zoomerang. Hopefully someone who will run them good
will buy them!
All in all, a perfect day at LC. My sister and I left early, around 5:30pm and
got dinner at the Rainforest Caf in the Palisades Center Mall on the way
back. I can't wait to return!
Live to Ride,