Saturday, September 24, 2011

Impression: Quassy/Lake Compounce

To be honest, I never had much of an interest in Quassy until they added Wooden Warrior. To me, it seemed a little lame, with nothing more than two rickety old coasters and some standard kiddie rides. I'll be frank and say that I only spent an hour there, so this is really going to be more of a Wooden Warrior Impression. What I did see of the park looked nice, however. I really would have liked to try some of the rides if I had had time, but we only had a short amount of time. I'll quickly summarize my experience on Little Dipper as rough and unpleasant, and now I'll move on to Wooden Warrior.

This was really the reason we came. This would be my first Gravity Group coaster, and I wanted to try out the Timberliners to see if they were as nice as the company was making them out to be. Naturally, this was where we headed first upon entering the park. Despite a full parking lot, there was no more than a 5 minute wait, so I eagerly took the front row and waited the extra cycle or two. First of all, the trains look great. They're very different, but they still look classy in their own unique way. Sitting down in them feels great, and you can instantly tell that you're in for a smooth ride.

We were out of the station in less than a minute, and up the lift hill. Not much of a climb, as we were soon at the top. After the nice little dip, we hurtled down the deceptively large drop and into a little turn. We hit some good airtime in here, before entering the turnaround in the tunnel and riding through another stretch of bunny hills on the way back. Just one short hop around the station, a turn, and we hit the break run. It's a very short ride, but it is a lot of fun. The ride is wonderfully smooth, the drop is surprisingly thrilling, and the airtime is really good also. Definitely a winner for Quassy, and a top-ten woodie for me.

We finished up with a ride on Little Dipper and headed out. Within half an hour or so, I could see Lake Compounce over the tree line. It took another 15 minutes or so to get into the place though, as our navigation didn't know where it was and the parking lot was completely full. The park is hidden back in the trees, which makes it kind of odd not to see it from the parking lot.

Within a few minutes, we had purchased our tickets and were inside the park. Directly in front of us was Wildcat, and the rest of the park seemed to be built around it. We started by going to the right to try to get a ride on Kiddie Coaster and Zoomerang. I wanted to get Kiddie Coaster out of the way, but unfortunately I was too tall to ride without a child. The humiliation began as I struggled to find a person that would let me ride with their kid. Fortunately I did find a nice little girl to ride with, and it was her first time as well. There's not much to say about the coaster though - frankly, it was a little rough but not nearly as bad as Little Dipper. Moving on...

When we arrived at Zoomerang, we were greeted with a closed ride. Ugh. We walked back down past Revolution, the new Disk-O that we happily skipped, and this time went the other way around Wildcat. The waterpark looked like a lot of fun, but it was too cold to stop and check it out. We did, however, stop to take advantage of the free soft drinks, which was very nice! Wildcat's line was not, however, and I reluctantly committed to waiting 30 minutes for a coaster that didn't turn out to be that good. The way they were running it was so that I didn't have much choice in where I sat. I ended up somewhere near the middle, if I remember correctly. As we departed the station, I could immediately feel the coaster shuffling and it was already a little rough. We reached the top of the lift pretty quickly, and we immediately took off into this pile of wood. The drop and turnaround weren't particularly good, there was no airtime on any of the following hills. Wildcat is a below-average coaster. The ride itself is not very exciting, and then when you add the roughness, you really start to wonder why you rode it.

I needed to ride Zoomerang next in order to make Boulder Dash my 150th coaster. I was beginning to get a little worried, however, that I hadn't seen Boulder Dash running yet, so we stopped by the entrance to the ride where a small crowd had gathered. From what we heard, the ride was shut down because some idiot had decided to throw a cigarette down near the ride. They were in the process of making sure there wouldn't be any problems.

Not wanting to sit around wait, we headed down the hill towards Zoomerang. We passed Enterprise and a really nice looking Pirate Ship, and were greeted at the entrance with a short 15 minute wait. I could deal with that, but luckily they needed a single rider, so I got on in about 10. Maybe it was just me, but Zoomerang was a lot of fun. Like, more so than most boomerangs. Maybe the drop really got me, but it seemed faster, more intense, and (dare I say it) smoother than most. It's still not a marquee attraction, but definitely better than Kiddie Coaster or Wildcat. Fortunately, just up the hill was American Flyers, which I really wanted to try. It was my first time riding a Flyers ride, and I was excited. Once the ride got going I managed to get the hang of the flap thing. I couldn't quite get it to snap, but it was really moving.

We had to start wrapping it up after that, as it was getting later and we had already bought tickets to Harry Potter later that evening. Boulder Dash was next and would be my 150th coaster - that is, if it was open. As we reached the top of the hill, the full queue told me that it was not only running, but would probably be the last ride of the night. I would have liked to get a ride in the back row, but my single ride in the front would do. The lift hill is surprisingly tall for being a terrain coaster, but we were at the top soon enough. After a short dip and turn, we took off down that swooping drop, pulling up at the bottom and flying up over the lift and past the station. Oh my god, this ride is fast! We jogged around the hills a bit, but the best part was yet to come. We soared over the following hills, hitting extreme ejector airtime on each and every one. This is how a wooden coaster should feel. After going on for what seemed like forever, we slowed down a bit and turned around, before entering the last stretch of bunny hills before the station. I was out of my seat the whole time, and as we slammed into the break run my mouth was dry and my hair a mess. This is the best wooden roller coaster I've been on, and quite possibly better than my top steel coasters. This was everything a coaster should be - intense and airtime filled, fast and long. I'm going to have a very hard time finding a coaster that tops Boulder Dash.

As we got off the ride, I headed down towards the bunny hill section to try to snap some pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't get any as the ride shut down again. Lucky us - we just barely made it on! The last stop of the night was Potato Patch, which somehow I forgot about at Kennywood. We tried the regular kind, and they were pretty good. In my book, they weren't quite as amazing as some have said, but they were good and fresh, and the perfect way to end the day. I think it's fairly obvious that Boulder Dash was the highlight of the trip. Wooden Warrior was a very good second, and Zoomerang was great fun as well. Both parks are so cute and quaint, the atmosphere is amazing. I absolutely can't wait to visit both Quassy and Lake Compounce again!

Overall Quassy Rating: 7/10 Stars
Overall Lake Compounce Rating: 8.5/10 Stars

To view all Quassy Photos, click here.
To view all Lake Compounce Photos, click here.


Steven Potts said...

Awesome Impression! I was excited to read your review of Wooden Warrior because it is visually underwhelming (in my opinion) but is getting consistently great reviews, so I guess you can't judge a book by its cover after all!

Also, I'm jealous you got a great ride on Boulder Dash! Looks like an airtime express in POV videos!

Wynn said...

Thanks! I know it doesn't look like much, but it was really a lot of fun! Boulder Dash should be a mandatory coaster for all enthusiasts!

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