Sunday, August 12, 2012

Road Trip! Canobie Lake Park - Part 2

My 2012 Road Trip continues with the second half of a look at Canobie Lake Park.  I enjoyed the park so much that I needed to break the story into two sections to cover everything fully - check out Part 1 here if you missed it.

Prim and proper section of the park.
I remember seeing the drawings for Canobie's waterfront expansion that was themed to the colonial era way back in 1997 before it opened, and thinking the area looked impressive.  Sure, it took me well over a decade to see it, but I was pleased to find that the area was equally nice in person.

A wonderfully themed area of the park.
The small themed area was built to renovate a section of the waterfront property, but the star of the area was the Boston Tea Party Shoot-the-Chute ride.  Above is a look down the walkway that runs in front of the splash ride, giving an idea of the theming the park has created.

Don't ride if you do not want to get wet!
The actual ride makes quite a splash.  I know that's the point of these rides, but some have their water level adjusted so the splash is a little "meh," but not the Boston Tea Party.  Just check out the before and after shot above!  The drop has a clear tube over it to help shield neighbors homes' across the lake from screaming riders.

Classic looping action.
Another of the park's larger roller coasters is the Canobie Corkscrew, a production model Arrow designed looper - one of the first in fact.  It originally operated at Old Chicago in 1975, then spent some time at the Alabama Fairgrounds, and finally was moved to Canobie in 1987.  The ride starts with a short lift, followed by a U-turn, then a plunge to the ground.  After another turn the corkscrew part of the ride kicks in.

Through the corkscrew they go!
And she's a doozy.  These Corkscrew rides were never known for being all that comfortable to ride, and this one is right in line with that.  Still, it's a piece of history and I certainly wasn't going to pass it up!  The ride currently has blue track on some parts outside the corkscrew - I'm not sure if this is a completed look or something that's continuing over several years?

Especially popular on hot Summer days.
Another addition that's more recent is Castaway Island, a large waterplay structure that was tucked into the corner of the property.  Canobie doesn't offer a full water park of any type, but you wouldn't know it from the amount of guests that arrive in swim suits and camp out at Castaway Island all day!  As with most attractions at the park, there's plenty of quirky theming to add to the experience.

Cornfields are creepy, indeed.
I'm not too familiar with the Halloween event that the park puts on, but I was impressed to see that they were actually taking the time to grow a whole corn field in order to present a new haunt - Terror In The Corn.  The overall event is named Screeeamfest and takes place all over the park, with several other haunted houses and shows.

Perfect for taking a relaxing stroll.
As we continued exploring the park we came across the area that's a combination of rustic and Western themed.  There are no themed "lands" at Canobie, the different themes just blend together as you go.  With all the mature trees in the area this section was especially great, with lots of areas to explore.

Enter the mine if you dare!
One of the treats of the park for me was the Mine of Lost Souls, a classic style dark ride.  The story line was sort of bizarre and hard to follow, but it was fun nevertheless.  The ride is spooky at best, meaning that even though it might look scary, kids certainly won't come out crying.  It is refreshing to find a real dark ride like this at a smaller park, kudos to Canobie for creating it!

As with most days on this trip it was about time for an afternoon thunderstorm and downpour, but that didn't stop my photo taking.  While we hid under the cover of the Dodgem building I realized just how cool the sign for the ride is.

It is fun to see what theming the park has come up with.
Earlier I wrote about how each ride at the park has its own theming of some sort, further enriching the atmosphere of the park.  Here are two great examples of that.  Up top is Wipeout, a pretty simple flat ride, but it has fake palm trees, a huge 3-D sign, and a massive entry structure - all tropically themed.  Below is the Xtreme Frisbee, a spinning pendulum ride, with its edgy scaffolding at the entrance and artwork throughout.

The loading area for Canobie's log flume.
I knew beforehand that Canobie had a log flume that I wanted to check out, above is a photo of the elaborate saw mill themed station for it.  Sadly that annoying thunderstorm delayed my trip into the woods for quite some time, but in the end I persevered.  I was not letting the weather do another Alpine Bobsled on me!

Down you go!  Splash!
And I'm really glad I waited.  The log flume takes you out under the immense trees in a channel carved into the ground, not in a trough above it.  There's a small cave you pass through, and more rapids than on most flumes.  In the end you still head up a lift and splash down into the pool seen above, but a slight misting is about as wet as you get.

Ahh, yes, a classic Schmeck.
Canobie Lake Park's wooden coaster is named the Yankee Cannonball, and was designed by Herbert Schmeck.  It stretches out into the parking area in a giant L shape.  It's not super tall or super fast, but it's a great ride.  Its size makes it a wonderful starter ride for families with younger kids - I'm sure this one has been the first rollercoater ride for many in the New England area.

Having a good time on the Cannonball.
The train carries just enough speed that there is some light air-time at the top of several hills, but the Yankee Cannonball is more about having a great time than hitting riders with extreme forces.  Take note of the little kid in the front seat with who I would guess is his Dad - perfect coaster moment!

No guessing on what this stand sells.
I already showed the quirky theming that many rides have, but that practice is extended to the food stands here, as well.  Here's the popcorn stand.  Did you guess that beforehand?  There's also some other giant foods around, you can be sure you'll know where they sell hot dogs for instance.

Bye Canobie, and thanks for being awesome!
It's pretty clear at this point that I really enjoyed my visit to Canobie Lake Park.  It goes without saying that if you ever have to opportunity to visit I'd jump on it fast.

We still have one park left from out trip, watch for that this week!


Unknown said...

That photo of the blue track on the Corkscrew is interesting; I admit I didn't look closely at it when I was there in May, but I know it wasn't there last summer.

Anonymous said...

The ride was in the middle of being repainted. It's all in the blue/green scheme now.