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Funtown Spashtown Discussion Thread


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  • 3 weeks later...

Funtown USA will not be opening for the 2020 season and if the pandemic extends into 2021, they fear they'll have to close for good.

 

No splashdown at Funtown this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic

 

Owners of Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco say the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic has forced closure, which will break its six decades-long opening string

 

SACO, Maine — One of the largest amusement parks, and employer of teenage workers in Maine is not planning on opening its gates this summer, due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.

 

After 60 consecutive years, the Funtown Splashtown USA will not operate this summer, according to the park's owner, Kevin Cormier.

 

The decision to remain closed was made earlier Wednesday due to evolving state COVID-19 protocols, which include the limitation on large gatherings through June - and at the national level – the impacts on hiring temporary workers through the J-1 Visa program.

 

For those reasons, the Funtown Splashtown would not be ready to open in time.

 

The park has been a mainstay attraction in Maine since the 1960s.

 

The history, according to the Funtown Splashtown website, "In 1960, on a then remote stretch of U.S. Route 1 in Saco, Maine, Ken and Violet Cormier opened Marvel Drive In, a drive in restaurant. Ken’s brother-in-law, Andre Dallaire opened a mini-golf course next to Marvel Drive-In in 1959. In 1963, Andre opened a Go-kart track behind his mini golf course, and in 1964 Ken added batting cages and an archery range behind Marvel Drive In. Over the course of the next few years, Cormier and Dallaire added several kiddie and carnival-style rides including SkySlides and Swinging Gyms. A gift shop was also opened. In 1967, Cormier and Dallaire form a partnership and Funtown USA is born, adding a “Zipper”, outdoor bumper cars, Merry-Go-Round, and the “Luv Machine” (Bayun Kurve). The Zipper was located where the Cash Cube is now. The outdoor bumper cars where replaced by the bumper car building. If you look at the area around the bumper cars, you can still see the original concrete pad for the outdoor bumper cars. The “Luv Machine” was only at the park a short time, and was located where the Red Baron Planes are now."

 

Current owner Kevin Cormier told NEWS CENTER Maine, if the pandemic lasts into 2021, Funtown Splashtown may be forced to close for good.

 

 

https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/no-splashdown-at-funtown-this-summer-due-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic/97-a745e832-3c09-4785-a2d5-0d996e301181

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  • 2 years later...

Somehow today was my first time ever visiting Funtown. I feel like I've been reading about Excalibur for 20 years and kept telling myself I would drive up but just haven't ended up making the trip until today.

Due to poor staffing, the park is only open until 6 for all but three "fireworks days" this summer, today being one of the three. I knew I wanted night rides on Excalibur, so I decided to brave what I knew would be a very busy day (especially with gorgeous weather) in order to guarantee myself night rides.

Arrived around 5:30 and decided to head right over to Excalibur and that's when I learned the layout of this place is really damn messed up. Despite parking right next to it and the entrance not being far away, you have to basically walk around the perimeter of the park to the very end to get to it. I was reminded of Dinky Park on RCT when you have to start building paths over rides because you literally have to walk through a French Fry restaurant, over the Antique Cars, and through the Log Flume entrance to get back to Excalibur.

After finally getting to the thing we were greeted with 3 lines, one for the back, one for all of the middle, and one for the front. All three were about even and we figured that meant the front and back lines would be stupid long, so we ended up dead center in the train. The operations on this ride are painfully slow (minimum 4 minutes on each load) with one train. Then some dipsh*t threw a basketball onto the tracks which took even more time (there were a LOT of knuckleheads in this park tonight) but finally we got on and my first impression from the middle was that it was decently smooth with some floater air moments and good laterals, including a whiplashing second turn which caught me off guard. I've seen people compare it to Legend and I have to agree, it's just much more out in the woods obviously.

Got the flume credit next. This is one of the few rides in this park with a somewhat normal capacity, so despite the queue being almost full I was on in 10 minutes or so. This remained me of Canobie's flume but only 1 hill. Lots of fast low to the ground action. Very minor splashdown but there were 6 water cannons that were getting a LOT of use and there was no escaping getting drenched by those. Overall a thumbs up for the flume.

Went to get the other credit in this park, the Wild Mouse. Standard Maurer-Sohne layout, only this one runs THREE cars on the whole damn track. So yeah, the line crawls but after 15 minutes we enjoyed the standard mousy affair.

After a quick dinner at the chicken place next to the Mouse, I got in the full queue for the Astrodome. It was about a 3 cycle wait. Not bad, right? Well, when they're running THIRTEEN MINUTE load times, it's bad. I know most of the ops are kind of new and all, but god damn. You go into a room where they go over this long schpiel (....for a Scrambler) then you finally get on the thing and after they check your bar 3 times, it finally starts. Can't complain about the music choice (Fire on High by ELO) and the bizarre projections were interesting, but this is the second slowest Scrambler I've ever ridden (the SFNE edition runs in Grandma mode, I swear) and the building doesn't really get that dark. I remember liking PsychoDrome at Canobie a lot better. When it's over, they make everyone stand in a group before leading you through the exit (which is like 10 feet away) leaving you wondering where the last 45 minutes of your life went.

Went up front to hit Dragon's Descent, an S&S turbo drop. 20 minute wait but thankfully this thing had way more normal load times than the rest of the park. It was 9:00 by then so headed back to Excalibur to finish with some night rides. The fireworks started at 9:30 so on my first ride they were going off to our,right while going up the lift. Rode in the front row of the back car which provided some great air on the first couple drops. This thing has Beast-style total darkness on most of the layout and the disorienting nature of the second half is really awesome at night.

Had time for one more ride so rode in the second row and the first couple turnaround hills absolutely launch you to the stratosphere. Then you get a couple more ejector air moments and strong laterals all in total darkness. Just a damn good coaster and glad I finally got here to ride it. If only they could do something about the ~200 rider per hour throughput.

Park was closed after that so headed out to the clusterf*ck of a parking lot which took 45 minutes to get out of. This place is worth visiting just for Excalibur alone. But the operations can be mind numbingly bad in some aspects and it was only made worse by a big holiday crowd. Hopefully they can kind of get that under control a bit. Canobie is a vastly better park but Excalibur blows away anything in that park. But if you're ever in northern NE, hit both in the same day!

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My boy and I went out of our way to go to Funtown last summer on our New England trip just for Excalibur. Had seen pictures and watched videos for years and wanted to ride it before age really started to take its toll on it. We absolutely loved the ride! Great air and laterals. We only had a little amount of time there after opening, so we didn't get night rides, but I can imagine that they would be amazing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just went there last week and had a great time.  Excalibur was really fun as always.  It's fascinating just watching the structure sway as the train rolls on the tracks.  It was swaying quite a bit!  At least 6 inches.

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