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Canobie Lake Park Discussion Thread


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I went to Screeemfest last Friday and have two notes.

 

One, there are no new houses this year. That being said, I found the houses to be much better staffed than last year. The Village in particular was the biggest benefactor. Carnivus is still the park's best haunt by far and it compares favorably to anything Universal puts out.

 

Two, the park opened the Venetian Carousel, the new double-decker carousel. I'm still surprised they added this ride considering they had two other carousels, but it does look nice. Word of advice to adults, the upper horses are very tight fits (your legs will rub against the fence).

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hadn't ridden the Rowdy Roosters yet this year, so I was thinking of giving the birds a ride on Friday. However, I encountered the ride in pieces with a temporarily closed sign.

 

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Normally I'd say Canobie just wanted to get an early start on off-season maintenance, but the ride is no longer listed on the website's attractions page. Meanwhile plenty of other rides that have closed for the season like the Boston Tea Party, Mine of Lost Souls, and Castaway Island are still listed.

 

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I'm sort of suspicious that the roosters may have taken their last flight, but I guess we'll see if the park says anything this off-season.

 

Edit- I checked with the park and the plan is for the Roosters to return after an extensive refurbishment. The Roosters hadn't run in a few months.

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  • 4 months later...

Some updates on Canobie Lake Park from the ACE Great Nor'Easter event:

 

- The Yankee Cannonball is receiving an on-ride photo and shaded queue line for 2020. The park was asked if there were plans to add a second train to the Yankee Cannonball, but they said that isn't in their immediate future since they'd prefer to have invest money into new rides.

 

- There are no immediate plans to remove the Corkscrew. The markings spotted by the ride in past years were to evaluate a spot for the relocated train station that ultimately went behind the park's second kids area on the water.

 

- Rowdy Roosters is being fixed for 2020, but they're unsure if it will be ready for opening day.

 

- The park is looking into adding a sixth haunt. Neither the theme nor location is known at this time.

 

- Tribute to Bruno is being replaced by Tribute to the Jonas Brothers.

 

- The park was asked why they don't currently have a Christmas event and they said they'd love to have one someday, but they first need to upgrade the park's infrastructure and utilities that aren't designed for winter. Any new addition they make will take that into consideration if they one day do have a winter event.

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^ Well other than the Rooster news and on-ride photos, all those other things have been stated for years now lol

 

Hopefully 2020 brings another mid-season thrill flat ride or a teaser to a major attraction for 2021. The coaster line-up has been stale for a while now, with Untamed and Yankee being their only stand out roller coasters.

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Agreed. The water park has proven to be a big success for the park, it would be shocking to see them not announce the corkscrews closure either this coming season or next. That spot could easily house another lazy river, pool and a couple water slide towers. I think the best place for their next coaster is the Tall Timber Splash spot with it flowing into their side parking lot.

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^ I agree Tall Timber Splash is sort of redundant now with the water park. Although I wouldn't be surprised if their next big dry park addition goes on the other side of the park where the river rapids ride was supposed to go.

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  • 2 months later...

Canobie is targeting to reopen on Thursday July 16 per their Facebook page. Reservations will be required. And all season passes were extended through the 2021 season.

 

I did notice that Canobie dramatically cut their hours. They don't appear to have Screeemfest planned this year and the park is open 10:30-6 pm everyday. Typically Canobie closes at 9 or 10 pm daily. The biggest issue with the shortened season is that the basic season pass is blocked out all weekends in July and August. I'm hoping they revisit this policy for the 2020 season since the reservation system should cut down on their fear of overcrowding the park. For people such as myself that planned to visit after work or early/late in the season, the modified hours could make it hard to use the pass in 2020, but I get these are unique times.

 

WE HAVE AN OPENING DATE! That’s right folks, we’re back! Canobie Lake Park is targeting Thursday, July 16th as opening day for 2020! We are spending this time preparing the Park for our new normal. Please understand that this will include new policies, procedures, online reservations, and health & safety protocols designed to create a safe space where families & friends may enjoy their time together in an open-air, outdoor environment.

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^ Where did you see that? The site I've been using doesn't mention any quarantine entering New Hampshire.

 

My biggest issue is the self quarantine upon returning to Massachusetts from any state. I'm willing to do it for a more distant park/longer trip, but I'm not willing to do that after a daytrip to my local park. So I'll wait until Massachusetts lifts that restriction.

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^ Where did you see that? The site I've been using doesn't mention any quarantine entering New Hampshire.

 

My biggest issue is the self quarantine upon returning to Massachusetts from any state. I'm willing to do it for a more distant park/longer trip, but I'm not willing to do that after a daytrip to my local park. So I'll wait until Massachusetts lifts that restriction.

 

It's in the amusement park reopening guidelines from Sununu that were sent out yesterday. That and rides have to be deep cleaned every two hours and riders have to sit 6 feet apart, so that means Cannonball will probably have like 6-10 riders per train lol.

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Domestically (within the U.S.) outside of NH, VT, or ME on public transportation (e.g., bus, train, plane, etc.)?

 

In the reopening guidelines, the restriction is if you've been on public transportation outside of NH, VT, or ME. So it looks like Massachusetts residents can go if they aren't using the MBTA to get to work.

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Domestically (within the U.S.) outside of NH, VT, or ME on public transportation (e.g., bus, train, plane, etc.)?

 

In the reopening guidelines, the restriction is if you've been on public transportation outside of NH, VT, or ME. So it looks like Massachusetts residents can go if they aren't using the MBTA to get to work.

 

The place I read it removed the "public transportation" part (probably intentionally) but this is still a significant portion of their clientele. Not that anyone would admit to using public transportation if asked anyway.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I recently came across an old photo of the Yankee Cannonball in its former location at Lakewood Park in Waterbury, Connecticut. I knew Canobie had to modify the ride when they relocated it, but I didn't realize they had to remove (at least) the small bunny hill after the first drop. And I also didn't realize the ride was on a hill in its old location.

 

On the bright side, the pullout from the first drop is much smoother now. It looks like it'd be a back breaker in its old location.

 

I found the photo at the following website:

 

freepages.rootsweb.com/~shepaug/history/amusement/lakewood.html

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Canobie Lake Park opened for the 2020 season last week. Canobie is taking many of the similar precautions we've seen of other parks. That includes:

 

- Reservations with a timed entry.

- Rows skipped on attractions.

- Periodic cleaning of the ride vehicles.

- Health screening questionnaire and temperature screenings.

- Masks required in the park.

- Social distancing in the queue lines.

 

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Canobie's gorgeous entrance is blocked for 2020, but it's all in the name of safety.

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The water park has a separate capacity cap from the rest of the park, so you may have to wait in line to enter on a hot day.

 

Canobie is going beyond other parks on the last 3 items. The health screening questionnaire is similar to the ones at the Herschend and Cedar Fair parks, except there is also a question if you've been on public transportation recently. That includes planes (hence why I had to wait a few days to visit) and Boston's subway system.

 

To enforce mask wearing and social distancing, all of the popular rides (coasters and water rides) have an employee roaming the queue line telling people to put their masks on/pull them above their noses or to step back to give groups 6 feet of space. In general, mask and social distancing compliance at Canobie far exceeded most of the parks I visited in the midwest.

 

Roughly 1/3 of the park's rides were closed. All of the indoor attractions were closed, although I did see an employee atop the Turkish Twist presumably being trained. And several other rides hadn't been assembled yet for the season. That included favorites like Star Blaster, Caterpillar, and the Rowdy Roosters. The Xtreme Frisbee was also closed, but that very well could have been for mechanical reasons knowing how unreliable it has become.

 

Canobie has a status page on their website they plan to update daily, so definitely check back if there's a specific ride you want to see open.

 

https://www.canobie.com/updates/

 

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Those seats look comfy.

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Hopefully the Roosters will fly at some point in 2020.

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Dodgem had some plastic tarps added around the arena.

 

One of the park's planned projects for 2020 was a new shaded queue line for the Yankee Cannonball. Unfortunately, this queue was not finished for the start of the season. The framework was set-up, but the coverings were not added. On the bright side, this allowed Canobie to create a custom, temporary queue for the season that accounted for social distancing.

 

And those familiar with the park may notice the fountain in front of the Yankee Cannonball is not present this year, presumably so they had more space to route the coaster's queue line.

 

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This should look a lot better next year.

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No fountain in 2020, but there's a cool aerial shot of the park hanging on the wall instead.

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I believe the building to the left of the Yankee Cannonball is where they will sell the on-ride photos they planned to install on Yankee Cannonball for the 2020 season.

 

With social distancing, it was hard to gauge the queue lines for some of the more popular rides. Obviously this could change based on dispatch speed/when the cleanings occur, but in general here are the wait times for the marquee attractions if you see a full queue.

 

Yankee Cannonball- 40 minutes (every other row)

Untamed- 20 minutes (queue consists of only 1 switchback, one party per car)

Canobie Corkscrew- 15 minutes (entire queue used, but it's spaced out more)

Boston Tea Party- 40 minutes (only front and back row of boat being loaded, one boat in use)

 

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I recognized the Yankee Cannonball staff from last year, so they were quickly dispatching trains. The queue just moved slowly due to the reduced capacity and one train operations.

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Untamed rarely stacks, which was much appreciated with the reduced capacities.

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Watch your head on the cutback.

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I love the birch bark themed supports.

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The Boston Tea Party gets people soaked. It gets phones even wetter if you break park rules and lose your phone in the water.

 

Hopefully Canobie can reopen a few more rides in the coming weeks, but I'm just thankful they reopened. And with the precautions they have taken, they are among the best parks I've seen for enforcing safety among guests.

 

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Say hello to the safety squad. They roam down the midway blasting music from the Antique Car while also spraying disinfectant.

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One positive of the reservation system is that Canobie called to let anyone with a reservation for tomorrow know that they are closing the park due to the bad weather forecast. That makes my life a lot easier since I was going to have to keep an eye on the website to see if they even opened or closed early.

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I love the birch bark themed supports.

 

Those are really cool. Coincidentally or not, it's sort of a Eurofighter thing, isn't it? Duinrell's got wood-painted supports on Falcon, which are also quite nice, but I've spent a lot of time in NH so I really like the birch version.

 

The phone in the water made me chuckle.

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^ Canobie also has the birch themed supports on their Sky Ride. I think they added that touch the year Untamed opened.

 

I've never been to Duinrell, but that doesn't surprise me since that's a heavily wooded park from the photos I've seen.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a trip report from a couple weeks ago:

 

Date: Sunday, August 30th

 

Background: Tuesday through Sunday the 30th was supposed to be one of two roadtrips for us for the summer. This one taking us to Darien Lake, Waldameer, Conneaut Lake, and ending at Cedar Point before the return trip. Obviously Covid did that in. Conneaut and Darien didn't open and Cedar Point had some rides closed, but the nail in the coffin was when Ohio was added to the NY two week quarantine list.

 

We salvaged the vacation by exploring the Maine mid-coast, mostly Rockland and Camden, and kept a coaster component by reserving a spot at Canobie Lake Park where we had never been for Saturday, August 29th. The park was basically on our route anyway. However, the park did not open that day so we took the somewhat bold step of switching it to Sunday. This is despite the fact that we still had a seven hour drive home after the park and work the next morning, but I couldn't live without getting at least something in. Unfortunately, this did make the visit more of a credit grab than I like to do as we were pressed for time, but we got to visit nonetheless.

 

Experience: First impressions were great. They organized the entry into the park pretty well and while the reservation system was a little clunky, it worked. Ours was 10:45 if I remember right. The park is very pretty upon entry. It has a small, intimate feel. Colorful, mostly fresh looking paint popped everywhere and looked great against all the foliage. A lot of the flats had some sort of simple, consistent little self contained theme that looked nice.

 

I figured we had a little time, so I let my 10 year old ride some flats. He got on Ice Jet with my wife and the flyers by himself while she recovered from the spinning. I don't do much spinning myself. Ice Jet got good reviews from a 10 year old, but the flyers he didn't like compared to the ones he rode at Holiday World in June. My only real disappointment was finding out that their classic, hand carved carousel is indoors and therefore closed. I mean it makes sense on both accounts, so no complaints, but of course I would like to have seen it.

 

Next we decided it was time to get the credits and found an extremely long line for Yankee Cannonball stretching way, way out into the midway. We were hoping that it was more an illusion than anything else because of all the spacing in it, but with one train ops and only a max of ten passengers per train (barring a super big party that could sit together), it wasn't. We also realized later in the line that there must be some sort of fast pass system because people coming up the exit (I think it was the exit) would sometimes take over trains and the main line wouldn't move at all. We waited two hours for a little family woodie, but I was getting my credits damnit!

 

One thing we were very impressed about in the line were the social distancing and mask enforcement. Staff constantly had guests move around and had people put masks back up over their noses. One pair of teenagers ahead of us got pretty consistent attention with this. Unfortunately that wouldn't hold true throughout the park, but it was a good start.

 

When we finally got on the ride, I was relieved to find the time wasn't completely wasted. What a fun little woodie. I am sure the fact that I hadn't ridden anything since early June contributed to how much I liked it and it isn't some great ride by any means, but it is a fun race to the parking lot and back. There was some light airtime and it paced itself pretty well. By the end of the day I realized it was the best of the three rollercoasters in the park.

 

Next up was Untamed. This is where the social distancing fell apart. In that line, which did not spread out of its queue, there were a couple faded stickers on the ground in the last two switchback rows and that was it. No enforcement and social distancing relied on how close people felt like getting to you. I was looking forward to the ride still and it didn't bother me that much. One thing unrelated that did bother me was a pair of dogs. There were two waiting for people in line. One was clearly a traditional service dog, a Golden Retriever, and it was perfect. The other was a small, terrier type dog that barked its head off whenever it could see the service dog. I hate to see people abusing the support animal system like that to bring their pet in, of course, but come on man. If you're going to do that, then have some respect while in the park at least. Just move around the corner to a different bench so it can't see the service dog. I imagine that must be stressful for the service dog dutifully doing its job even though it is trained not to respond.

 

When I wasn't being distracted by the barking dog, I was first admiring how pretty the Eurofighter in front of me was. The detail work of painting the supports like birch trees was wonderful and the bear trains were pretty too. Unfortunately staring at the track also created the realization that this was going to be a rough ride. That thing SWAYS with each ride. The whole course moves a ton as the trains pass through it. Unfortunately after maybe a half hour in line, it delivered the ride it looked like it would too. For me, it wasn't that bad. The first drop was good fun and I liked the layout. It was pretty damn violent and beat up my shoulders, but I still enjoyed it overall. My kid did too. My poor wife, however, got her head all banged around and she was out for the day with a headache.

 

I really just wanted to get the last credit anyway though so that didn't kill my day. We got some water for all of us, ice cream for them, and she went to the car. My son and I then proceeded on to their Arrow Corkscrew model for credit #149. That took about 40 minutes in line, I'd say, and it was the experience you'd expect. Spoilers: It was bad. But I will say two good things: 1) The setting is very pretty. The ride looks great and you get some good views from the lift. 2) Knowing their days overall are numbered even if a ride like this in a smaller park will probably outlast most of them, I do get a nostalgic sort of pleasure from them still. So it was was mostly forceless except for banging my head around, but I am still glad to have gotten the chance to experience it. I also sort of enjoyed and sort of was mortified by my kid's reaction to another kid his age exiting the ride. The other kid told his presumably mother that it was a 10/10 ride and my son just thought it was the funniest thing that someone could love one of these. I have made a mini-coaster snob.

 

We exited the park without incident, found the already cooled car, and took off.

 

Final Thoughts: First and foremost, I owe the park something closer to a full day. I can't really review the park as a whole with only a few hours of credit whoring, but I can say it is a charming place with a pretty aesthetic and a nice looking collection of flats. There is little reason to visit if you're only into coasters, but I did enjoy the ambiance. We also didn't step foot in the small water park.

 

My number one priority would be fixing Untamed, if possible. I think the fact that it should be the flagship attraction at the park but had the shortest line of the three coasters speaks volumes. I get why the small woodie might have a longer line as the family friendly choice, but Untamed didn't really have better capacity than either and shouldn't be outdrawn by an old Arrow corkscrew model. I can only assume there is a connection between the massive swaying of the track and the roughness too, so I would be curious to explore whether adding a handful of strategic new supports would help with the poor ride experience.

 

Beyond that, all I can say is that I look forward to a visit in a post-vaccine world where we can take our time a bit and really let our kid ride everything in the next couple years before he gets too old to want to do the flats. The park is right on our way to both Boston and/or Maine, so it pairs nicely with non-coaster trips too.

 

tldr: Go if you appreciate small, regional parks and want to make a slow paced day of it. Go if are a credit whore as there are three there. Don't go if you only go to parks for good, high end attractions like big coasters. They aren't good enough to justify the trip versus any number of other parks.

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