The four worst lines in the park are Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Ghost Hunt, and the flume. Boulder Dash usually peaks at 20-30 minutes on a weekend (a full queue is 45 minutes). Wildcat and Saw Mill Plunge are typically a half hour minimum due to their capacity.
There are two approaches. Option 1 is to go straight to Boulder Dash at opening. Since the park allows rerides, you should be able to stay on for several rides without getting off. However, Boulder Dash is far and away a front row ride and I guarantee you will have to switch to a different row after your first ride.
Option 2 is to hit Wildcat, Ghost Hunt, and Saw Mill Plunge first before they get lines. You can grab a ride on Boulder Dash on the way too. While you probably will have to queue for each ride on Boulder Dash later in the day, you can get the front row more.
As for how Boulder Dash is running, it's definitely an aggressive ride. In a wheel seat, it can be pretty shaky on the wrong day. In the front, it's fairly smooth. That setting combined with the speed and laterals makes it special to me. If the park is open after the sun sets, make sure you ride it at night. It's one of the best night rides in the world.
For food in the park, I like the Potato Patch fries and Pink's. They're expensive, but good. If you'd rather eat outside the park, Kizl's is quite good. You probably will pass it when you get off the highway.
If you've never been, you will also be 20 minutes from Quassy. Wooden Warrior is a great, little ride.
Unfortunately our trip Sunday was a real mixed bag.
The good: definitely a neat, historic, classic NE park.
The bad: crowded, most lines were 45 minutes or so.
Wildcat was unbelievably rough for a coaster that size. I think my wife suffered a minor concussion riding it, or Boulder Dash. She was unable to ride most of the coasters at SFNE the next day due to headaches.
It's unbelievable that they were running single trains on both woodies on an unbelievably crowded Sunday, and both coasters were among the worst I've ever ridden in terms of maintenance and how much they battered the rider.
(This coming from someone who is a veteran of woodies all over the USA, and likes rugged rides as long as they aren't pointless... Big fan of the Luna Park Cyclone, and the old Riverside Cyclone, for example.)
It was pretty clear that there was a stuck wheel or other issues with the train they were running on Boulder Dash, lots of squealing and jumpy behavior from the third or fourth car.
The other Boulder Dash train wasn't even on the transfer track, and there was a crane next to the ride, suggesting it's off somewhere getting repaired... which they should hurry up, given it's mid August, and the train they are running clearly has issues too.
I can see where Boulder Dash with a properly functioning train and with correct maintenance might be a top five woodie. The setting was awesome, the layout had serious potential, and it was fun. That said, in the condition it's in, I can't even put it in the top twenty or so. Ugh.
It was nice to be in that environment, with the rides and the forest and the lake and the people, but the lines sucked, and the condition of the woodies depressing.
I'm sorry you didn't have the best day at Lake Compounce. It's an incredibly rare event (it needs to be a completely full queue) for them to even consider running a second train on Boulder Dash. It is weird the second train wasn't on the transfer track though.
As for the ride experience, you aren't the first to come away thinking it was brutal. Did you happen to ride it in the very front at all?
Wildcat is brutal both from a queuing and ride perspective. Both got worse when the ride was renovated a few years ago. I don't know if that ride can even run two trains.
Wildcat was brutal, and yes, I was floored that it was in that condition considering it was retracked recently. I have no idea how that happens, especially with the train that is on it... normally that train is quite forgiving.
You are correct that Wildcat doesn't seem to be set up for two train operation (no transfer track) but it easily could run two trains as there's a break run before the loading area as well as the lift hill i.e. it could block for two trains and you could simply have both on there all the time. Ridiculous to have a 45 minute wait on a day that wasn't really all that crowded.
I did not ride Boulder Dash in the front, and I didn't think it was all that bad in terms of the frantic nature of the ride but there were whole sections of track that because of zero lubrication and the stuck wheel(s) that the train failed to get any negative Gs at all even though the layout should have provided them. I don't mind a rugged ride when that is the intent, I get frustrated when I see a ride that is rugged in places where it should be providing airtime.
The unfortunate part on Boulder Dash is that it's just lazy lack of maintenance. I did not get any sense that the track was out of gauge or that it needed rework. It was simply the combination of lack of regular lubrication plus stuck wheel(s) on the train.
There was no sign of the blue train anywhere and a crane next to the transfer track.
Anyhow this all now has me worried about Kennywood. If the park management is this disconnected from what is going on at the park i.e. the main attractions at Compounce should be the two woodies, and big picture, they were both complete let downs, that's not good, and if Kennywood's woodies are getting the same level of neglect or downright incompetence, that would be unfortunate.
rramstad wrote: You are correct that Wildcat doesn't seem to be set up for two train operation (no transfer track) but it easily could run two trains as there's a break run before the loading area as well as the lift hill i.e. it could block for two trains and you could simply have both on there all the time. Ridiculous to have a 45 minute wait on a day that wasn't really all that crowded.
Wildcat does have a transfer track, it’s after the station, and before the lift.
208 Feet Up, 221 Feet Down. If you're not scared, you should be. Enjoy your ride on Superman.
rramstad wrote:Anyhow this all now has me worried about Kennywood. If the park management is this disconnected from what is going on at the park i.e. the main attractions at Compounce should be the two woodies, and big picture, they were both complete let downs, that's not good, and if Kennywood's woodies are getting the same level of neglect or downright incompetence, that would be unfortunate.
Kennywood's woodies are still being maintained as good as ever, if you ask me. I've never noticed a difference in how they ride in the years I have been visiting. Which is obviously remarkable. The park has its issues, sure. But I do think they've managed to maintain the coasters well, at the least.
Standing six-stories above the lake and decked in bright green and yellow, Venus Vortex is a unique ride experience never before seen in New England.
Resembling the mouth of a hungry venus flytrap ready for its next meal, this slide tempts brave prey to navigate twists, turns and sudden drops. After journeying through a dark tunnel, riders will experience weightlessness as they suddenly plummet down the near vertical drop into the jaws of the hungry creature. As your three-person raft slides back and forth in between rows of teeth, you must escape before it traps you inside. Take a big sigh of relief as your raft reaches the final splashdown: you’ve narrowly missed being eaten!
You will find Venus Vortex located right alongside the lake, next to Bayou Bay Wave Pool and across from Johnny Rockets next May!
Since this park didn't have one of those tornado/funnel slides already, this looks like a good fit. I do find it odd the slide has three person tubes instead of four person tubes, but the 42" height requirement is lower than expected so that's great for younger riders.
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