Edaville Family Theme Park
I’ve always called Canobie my home park. I mean, look at my screen name. But I have a confession to make; I actually grew up closer to Edaville. And it only took me 26 years to visit this place.
Why so long to visit? There are a few reasons.
1) Edaville caters towards the younger crowd, but the park was SBNO throughout my childhood in the 1990s.
2) It’s expensive. Without a discount, Edaville will cost you ~$35.
3) I kept waiting for Kersplash to open.
It has become increasingly apparent that Kersplash may not open at this point. Originally it was supposed to open in 2016. Then 2017. Then 2018. Now the park has stopped giving updates about the ride.
The coaster has been fully assembled since 2015, but no one has seen the cars. The park’s famous train ride is narrated and it ominously goes silent as it passes Kersplash. It’s basically a giant elephant in the room.
Further, the ride is completely disconnected from the park. It doesn’t even have a path leading to it. I hope it opens someday, but I’m certainly not holding my breath until the park gives a firmer update.
It’s possible the park could be doing some secret work behind the scenes much like Knoebels did with Flying Turns all those years; however, I’m wondering if Edaville simply bit off more than they can chew.
You see, Kersplash isn’t the only half-finished construction project at Edaville. It’s the most prominent among enthusiasts, but the train route also passes an abandoned go kart track that’s also completely disconnected from the park.
There’s even a mysterious ride rumored to be in the main park. As a whole, Edaville actually looks quite nice. But then there’s this plain white tarp covering one of the buildings.
Way back in 2016, this very white tarp was added advertising Pirate Adventure as “coming soon.” Sometime later, they removed mentions of Pirate Adventure ride but kept the tarp in place. I’ve heard it was supposed to be some sort of dark ride.
I’ve spent enough time talking about what could have been or what may one day be, but I now want to talk about what Edaville actually has. It really is a cute, little park.
The anchor of the park is that train ride I’ve alluded to. It’s the only reason this park even exists. This historical railroad has been operating for over 70 years, but sometime recently it was rethemed to Thomas the Tank Engine.
The train loops around the entire park and then some. Edaville owns way more land than they know what to do with. You pass by Thomas Land, but then you keep going through the woods and pass by some ponds, cottages, and cranberry bogs. 7 out of 10
Two notes on the train. One, it’s long. I’m pretty sure it’s 20 minutes in length. Two, it only departs at set times. If you’ve been to Dollywood, this steam train is operated in a similar manner.
The park is split into three areas- Thomas Land, Dino Land, and Cran Central. Yes, they have a land themed to cranberries. However, none of the rides tie into that theme. Basically, it’s just a land of carnival rides.
That included classics like a Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, and Ferris Wheel. However, I rode none of them. The Tilt-a-Whirl was closed for maintenance and the others banned single riders. I’ve never seen that rule on a scrambler before, so that was a bit disappointing.
I was able to ride the Spinning Ladybug Coaster without any problems though. And I got my dream spinning coaster scenario. I was paired with two parents and a child. The result? Constant spinning.
I think we got around 8 laps. These SBF Visa spinners are more common than Pidgeys, but I do enjoy them. I just won’t take them over an adult coaster unless that adult coaster is a cruddy SLC. 3 out of 10
The other coaster was considerably taller than expected, the Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster. I figured this would be a dinky little oval, but this was a sizable 30ish foot tall junior coaster.
It’s a clone of the Circus Coaster at Coney Island. Fortunately, the main layout tracks better than that coaster, but this one has a brutal lift hill. About halfway up the lift, it feels like the train momentarily stalls and then violently jerks forwards. 3 out of 10
Up next was the park’s big, bad drop tower, Cranky’s Crane Drop. It stands a whopping 40 feet tall and offers brief views of Kersplash off in the distance.
The drop is very controlled, even more so than your usual junior tower, and it consists of a series of bounces. However, I did find the second drop had a good deal of weightlessness. 5 out of 10
I was intrigued to try Toby’s Tilting Tracks. It looked like one of those crazy barn/crazy house flats minus the elevation. And that’s exactly what it was. The ride did dish out some funky outward lats at the start, but those quickly evaporated once it started to tilt. 4 out of 10
The last ride I tried in Thomas Land was Winston’s Skyline Express. It’s a small monorail that loops around the area. It’s pretty similar to those junior monorails you see in Planet Snoopy at a Cedar Fair park. This one did have narration though. 6 out of 10
Enthusiasts usually look down on Dinosaurs Alive. Not only is it an upcharge, but it simply isn’t good. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’d rather see a coaster there. Well Edaville did that. Sort of.
Their Dino Land has a story. Once upon a time, there was a roller coaster called the Gnome Coaster. One day, it was overrun by dinosaurs. I thought it was a clever way to link the area to the rest of the park, but I was shocked to see the area actually had the ripped up remnants of an old Molina kiddie coaster.
As far as dino areas go, this one was very long, well shaded, and had a nice mix of static and animated dinosaurs. 6 out of 10
After using the bathroom on the way out, I noticed a set of Bumper Cars tucked next to the arcade. And I saw one of the saddest sights you can see in an amusement park, a solo ride on a set of bumper cars. I felt sorry for them, so I decided to join them. They should at least have one target to hit.
But holy moly, these bumper cars were awful. The arena was tiny and had a series of column posts running down the middle. If that wasn’t bad enough, all the empty cars were haphazardly scattered about the center of the arena. 2 out of 10
Would I return to Edaville? I mean it this time, but I will not return in the summer season until Kersplash opens. It’s a very nice looking park, but it just doesn’t have enough major rides to justify the price point.
However, I would consider returning for their Christmas event, Festival of Lights. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it from my non-enthusiast friends.