Your Source For Theme Parks And Attractions in the South

ACE Coaster Con XXXVI – Part 2: Canobie Lake, Palace Playland & Funtown Splashtown


Part 2: Canobie Lake, Palace Playland & Funtown Splashtown

We left for the 2 hour drive to our next park

with a quick stop along the way at Funworld Game Center,

a family entertainment center in Nashua, NH. They have one roller coaster:

Orient Express: (Wisdom, Kiddie Coaster, 1997)

This gave a pretty forceful ride for a small coaster – 1 ride.

We also rode:

Two Story Venetian Carousel: (Venetian, Modern Carousel, 1999) Imported from Italy – 1 ride.
They also have a small Himalaya. This is a nice FEC with lots of games, bowling and other activities.

After checking into our hotel, we arrived at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH just before 5:00.

This was my second visit to this beautiful traditional park, which opened in 1902, and while I had more time than the last visit, I could have used much more.

The park is home to 4 coasters including a powered coaster:

Yankee Cannonball: (PTC – Herbert Schmeck, Wood Coaster, 1930/1936)

Relocated from Lakewood Park in Waterbury, CT where it operated as Roller Coaster,

this is a fun coaster with lots of good airtime.

It was my 350th coaster on my previous trip – 9 rides, 8 during ERT.

Canobie Corkscrew: (Arrow, Corkscrew, 1975/1982/1987)

Relocated from Old Chicago where it operated as Chicago Loop and Alabama Fairgrounds where it operated as Corkscrew, it has some rough transitions as is often the case with these rides, but it is ridable – 2 rides.

Untamed: (Gerstlauer, Eurofighter, 2011)

This was new since my last visit. The theming of the station is amazing, themed to a mountain lodge and bear theme. Even the supports are painted to look like birch trees.

With over the shoulder restraints the ride can be a bit rough, but I found it gave a much better ride in the back row of the 2 row 4 seat across trains, particularly the 2 interior seats – 3 rides, 2 during ERT.

Dragon: (Zamperla, Powered Family Coaster, unknown/1991) Relocated from Deno’s Wonderwheel Park where it operated as Dragon, it gave the expected ride. This was a new credit for me – 1 ride.

Other rides in the park include:

Mine of Lost Souls: This is a greatly themed traditional dark ride, and is a lot of fun – 3 rides, 2 during ERT.

Tiki Maze: This glass maze was even more impressive when the ride op pointed out that it used to rotate – 1 walkthrough.
Starblaster: A good drop tower – 1 ride during ERT.
Policy Pond Log Flume: A nicely landscaped layout – 1 ride.
Antique Cars: Nice layout – 1 ride.
Canobie 500: Very good sports cars with good speed and a nice layout; one of the best car rides I have done – 2 rides.

Canobie Express:

Nice train ride along lake and into the park – 1 ride.
Dodgems: Good cars and the building has just been renovated in a retro style – 1 ride.

Sky Ride: Nice view on this round trip ride – 1 ride.

Antique Carousel:

(S&G/Looff/Dentzel, Classic Wood Carousel, 1898, 3 Rows, 24 Jumping Horses, 19 Standing Horses, 3 Menagerie Animals: 1 Lion, 1 Deer, 1 Goat, 2 Chariots) – Good ride – 1 ride.
Crazy Cups: This Cuddle Up type ride is so much fun and so rare. Like all others I been on, this is the children’s version – 1 ride.
Da Vinci’s Dream: Very well themed Wave Swinger – 1 ride.

Giant Sky Wheel: Great views of the park on this Ferris Wheel – 1 ride.
Psychodrome: This enclosed Scrambler is a lot of fun with good lights and music – 1 ride during ERT.

Rowdy Roosters: Nicely themed flyers – 1 ride.
Twist & Shout: Tilt-A-Whirl – Good spinning – 1 ride.
Wave Blaster: This jumping ride is kind of like a Kangaroo and is a lot of fun – 1 ride.
Xtreem Frisbee: Good ride – 1 ride during ERT.

With limited time we did not get to or chose not to ride Zero Gravity (Roundup), Boston Tea Party (Shoot-the-Chutes), Castaway Island (Water Slide complex), Tall Timber Splash (Wet/Dry Waterslide), Wipeout, Skater or Turkish Twist (Rotor).

Several rides were closed for repair, most notably Caterpillar, but also Blue Heron Lake Cruise and Pirata. Their new ride for this year, Equinox, an intense inverting ride, had not opened yet. They have 19 children’s rides including Kiddie Carousel (Mangels, Kiddie Classic Metal Carousel, 1940′s, 3 Rows, 16 Jumping Horses, 8 Standing Horses, 2 Chariots).

They provided us with a preview of their shows which were opening shortly with 10 minutes each for their tributes to Michael Jackson and Elvis along with their Justin Beiber show. The park treated us to a good meal on Wednesday evening

and on Thursday morning we presented them

with an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark plaque for Yankee Cannonball.

This is a beautiful park, the true definition of a traditional amusement park.

While I would have liked to stay longer, it was packed on Thursday with school kids and we had to get on to our next stop, so we left around 1:00.

Although not a part of the Con, we, like a lot of ACEers, made a stop at York’s Wild Kingdom in York Beach, ME. Operating since 1950, this zoo with a small amusement park attached was about halfway between our stops. The amusement park is carnival quality, but is fun anyway. They have one roller coaster:

Wacky Mouse: (Fajume, Big Apple/ Wacky Worm, 2010)

It gave the expected ride – 2 rides.

Other rides include 4 portable dark attractions as well as a few other rides.

Haunted House: One of the darkest walkthroughs I have been through, it is short but has a few good effects – 2 walkthroughs.

Glass House: Standard glass house – 2 walkthroughs.

Jungle Funhouse: Perhaps the weirdest fun house I have seen, it is 2 separate trailers connected by a 2nd story bridge. It has an operating barrel at the end – 2 walkthroughs.

Persian Kamel Funhouse: Some good effects although some were not working – 2 walkthroughs.
Bumper Cars: Pretty good with a very long cycle – 1 ride.

They also have Go Karts, a Ferris Wheel, a Merry Go Round (Allan Herschell, Classic Metal Carousel, 1950′s, 3 rows, 30 Jumping Horses, 2 Chariots), Scrambler and Super Spiral. They have 12 children’s rides. Other attractions include 18 hole Mini Golf Course, Batting Cages and Super Slide.

The big attraction here is the Zoo, which includes lions, tigers, (sorry no bears), monkeys,

birds and many other animals.

Most notable were the white bearded wildebeest, a favorite of Tina in our group. They also have a very extensive butterfly exhibit. We left to check into our hotel before making it to the next park of Con.

Our evening was spent at Palace Playland on Old Orchard Beach, ME.

While much like a carnival, this place comes alive when the lights come on. It was truly a lot of fun.

Located right along the beach,

we had good views of the Atlantic Ocean. They have 2 roller coasters:

Galaxi: (SDC, Galaxi, 1972/1994) Relocated from Peony Park in Omaha, NE where it operated as Galaxy Orbit. This gave a good ride as I think Galaxies are a lot of fun – 3 rides, 2 during ERT.

Orient Express: (Wisdom, Family Coaster, 1998/2000) Relocated from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where it operated as Orient Express, this gave the expected ride – 1 ride.

Other rides include:

Grand Orient Fun House:

This is an excellent funhouse with lots of great effects including the barrel at the end – 1 walkthrough.
Drop Zone: Good small drop ride – 1 ride.
Cascade Falls: Although it was a little cool, I had to ride the Log Flume. It was good and didn’t get me too wet – 1 ride.
Dodg’em: These were a lot of fun – 6 rides during ERT.
Adrenalin: Good Pendulum ride, fairly intense – 2 rides during ERT.

Carousel: Chance Carousel – good ride – 1 ride.
Matterhorn: I like these swinging type rides – 2 rides.
Pirate: Pretty good airtime – 2 rides.
Riptide: This gave a good ride – 1 ride during ERT.
Electra Wheel: Ferris Wheel with great views – 1 ride.
Fiesta Loca: Similar to a good flat at Port Aventura, but way too slow – 1 ride.
Superstar: Troika – 2 rides.
Tilt-A-Whirl: Good spinning – 1 ride.
Wave Swinger: 1 ride.
Power Surge, an intense inverting ride, was not operating. They also have 10 children’s rides.

The park was truly magic and proves how wonderful seaside parks can be. We left a little after midnight to get ready for the final day of Coaster Con.

We arrived at Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco, ME early Friday morning for ERT.

This is a nicely landscaped park with some good theming on some of the rides. They have 2 roller coasters:


(CCI, Wood, 1998) This is a very good coaster with some good airtime and a lot of laterals.

The theming is very good,

even down to the names on each row of the train – 8 rides, 3 during ERT.

Wild Mouse: (Mauer Sohne, Wild Mouse, 2002/2009)

Relocated from Jolly Roger Amusement Park where it operated as Wild Mouse, it also travelled the fair circuit prior to 2002. This was a new credit for me since I was last here – 2 rides, 1 during ERT.

Other rides include:

Dragon’s Descent: Drop ride with great theming – 1 ride during ERT.
Thunder Falls Log Flume: Very good and nicely landscaped – 2 rides, 1 during ERT.
Adult Bumper Boats: These are fun – 1 ride.
Antique Cars: Nice course – 1 ride.
Barney Oldfield Roadsters: Nice course, although they are somewhat slow – 1 ride.
Sock It To ‘Em – Bumper Cars: Good – 2 rides during ERT.

Astrosphere: Enclosed Scrambler with great lighting and sound package, but too slow– 2 rides, 1 during ERT.
Casino: I always enjoy a Trabant – 1 ride.

Classic Carousel: (Allan Herschell, Classic Metal Carousel, Unkown date) Good ride – 1 ride.
Flying Trapeze: Good YoYo – 1 ride.
Sea Dragon: Swinging Ship with pretty good airtime – 1 ride.
Tempest In The Tea Cups: Very poor spinning – 1 ride.
Thunderbolt: Swinging cars, good ride – 1 ride.
Tilt-A-Whirl: Good spinning – 1 ride.

I did not ride the Grand Prix Racers Go Carts. They have 10 children’s rides. The Splashtown Waterpark has 11 attractions.

The park provided a good meal and entertainment as we said goodbye to everyone as Coaster Con XXXVI drew to a close.

This is a very nice park and I enjoyed getting to come back again. We had a lobster meal that evening before continuing on to a couple of smaller parks on Saturday.

Up Next: Epilogue: Story Land & Santa’s Village

Go to Epilogue: Story Land & Santa’s Village

1 Comment
Leave a Reply