The nation's oldest amusement park and Connecticut's largest water park--Lake Compounce--is located in Bristol, CT, in the southwest corner of Hartford County, and for 2014, visitors will find added enticements to visit the park including the new Bear Creek Campground, which is expected to open in early July.
Since 1997, when Kennywood Entertainment Company took over the management of Lake Compounce, more than $50 million has been invested in renovations and enhancements to the historic, 407-acre theme park. In December of 2007, Kennywood surprised park enthusiasts when it announced it would sell off all of its properties--including Lake Compounce, which is now owned and operated by Palace Entertainment.
In recent years, more than 25 new rides and attractions have been added including the Zoomerang steel roller coaster; a Sky Ride that takes visitors on a scenic trip to the top of Compounce Mountain; Mammoth Falls, a 551-foot-long flume ride; the Riptide Racer high-speed waterslide; Bayou Bay wave action pool; and the $6 million Boulder Dash, the world's first roller coaster built into a mountainside and the longest, fastest wooden roller coaster on the East Coast. It was named "Best Wooden Roller Coaster in the World" by Amusement Today in 2013. Boulder Dash is nearly a mile long and achieves speeds of 60 miles per hour. The thrill ride lasts about 2-1/2 minutes.
In 2014, Lake Compounce will debut a substantial park feature of a very different speed: a place to unwind after a day of thrills. And, it's just a short walk or tram ride from the theme park. The all-new Bear Creek Campground owned by and adjacent to Lake Compounce will have RV and tent camp sites, cabins and tipis available for overnight guests, and those who choose to camp can enter the park for two days for the price of one.
"Bear Creek gives out-of-town guests an affordable overnight option," Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick said in a release. Sites start at $35 per night, and a 10% discount is offered for a stay of two or more nights. There is a 15% discount for camping stays of five nights or more. Reservations can be made online or by calling 860-583-3300, ext. 6905.
"As the park grows, we continue to hear from guests that it's almost not possible to 'do it all' in just one day," Brick added. "Between the water park and the theme park, we can give them the option to stay right on the property and enjoy multiple days here."
Lake Compounce is known for additional classic family amusements including a giant ferris wheel, a vintage trolley, bumper cars, the Ghost Hunt dark ride and more. Park visitors can also catch shows in 2014 including Camp Rhythm and Cirque En Vol.
In 2002, Lake Compounce introduced free unlimited Pepsi soda products at soda stations throughout the park, and that program continues in 2014.
Lake Compounce opens for its 169th season on Saturday, May 10, 2014, and daily operation begins June 11. After August 24, the park operates on an abbreviated schedule through September 7 and reopens for the annual Haunted Graveyard Halloween attraction in October. A complete day-by-day operating schedule for 2014 is available at the Lake Compounce Web site.
Admission to Lake Compounce for 2014 is $39.99 for adults (save by purchasing Lake Compounce discount tickets online), $29.99 for "Juniors" under 52" tall and $19.99 for seniors over 60 years of age. Children three and under are admitted free. Admission includes most rides and attractions. Parking is $8 per vehicle, or buy a 2014 season parking pass for $34.
Lake Compounce offers a Season Pass that entitles the bearer to unlimited visits, plus a 10 percent savings on all food and retail purchases, early water park admission on select dates, bring-a-buddy deals and other perks. A more affordable Summer Pass offers unlimited admission only. Order either pass online.
Need a hotel near Lake Compounce? Compare rates and reviews for Bristol, Connecticut, hotels with TripAdvisor.
If you live in the Hartford area and are looking for a summer job, Lake Compounce offers a variety of full- and part-time employment opportunities. Applications may be submitted online.
More Lake Compounce Links:
Lake Compounce Photo Album – Take a photo tour of Lake Compounce.
Lake Compounce: Nostalgia & Thrills – A park overview and the scoop on Lake Compounce's best thrills from About.com Theme Parks Guide Arthur Levine.
Lake Compounce News & Rumors - Lake Compounce enthusiasts will want to check out the rumors posted at Screamscape. Will there be a new coaster soon?