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New for 2013 at Lake Compounce

Bayou Bay Debuts at America's Oldest Theme Park: Lake Compounce

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Boulder Dash - Picture of Boulder Dash Wooden Roller Coaster at Lake Compounce

Boulder Dash is the signature wooden roller coaster at Lake Compounce, America's oldest theme park in Bristol, Connecticut.

© 2002 Kim Knox Beckius
Updated May 15, 2013
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 2013, visitors will find added enticements to visit the park including the enormous new Bayou Bay wave pool.

Since 1997, when Kennywood Entertainment Company took over the management of Lake Compounce, more than $40 million has been invested in renovations and enhancements to the historic, 325-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; 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. 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 2013, Lake Compounce will debut a new feature at its Crocodile Cove Water Park: Bayou Bay. This new wave action pool holds hundreds of thousands of gallons of cool liquid and is more than double the size of the park's existing Anchor Bay wave pool. A second bathhouse is also being built at Crocodile Cove.

"Continuing with our promise to increase the size and capacity of our water park, this new wave pool will keep a very large number of guests cool and entertained," Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick said in a release. "Since the Louisiana bayou is one of the places the American crocodiles call home, we thought it would be fitting and fun to use a bayou theme for our new wave pool," he added.

Park visitors can also catch a new show in 2013: Jammin' at the Lake is an interactive, rockin' show featuring the hottest pop tunes. Also new for 2013, Lake Compounce introduces the Lakeside Party Patio, where groups of up to 15 people can gather for a celebration of any kind. Reservations should be made online in advance: The patio is available for two-hour rentals between noon and 7 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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.

In 2002, Lake Compounce introduced free unlimited Pepsi soda products at soda stations throughout the park, and that program continues in 2013.

Lake Compounce opens for its 168th season on Saturday, May 11, 2013, and daily operation begins June 12. After August 25, the park operates on an abbreviated schedule through September 8 and reopens for the annual Haunted Graveyard Halloween attraction in October. A complete day-by-day operating schedule for 2013 is available at the Lake Compounce Web site.

Admission to Lake Compounce for 2013 is $38.99 for adults (save by purchasing Lake Compounce discount tickets online for May Preview Days), $28.99 for "Juniors" under 52" tall and $19.99 for seniors over 60 years of age. Enter the park after 5 p.m., and admission is $19.99. Children three and under are admitted free. Admission includes all rides and attractions. Parking is $8 per vehicle, or buy a 2013 season parking pass for $33.

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 access to a season pass holders only luau on June 7. Order your season pass online.

Lake Compounce is located just off I-84 at exit 31. Directions are available online, and so is a park map. For more information about the park, call 860-583-3300.

Need a place to stay near Lake Compounce? Compare rates at Bristol, Connecticut, hotels with kayak.com.

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?

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