Today we have a great update from Scott who headed out to Lake Compounce to check out their always amazing Haunted Graveyard event.
Unlike other park events that have random mazes throughout the park, Haunted Graveyard is essentially one long 45 minute maze, and is something that shouldn't be missed.
If you are in the area and would like to attend, be sure to use our Discount Code.
Written by Scott Mayfield
While not a huge park, Lake Compounce has been one of my all-time favourite parks since my first visit in 2003. Having never experienced the attraction during its fall festivities, I was more than up for the trip, and enjoyed one of the greatest nights I have ever enjoyed at any theme park since I started going to them in the mid-1970s. Seriously.
For those who haven't been to the park, you have to enter a tunnel to get to the main area, which was themed outrageously. The 'nightmare tunnel' is just a foretaste of the park's theming and feel, though. I don't think I have EVER seen that much dry ice and liquid smoke in my life. The hazy indistinctness created by layer upon layer of mist and smoke gave the park a wonderful ghoulish feel, highlighted by theming and specially-tricked out visual enhancements throughout the park.
Haunted Graveyard, in its 26th year, is simply one of the best haunted walkthroughs I have ever been to. Forty-five minutes long (and probably over a mile in length), the attraction has serpentine and doubled-back mazes, simulated gore, amazing lighting and sound effects, a full-on optical disorientation section that nearly gave me vintage rave flashbacks, a genuinely claustrophobic hallway in complete darkness, a well-designed graveyard and haunted mansion, and so much more. In short, it blows away nearly every haunted attraction I have ever been to. The actors ranged from very competent to outright scary, and judging from the deafening shrieks of the two 10-year-old girls behind me (and their terrified mother), at least one person would go to bed that night, scared out of their mind. Total win!
I also had the rare opportunity to talk with HG's creator, Ernie Romegialli, who first began tricking out Halloween-style when his daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes more than 25 years ago. Since then, and the inception of the Graveyard, the attraction has raised millions of dollars in the cause of diabetes research. I got to speak with him very briefly and you can tell that the attraction is truly one very close to his heart, as well as all else involved with it.
From there, it was off to Phobia Phear Coaster, the park's newest addition. Having never ridden a Premier Sky Rocket (nor any LIM, really), the ride intimidated the hell out of me, especially in the dark. It's definitely one of the stranger rides I have been on, but glass-smooth and the ride's non-inverting loop is awesome but REALLY weird. Side note: the ride now occupies the space where the park's Huss Enterprise sat. I get why it's in its place..I guess. Enterprises are a disappearing breed, and my all-time fave flat ride, so...okay, enough whining.
LC's Boomerang (imaginatively named "Zoomerang") is one of the smoother Boomerangs I have ridden, and having the back lifts in darkness really added a fear element the ride has never had.
Wildcat, as in years' past, was not operating during the Halloween festivites for a reason I could not track down. I can guess as to why but that's pure speculation, and largely irrelevant. Still, the aged coaster looked great in the mist and murk. It was about this time that actual fog rolled in, making the park truly scary in parts.
Boulder Dash during the day is nothing short of amazing, but if you haven't ridden it at night, you have no idea just how mindboggling this classic woodie is. I had never done the Dash at night, and out of the seven times I rode it that night, not one disappointed and all but one scared the crap out of me. Its age is starting to show in all the right places, and while the hills just after the double-up are jarring, the rest of the course is classic out-of-control-down-the-mountain brilliant. All of this was heightened by no lights at all. Easily my all-time fave woodie out there.
I can't say enough about this park or Haunted Graveyard. Lake Compounce is one of America's best family-oriented parks, hands down. The food is awesome, well-priced (Six Flags, take notice....PLEASE!!) and the drinks are FREE. In this day and age, that in itself is worth notice. I simply cannot wait until next year!
Tonight we are taking you to the spookiest theme park in all of Utah: Frightmares at Lagoon!
In case you missed it, we recently posted a daytime report from Lagoon which gives a nice overview of the regular park experience. Make sure to check it out, coaster nerds! (click link)
Written by Andrew Cunningham
Tonight’s report will be an review of Frightmares, Lagoon’s Halloween event that is chocked full of all the spooky fun you can handle! So let's get to it, welcome to Frightmares!
Frightmares is included with your regular admission to Lagoon, so the park stays decked out in all of its Halloween swag throughout the day. Around 5pm, the fog starts to roll and the lights start to flicker, it’s now time for Frightmares!
Frightmares consists of 5 mazes, one walkthrough scarezone, a couple of shows, roaming characters throughout the park, and several trick or treating trails for the younger crowd. There is no photography allowed in the houses, but you can take pictures in the Pioneer Village Scarezone.
Also, it’s worth noting up front: unlike most theme parks, Lagoon’s mazes are actually mazes. All of them include multiple paths, dead ends, wrong turns, and disorienting features. I got separated from my party on more than one occasion, and I thought that was awesome!
First of all, let me say that the mazes were all awesome!
Second of all, let me say that the mazes were all awesome, extremely popular, and had very long queues. Easily 2+ hours in some cases.
For $15, you can get a Time Warp pass that lets you wait in a shorter line for all of the mazes. I would definitely “Do the Time Warp agaaaaaiiiiinnnnn”
First house of the night: Nightwalk!
Nightwalk is themed to… well, basically all things demonic and hell-like. The sets in this house were less elaborate from some of the others, but the scares were very dense. Demons, vampires, and goth kids are out to make your night a living hell. Portions of this maze are outdoors, so it’s best to save this one for after dark. This maze also forces you to escape by pushing through a very, very long hallway of inflatable bags, so I would not recommend if you are claustrophobic!
Next up was Zombie Lockdown, a maze themed to…. Well, Zombies.
This maze was loud, aggressive, and packed densely with thrills. Probably the least “maze-like” of all the mazes, Zombie Lockdown is themed to a prison that houses, you guessed it, Zombies. Hospital wards, jail cells, and dark hallways set the scene for this house, and it does not disappoint.
Next up we have Fun House of Fear and Terrors of the Past, completely different mazes housed in the same building. Let’s start with Fun House of Fear!
No theme park Halloween event would be complete without a 3d comedy maze, so here ya go!
This was definitely the least thrilling of Lagoon’s mazes, and it was definitely designed as such. Even so, there were some good scares, a massive puppet set, and all the disorienting 3d fun you would expect from a maze like this. Oh, and what funhouse would be complete without a spinning tunnel?
Right next door is Terrors of the Past.
In this maze, creepy theater ushers guide you through the most popular mazes of Halloween Horror Nights, err Lagoon’s past.
Wait a second, I’ve seen this show before! Hallow’d Past, anyone? The Usher?
All joking aside, this maze was really good. There were a big variety of scares and some really disorienting maze elements that made it really fun. I haven’t experienced any of these mazes in their past lives, but I can definitely tell why they were guest favorites.
The Labyrinth was my favorite section, as it was truly a maze. Set in pitch dark, look for green lights to guide you to the exits and red lights to dead ends. Seems simple, but be prepared to bump into several walls and actors while searching for those green lights!
Last but not least we have Frightening Frisco, Lagoon’s new for 2016 maze.
First of all, Lagoon, don’t call it Frisco and don’t call it San Fran. Seriously, SF or San Francisco is fine…
Kidding, kidding... (but seriously, don’t call it Frisco or San Fran)
Frightening Frisco was probably my favorite maze of the night, mostly because it had the most elaborate sets. Some the sets in this house were HHN quality, with the option to get lost and find different paths through this wild west town gone wrong. The maze is themed to a gold rush town that is being run by outlaws. This was the goriest maze of all, and delivered many elaborate costumes, gags, and effects. 10/10 on this one!
After taking in all of the houses, it was time to wander through Pioneer Village. Much of the village had been turned into a great outdoor walkthrough, where you could stop and take in tons of detailed sets and gags
One of my favorite parts of Pioneer Village, was that you could still walk in and see some of the normal exhibits, but haunted. I loved the pioneer schoolhouse!
Overall I highly recommend Frightmares to any Halloween fan! The mazes were great, densly packed with actors, and very long. I have been to many (MANY) upcharge theme park Halloween events that don’t hold a candle to the included-with-admission Frightmares.
I did end up skipping the shows that are included with the event, so all the more reason to come back!
(Ok, you caught me, I opted for night rides on Cannibal over the Halloween shows. Hey, Gregg doesn’t pay me enough to review everything, ok?!)
Editors Note: Wait, you get paid? ;)
I did manage to get my last remaining Lagoon credit tonight on The Bat. Seems fitting to close the day with the horror themed family coaster ;-
Frightmares at Lagoon: totally awesome, puts other theme parks to shame, get the Time Warp. Done.
As a coaster enthusiast, there comes a time where it becomes very hard to get surprised. Travelling to a new Six Flags park may offer up some new credits, but it’s rare to be truly taken off guard by something unique and different. Sure, B&Ms are a ton of fun, but after while they mostly start to blend together, and it’s at that point that I started valuing quirky and unique over expensive and huge.
It was for this very reason that I was so excited to take my first trip to Lagoon last weekend. Lagoon was the last major theme park in the US that I had not visited, and it seems to gather universal praise from those who do make the trip out to Salt Lake City for this family owned theme park. Let me just say: Lagoon does not disappoint.
Written by Andrew Cunningham
So lets just start with the question that is top of mind for most coaster enthusiasts: how was Cannibal?
It’s amazing. Not only is it thrilling and smooth, it is (mostly importantly in my mind) unique. I’m approaching 500 “credits”, and I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything like Cannibal.
The ride itself draws obvious comparisons to a Euro Fighter, except it’s much smoother, more comfortable, and more thrilling. The theming is bizarre (sometimes South American, sometimes African, always awesome), the operations and capacity are fantastic (6 trains on the ride at once with very quick dispatch times), and the overall experience is just very unique. I could ramble in and on about Cannibal, but I’ll just say it sits easily in my top 20, possibly top 10-15 if I ever were to sit down and do rankings (help us Mitch Hawker, you’re our only hope!).
Moving on to the rest of the park. A trip to Lagoon is like walking through a forest and coming across rides plopped down from a variety of generations.
Lagoon really reminded me of Kennywood (which is a great thing!). They are both old school amusement parks that mix modern thrills with classic amusements in a charming setting.
Oh, also, lots of credits… (I see you credit hoes out there!)
Like many family owned or small chain amusement parks, the food was much cheaper and much better than your typical Six Flags or Cedar Fair options. I was pretty happy to sit by the log flume and have a huge plate of BBQ plus a drink for $15.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic of food, it’s definitely worth mentioning that you can bring your own food and drinks into Lagoon… INCLUDING ALCOHOL! Yep, as long as it’s not in a glass container, feel free to BYOB! Don’t believe me? Check out the park’s FAQs!
Moving on though….
One of the unique aspects of Lagoon was their Pioneer Village, an educational part of the park dedicated to pioneer life for early Utah settlers.
Pioneer Village was only partially open for our trip. Part of it was converted into an OMG adorable trick or treat trail for children, while another section was walled off for us to explore for Frightmares later tonight.
With that said, I did like the Circus and Stagecoach exhibits that were still open...
Speaking of history: Lagoon has a wooden coaster operating from 1921. It’s the world’s oldest parking lot coaster! Truly generations ahead of the corporate parks that follow!
Joking aside, Lagoon has taken really good care of Roller Coaster. Parts of the ride have been rebuilt, with more coming soon. Is it White or Brown? You tell me!
Overall, I had a great day at Lagoon! With a great mix of classic and modern attractions, I have to say that I can’t wait to come back soon!
Oh, and don’t worry little guy, we’ll be back with another update! Frightmares at Lagoon is happening tonight!
Oh, but hey! Did you forget to BYOB into Lagoon?
No worries, we got your back. Take a quick drive to Uinita Brewing for a break from the park. We had a great visit to this Salt Lake City brewery!
Interesting fact: draught beers need to be 4% ABV or lower in Utah, while bottled beers are apparently fair game. Utah: the only place in the world where I highly suggest avoiding the draught list.
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the next chapter of this trip: Frightmares at Lagoon coming tomorrow!