The Roller Coasters of Connecticut

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Map of Lake Compounce, via Lake Compounce.
Map of Lake Compounce, via Lake Compounce.

For a small state, Connecticut has offered our family considerable access to some of the best roller and most historic roller coasters in the country. I’ve already talked about Six Flags New England, which is just over the northern border of Connecticut.

Lake Compounce, located just across the main ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, also contains some incredible coasters, especially the new Phobia Phear coaster. The park is the oldest continuously operated amusement park in the United States. People used to take trolley rides to visit.  (Alas, I miss their Rotor ride, one of those cylinders that plastered riders against the wall while the floor dropped out but I guess those are unsafe now. Safety. Fine.)

For GeekDad readers, Lake Compounce is offering a discount this summer. Either go to their website and use the promo-code: GeekDadBlog16 or go to their website via this special link and the discount will automatically be applied.

What will you find if you go? Here are the current Lake Compounce coasters, rated for thrill and uniqueness of ride. And don’t forget they also have a complete water park with its own thrill rides.

Phobia Phear

It’s new. It’s kinda insane to look at it. I can’t resist riding it, at least once. But I won’t think about being upside down so high up too hard or I’ll lose my nerve.

The inversion, 150 feet in the air, on the Phobia Phear coaster. Image via Lake Compounce.
The inversion, 150 feet in the air, on the Phobia Phear coaster. Image via Lake Compounce.

Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash
Boulder Dash, image via Lake Compounce

An award-winning throwback, a wooden coaster built in 2000, Boulder Dash  has received the top ranking in Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Wood Coaster four times since 2004. But what does that mean? It means it’s a great ride but a bumpy one–not smooth like many of the more recent coasters. You’ll be vibrating when you get off.


Like it’s younger cousin, Boulder Dash, this is a wooden roller coaster, but Wildcat dates back to 1927. When you ride it, you ride a piece of coaster history. It’s not as intense as the Boulder Dash, so it’s better for younger kids. And don’t worry about the fact it’s nearly a century old: it has been renovated numerous times over the years, the last one being in 2007, to upgrade safety measures, such as installing a new braking system and installation of newer safety belts. Before my kids could handle the Boulder Dash, we went on the Wildcat.


Yep, it’s one of those boomerang coasters that likes flipping you upside one way and then repeats the process. Backwards. Over quick but always seriously fun.

For those wanting to introduce young kids to the fun of roller coasters, Lake Compounce also has a Kiddie Coaster for kids between 36 and 56 inches tall.

And, of course, there are other rides at the Lake, including over 20 especially designed for kids or good for riders of all ages. It was our favorite park when the kids were under 10 for this reason.

Now we go for the coasters and the eight other thrill rides, including Thunder Rapids where you’re sure to get wet, even if you don’t enter the water park.

Day tickets vary in price, from as high as $42.99 for adults, to a Smart Day ticket (selected dates) at $32.99, and junior tickets for $31.49, reserved for those under 52 inches tall. Full prices and range at Lake Compounce’s website but be sure to use either the special GeekDad link above or the GeekDad code for a further discount.

Happy riding!

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