Lake Compounce Family Theme & Water Park, Bristol, Connecticut, marks a milestone never before reached by an American amusement park when it opens its gates on May 29 for its 175th operating season. When Gad Norton first opened his picnic park at the foot of Mount Compounce on October 6, 1846, baseball was an up-and-coming recreation rather than America’s pastime, and Abraham Lincoln was a little-known lawyer campaigning for Congress. The nation’s first roller coaster wouldn’t open for another 38 years.
175 years young is the perfect time for a transformation, and that’s exactly what’s happening at Lake Compounce as the park prepares for opening day. From the rides and food stands to Crocodile Cove waterpark and everywhere in between, visitors will find a whole new look to complement the timeless fun New Englanders have come to expect at Lake Compounce.
New this year at Lake Compounce is Venus Vortex, a Manta slide from WhiteWater West. Standing six-stories above the lake and decked in bright green and yellow, Venus Vortex is a unique ride experience never before seen in New England. Resembling the mouth of a hungry venus flytrap ready for its next meal, this slide tempts brave prey to navigate twists, turns and sudden drops. After journeying through a dark tunnel, riders will experience weightlessness as they suddenly plummet down the near-vertical drop into the jaws of the hungry creature. As their three-person raft slides back and forth in between rows of teeth, they must escape before it traps them inside. They can take a big sigh of relief as their raft reaches the final splashdown; you’ve narrowly missed being eaten. Venus Vortex is located right alongside the lake, next to Bayou Bay Wave Pool and across from Johnny Rockets.