SOUTHINGTON — Crowds of middle school students shouted, laughed and jostled each other as they came off the Phobia Phear roller coaster Friday during the first week of the season for Lake Compounce.
“That was lit,” said Andrew Perez, a student from Washington Middle School in Meriden.
“It wasn’t scary because I had my eyes closed the whole time,” said Nylaya Diaz, a fellow Washington student.
Phobia Phear, the park’s newest coaster, opened last spring and goes up to 65 mph. Sara Frias, the park’s marketing director, said it’s unlike many of the other park rides and designed to thrill older children and adults.
“It goes forward, it goes backwards, it’s a triple launch coaster,” Frias said. “If you’re a coaster person you love it.
“It’s under a minute but it’s a really intense ride,” she added.
No new rides opened this year but the park did extensive maintenance on a number of rides including the Boulder Dash and Wildcat roller coasters. Both are wooden roller coasters and had repairs done to get them ready for the season.
Wildcat was closed on Friday while workers were replacing boards on one of the turns on the coaster’s track.
Next weekend, the park will have a craft beer and food truck festival. Frias said it’s a new event that she expects will be popular. Food trucks are already a favorite at the park.
“We have food trucks here during holiday lights and people love them,” she said. “It fits in with what we have here.”
Two Roads, Thomas Hooker, Stony Creek, Back East and Firefly breweries will participate.
Frias said the park is a destination for many state residents.
“Year after year though we’re increasing our out-of-state visitors,” she said.
Two years ago, Lake Compounce opened an exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs, which roar and move. There’s also an area where children can dig in the sand for fossils. In 2014, the park opened a 15-acre campground. The park recently bought an adjacent parcel on Mount Vernon Road with plans for expansion, though details haven’t been announced.
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