Folks have been getting wet at Lake Compounce for years. Established in 1846, it is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the country. Much of what drove its original developers to build it and what first attracted visitors was its natural beauty—especially its titular lake. Like many vintage amusement parks, Lake Compounce began as a picnic grove and offered swimming as one of its primary activities.
Guests can still swim in its lovely lake. But they can also cool down and have watery fun at Crocodile Cove, the onsite water park. It isn't enormous, but the water park has grown through the years and now occupies a fair amount of real estate at Lake Compounce. As an adjunct to the the “dry” park's coasters and other rides, it is more than sufficient. It is also a welcome refuge on blisteringly hot summer days.
What Are the Slides and Attractions?
It may not have the number of slides or sheer size of larger water parks. Crocodile Cove also does not offer some of the signature attractions found at larger water parks, such as a funnel ride, water coaster, or bowl ride. But it does have most of the usual suspects, including the Croc-O-Nile lazy river (great name!), Bayou Bay wave pool, and Tunnel Twisters water slides. Mammoth Falls, a family raft ride, is a great way for large groups to brave a twisting, turning slide and have a ball together. Those with a competitive streak could grab a mat and plunge down Riptide Racer, a multi-lane racing slide.
Younger guests will want to head over to Clipper Cove, an interactive water play structure with small slides, water jets, and a huge bucket that unleashes a torrent of water every few minutes. The park also offers Anchor Bay a wave pool specifically designed (and reserved exclusively for) small children.
What’s New at Crocodile Cove?
In 2021, Crocodile Cove will open a new attraction, Venus Vortex. Up to four passengers in large, circular rafts will soar down an enclosed slide in the dark and emerge into a U-shaped half funnel themed to look like a giant Venus fly trap. They will soar up and down the sides of the funnel, sort of like a skateboarder navigating a halfpipe, and experience a bit of weightlessness. Venus Vortex was supposed to open in 2020, but was delayed due to to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What's to Eat?
The park does not allow visitors to bring in their own food. There are plenty of stands, including pizza, Mexican food, Johnny Rockets, a Dunkin’ stand with the New England chain’s legendary coffee and donuts, the park's signature Potato Patch fries, and the Croc Pot Cafeteria, which serves chicken meals and other specialties. The Lake Compounce Watering Hole serves craft beers and wines.
Admission Info, Schedule, and Location
Crocodile Cove water park is included with general admission to Lake Compounce. In other words, one price gets you into the park to ride the coasters and all of the other dry rides as well as the water park attractions. Admission also includes unlimited complimentary soft drinks. Discounted tickets are available online. Group rates are available. Season passes are available. Parking is additional.
While Lake Compounce opens in the spring and remains open through the end of the year, the outdoor water park, Crocodile Cove, is only open during warmer weather, from late May through early September. When it is in operation, it opens an hour after the dry park opens and closes at 7 p.m. Check the park’s official site for the schedule.
Lake Compounce is located in Bristol, CT. The address is 186 Enterprise Drive. To get to the park: I-84 to Exit 31. North on Route 229, and follow signs.
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