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This Connecticut amusement park is the oldest in the United States

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America’s oldest theme park lies in Bristol, Connecticut. 

Starting out as a lakeside picnic park with stunning views, the space has evolved into a theme park housing over 35 rides and attractions. 

Lake Compounce is named the oldest amusement park in the United States by the National Amusement Park Historical Association and the oldest continuously operating amusement park, according to the Library of Congress. 

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The National Amusement Park Historical Association recognizes the theme park as the fifth-oldest in the world. 

Those that come before it are Bakken in Klampenborg, Denmark, Prater in Vienna, Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark.

a Lake Compounce water slide

A Lake Compounce water slide is shown. Starting out as a lakeside picnic park with stunning views, the space has evolved into a theme park housing over 35 rides and attractions. (Lake Compounce)

Lake Compounce first opened its doors to the public in 1846 as a park. 

On Oct. 6, 1846, Samuel Botsford, a Bristol scientist, successfully persuaded property owner Gad Norton to allow him to hold “a series of beautiful experiments in electricity,” according to the theme park’s website. This display ended up drawing thousands of people to Lake Compounce.

Two parents swinging child in the air at amusement park

Theme parks such as Lake Compounce provide fun for the whole family. (iStock)

In 1895, the first permanent building, a casino with a restaurant on the lower floor and a ballroom on the upper was built, according to the source, with dinner costing 50 cents at the time.

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It was 1914 when the first electric-powered roller coaster opened to the public, it was called the Green Dragon.

Lake Compounce carousal

Lake Compounce’s carousel (not pictured) was originally built in 1898. (iStock)

This ride ended up being replaced by the Wildcat coaster in 1914, which guests can still take a thrilling journey on today. That particular ride did undergo restoration, providing a smoother ride for guests. 

Another famed wooden roller coaster at Lake Compounce is Boulder Dash, which first opened in 2000.

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This ride has been named the best wooden roller coaster by Amusement Today five times. 

Although the park has gone through changes since its inception, like being acquired by Palace Entertainment in 2009, the historical atmosphere can still be felt throughout the park. 

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For example, the carousel that kids and adults alike adore was first built in 1898 and was brought to the theme park in 1911. 

Girlfriend feeding boyfriend cotton candy

Families, couples and friends will all find something they enjoy at Lake Compounce. (iStock)

Also part of Lake Compounce is Connecticut’s largest water park. Admission to Crocodile Cove is included in every ticket purchase.

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Lake Compounce contains a good balance of rides ideal for children and adults with plenty of coasters and kid-friendly rides for a full day of fun.

Source

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