2014 Summer Shows at Canobie Lake Park - By Michael Coutermarsh
2014 Summer Shows at Canobie Lake Park
Photos by Michael Coutermarsh
Photo Trip Report Park & Outdoor Shows Album Dancehall Theater Shows

Written by Michael Coutermarsh
Edited by Brian B.

First off I have to thank by friend Mack (Pubman) for treating me to a day at Canobie.
I arrived at 10:45 to meet up and get into the park for the start of the day. The focus today was to see the 2014 tribute shows and if possible the vaudeville Magic Show.   Rides were second on the list. We were disappointed to see that the park’s dark ride Mine of Lost Souls was listed as closed for the day.  The park also listed Equinox, Wave Blaster and DaVinci’s Dream. Davinci’s Dream did open around 1pm and I observed maintenance working on the Mine and Wave Blaster.   I walked to the Mine hoping to get an idea of what’s up, but no luck. We later learned it was an electrical issue. 

The first rides of the day were the Bumper cars, Psychodrome and the Lake Cruise.   The park was surprisingly busy.  With a couple major events going on in NH I expected lighter crowds.  Queue lines were filled but they moved quickly with employees working hard and trying to fill all the seats.

Ride count: One ride each - Bumper cars, Psychodrome, Lake Cruse, Canobie Express, Untamed, Yankee Cannonball, Rowdy Rooster, Log Flume, Boston Harbor Patrol, Over the Rainbow, and Xtreme Frisbee.

Lunch was at the Dancing Bear in Ye Old Canobie Village.   This is my favorite food location featuring BBQ options which are cooked to order.  I didn’t get my usual half rack of ribs because they have become very expensive.  I ordered a BBQ chicken sandwich platter.  My friend got a hamburger platter. Platters are served with steak fries and coleslaw.  Prices are high both meals and a refilled Souvenir cup cost $22.77 after tax.  Lucky for me my friend was covering lunch (thanks again).  Quality wasn’t bad, better than other options in the park, but obviously frozen chicken.  Also, the sandwich was made with chicken strips which were hard to eat.  Thankfully they have forks available.  A single chicken breast or pulled chicken would have made for a better sandwich.  A negative change to this location is they no longer deliver your food.  They call your number for pickup but there is no pickup area. You have to fight through the queue of those waiting to order to get your food.

The shows
Tribute to Madonna - returning and now in the Dance Hall Theater
This was a pretty good show.  A few years back it ran during Screemfest on the midway stage.  The show is even better in the dance hall.  There is more room to show of the backup dancers and it allows the tribute Artist more room to move round and interact with the audience.  The song line up features a couple newer songs with well known classics.  My only complaint is some of Madonna’s best songs are her power ballads and they didn’t cover any of them.  It would have been a great opportunity to showcase the dancers and slow things down a bit.  Even Like a Prayer was presented with the Dance remix version.  I saw this show twice.

Forever Kings - Limited Engagement through July 6th in the Dancehall Theater
This is a Stage show featuring both Michael Jackson and Elvis.  It replaces one of the 2 Jackson Tribute shows.  To say this show was in demand is an understatement.  The Dance hall was packed pretty much standing room only.  The show itself was interesting basically mini version of the 2 shows and a surprise moment when both were on stage for the Song Black and White.

Tribute to Michael - Returning for its 5th season in the Dancehall
One of the Top 3 tribute shows the park has ever had.  The show is upbeat, exciting, and the performer Eddie Moss is amazing.  What are truly impressive are the dancers this year.  Not to say any of them were bad in previous years but they really hit the jackpot this year.  What was also good to see is they reworked the songs that were used in the past and added in a new and very in demand song Beat It.

Tribute to 1 Direction - New in 2014 on the Midway Stage
I watched a little bit of this show on two separate performances.  The positives, the performers look a lot like who they are representing and the younger guests especially girls were very excited for the show.  On the other side the show had limited appeal to anyone else.  The choreography was simple but that’s to be expected. The singing was a big weak and harmonies were way off.

Hagerman’s Vaudeville Magic Show – Returning for its second season on the Village Stage
This is a simple magic show. I caught the end of the show which normally showcases the best tricks.  I was not impressed.  The two simple tricks were nothing special and the finale, a quick change, was in no way quick.  The performer is a bit monotone which really make the show dull.  I do see promise in the show if they can work on the pacing and make it seem less like a birthday party magician act.

In the works and New
The Magic Seed - coming fall 2014
This family area will be a featured attraction for Screeemfest.  The back section of the former ball field is truly transformed. Pathways are laid out, plants are growing, and a few animals are already in place. The park relocated one of the birdcages from the long gone zoo area which houses both a peacock and peahen.  A front pen houses a peacock and chickens. The area come fall will host a full blown petting zoo.  A noticeable change is a very nice wood fence that now runs along the front of the area.

Boat House Casino – Formally the Lake side Arcade
The new casino arcade is finally opened after a long delayed rehab started in 2012. Now The Jackpot Casino in the back of Bear Lodge has found a new home and name.   The new arcade still operates the jackpot coin games, video poker, and slot machines.  The pop– a–ball poker games seem to be absent.  This location features a handful of standard arcade games including a new short length Ice ball (Skeeball) games.  What I don’t get is why, with all the long rehab, they didn’t switch out the floor. The building looks amazing, but the dark old tile flooring doesn’t fit.

Fellers Follies – Replaced the Old Man climbing wall
This is the parks latest game/up-charge attraction.  It’s a traditional ladder climb game.   The game had a good draw no one seemed to mind removing their shoes to use the attraction. While it was popular not one guest came close to winning.  The game is priced at $2 for one play or $5 for 3 attempts.

The Melt – Replacing the Funnel Cake Stand
The stand has been repainted and now sports a large 3D sign featuring a plate of grilled cheese. This was likely done by Themendous the company that made the other large 3D props and signs.

A few smaller changes have been made as well.  All the tagged trees from opening day have been removed around the Flume. Turns out this was done to install security cameras along the layout.  Two large monitors are set up in the station showing off the views.   The park also fixed the Electric Fountain. The Fountain now sports a base plate at the top which hold 3 high capacity water nozzles.  Good to see the park’s first attraction get some love.

The day in all was very fun.  It is always a bonus to have a friend to visit with so thanks again Mack for treating me to the park.  I got on a few rides, saw amazing shows, and the weather couldn’t have been better.   So with any luck I will get in a summer trip and if I can swing a Saturday now through Labor Day I can see their Fireworks display.   No matter what I’m checking out Screeemfest and the finished Magic Seed.

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