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“Screeemfest... scary good times!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Canobie Lake Park

Canobie Lake Park
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Salem
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire has over 85 Rides, Games, Live Entertainment and Attractions, including our wild roller coaster, UNTAMED!
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Screeemfest... scary good times!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2013

Screemfest 2013 has taken over Canobie Lake Park. If you love spooky, scary things and have a dark sense of humor, this is the place for you. A small group of us went on the first night of Screeemfest (9/27) and had an awesome time. We picked up coupons at McDonald's knocking $4 off admission, paying $26.99 each. Waiting just beyond the ticket booths were all kinds of monsters - they don't let you get by without a good scare. You can buy a flashing necklace that keeps the monsters away, but for $26.99, we wanted the full experience. The monsters keep to their area, but it's a matter of getting by them. There was a huge green monster, a ghoul with eyes in his hands, an axe-wielding Skeletor-type dude, some incredibly spooky girls (one looks a bit like Wednesday Addams and another is deathly white, bald and bloody) and a classy Dracula. Some of the monsters are really creepy. A zombie/ghoul dude in red pants stared at us as we walked by, then suddenly ran right up behind us (scared the you-know-what out of us!). The monsters don't touch you (and you don't touch them). But they'll appear at your side as you're walking along and well, it's just plain creepy.
Okay, let's talk about the haunts... there are 5 major spooky attractions and they're all different, so do them all. "Virus" is new this year. You enter a biocontainment facility riddled with the infected. It's pretty scary, but I'm guessing the park could do more to make it really, really frightening. "Merriment" is all about scary clowns. The clown guy at the entrance gave the spookiest maniacal clown laugh ever. Plenty of jump scares and if clowns make you uncomfortable, this will do you in. "The Dead Shed" is filled with sounds of butchering, plenty of blood, and lots of scares. We saw people screaming and running out of The Dead Shed. Seriously. We loved "Cannibal Island." Look for the volcano as the entrance. Tiki drums and lots of fog. Lots and lots of fog. And some very terrifying things waiting for you. As their meal. It was great. Our favorite was "The Village." It's a bloodcurdling maze of hay bales and cornstalks. Doesn't sound very scary, you say? Things come out of the hay bales and cornstalks at you. You never see them until they are right there! And gas-powered chainsaws... that's all I'm saying. It's very intense. Again, no one touches you, nothing's going to hurt you, but you have to get through the maze, and it's terrifying.
There are 2 shows on the midway stage that alternate every hour. There's an awesome AC/DC tribute band called Bonfire. They rock - catch them when they play. There's also a sword swallower who looked great and some talented dancers. Unfortunately, we only caught a small part of this show. Don't miss the park's monster parade at 7:30. They make a circuit of the park. Watch for the Ghostbusters guys and their car. The monsters and the Ghostbusters guys are awesome about taking photos of them. There's an Oktoberfest tent by the Midway Stage and I wish like anything we'd had time to hang out and have a beer and a pretzel or a grilled sausage. We were there from opening 'til close (11pm) and we chose to hit rides a second time rather than experience what looked like really tasty Oktoberfest brews and eats. But the ride lines were really short... how can you resist?
A couple of downsides: the haunts don't open until it's dark. We got to the park when it opened at 6pm. It will get dark earlier as Halloween approaches, but we had to wait a little while until we could go into the first haunt. So hit the rides until it gets dark. (I suggest Untamed -- soooo awesomely fun). This was our first time going to Canobie Lake Park so another downside for us was not knowing the park. I kept getting turned around and my sense of direction stinks. Get a park map first thing at Guest Services. Trust me.... get a map.
The management must be doing something really right with their staff. The people in the haunts give it their all. The monsters strolling the grounds were awesome. All of the ride operators were exceedingly friendly, as were security personnel, the folks in the food areas, the nice lady who sold us our tickets and the nice lady in the restroom. Which brings me to cleanliness.... this place is so clean. The rides were clean - nothing gross on any of the seats, even the older rides and attractions were very clean. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and with a large and friendly staff, the park feels very safe. We will absolutely be back. And next time, I'm getting an Oktoberfest beer and a smoky sausage.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank tinseltrees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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764 reviews from our community

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English first
Auburn, New Hampshire
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“fun day out with our daughter”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

Just had a terrific day out with our daughter and her friend to celebrate back to school! We had been here when we were kids ages ago and are now happy we returned with the next generation. Brought back lots of good memories!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank lori w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Absolutely a Great Park”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

Canobie Lake is a great park I've been going there since I was a kid and have never had a bad experience. It's always clean and maintained extremely well, it's a relatively small park but the amount of activities they've been able to pack in is impressive. Every year they seem to add something new in addition to some really classic and rare rides they have some of the newest and thrilling new ones, and the atmosphere is second to none, they finally added a halloween event there a couple years back and it's gotten better and better each year. You know it's not a corporately owned park as soon as you enter and parking is free which is unheard of at a corporate park and second is when they are scheduled to close at 10 and the place is packed and you hear an announcement that they've decided to stay open until 11. Just a truly great time at a great park

Visited August 2013
Thank Bfbulldog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allenstown, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Canobie Lake”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

This is a great place for family and fun. they have a variety of rides and some really fast rides as well. Not so big you can get lost, but they hit all the areas one would one in an amusement park.

Visited August 2013
Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great place to bring the family”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

Canobie Lake is in awesome place to have fun. They have a great amount of kiddie rides at the same time they have great rollercoasters and rides for adults. The Boston tea party ride is so much fun, and you can stand on the bridge to get soaked( the kids love it). Parking is free and after 5 the price goes down a little which is nice when you have a family of 5. We love going back in October kids free because they do scary haunted houses. It's a cool way for us to celebrate Halloween on date night! not really the best idea for small children.

Visited August 2013
Thank Jillian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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