Review: Wildcat Wooden Roller Coaster Lake Compounce

Wildcat Lift Hill Lake Compounce Wooden Roller Coaster

The Wildcat at Lake Compounce is one of the oldest roller coasters in the world still operating to this day. It serves as the visual icon of the park and you can see it from almost any location in the oldest continuously operating amusement park in America.

But all is not well with the oldest roller coaster in the park.

Wildcat Queue Line Entrance Wooden Roller Coaster Lake Compounce

This coaster is by far the roughest coaster I have ever experienced in any park in the world. All wooden coasters have a certain element of shakiness, with it often adding to the charm of the coaster. But on this ride, it is just painful, leaving you holding on to the train and bracing for every element as it quickly becomes apparent from the first drop that they are only going to bring pain.

There are some redeeming moments in this coaster, mainly on the airtime hills towards the end of the ride, but for the most part, every element of the ride just hurts. I have ridden this ride countless times over the past fifteen years and it has never been a pleasant experience. Typically I skip it when I visit the park, and only ride it when visiting with someone new who hasn't experienced it before.

Lake Compounce has even tried to fix this ride multiple times. In the last twenty years, it has been retracked, some parts being retracked multiple different times, and has been given new ride vehicles and none of the changes has significantly improved the ride. It remains as rough as ever and it is hardly worth riding.

Lake Compounce Entrance Plaza Wildcat Roller Coaster

I think it is very telling that Lake Compounce chose to wait to open this ride until well into the 2020 season. They recognize that this is not a beloved attraction, and despite all the attempts to improve it, it remains as one of the worst currently operating coasters.

This ride is desperately calling out for a fix, whether that is an RMC hybrid conversion or just rebuilding it from the ground up. Unfortunately Lake Compounce's parent company Parques Reunidos isn't looking to make elaborate investments in any of their parks right now, so Wildcat will likely continue to torture unsuspecting guests for years to come.

Lake Compounce Road Sign Amusement Park Bristol Connecticut

Have you ever ridden Wildcat at Lake Compounce? What is your opinion of this classic roller coaster? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!


  1. Absolutely awful. Since being on this ride I have neck pain. I will never go on this ride again. It's very unsafe.

  2. Brutal - count us as part of the unsuspecting first timers who will never ride it again. Found myself bracing my neck on each hill and dip. Ouch - counted the seconds until it ended.

  3. Absolute nightmare. You are thrashed forward and back and side to side in a violent manner. Neck, head and upper back were badly injured. This let to months in pain and eventually surgery!! With so many people getting hurt the warnings should be everywhere.


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