I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ron Gustafson, the marketing, and public relations director for Quassy Amusement Park. Ron and I discussed how Quassy has stood the test of time while making key updates to important sections of the park. Here is a recap of what we chatted about!
Quassy dates back about 110 years and originally opened as a trolley park. The trolley park was among thousands of others, most of which resided in the United States. Unfortunately, the depression of 1929 took most of them down.
Quassy held strong and kept their doors open with only 11 other parks that survived.
As you can imagine, this was not easy for this family-owned-and-operated small-town amusement park. The park opened in 1908 and has been owned by the same family since 1937. Quassy has gained a lot of interest over the years and has become a symbol in the Connecticut community
The park has made a lot of improvements while preserving key historical elements. Some of the buildings on the property—dating back as far as 1915—have been maintained and repurposed in order to preserve the vision of the family ownership.
Quassy doesn’t charge admission and never has. Ron says this makes it easy for parents and grandparents that may not want to hop on a ride enjoy the day with their family without spending money just to get in the gates.
While larger parks like Disney and Six Flags might have more rides to choose from (and more extreme ones at that), they also have a more corporate attitude and feel (and much longer lines). Quassy, on the other hand, fills a niche market. When people want to have a fun day at an amusement park known for treating everyone like family, they know where to go: Quassy.
One of the coolest things about Quassy is that it has stayed very consistent over the years. If you went to the park as a kid and went back years later as an adult, you’d probably be astounded to see that it’s just about the same as it’s always been, minus a few optimizations.
Quassy “took the plunge” in 2003 by introducing the first “WaterColors interactive modular play unit constructed in the world”. This waterpark looks as though you have walked into a water fun-house! The center of the water park is where you can find a huge bucket that drops more than 300 gallons of water onto guest below. They have tons of different water attractions like Tunnel Twisters, BulletBowl, Fish Pond, and tons more! There are activities for all age groups inside the water park.
Even with the recent expansion of the water park, the ride section still delights guests. You can check out family rides like Helicopters, Little Dipper, Tilt-A-Whirl, Crazy Cups, and much more. Quassy really has a wide range of rides that progress with your family; all the way from kiddie rides to thrill rides.
Not a thrill seeker? Not to worry. There are tons of attractions for those who don’t care much for rides. Take a nice relaxing cruise on Lake Quassapaug aboard the Quassy Queen. Head over to the arcade to try your luck on some skee-ball or maybe a throwback video game.
If you looking for even more events, make sure to check out their schedule to find more ways to enjoy the park. Ron and I talked about their launch of Quassy After Dark, a cool beach party featuring local bands. He said the turn out was amazing and people really seemed to enjoy a few drinks on the beach accompanied by the sweet sounds of music.
The cornerstone of Quassy Amusement Park is the Wooden Warrior Roller Coaster. This coaster was unveiled in 2011 and was named in the top 25 wooden roller coasters in the world the year after. Ron said that people come from around the world to come and enjoy this coaster. It’s amazing to think that people come from around the world to Connecticut for an amusement park ride. It really makes you think about how special this place is and how iconic it is to those who live outside the state.
This isn’t a cookie cutter ride, it has lots of punch and “heart-pounding tunneled turnaround”. While only spanning 1,200 feet in length this wooden coaster makes a pretty big name for itself.
If you call yourself a thrill-seeker, make sure to give Wooden Warrior a try.
Quassy stood the test of time when others failed and that spirit lives on today. Quassy is a place where people can bring their children to build memories while reliving their own. It certainly fits the description and will forever be a Connecticut icon.
I think that Ron exemplifies the true nature and spirit of Quassy. Their passion for customer care and historical preservation are seen throughout Quassy’s park and will keep them standing for many years to come. This is a perfect place for new families and seasoned grandparents to bring their loved ones. Quassy has something for everyone so don’t be shy!