Funtown Splashtown USA History

Violet Cormier and her husband, Ken Cormier, built Funtown Splashtown USA from the ground up.

It started as a drive-in food stand called Marvel Drive-In in 1960 on U.S. Route 1 in Saco, Maine. It is now home to the park with 50 rides, water slides, pools, and various games and food. Ken Cormier passed away in 2013, but Violet Cormier continues to be a very active part of Funtown Splashtown, USA. Even at 87, Violet Cormier shows no signs of slowing down. Her motto is ‘Treat every day like it’s a party.

Our story begins… (BEING UPDATED)..

Marvel Drive-In Opens
1960 Marvel Drive In, Soco, ME

Kenneth and Violet Cormier opened the Marvel Drive-In on U.S. Route 1 in Saco, Maine. The Cormier’s opened this drive-in restaurant next to Kenneth’s brother-in-law, Andre Dallaire’s, mini-golf course that opened in 1959.

Go-kart Tack Opens
1963 Go Karts at Funtown USA

Dallaire opened a Go-Kart track behind the mini-golf course.

Batting Cage, Archery and More Opens
1964 Batting Cage Construction

Cormier added batting cages as well as an archery range behind the Marvel Drive In. Over the course of the next few years, Cormier and Dallaire added several kiddie and carnival-style rides. This included the SkySlides, Swinging Gyms, as well as a gift shop.

Funtown USA is Born!
1967 Funtown USA is Born

Cormier and Dallaire formed a partnership. This is when Funtown USA was born. During this year Funtown USA added a “Zipper”, outdoor bumper cars, Merry-Go-Round, and the “Luv Machine” (Bayun Kurve). The bumper cars were replaced by the bumper car building. If you take a look at the area around the bumper cars you can still see the original concrete pad for the outdoor bumper cars. The “Luv Machine” was only at the park for a limited time, this was located where the Red Baron Planes are now.

First Theme Park Attraction
1976 Astrosphere was built at Funtown USA

Funtown USA unveiled its first themed attraction with the Astrosphere, a Scrambler darkride. The Tilt-A-Whirl was also added to the lineup of rides this same year.

Galaxi Coaster
1978 Galaxi Coaster opens at Funtown USA

After legal battles about protesting the new addition, the Galaxi Coaster was brought to Funtown. At this time it was the only roller coaster in the whole state.

  • During this year, Ken Cormier bought out Andre Dallaire’s interest in the partnership. Andre Dallaire purchased the Marvel Drive-In, tore it down and opened Maine Play Amusements in 1982, which then became known as Cascade Water and Amusements.
  • Cascade owned and operated the Kartland Go-Karts, Cascade Water Park, Hydrofighter, Bumper Boats, and games-of-skill and chance.
Galactic Laser Experience

A 500-seat theater was built at Funtown to house the “Galactic Laser Experience”. This attraction consisted of a laser-light show that was set to popular music of the time. Due to technical problems with the attraction and bankruptcy of the company the show was purchased from, the theater was closed. The lobby of the building is now an arcade, and the rest of the building is used as storage.

Antique Car Ride
1982 Antique Cars at Funtown USA

Antique Cars was added to the park’s lineup, and for the first time at Funtown bracelets were sold to guests for unlimited riding.

Tempest in the Tea Cups
Construction of the Teacup ride at Funtown USA

Funtown opened the Tempest in the Tea Cups. Also added the same year was New England’s longest and tallest Log Flume ride, the Thunder Falls, a title this attraction still holds today.

Thrill Rides Arrive
In the 1980's the Casino ride at Funtown USA arrived

During the late 1980’s, Funtown added many thrill rides, including the Flying Trapeze (YoYo), Sea Dragon, Casino, and the Thunderbolt.

Haunted Mansion

Cascade Water and Amusement Park opened the Haunted Mansion. This was an extremely popular attraction, it was closed in 1996 due to the high-risk of operation.

HUGE Expansion: Six New Attractions
1993 Barney Oldfield Roadster attraction arrives at Funtown USAs

Funtown underwent a major expansion adding 6 new attractions. This included the Grand Prix Racers, Adult Bumper Boats, Kiddie Bumper Boats, Barney Oldfield Roadsters, Balloon Race, and the Classic Carousel.

Cascade Water and Amusement Park Purchased
Early photo of Splashtown USA

Cormier bought Cascade Water and Amusement Park, the park was then renamed Funtown Splashtown USA.

Excalibur Coaster, Slides Updated and Kiddie Park
1998 Excalibur Roller Coaster was built at Funtown USA

Funtown Splashtown USA announced the largest ever expansion with the arrival of the Excalibur. This was the first wooden coaster in Maine in over 50 years. Excalibur is the tallest and longest wooden roller coaster in Northern New England. This coaster was highly praised and had rave reviews. Excalibur was rated #10 in the world for wooden roller coasters by the Amusement Business Magazine. The following year, three of the six water slides in Splashtown USA were replaced and a large kiddie play area was added to the park.

Live Entertainments Arrives
2000 Entertainment at Funtown USA

The park brought in live entertainment when the Picadilly Corner Stage opened. Following the 2000 season, the park announced that it would be closing the Hydrofighter, Ferris Wheel, and Noah Zark Play Area to make way for the 220-foot tall Dragon’s Descent, a turbo drop ride. The Frog Hopper, a kiddie version of the Dragon’s Descent was also added.

Water Park Doubled & Funtown Expanded
2003 Water slide expansion at Funtown Splashtown USA

Splashtown USA underwent a major expansion that doubled the size of the water park with the addition of the Portland Pirates Paradise, an AquaPlay interactive water park attraction. It was the largest of its kind in New England. Also that same year the Horizons Tiki Bar and Gift Shop, the Silver Dolphin Jewelry Shop, and Drago’s- a new food stand in the Mandarin Village was added.

Celebrated Our 40th Season!

Funtown Splashtown USA celebrated its 40th season! The park announced its largest expansion and renovation project ever! This included two 7-story tall water slides to open in June 2007. The new slides replaced the mini golf course. The Hungry Bear as well as Sweet Shoppe were renovated to serve guests in the water park.

The Park Doubled in Size!
2007 Mammoth Slide opens at Splashtown USA

Splashtown USA doubled in size. The park also opened the Mammoth and Tornado water slides. The Tornado is exclusive to our park in Northern New England!

Arcade Opens
Arcade at Funtown Splashtown USA

The park opened its first redemption arcade, The Dragon’s Lair.

Wild Mouse Coaster
Wild Mouse ride at Funtown USA

The Galaxi Coaster, a mainstay at the park for 30 years, was replaced with the Wild Mouse. This new coaster is the largest family-steel coaster in Maine.

Largest Expansion and Renovation
Splashtown USA Saco Maine

Splashtown USA was expanded, adding the Mount Olympus Water Slides, additional lounging and seating, three new dining and food locations; Parthenon Cafe, BBQ pit, and fresh-squeezed lemonade and snow cone cart. On the Funtown USA side, a new. In 2012, the park undertook its largest expansion and renovation project ever. Splashtown USA was expanded, adding the Mount Olympus Water Slides, additional lounging and seating, three new dining and food locations; Parthenon Cafe, BBQ Pit, and Fresh-squeezed lemonade and snow cone cart. On the Funtown USA side, a new Hungry Bear and BBQ Pit restaurants were added, the Sweet Tooth Candy Shoppe opened. The park also relocated the Group Picnic areas, and some of the games. New restrooms were also opened

Anniversary Celebrations

Splashtown USA celebrated its 20th season, and the Astrosphere celebrated its 40th season.

50th Season
Merry-Go-Round at Funtown USA

Funtown USA celebrated its 50th season! Returning to the park for this historic season is one of the park’s original rides, the Merry-Go-Round. This classic is located adjacent to the Heritage House of Gifts, not far from its original home.

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