Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
I'm too old to remember exactly how my day went, play-by-play so just the highlights and general impressions:
-Holy cow, this park is cheap! With a single platinum pass holder, we had access to the "bring a friend for cheap" passes which were $25 CAD which translates to $20 US. That's remarkable for a park of this size. I sprang for the FastLane+ (with Leviathan and Behemoth) for $77 CAD which is ~$60 US.
-Holy cow, this park is huge! The kids area alone is gigantic and easily occupied my kids for the entire day. My eldest hit 48" and so he rode (in order of ascending bravery), Ghoster Coaster, Silver Streak, Vortex, Minebuster, and Dragon Fire, his first looper. My middle loved Silver Streak and rode it at least 8 times. The kids' areas were just fantastic.
-The end of the night show was actually pretty good. They had lasers, jumping fountains, projections on Wonder Mountain, and some decent music. I found it highly entertaining.
-Leviathan was kind of "meh" early in the day, but was sufficiently thrilling at night. I just didn't really get the ride though. So much of it was so low to the ground that it felt like the actual ride time was really short and the elements just weren't very interesting. Lots of either high-g overbanked turns or slow graceful rolls. The speed was great, but it didn't make up for the fact that not much else was going on.
-Behemoth on the other hand was incredible. It definitely took my favorite B&M spot from Apollo's Chariot. The air, the setting, the operations...and even the trains, as much as I think they look weird, greatly enhance the airtime in the back. What a great ride on all counts.
-Wonder Mountain's Guardian was a complete disaster, IMO. Capacity was terrible (It's not on any FastLane so I hit it very early in the day, before the line grew), the roller coaster portion was just stuck on, the game itself was confusing, and about 50% of the guns didn't work, judging by the scores coming back on each train. I will say the one big "surprise" moment definitely got me and redeemed the 15 minutes I spent in line.
-Vortex was great! I hadn't ridden a suspended coaster in almost a decade and this one wowed me. My eldest rode it as his first adult coaster and loved it, but I was genuinely a little bit nervous/thrilled during the ride. Huge swings through a layout of rapid fire turns? What's not to love?
-I felt compelled to ride the Volare, SLC, and Boomerang and they still suck, even in Canada. I think the Volare is literally the poorest designed coaster I have ever been on.
-There were a ton of huge flats that I would have loved to try, but between my son's growing enthusiasm and my easily upset stomach, I had to pass on all of them. The Jump2 in particular looked like a ton of fun.
Overall, I was super impressed by the park. It was a tremendous value and had a lot to do for all ages. I would have liked if they spread at least some family rides around the park so the kids had anything to do while we were riding Behemoth and Back Lot Stunt Coaster. That said, to the enthusiast the quality of coasters drops off pretty sharply after the top 2 or 3. The B&M's, Vortex, and Back Lot were all reridable and the mouse and mine train were acceptable, but pretty much everything else was a one and done and quite a few coasters were bordering on torture. I would have loved to take a peek into the water park, try out the flyers, and see how the Lusse bumper cars ran, but those will have to wait.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the kiddie bumper cars which were about as violent as Knoebel's. They are also Lusse and are kids only (no adults at all) but they let you do head-on collisions and the cars jump up in the air when you do. My kids loved them and once they got the hang of steering bumper cars, they were tearing up the place.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 12:08 PM
I've said this before, but I've held a personal *theory* that Leviathan's footprint and concept was originally intended for Intamin, but came along around the time when things between them and CF headed south. I think that B&M was called in to redesign and save the day. If you think about it there are a couple of tell-tale signs, some of which Andy touched on in his report.
I haven't been to CW in a number of years and have yet to try Leviathan. If anything, I see it as a trial-sized lead in to Fury 325 and others to come. I'm really interested in the wonderful selection of flats the park offers, although a few of them I'd probably rather experience from the ground. It's hell to get old.
That Guardian ride looks like crap and hopefully it's NOT a lead in to other rides for CF. I've heard Knotts' is better, but not by much. For some reason we don't hear much about the great CF dark ride push anymore, do we? Maybe those two are a lesson learned and the idea has gone to the back burner for now.
I attended CW during its inaugural season and it was pretty bare and flat. It's so nice to see how the park has grown and become more beautiful over the years. And I'm glad your kids are starting to get their groove on, it's a fun time to be a parent. Thanks for the report.
Sounds like you had a great time.
As another aging (mid 40s) enthusiast that doesn't get along with flat rides like I used to, the Jump 2 isn't as bad in the spinning department as it looks. It's more nerve wracking waiting for the arms to drop or shoot up but never felt any nausea and the seats are really comfortable.
It used to hardly ever run but they seem to be giving it some TLC in the last couple of years and have seen it operating regularly again.
Really liked this park despite really wanting a beer after a lightning storm and Leviathan never reopening when I planned to get a few last rides in... :P
I've said this before, but I've held a personal *theory* that Leviathan's footprint and concept was originally intended for Intamin, but came along around the time when things between them and CF headed south.
Leviathan is very similar to an early oughts Intamin which is probably why I love it.
Yes, Canada's Wonderland is a beautiful park. There is certainly diversity of opinion about Leviathan. I personally loved it - in fact I prefer it to Fury 325 b/c unlike Fury, it doesn't give me whiplash - but a Canadian friend who went to Canada's Wonderland for the 1st time last year had the same take as Andy re Leviathan v. Behemoth. In a way I'm glad to hear that Wonder Mountain's Guardian was a disaster b/c I was afraid I might have missed something. (I too had FastLane Plus, absolutely useless for this particular ride.) I thought that the two woodies were mediocre at best and rougher than I would have liked but Dragon Fire was the roughest of all, with Flight Deck coming in at a close second, and I absolutely hated it.
I loved both Leviathan and Behemoth - one for the speed and the other for the insane moments of negative g's at the crest of each hill. It's a shame that some people are so focused on rankings (and figuring out what coaster is "the best") that they fail to simply appreciate these marvelous machines and the fact that they're in the same park! And, I agree that other than Vortex the other coasters are mediocre (although my 6 year old daughter's first favorite roller coaster was the silver streak)
I would have no problems saying that both coasters were great...if there were both great. I can name 10 parks off hand that have more than 1 coaster I would label as great and even though I naturally compare them, I could tell you why each has its merits. Canada's Wonderland is not one of those parks. For it's 300' and 92 MPH, Leviathan was really underwhelming. I absolutely loved the Intamin S:RoS's and MF but they just seemed like more substantial rides. Leviathan had a lot of really fast but kind of boring spots and the time from top of lift to brakes felt very short.
I've heard Knotts' is better, but not by much
I've not ridden Guardian but Voyage at Knotts was amazing. Easily Universal quality. Even the queue was well done.
Glad you had fun Andy. I hope to get to the park next year
I haven't been to Canada's Wonderland, but your Behemoth / Leviathan comparisons remind me of how I felt at Carowinds last month with Fury and Intimidator. My first ride of the day was Fury, and while it was a great ride, it didn't blow me away quite like I had hoped and others said it would. On the contrary, Intimidator delivered ride after ride of insane airtime that I absolutely loved (I had ridden it back in 2012 on a cold, rainy day, so it was running sluggish compared to the hot sunny day this year). I warmed up to Fury as the day went on, and two after dark rides in the back were unbelievable and I 'got' it, but I still think Intimidator won my favorite ride of the day contest simply for the ejector but still comfortable airtime.
I like both but Behemoth made much less of an impression on me - it felt like nothing more than Nitro to me. Which is cool because Nitro is a great ride, but Great Adventure is my local park currently so it didn't feel special to me. Leviathan was incredible but I felt like it would have benefitted from being a bit longer and having a couple more airtime hills - there's still a ton of momentum when you hit the brake run.
I know it's gone but Skyrider was easily my third favorite coaster there. Such a goofy layout. Vortex was pretty great. Currently my only suspended credit.Last edited by Vincent Greene, Tuesday, September 12, 2017 10:39 AM
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