Canada's Wonderland - Sneak Preview and/or Opening Day?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 4:38 PM

This question is geared more towards Coasterbuzzers up North.

I may have the opportunity (time-wise) this weekend to travel up to Toronto to Visit Canada's Wonderland. I have been there on Season Pass Sneak Preview Day and BMO day, but have not yet been there for Opening Day, and would most likely travel to Toronto alone.

With a private event (or other reason the park is closed) between both of these Season Pass (CP Platinum on my end) eligible events, I am not sure if it would be worth spending the little money I have to stick around Toronto an extra day and do both events, or go to just one of the two.

If I was to choose one of these two, which is better? Should I maybe stay in Toronto for the weekend and go both days?

It looks like Martin's Fantasy Island isn't open yet, and I don't want to drive back across the border to go to Darien lake if it is open. Considering I'd probably be by myself, any advice on Toronto activities I could do Saturday if I stick around there?

Thanks for your Advice,

Sam

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Sunday, May 2, 2010 11:54 AM

Sorry I haven't logged in for a while I probably could have helped you out with this one. As I live a half hour away. There is tons to do around here (non-amusement) related. Hope it all worked out for you.

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Monday, May 3, 2010 5:23 PM

Trip went well. Too bad I am probably going to get a hefty bill in the mail, as I decided to take the 407 ETR to avoid Friday rush hour traffic. Looks like over $20 when the billing fee is included. Expensive road, but if you can afford it, the lack of traffic makes it well worth the price!

-Sam

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Monday, May 3, 2010 8:25 PM

Glad to hear you had fun Sam. Depending on where your car is registered in the US, you might not get a bill in the mail. We had friends from Connecticut use the 407 by accident last summer and never got billed for it. It's a bit sketchy as to who in the US gets billed and who doesn't but hopefully you'll get lucky with it.

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Monday, May 3, 2010 9:23 PM

Cropsey said:
Glad to hear you had fun Sam. Depending on where your car is registered in the US, you might not get a bill in the mail. We had friends from Connecticut use the 407 by accident last summer and never got billed for it. It's a bit sketchy as to who in the US gets billed and who doesn't but hopefully you'll get lucky with it.

Can someone tell me what this 407 billing thing is all about? I'm having thoughts of going to CW, and I'm going in totally cold. I need to learn as much as I can in a short period of time, because I hope to apply for a passport Saturday. Thank ya verra much!

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Monday, May 3, 2010 9:35 PM

407 ETR is a toll road up in Canada. Completely optional.

One issue I did have was with my season pass not working there this year. They told me to let Cedar Point know about the issue, which I did today. Normally, I have better luck there with my platinum pass than at Kings Island.

Would you be taking a road trip from NJ?

-Sam

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:08 AM

http://www.407etr.com/

What Sam said. But it's not something you'd really even consider taking unless you were staying north of Toronto on the 404 which is well to the east of the park and there's plenty of free alternatives to it. It's generally something commuters pay a premium for to reduce some traffic at rush hours. I live downtown so feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need directions.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:13 AM

Sam any feedback on how the park was? I have not been up there year, have my pass so plan to get up there soon but probably going to wait until midweek operation when it's quiet. A friend mentioned that Wild Beast was running better than ever but Minebuster was in bad shape and a painful experience.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:51 AM

Cropsey said:
Sam any feedback on how the park was? I have not been up there year, have my pass so plan to get up there soon but probably going to wait until midweek operation when it's quiet. A friend mentioned that Wild Beast was running better than ever but Minebuster was in bad shape and a painful experience.

Sam/Cropsey:

Any advice would be helpful. I'm only in the early stages of thinking about it, but yes, it would be a road trip from NJ. I don't think CW would be my first or last stop. I'd like to hit 4 parks..CW, NY's Great Escape, Cedar Point and Kings Island. what order would best serve? I've not been to the two non-Ohio parks before. No idea if it'll happen..Money's tough. I already found a Motel 6 in Brampton, which appears to be about 16 miles from CW.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:16 AM

Did you fly there and rent a car or did you drive from Ohio? It's my understanding that they don't bother tracking down US license plates on the 407 ETR.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert, Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:17 AM
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:33 AM

When we went up to CW for Behemoth Bash two summers ago our GPS took us on the 407. About a month later we received a bill for $11.00, they had no problem finding us and we live in Ohio. Very creepy highway at night. Very dark and almost no other traffic. The lighted archways with all of the cameras make it very Big Brother.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:47 PM

Mike Gallagher said:

. I already found a Motel 6 in Brampton, which appears to be about 16 miles from CW.


Brampton's a bit off the beaten path a bit but if the room is the right price that would work. There's a newish Super 8 right off the highway a couple of exits away from the park that friends mentioned was decent.

http://www.super8torontonorth.com/index.html

Also if you're coming in via The Great Escape you'll be heading into the Toronto area via the 401. No reason to bother with the 407ETR, just stay on 401 until you get to 400 which is the major freeway that heads right to the park.

Last edited by Cropsey, Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:50 PM
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:48 PM

I took the 407 ETR to avoid the traffic. Normally I take the QEW to the 403 to the 401 to 400. I know you can also take 427, which is how I drove back. My understanding is that they do have an agreement with Ohio to get information for Ohio plates. I expect to get a bill between $20 and $25, but I probably shaved at least a half hour from my travel time but taking the 407 ETR (from where it starts at the QEW and 403 to thr 400). Toronto traffic is crazy, and the 401 is supposed to be one of the busiest roads in North America. I don't think I have ever driven in New Jersey, but I assume the traffic is similar.

Cropsey, Season Pass Sneak Preview seemed less crowded than when I went in 2008, and Opening Day was practically dead. While I did ride the wooden coasters in my two visits (I think I did Wild Beast on Friday and the other two Sunday), I don't generally go there for the wooden coasters.

They did finally add a Dippin' Dots stand, which was needed badly, in my opinion. Other than Planet Snoopy, I am not sure what else is new this year. Did they have the video menu boards last year at the french fry stands?

For hotels, I generally suggest Priceline.com if you are willing to gamble a little. I usually stay in Mississauga (north side, by the 401), which is next to Toronto. I have also stayed at the Courtyard in Vaughn. My suggestion is to bid $45 or $50 a night on Priceline for the Vaughn/North York area, or between $40 and $45 for Mississauga. If you have questions about priceline, a great site is www.biddingfortravel.com, which someone suggested to me on Coasterbuzz some years back.

If you have a CF Platinum Pass, they offer 15% off food (stands like Dippin' Dots not included) and 20% off merchandise for Season Pass holders! They are also very friendly, and take US Currency at the food and merchandise stands at par! Most places in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) seem to take US currency, so no need to exchange much unless the US Dollar hits a high amount when you go.

As for food near the park, I've had good luck at the Swiss Chalet on Rutherford Road, on the other side of the 400. Swiss Chalet, which doesn't have many US stores, is like a cross between Applebee's and Boston Market. It is a sit-down casual chain.

Let me know if you have any other questions about any of the three Cedar Fair parks you plan to visit.

-Sam

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:55 PM

Avalanche Sam said:
...I don't generally go there for the wooden coasters.

Seems not many people go to CW for the wooden coasters.....hmmmm.... ;)

Honestly, I've had some decent/mostly mediocre rides on Spine, er, Minebuster. Definitely better than any I'd gotten off Wilde Beast. The kiddie woodies at the former PPs are almost always well-kept - just don't ask about the names! ;)

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:25 PM

407 is the most expensive road on earth I think. I never drive it unless the QEW is very slow and I'm late for a jays/yankees game. lol. Long story short don't take it. Set you GPS to avoid toll roads once in Canada.

CW has the best collection on average-poor coasters on earth. haah. Behemoth is awesome, and was really poping on season pass preview night. Vortex is also great and seems especially fast this year. Backlot, i'm sure you've been on one and know it's decent. After that the coaster kinda stink. Flight deck (vekoma SLC) is ok for a slc but obviously near unridable, the wood is terrible. Especially since the re-vamped minebuster. Wilde beast is only good in the rain. They have a great selection of coasters for little kids. Thunder Run is a must do! Wonderlands strength is the kids sections, as well as good flats. However don't get super excitted about the flats either. Sledgehammer looks amazing but it's only decent. The best flat is shockwave.

When you do come keep in mind it's really busy during the summer. The Greater Toronto Area has over 8 million ppl, most of which with $$$ to burn, and there is no real competion for miles.

Swiss Chalet is a good call... Only order chicken though. Well priced and good food. The sauce could end wars! it's that good.

Any other questions I'd be happy to answer.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010 4:09 PM

Zakkster said:
When we went up to CW for Behemoth Bash two summers ago our GPS took us on the 407. About a month later we received a bill for $11.00, they had no problem finding us and we live in Ohio. Very creepy highway at night. Very dark and almost no other traffic. The lighted archways with all of the cameras make it very Big Brother.

I never got anything in the mail with an Indiana plate. :)

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Sunday, May 9, 2010 4:14 PM

It may take a couple of months. At least that is what I was basically told when I called in about when to expect my bill.

Hopefully the US Dollar recovers by the time I get the bill, making my trip that much less expensive.

-Sam

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Sunday, May 9, 2010 4:43 PM

Perhaps they only have an agreement with certain states. My friend from Pennsylvania says he has never gotten a bill for driving on the 407.

DKNY6363 said:
the wood is terrible. Especially since the re-vamped minebuster. Wilde beast is only good in the rain.

That's unfortunate. When I rode Minebuster in the mid-eighties it was one of my favorite coasters, and Wilde Beast was pretty good too. Last time I was there in 2006 I thought Wild Beast was still okay but Minebuster was just a shadow of it's former self. Vortex was running well and I like The Fly too. I also liked the Togo standup--it brought back memories of King Cobra.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010 5:32 PM

Avalanche Sam/Cropsey:

I took the first step yesterday and applied for a passport for the first time. If I did everything right, I should have it within 3 weeks, since I sprung for the expedited service. I've also eliminated Great Escape and (potentially) replaced it with Darien Lake. Thanks for the info so far, and I may be picking your brains some more if I go forward with the trip. I'm looking at late June into early July, because I finally got my vacation days approved.

Mike

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Sunday, May 9, 2010 6:08 PM

Hey Mike keep us posted and will help you where I can. If you're coming up from Buffalo you really don't need to deal with the 407 stuff so don't worry about it. Just do what you can to avoid rush hours.

Also if you have time you could make a stop at Marineland in Niagara Falls. Very unique/odd park that is worth a look. Not a ton of rides but S&S and some unique flats. Dragon Mountain super unique Arrow looper that's a lot of fun.

Regarding the wood at CW I've always enjoyed it. But the rides have good years and bad years depending on what was done on the offseason. When they're running well both Minebuster and Wild Beast have outstanding air time. But on off years Minebuster has had some of the worst pot holes ever experienced. By the way the air time seats on Wild Beast are in the front of the train on the bunny hops, not so much in the back.

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