Canada's Wonderland 5-17-2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012 9:22 PM

Canada’s Wonderland: Tuesday May 17

Weather: Sunny, but cool. Mid 60s.

Crowds: Light

Coasters: 8/10

Overall Park: 10/10

Before I go much further, I would like to explain my rating system. I rarely give something below 5/10. In the case I do, it is because of something very wrong with the ride. Wrong means extreme discomfort, or attributes that really annoy me as a rider (see Time Warp). Just because a ride is not intense, lacking airtime, or inteneded for younger riders doesn't make it a "bad" ride, just not a good or great ride.

Best of the Rest:

Call me crazy, but I enjoy Boomerangs, and The Bat reinforced my opinion (7/10). Flight Deck, while looking fresh, felt like any SLC would be expected to feel, but it wasn’t the most painful of the SLCs I have ridden. Great layout, but it suffers from lousy technical design (6/10). Silver Streak is your typical junior SLC, but still a very unique child-oriented coaster (5/10). Ghoster Coaster is your basic double out-n-back figure eight junior woodie, but serves its purpose effectively (5/10). The Fly, is just…yeah (5/10). Thunder Run has an excellent placement with some zippy twists and turns throught the mountain in almost pure darkness at times (6/10). Dragon fire was your basic old-school “throw you into some inversions and back” Arrow looper, but it was, for the most part, fairly comfortable (5/10). Drop Tower felt like its former cousin 2 generation tower Pitfall did, just not very intense like most other drop tower models (6/10). Shockwave, I believe, is a flat ride that needs to be installed in many other US parks immediately; Insane fun (8/10).

Things worth some detail:

Time Warp simply drove me up a wall. Stopping for 30 second increments at the top of the lift, first, and second blocks was painfully annoying. Another literally painful part would be the turns. If it wasn’t for the somewhat intense inversions, I would have been even more annoyed. (4/10)

Backlot Stunt Coaster is very underrated in my book. The launch is nothing to be amazed of, but the helix following full of sweet positive g’s. However, what really makes this ride is the second launch into pitch, black darkness. The out-of-control feeling combined with comfort makes for a very solid ride experience I’m always happy to take a ride at each park this is installed at. (8/10)

Mighty Canadian Minebuster rode pretty smoothly despite many reviews giving a less than spectacular opinion. However, this coaster is devoid of any air to be had. The experience was simply flat in which it felt like the train was being dragged unwillingly through the course. The helix finale provided some average lateral g’s, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the forceless ride. (6/10)

Skyrider pleasantly surprised me. I went into this one expecting the worst after having experienced Shockwave at Kings Dominion. However, this one proved you can’t judge a book by its cover. Of course butter smooth is not the case, but headbanging was almost non-existent, and the bunny hills at the end gave no discomfort of that infamous kind. Since it was so much more decent than expected, I was able to fully appreciate the intensity of the highly-banked, sideways helix. (7.5/10)

Vortex, along with its sister-coaster at Kings Island, is one of two gems of a dying breed of coaster. The ride experience is nothing exceptional, but it has an intangible element. It’s hard to describe, but each time I ride Vortex or Flight Deck (KI), the experience is almost entrancing. While for some reason I like the sub-terrain, valley-like setting at KI slightly better, the lift over the mountain and the swooping turn over the pond was still a pretty cool and unique setting (8/10).

Wild Beast has two wooden coaster experiences in one. The first drop and last half after the fan-turn are Minebuster uneventful, but the section after the first drop, through the tunnel, and into the fan-turn is a brief stretch of intense, out-of-control woodie greatness with decent airtime. Not the most comfortable woodie, but not painful by any means. (7/10)

Behemoth is what I say Nitro should be: Excellent airtime, in combination with some force. My favorite seat is of course is the very back, but the whole train gave exceptional air. Of the three trims before the mid-course breaks, only one engaged lightly. I understand Behemoth gets some jeers because of its break run, followed by a seemingly lackluster finale. I actually thought the helices were very forceful, and the last bunny hop was also very abundant in airtime. Too bad the new kid on the block has made some think that because Behemoth is no longer the tallest in the park, it simply can’t be a great ride. Pure blissful airtime, and a nice setting to boot (10/10)!

Leviathan was the reason I made the three hour trip. Even though now I realize Behemoth itself would have been worth the ride, Leviathan lit the fire under my butt to get here. First of all, this coaster is simply beautiful with its cool colors and sweeping turns. Second of all, this coaster kicks major butt. The first drop is very forceful, and the overbanks remind me of an updated Millennium Force. Combine that with some excellent airtime, this coaster is elite. Opposite from Behemoth, the best ride was in row two (didn’t care to wait for front), but the rest of the train still delivered. Haters gonna hate the high and long brake run, but all in all, it wasn’t as tedious as some pictures might suggest. Leviathan ends when it should end: before friction and gravity really take charge and cause it to meander lazily through whatever track someone wishes that would be there. Fell in love with this coaster, new favorite B&M (10/10)!

Overall, I was very surprised by Canada’s Wonderland. Maybe it was the rough look of SFGadv a couple weeks ago, or maybe it is the fact that CW does it right. The fountains plus the falls make for my new favorite entrance plaza. The park itself was very intimate despite the size of the park. Beautiful landscaping in combination with the abundance of tree cover made for an adventure while walking the paths. The park seemed to unfold around every corner, and the layout was easy to follow.

One peculiar thing I noticed about their operations. Upon entry everyone was given a re-entry hand stamp in which they said it was in case you decide to leave and come back. Ok, reasonable like most other parks. Strange enough, I was checked at the majority of attractions for my hand stamp. Finally, I asked why and was informed that there is a way to sneak in without admission. Really? Any clarification? However, all in all, Canada’s Wonderland was an amazing park that I hope to return to for many future visits.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012 7:12 PM

AJFelice said:

Canada’s Wonderland: Tuesday May 17

Wild Beast has two wooden coaster experiences in one. The first drop and last half after the fan-turn are Minebuster uneventful, but the section after the first drop, through the tunnel, and into the fan-turn is a brief stretch of intense, out-of-control woodie greatness with decent airtime. Not the most comfortable woodie, but not painful by any means.

That's my take on it as well. I don't visit CW often, but Wild Beast always surprises me when I do. Nothing at all like the negative opinions being thrown around on message boards.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012 9:06 PM

Thanks for the review. Planning a trip this year!

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Friday, May 25, 2012 9:21 PM

I haven't been to Canada's Wonderland in a few years, but, I agree that it is one of the most beautiful parks I have been to. I love the Mountain in the center of the park. Though I didn't really care for Thunder Run. I thought it was kind of boring, and not worth the half hour wait.

I also liked the Bat. It's one of three boomerangs that I have been on. The others were at Geauga Lake, and La Ronde. The Bat is just better. The one at Geauga Lake sucked. Too rough.

Vortex is also one of my favorite CW coasters. My original thoughts on the ride, was that it was going to suck like Iron Dragon at Cedar Point. But Vortex kicks it's ass. And, if they made more suspended coasters, and dared to make them swing like Vortex does, there would be more of them.

I also liked the Sky Rider coaster. It's not quite as thrilling as the B&M stand-ups, but the loop and horizontal helix are insanely fun. But, the rest of the ride is just ok. Like the bunny hops though. I also like Dragon Fire, it reminds me a lot of the Demon at Great America. I also liked Top Gun, (Flight Deck) it's very well themed. But, lots of coasters like it end up being rough. Thunderhawk at MA is pretty much the same, only not rough.

I disagree about the Minebuster. I think it's a decent coaster, and it's also one of my favorites. I like the bunny hops, and it seemed to have lots of air when I rode it before. But I am also spoiled by better coasters like Shivering Timbers, which is a much better ride. But, I would take Minebuster over Mean Streak any day. It's just fun. As for Wilde beast, I was only able to ride it once, because the line was too long.

I have not been on any of the newer coasters, but, I think CW has some of the best flats around. My favorite is Wilde Nightmares, and the kettles. But, they had so many flats it's hard to keep track of them all. I also liked So loco, which is the only giant enterprize I have ever seen.

I also loved the food. But, did get really sick after eating a burrito there one year. So, word of advice. If it says Burrito...don't eat it!!

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Friday, May 25, 2012 10:23 PM

Awesome trip report. We have similar opinions about Leviathan. A lot of judgements are being made from youtube videos, but the sheer intensity of the ride is what makes it a winner. A friend mentioned that it rides like a more efficient MF. But that could be a generous ways of saying it's a lot like MF but shorter.

We found Wild Beast to be running a bit rough this year. When in good shape it's one of my favourites. The bunny hops into the tunnel are super intense but we found it a bit painful. It could be that one train is running better than the other. The ride has good seasons and bad seasons depending on the work that was done.

Vortex was also running a bit more rough than usual, it's not bad but just normally much more smooth. There's some odd potholes in the second half of the ride that cause a weird forward and back shuffling for the riders.

Also Timber - the burrito place was turned into a Starbucks a few years back. It's currently a burrito free park.

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Friday, May 25, 2012 10:53 PM

Thanks for the great trip report. I plan on visiting the park Sunday, with a stop at Waldameer on the drive up.

Of the handful of Cedar Fair parks I have been to, Wonderland and Knott's are tied for the best atmosphere. The customer service is top notch, and while the park is in the middle of urban sprawl, and bordered by a major highway, you can't tell from the midways.

I was thinking of stopping at Martin's Fantasy Island on the way there as well. Any suggestions on whether I should take the time to stop there?

-Sam

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Saturday, May 26, 2012 6:35 PM

Martin's is worth a stop for the Silver Comet. It's a nice small park but can be done in about an hour if you skip the waterpark. Also if you can make it after 5PM there's a discounted admission for about $12.

Depending on your love for Arrow, Marineland is also worth a visit. Dragon Mountain is really a very cool, unique ride. The park is an oddity though and the layout something that cause someone to lose Rollercoaster Tycoon. But there's some cool flat rides as well. Admission is around $45 and not aware of any discounts. A season pass is only $5 more if you're planning to be in the area more than once.

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Monday, May 28, 2012 4:42 PM

After my rides on Levi, Behemoth is still the king of the park IMO The first drop on levi was great the first turn and that speed hill after was great but after that completely fizzled out imo. The airitme was floater at best and to end with that long stupid brake run well I feel B&M could have done much better then they did for $28 million dollars.

I agree the ride is beautiful until you get up close, once up close the turns and hills are awkwardly shaped like something out of RCT I don't like that at all.

Overall it's a fun ride if your into huge drops, and speed other then that there is nothing else like actually forces especially negative G forces and even the positive aren't that heavy for such a huge and fast ride it feels like your average B&M hyper imo.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:44 AM

"Levi"? Ugh.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:02 PM

I heard you can sell Leviathan for three times its original price in Soviet Russia.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:19 PM

Yep, that's right up there with "Timmy" for coaster nicknames that make me Hulk out. Actually, most of them do.

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