Canada's Wonderland 6/16/08 & Darien Lake 6/15

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:18 PM
With the opening of Behemoth I knew I finally had to make my way to CW! (plus it helped my Cubs were playing in Toronto!)

Having never been to CW before I really dug the park and it was very reminiscent of my home park Kings Island, except with a mountain (and yes, I saw maintenance men working on the upper waterfall) instead of the Eiffel Tower. However, sans Behemoth I'm sorry to say I'd take KI's ride collection any day over CW.

Entering the parking lot I had the suspicion my KI Platinum Pass did not scan and I was just let in anyway since it took awhile for my pass to "scan", but the both was on my passenger side and I couldn't get a good look at what the issue was. Despite hearing crowd horror stories for CW, I was told this was Ontario's last week for school and the crowds all day were small (minimal waits or station waits only) and the huge parking lot was barely full! (is that parking lot by Behemoth's helix actually a GP lot? Because it's nowhere near the entrance and I would hate to ever be at CW if that lot is needed!!)

As for rides not named Behemoth, it was cool riding Sky Rider since King Cobra at KI has been gone for a while, and it confirmed that Togo stand-up's (for me) are FAR more comfortable than most B&M's like Mantis or Chang!! I actually liked their Arrow suspended (Vortex) way more than KI's due to it being A LOT longer. Their Flight Deck (the SLC) looked cool, but too much headbanging. Time Warp also looked cool, but was equally rough (the thought of this formerly being themed to Tomb Raider is laughable!!). Psyclone (Mondial swinger) spun A LOT faster than Delirium/MaXair, and I've heard Sledgehammer is a crowd pleaser there, but I didn't find it that thrilling...they need to really let loose on the transition speeds!!

Finally, on to Behemoth, one word to describe it...WOW!!! This could be my favorite steel ever! As a disclaimer, on Monday it was never really hot, and on my 20 or so rides I never heard any brakes or felt any trims grabbing at all (including the MCBR!)...so if they were on then I didn't notice it at all and noticed no slowing in speed either. But for me, Behemoth totally blows Goliath (SFOG) out of the water and Nitro doesn't even come close!! It's longer than Nitro, it's overbanked turn is better, it has more airtime hills...Nitro's helix is probably a little better and might give a little better air at times, but this has to be B&M's best hyper.

KI will only be so lucky to get anything close to this next year, which indications are KI's hyper will be shorter and smaller. The new train style is the best too as no view is obstructed and the "separated" seats aren't that separated at all. The line always constantly moved, and I feel better knowing something similar next year should handle a very heavy KI crowd well (which KI’s new coaster will have all summer). And as someone who’s rarely visited a park on a rainy day, I can say I'm actually less-offended by Cedar Fair's new rain policy as the one rainy Behemoth ride I did have hurt a lot!!

One question, though I got my hand stamped at the entrance, what's the deal with the ride queue attendant checking for hand stamps?? Were there people in the park without hand stamps?! I really didn't get that...

As for my Darien Lake trip, I was definitely happy that despite it being very busy (the parking lot looked full, it was a BAFF Day, and it was a big UAW group day, AND there was a car show!) the ride lines were pretty minimal! I was even happier when my girlfriend and I bought scalped BAFF tix for $10 each!! Plus, compared to Cedar Fair, food prices were reasonable ($7 for a huge brat and huge amount of fries, which I didn't come close to finishing!)

As for the rides, MotoCoaster was ok...the quick transitions were surprising, being restrained by the back and ankles (??) was pretty comfy and it was a good family coaster, but the capacity blows!! Wait was like 45 mins with a full (and small) queue. Vortex at KI is like a Select Comfort bed compared to their Arrow looper-Viper (but the underground tunnel was cool!), and their SLC-Mind Eraser had less headbanging then Flight Deck at CW, but the one train operation resulted in a 60 min wait for a line only spilling out of the station!! The station queue rails were also configured miserably and begged (successfully!) for line jumpers, and finally adding a 2nd train so late at 5:00 pm was also insulting. But the ride op's and ride tech were cool to talk to during the train transfer.

As for Ride of Steel, I admit to being an enthusiast newbie, so this was my first Intamin "Superman" and I have to say...I thought ROS blew Millennium Force away!! I've never been on S:ROS at SFNE, but if it’s a bigger and better version of DL's ROS, I now know why it rates higher than MF!! For some reason on MF I never feel like I'm going fast and never get real air, but on ROS I really felt the speed, got TONS of air on the multiple hills, and got great positive G's on both helixes...other than the drop, how is MF better than this?!?!

The ROS operations were a little slow, but I think that's mainly due to the crazy amount of "walk of shame's" I saw...virtually one every train!!, but with no test seat out front what'd they expect?! However, the lap bar restraints are a fully enclosed box, and not an open "T" like MF, which made it even more restrictive. Also, despite riding ROS multiple times throughout the day and never seeing any management type once!!, I commend the op's (who all looked under 20) for keeping order and being very aggressive with line jumpers, unruly people, etc. (stopping the train multiple times on the lift to confiscate cameras and enforce the dress code), with a less mature crew that station and queue could have turned into a real zoo.

But overall, great trips and I hope to incorporate these two parks in my east coast swing in future travels to come!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:36 PM
Great trip report! Just an FYI on CW - You beat the crowd. On any given Thursday in July or August the parking area the helix usually has cars parked by the afternoon. As a passholder I'll usually go in the am to use the waterpark and ride some coasters, but bail out shortly after noon as the place just gets way too jammed.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008 3:43 PM
Yes... those parking lots at CW are used often. Last year (and the year before) the parking lots were actually full to capacity for the Fireworks nights on Canada Day and Victoria Day. They had secruity turning cars away at the gates at about 7pm.

As for the handstamp, there is a law in Ontario that requires the park to offer grounds admission with no rides. They also offer a ticket book which grants you admission to the park and 12 selected rides (3 per themed area, or admission to Splash Works). They do not advertise these options, and do not have them posted at the ticket booths, so unless you ask for them at guest services you wouldn't know.

A handstamp is issued for anyone paying for full admission, and no handstamp is given when using one of the discounted grounds admissions. As a result, the park chooses a few random rides each day to check handstamps on, and always checks at the gate to Splash Works.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:46 PM
By the way, aren't Vortex at CW and Flight Deck at KI exactly the same ride? The layouts look pretty much identical. CW's has the mountain, but other than that, how could it really be any different? How could CW's be way longer--slow lift hill maybe?
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Friday, June 20, 2008 12:07 AM
Do you need a passport to drive across the border into Canada from the States? I heard somewhere it was only if flying or by boat you need a passport but driving you don't. My friend and I are planning to go to Canada's Wonderland at the end of the month and just wondered. Thanks.
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Friday, June 20, 2008 12:53 AM
Good trip report. I was a little upset that nobody responded to mine until I realized how crapy it was written.

I never noticed them working on the mountain or did I know it needed work. Nice to hear its being looked after.

I love your comments on Behemoth. I was there on Sunday and noticed two gentleman taking pictures inside the station with the manager in their company. There presence was a little enticing, though I was unsure. Didn't find out anything either. Behemoth has the best trains ever (no jokes). The first drop from the back seat complete ejector, and the view from the front is breathtaking. The turn around/hair pin turn is my favorite part of the whole ride besides the first drop. It is high, sharp, steep and as smooth as ice, "AMAZING"!

I totally agree with you in regards to time warp and flight deck. My cousin was with me on sunday and did not like time warp what so ever. I kept laughing when we were on the ride, but he was pretty ticked. And flight deck has become really rough and unpleasant, like you said a head banger.

I agree one hundred percent with everything your saying about the rides. I feel the exact same about MIllie and ROS. Nothing more to say.
Good TR, and glad you liked my FAV coaster ever, behemoth.

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Friday, June 20, 2008 4:59 PM

CoasterDiscern said:


I never noticed them working on the mountain or did I know it needed work. Nice to hear its being looked after.


Yeah, I mean, I'm no CW expert or anything, but apparently the upper part of the mountain contains an upper waterfall that hasn't worked in ages and Cedar Fair is trying to get it to work again...which from the Vortex lift and hill you could easily see maintenance men toiling away....


cdrpointcrazy44 said:
Do you need a passport to drive across the border into Canada from the States? I heard somewhere it was only if flying or by boat you need a passport but driving you don't. My friend and I are planning to go to Canada's Wonderland at the end of the month and just wondered. Thanks.

No passport. Just your DL and birth certificate. Passport is required for flying though.

However, I'm not sure about "by boat"?? I ask because I was considering taking a ferry from Canada to CP on Tuesday for TTD Platinum Pass night, but that would have been bad if a passport is needed since I didn't bring mine!! (TTD PP night got cancelled anyway). My guess is no passport is needed by boat...

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Saturday, June 21, 2008 3:03 AM
Thanks.
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Monday, June 23, 2008 9:10 PM
Do you need a passport to drive across the border into Canada from the States?

No. Only if travelling by air or sea at the moment. However if you do not have a passport I would suggest taking a copy of your birth certificate along with your goverment issued ID (such as a drivers license).

Tig - how was your border crossing? Any delays either way? Which did you use?

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Monday, June 23, 2008 11:57 PM
^^The border crossing went fine! In ALL my prior 5 crossings since 2000 the vehicle I was in (being the driver in my own car twice) got fully searched going into Windsor!! However, before this trip I hadn't been since 05 and was with a group of young rowdy guys each time.

This time it was mostly all smooth sailing....no delays entering through Windsor (via the Bridge), but it was 1:00 am and appeared to be under heavy construction. No delays entering through Niagara and there were a ton of booths too.

However, re-entering the States through Port Huron, MI did have a 20-30 min delay, but it was during rush hour. Due to being a little disoriented from my 4 hour drive I failed to mention crossing into Niagara, which got our suitcases searched, but as soon as the border agent saw my girlfriend's Canada's Wonderland gift shop bag we were let through.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 12:48 AM
Hmmm...good idea to have a Canada's Wonderland gift bag somwhere in view. Thanks :)
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 7:49 AM

tigellinus said:
However, I'm not sure about "by boat"?? I ask because I was considering taking a ferry from Canada to CP on Tuesday for TTD Platinum Pass night, but that would have been bad if a passport is needed since I didn't bring mine!! (TTD PP night got cancelled anyway). My guess is no passport is needed by boat...

Does it take you right to Cedar Point? If it does you may need to show some ID before you get on the boat.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:13 PM

CoasterDiscern said:

I was there on Sunday and noticed two gentleman taking pictures inside the station with the manager in their company. There presence was a little enticing, though I was unsure. Didn't find out anything either.


ask and ye shall receive...

We were there to do a story on Behemoth for an upcoming issue of Theme Parks Magazine. Jeff takes the pictures and I will be writing the story.

By the way, I loved Behemoth. That first drop is one of the best out there. All the staff at Wonderland was great. It was my first visit there for the magazine (or otherwise) and overall I was impressed with the park.


Kelly

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:02 PM
I actually liked their Arrow suspended (Vortex) way more than KI's due to it being A LOT longer.

10 feet is a lot? Vortex is 2,362 feet long; Top Gun is 2,352 feet long.

EDIT - oh, they're also almost identical in layout :)

*** Edited 6/25/2008 8:04:12 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:59 PM
^^Indeed, BUT...reality isn't always perception ;)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008 2:53 AM
Aww....thats so cool! I was waiting for the front seat and watched as the two of you boarded from the other side. My cousin then asked me who the two of you might have been. So I told him most likely coaster enthusiast's from an inspiring coaster community, or park travelers, but never thought from, well you know. ;) Go figure I would see you two face to face when the only other time would be at the boobuzz in october. Very cool!

Ya, um, the park has really impressed me as-well this season and looks to be taken care of. The ride staff for Behemoth have been really upbeat and enthusiastic since opening, and its really paying off. Glade you guys liked and I look forward to theme park magazine if I can get my hands on it. :)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008 11:25 AM
LOL tig :)

Good to hear the positive reviews of the park...I'll be making my first visit over the long July 4th weekend.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008 12:13 PM
^^Funny because that's when I was going, but then EK at SFStL called (in addition to my Cubs playing at the Cardinals), so I did some re-routing...I was also concerned about crowds at CW then, but going multiple days takes care of that...Good luck!!
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Thursday, June 26, 2008 12:42 PM
Thanks. I don't have the luxury of going multiple days, just one. I'll ride what I can and not worry about the rest.
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