Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
I finally made it back to Canada’s Wonderland after what seemed like an eternity, but it was actually 10yrs ago this year, because Sledgehammer was new that year and my buddy and myself were in the midst of coaster fever that era getting through Cedar Point’s Dragster and trying to see if a park within a 90-minute drive could serve our fever for thrills & rides, as Darien Lake (our home park) as becoming very… “bleh”.
To put it in a nutshell, I loved it, him… not so much. The coasters there were a little underwhelming. They had a few clones like most parks, but no stand-out. The crowds were atrocious (it was a weekend, I might add), and to compare it to the likes of Cedar Point after Dragster & Millennium Force were just added, it was just silly. The flat ride choices, however, were quite nice.
Flash forward 10yrs to 2013. The park has changed a LOT! I can barely recognize it now. It also didn’t help that last time I forgot my camera, but wow, this park really beefed up its count of coasters and then some to become a power-house. This is where it becomes the mac-daddy of an amusement park, stands tall, and says “Look at me, I have reason to draw huge crowds. I can walk talk with the men among boys”.
Sure, there is a dud or two, but I really just absorbed what the park offered and took it into consideration. This time, my thrill seeking buddy couldn’t come as he isn’t permitted into Canada, so I was stuck taking my girlfriend, who is NOT a thrill seeker, and hates coasters & rides (ultimate irony, right?). Why did I even go? I don’t know, it’s because I got the tickets after the fact she reveled this to me, since we have been going out for only 4 months, so I haven’t brought this up until now, and we clicked on everything… except this. It was extremely upsetting that I was debating to break up with her just because parks/coasters are my passion and one who is afraid or hates rides would make a miserable mate down the line, especially planned trips (Busch Gardens, Hershey Park, Cedar Point).
Good thing is she said she’d go, and stand in line with me, consider riding, and maybe even ride one or two. So I took it with stride & agreed… Great!
I knew I was going to be raped from beginning to end, even though Canadian dollar is at par with American, but parking was $15.00 to start. Food at the buffet was $45.00 for two… and a T-Shirt was $25.00. A little jacked up? Yes, even more-so than the American parks… but I took it with stride because I don’t visit here too often.
Rides: For a long Canadian Holiday (Civic holiday, on Monday… but Canadians love to take a 4-day weekend), it wasn’t that bad. We arrived by 10am, and went right for the big guns first, Leviathan. I sat in the very front, and it was just as sweet as I thought it’d be. I’d compare it very much to Millennium Force, only it felt slightly shorter for some reason, but the rush was just the same. Next, had to hit Behemoth as that was the next bad-boy. Although it’s a B&M, I forgot they staggered the seating 2-in & 2-out to everyone gets a good view. I sat in the rear for this. Excellent air time as it pulls you over each hill, and an entirely different experience than Leviathan. It also felt a little longer.
Next, was able to get my girlfriend on the Canadian Mindbuster. Why that of all coasters? I don’t know, because it was a wooden & she can take wooden apparently… it’s also the “smoother” of the 3 in the park. Well, smooth is a relative term. I liked it. To her, it rattled her brain. Ugh… I’m not going to convince this woman to come on the big boy rides if she thinks all these are like this. We work our way to the Thunder Run, which everybody can handle. I told her nobody can get sick on this. It’s all electric and it’s just a fast train ride. That went okay, but damn… it was like trying to pull a stubborn mule on some of these rides.
She was fine standing in line with me, it was just the convincing to get on them that was the hard part… even a simple coaster like the Stunt Coaster (ie: Italian Job) was “too much” because of the initial launch with the double-helix. Too much G-Force for her.
Anyway, to sum up… this is how the rest of the park went & the rides laid out:
- Sledgehammer was the only ride down in the entire park.
- I knew going into it that Time Warp (aka: Tomb Raider, the Zamperla flyer) was going to suck, and I was right. It hurt more than the Vekoma SLC ever would.
- Skipped the Boomerang & SLC since I’ve ridden them elsewhere.
- Although the crowds seemed fair to medium, the biggest lines were at Thunder Run & Boo Blasters (ie: Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion), two family/kid’s rides… averaging about 45 minutes.
- None of the B&M coasters opened up their extended que lines, as the lines were actually fairly short… morning, afternoon, or evening.
- After it rained out (at least twice), it dried out, but tried to hit Wild Beast (I could have sworn it used to be Wilde Beast), and see if it felt smoother than I remember. It was okay for a woodie, but felt a little slow... very "Predator" at Darien Lake-like. I don't know why, but that's what it felt like.
- I got my credit on Skyrider (TOGO Standup) in the evening, but it was so dead I didn’t want to go on alone… so I waited literally 5+ minutes for another person to show up in line so I wasn’t the only one on the train, because they were sending out empty trains.
- Why no love for Mondial rides? These are excellent flat rides. Ultra smooth, and you always end up where you start off, so you can take off your shoes/sandals right in front of you & it stops right there exactly where it began.
- The Riptide: Wow… Another Mondial wonder. The Huss version of the Topspin doesn’t compare to this as the water fountains below you shoot up, you think to yourself “am I going to get wet”? No… you get SOAKED. I got more wet in that than I did in the White Water Canyon!
- Windseeker: Loved how smooth it felt, and how great of a view you had of the park from EVERY angle. They have a perfect location for it. Great for photos on top, especially in the evening for a sunset or at nighttime.
- Towards night, on a Friday... both Leviathan & especially Behemoth were near walk-on. Leviathan was only a 10 to 15 minute wait, while Behemoth was a literal walk-on except the front seat. This was only 9:15pm. I was quite surprised.
- The park is EXTREMELY clean, staff is friendly, and most park guests were friendly as well… the only thing I don’t like (which I actually do in a strange way), is how easily you can get lost in this park. A lot of parks, it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Take for example Cedar Point. You got North… and South. Here, I ran into dead ends, loops, circles, the same side of Wonder Mountain, two different kiddie areas, one with no way out. That park map REALLY comes in handy. If you’re a veteran to the park… obviously it’s second-hand. If not, it’s a pain, but it’s fun.
- One last note… I LOVE how just about every inch of the park is imprinted in interlocking brick. They don’t just blacktop for anything. It’s either brick, or flagstone, or cement (usually in the que lines). Very nicely landscaped.
It has been a LONG time since I was at Canada's Wonderland. But, I always thought it was a much better cared for park, then anything in I had been to in the United States. I kind of reminded me of Kings Island, as the entrance fountain is pretty much the same, only they went with the Mountain instead of the tower, to give it more of a Canadian feel.
Two coasters I did not care for on your list: Wilde Beats and Thunder Run. I always found Wilde Beats a bit rough and boring, and Thunder Run is pretty pointless. Why people line up to ride it is beyond me. I like the Candian Minebuster better than Wilde Beast.
Another good flat there is Wild Nightmare, the stand up ride, that is probably one of the coolest rides I have been on. And they used to give you a nice long ride on the flats. Now that Cedar Fair owns it, who knows.
I would like to go back to Canada's Wonderland some day. I used to go there quite a bit in the summer, more than any other park (per season, with the exception of MA). But, that visit also included 2 days in Toronto, of which we went every other weekend. Loved Canada's Wonderland.
I should mention that gas was only 99 cents a gallon, and the US exchange rate was $1.60 Canadian for every US. Dollar. Which meant bringing back lots of rolls of quarters!! My friend won $600.00 at the Windsor Casino, and was very upset with them that they would not pay him in quarters.
I laughed at him. I said you really want to carry $600.00 worth of quarters around the city? you're a moron.Last edited by Timber-Rider, Sunday, August 4, 2013 9:03 PM
I didn't do it! I swear!!
Yeah, all I've ever won there was a giant stuffed banana with dreadlocks....
My friend won $600.00 at the Windsor Casino, and was very upset with them that they would not pay him in quarters.
Well, at least they paid him. Unlike that nasty one you told us about earlier.
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
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