Dragon Mountain at Marineland (Canada)

Wow, I knew this park had a coaster but I didn't know it was like this.

A 5,500 ft steel coaster built in 1983 with a 186ft lifthill was pretty enormous during that timeframe.

After watching this video, it reminded me of a huge mine coaster with 4 loops. It also reminded me of a steel version of Beast with the use of terrain and tunnels.

If you have ridden this, how was it?

Click here for video.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

I've been on Dragon Mountain several times and always include it in a trip through The Falls. I really enjoy Arrow loopers and this is one of faves. Marineland is a really odd park, you walk through athletic field sized empty spaces to get to the back of the park to check reach the coaster. You'll know what I mean if you ever visit.

Most of the ride is set back behind a large hill and you can't see much so that's pretty exiting and adds to the ride. The station area and tunnel leading up to it has a dungeon theme, and it's very dark and disorienting when you walk in from a sunny day. Usually have to allow eyes to adjust to prevent walking smack into walls. They usually just operate one train, but I have seen two on the track a few years back. It looks like there was a third train at one time that's being used for parts right now. But I've never seen more than a 2 train wait.

It's a long spread out old school looper, like a stretched out Loch Ness Monster. You can see the layout from the video - loops, long helix, tunnels, and butterfly loops at the end. There's a nasty transition pot hole thing in the first tunnel after the helix that sometimes requires some arrow looper riding skills to avoid a head bang. I prefer to ride in the back and enjoy some floater air in the loops there. The front car has this big custom dragon head on it which screws up the visuals a bit.

Apparently more themeing was planned for this but the budget didn't allow for it all to be finished. The heix was enclosed in a volcano structure just a couple of years ago. There's some long stretches of the ride that have weird structures around them that look like they were intended to have some themeing.

It does kinda feel like a mine train in the long stretches between the elements. If you like Arrow loopers you'll really enjoy it. After a ride last June some young kids were talking about how awesome it was to their waiting parents. They were physically acting out how their heads banged from side to side the whole time which was kinda funny! I don't have a problem with the head bang stuff as long as I keep it pressed back so don't mind these rides.

The park is worth really unique and worth a visit if you're in the area. Make sure you have great walking shoes on because everything is spread way out. The S&S tower is great for a view of the falls, but you'll wish they had an elevator or something to get up to it. There's some great flats and animal things to check out. Don't miss the disturbingly agressive deer that you can hand feed or feed a hand in some cases.

The ride was intended to be thrilling in places but more of a scenic in others. The odd structure that remains unfinished to this day is a miniature replica of Horseshoe Falls. The train was supposed to travel behind the water.
So I will guess that the volcano portion that just got completed was the first helix with the outer walls surrounding it?

Very much an interesting coaster.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

^Yes, I think so. It was for a long time a weird steel structure, too.
I rode Dragon Mountain about seven years ago and remembered it being very fun and unique, and rerideable. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.


Definately a unique coaster. We were last there in 2005. As has been said before, definately take your walking shoes; you'll need them. But, if you have little ones with you, it is truly a family park, as there are quite a few zoo creatures ion addition to the rides. I think of it somewhat as a small version of Busch Gardens Tampa. The drop tower is neat as well, with tremendous views of Niagara Falls, and there are some neat water shows as well.
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I've been fascinated by this thing since '89 when I saw it in a back-issue of RollerCoaster. Definitely looks like something I would REALLY like. Hopefully I'll get there next year.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

RCMAC said:The odd structure that remains unfinished to this day is a miniature replica of Horseshoe Falls. The train was supposed to travel behind the water.

Cool! A friend mentioned there was supposed to be a large waterfall in the ride somewhere. Thanks for the info, I've always wondered what was supposed to be there. I can imagine the cost of finishing this would be insane.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
it only took about 20 years to cover the volcano; maybe it's just a matter time. ;)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I rode it right after opening in 1983. I remember you walked into the thing through a dragons mouth. It has a looooooong lift-hill and a couple loooong tunnels. At the end it has a "revolutionary" double immelman or "pretzel loop"
PS.. I watched the vid and noticed all of the tall trees.....non of which were that close to the track 25 years ago LOL *** Edited 8/11/2008 12:41:21 AM UTC by superloafer***
I heard something about the hill the ride is built on wasn't there before the ride was built. It seems that a good share of the budget would go toward the land moving, yes?

The lift hill is actually two lift hills. Arrow had never built a coaster that big so they didn't know if their lift chains and motors could handle the stress so they made one motor carry the train half-way, and then another motor would carry the train the rest of the way. The two chain dogs are side-by-side because of this. It is the only coaster I know of that has two lift chains like this.

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
The Big Thunder Mountain mine trains also included that. In the case of the DLP version, the first chain is nearly flat, to allow easy evacuations. It then goes into a steeper second chain.

OrientExpressKid said:
It is the only coaster I know of that has two lift chains like this.


Good find, forgot about SD2000. I guess I like to ignore that coaster due to it de-throning MF. Steel Dragon takes forever to get to the top just like Dragon Mountain. Odd that they both have "Dragon" in the name...Some sort of odd lift hill conspiracy I'm thinking. Dragon at Adventureland has a strange lift structure. Call the FBI, we might be on to something. ;) *** Edited 8/11/2008 4:24:21 AM UTC by OrientExpressKid***

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
Mamoosh's avatar
I rode it over the July 4th weekend. Expected a typical Arrow headbanger with horrid transitions but instead found a smooth, fun, and unique ride. I loved it!

The park itself? Meh....

So what is so "meh" about the place?

Is it inferior to the SeaWorld parks?

Based on what I have read about it, they seem to have a nice selection of rides and marine animals. Comeon, they have Orcas. :)

Canadian Shamu. :)

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

DawgByte II's avatar
Inferior to SeaWorld parks? It can't even be in the same ballpark as SeaWorld... and I kind of mean that in a bad way.

Sure, "Everyone Loves Marineland"... but the park is huge, and there is little to do in actual terms of attractions. So bad, in fact, that whenever they get a new ride, they market the hell out of it until you're literally sick of it.

They have some 'zooish' animals including bears, a deer-park, some fish & I think elk or something else in the moose-family.

They do have a nice variety of flats forming, from the Sky Screamer to the new Topple Tower, Rock-n-Tug, among some other rides... but it's very limited... and with no water-rides & only one coaster in the back of the park... it really is tough to spend a whole day there, and REALLY hard on you during the hot/humid days.

Add to it that their "marine" attractions arern't anything to write home about. Their Orcas keep dying on them, and they have so many Beluga whales, they don't know what to do with them except just show them off.

Their proposed attractions included:
> A train ride along the old railway throughout the park.
> A river-country water-ride... kind of a slow raft ride around the circumfrence of the park. The waterway already exists & has been dug out (can be seen on one of the sattelite maps).
> The mega uber-huge aquarium, which has been taunted since like 2002, but has since been put on hiatus due to the uncertainty of the cross-border issues & rise/fall of the Canadian/American dollar.

Not to mention all their attractions are built in-house, so it literally takes a YEAR to put up one new ride, if not more (case in point is both Topple Tower & Sky Screamer).

I like the park, mind you... but it severely lacks in some areas.

I've always wanted to go... one of these days when I travel to Toronto on business, I will finally pay the park a visit. It seems that time seems to move very slowly at the park. What other parks accomplish in a year will take Marineland around four ;)
Mamoosh's avatar
So what is so "meh" about the place?

Its horribly laid out. You have the majority of ride and animal attractions here...

...and a few, including Dragon Mountain, located way over there and accessed by long, meandering, empty, attraction-less pathways.

*** Edited 8/11/2008 4:48:13 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

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