Dragon Mountain at Marineland (Canada)

rollergator's avatar
Maybe it was the day I visited, but it seemed like you could have had hanson carriages driving folks from attraction to attraction. Other than the shows, we were almost always alone on a HUGE path, or nearly alone on one of their rides. The "full" train on DM had about 7 or 8 guests.

As far as the theming of DM, think of it as "anti-Paramount". PPs would go to extremes for Grand Opening in theming a ride, but then it would rapidly deteriorate. Marineland opens the ride with little or no theming, then takes decades to "set up the ride".

Maybe this is one of those "hidden gems" in the coaster world. A really kickin' coaster that few know about.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

I don't know that I'd call Dragon Mountain 'kickin'. Most of its course is relatively flat, with no real hills or air time. The track never seems to get more than 20 feet above the ground.

That being said, it is an extremely unique and interesting coaster with its own kind of fun. The queue and underground station are cool. The inversions have a way of surprising you, though when I visited four years ago there was some headbanging going on.

This is a park that urgently needs more attractions. A nice woodie, a log flume, and a dark ride would go a long way toward bringing it up to full-fledged park status.

If you go, bring your walkin' shoes. That's all I'm saying.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

I'll just swipe a Segway from the plant.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

eightdotthree's avatar

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

I like to think of them as charm ways...

I thought Marineland was a nice, laid back park. Being spread out makes it more laid back and less crowded from place to place.

Dragon Mountain is an excellent suprise. I was expecting a typical headbanging Arrow looper. Coming from someone that thinks most parks should remove their Arrow loopers for better use of space, I thought this coaster was wonderful. Not so much for airtime, speed, force or even the inversions, but for the unique ride experience.

It is a super mine train with loops. In fact it would be a better coaster if the first two loops were removed, as I find the tear drop shape of an Arrow loop really snaps your neck back and is not a good feeling. The last two inversions are nice and they feel good. Its great how you enter them.

The coaster feels good to ride, and ride again. The dark station in the cave is cool, the steep, long lift hill that goes right up the mountain is cool, the surprise layout is cool and the absolute best part are the two long tunnels. The 2nd tunnel is one of my absolute favorite coaster moments ever. Uou enter it slowly and you feel yourself pick up speed in total darkness. That moment is coaster bliss IMO and I have never felt anything quite like it anywhere else.

The only downside is the unfinished theming feels like you are riding through an unfinished construction site. The finished the volcano years later, so maybe the rest will eventually get finished also.

BTW, the park also features a nice Huss Magic, which is the only model of the ride that I have come across in North America. Again, its not a high speed, forceful thrill ride, but a very nice experience with great swooping and flying motions. One of my favorite re-ridable flat rides ever.

The park is not overpriced, and i think it is worth a visit. *** Edited 8/11/2008 8:05:49 PM UTC by super7****

Except for the falls themselves, this park was the best thing that area had going for it (IMO). The whole area is a tourist trap where everything was way overpriced, except this park. An annual pass was less than a sfgam admission and that included the wildlife. I do know Marineland is no SFgam but it was a nice relaxing way to spen the day. One thing the park has that can't be ignored is probably the best drop tower there is, it has a great ride program, sits ontop of a giant hill and has a great view of the falls themselves if you are sitting in the right seats...

Intimidator 305 the tallest most hated coaster nobody has ever ridden...

BullGuy's avatar
Dragon Mountain is probably among the more unique coasters I've ridden, and also a big reason why I enjoy coasters. I was probably 10 when I rode it so I can't recall exactly how it went, all I know is I was scared before I got on, and back in line as soon as I got off. With Behemoth garnering some nice reviews, the Toronto area might be in line for a visit- and Dragon Mountain would certainly be incorporated into such a trip.

Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

Vater's avatar
Marineland is definitely one of the oddest parks around. It feels as large as Cedar Point with about 1/10th the amount of attractions spread out randomly through the park.

My wife and I enjoyed our visit thoroughly, though. We spent an afternoon there in 2005 and really liked seeing the animals. The deer park was probably the highlight of the day for my wife--we probably spent a good half-hour there feeding and petting the deer. Cool experience.

Dragon Mountain was my favorite thing there. I remember back in the early 80s, a friend of mine told me about this cool new super-long coaster that he rode in Canada that had loops and everything, but hugged the ground during pretty much the whole ride. I really wished I could've ridden it back when it was new, but even after riding dozens of more exciting coasters prior to getting to Marineland, Dragon Mountain was unique enough to place pretty high in my count.

I took a good shot of just about the whole layout from the hill where the S&S tower is:
You can see the volcano structure in the background that was completed (finally) about a year after I took that photo.

Mamoosh's avatar
Satellite view. Will require sliding the map to the right as the coaster is off the left side of the photo.

EDIT - pan out and notice just how far the ride is from the front gate!

*** Edited 8/12/2008 7:55:53 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

I've been to Marineland the last 2 years. Haven't made it yet this year though.

I agree with wearing comfy shoes. Dragon Mountain is an unexpected surprise.

My recommendation would be to try to plan your visit for a day when it's not overly hot. You'll notice areas along the paths that have heavy trees/shrubs but the paths themselves really aren't shaded much. With how spread out the park is and the wooded areas it can almost be disorienting at times walking around. They could use a few more bathrooms along the way too.

They really need some kind of water attraction, I agree. You will see quite a few people walking around in bathing suits but no - there is no water attraction.

Food is expensive. Drinks are not included in combo meals. It was about $47 Canadian for lunch for 3 of us last year if I remember correctly.

I have heard, part of the reason anyway, that it takes so long for new attractions to go up is that the owner pays cash for everything.

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
I hated Dragon Mountain, but at least I tried it before judging. ;) It beat the crap out of me and I will never do it again. I think Gator liked it though when we visited in 2005.

I WOULD visit Marineland again. It's very different. I was surprised and had a great time. I LOVED the park and the animals, especially the deer and the baby killer whale that loved to show off for us. ;)

Marineland is VERY serene, beautiful, and has some of the WIDEST midways I have ever seen in a park. The landscaping is awesome! :) The S&S Tower is pretty cool as well, despite the hike to get up to it.

The park is really all about the animals, at least from what I experienced. :)


*** Edited 8/13/2008 12:59:46 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

rollergator's avatar
The best part about DM was the "surprise" element exiting the tunnel section.

The scariest part of the entire park was coming out of my reverie from getting the REALLY good pic of that one bear, only to realize the "path" I was on was for employees (the ones who feed the bears) and NOT guests.

My short version: Cool flats, great landscaping and animals, not much on coasters. I wouldn't really "recommend" a Mack SuperSplash to any park - but that's a park that one would fit in with nicely.

^^Keep in mind that DM has good years and bad years in the head banging department. If you like the park, give it another shot on next visit. This year it was running particularly smooth on a visit back in June.

We usually stop over for a night in the falls on trips down to the US so usually get there at least twice a year. The park only charges an additional $5 for a season pass/fun card so just get one of those for the next visit. Skipping the shows (that seem the same from year to year and use a synth score from '83), only need a couple of hours at Marienland. In the evening we usually do some gambling and check out one of the excellent haunted attractions near Clifton Hill.

Mamoosh's avatar
Running smooth over July 4 weekend too :)
Just got home from a Canada/PA/NY trip. We were at Marineland on Wednesday. Got there just after a mid afternoon thunderstorm. The park was quite busy for such poor weather. We kind of liked the park. We had been warned about the walking. Dragon Mountain was pretty smooth and we liked it. We did laugh about the volcano and told everyone to imagine flames and lava!!

As for the rest of the park, we rode a few rides and saw all the animal habitats. The shows aren't Seaworld smooth but were enjoyable. We spent a little over four hours there and felt we got our money worth. They could use a family wood coaster to add to the ride portion. They certainly have enough room for it!!

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