Took about two hours to get from Ashtabula, Ohio to the Canadian Boarder. It was PACKED. We waited over an hour just to get to Canadian Customs, and there we got the treat to going through a search.
We pull over into the customs bay, where this little girl comes out to check my car. My "friend" and I were told to get out of the car, so they could search it. We were a bit concerned; since we had "toys" in our bags (Moosh should be familiar with these). Nothing was said, however we had to go to the immigration office, and be interrogated of what were going to Canada for, and how long we were going to be there. It was just another hour it another hour of time to spend at the park.
We finally got to cross the boarder, and that’s where then fun began. We went to our hotel, let me tell you, it was all out luxury! Three Diamond Inn (http://www.threediamondinn.homestead.com). We checked in, and they were like star struck, that there were homosexuals going to stay in their hotel. We were asked more then five times if we wanted two beds. It was a nightmare getting in. Then we get into the room, it was NASTY, but CHEAP. Looked like a hotel room right out of a horror movie. It was gross, good thing we brought our own sheets, pillows, and blankets.
Now to the trip to the park, our hotel was about an hour from the park. We got a map from the quest, so it was pretty easy to get there. Canadians drive like maniacs. The posted speed was 100 km/h, which works out to be about 62 mph. This posted speed limit is obviously just a suggestion. I’m an Ohioan, where posted speed in normally 65 mph, which means 72 mph. I tried to go my normal speed, so about 7 mph over the limit, in the slow lane, and still had people getting behind me, flashing their lights, honking their horns, zooming around me. I could not go any slower then 80 mph to keep people happy, and they were still flying by me. I don’t think they have police on the QEW. No one seemed to be concerned of posted speeds.
We finally get the park about 1:00PM; I was quite impressed with the park just from the parking lot. Looked like they really took care of their parking lots, clean, and stripped bright. We get a spot pretty close to the gates, we walk up, and this was my first time ever having to deal with metal detectors, had to empty our pockets, and all that good stuff. I thought we were going to an amusement park, not boarding an aircraft. Took about 5 minutes to get through all that, and then to the ticket booths. I’m totally confused on how this works still. You buy a ticket to get into the grounds, and then buy another ticket to get to the shows, and for the rides. We bought the wrong tickets twice, first just a grounds ticket, and then a two-day ticket for everything. Cost us a lot more then we wanted, but hey, we were here, and ready to have fun.
When we walked into the gates, my breath was taken away by then sheer beauty of the park. The fountains and waterfalls were just amazing. I've never seen anything like it. The sounds and the sights were just wonderful. I now know why it was called a wonderland. The brick walkways were awesome, so much nicer then those slabs of concrete that you see at most other parks. We just looked around for the first 30 minutes, and then it was time to ride.
First up, Thunder Run. Approx wait: 1 minute. I wanted to see the coaster run before we got in line, we sat and waited for about 5 minutes, and nothing, no trains were passing along. So we just decide to get in line, but there was nobody up there, just the operators. So we got our own personal ride. That was pretty cool. The ride was great, smooth, steady, and themed well. I rate it an 8/10. Good.
Next, Wild Beast. Approx wait: 5 minutes. This coaster was just plain mean. It had to have been the roughest ride I’d been on in a long time. The first drop was okay, and the first turn around was alright since it was so slow, but then came the rest. The train felt like it was on square wheels, just a bumpy mess. I couldn’t wait for it to end. There was nothing I liked about the ride. I rate it a 2/10. Bad.
Next, Drop Zone. Approx wait: 15 minutes. I’ve never been on a drop tower like this one, so I was pretty excited about it. So we waited in the line, and as I’m waiting, I’m seeing these pretty small people having a hard time with the seat belts. I knew that my 6’5.5” self was NOT getting on this ride, but I tried anyway. Nope, no go. The operator was trying to push it down, but my shoulders were just too boney, and wouldn’t give way. Lots of pain, no ride. My friend rode it without me, and said that power tower was better, so I’m not too worried about missing it.
Next, Dragon Fire. Approx wait: 1 minute. I don’t know what it is about Arrow, and Vekoma coasters, I just love their look, their simple layouts, and most of all, their hard banging, “yeah I got you now” attitudes. LOVED IT! I thought it was pretty smooth compared to some coasters I’ve been on (wild beast). The loops were very intense, and the corks were smooth. The ending helix was just a blast. I loved everything about this ride. I rate it a 9/10. Fantastic.
Next, Vortex. Approx wait: 10 minutes. Another Arrow, so I was in heaven. Now, the only other suspended coaster I had been on was Iron Dragon, therefore, I just assumed that all suspended coasters were slow, but looked like they were moving fast. Wrong sir! This puppy was FAST. I didn’t even know that suspended coaster cars could swing out that far. I thought it was going to bang on the track, which just added to the thrill. The layout was great, I love any coaster over the water. I rate it an 8/10. Great.
Next, Italian Job: Stunt Track. Approx wait time: 30 minutes (with one break down). I didn’t really look into this ride before I went to the park, but I’m hoping it’s not the same as Kings Islands, since I’m going there later this summer. The ride was boring. The launch was nice, but the rest of the ride was really lacking thrill. It was over before we knew it, and to top it off, both times we rode it, it smelt like someone had pee’d themselves. I thought I read somewhere that the price tag on the ride was like $20 million. I hope that came with a mail-in rebate. I was expecting a lot more. I would rate it a 6/10.
Next, SkyRider. Approx wait time: 5 minutes. This was my first and last Togo ride. The restraints were a nightmare, and the ride was too rough for my taste. I now see why this ride was taken out of Kings Island, and the thought of me being upset since I hadn’t been there to ride it. How stupid of me. I would rate it a 1/10. Garbage.
Next, Minebuster. Approx wait time: 5 minutes. I got a lesson on this coaster. Never, ever sit behind teenagers on this ride. When we went down the first drop, one of them spit up, and went all over my friend. It was a huge wad of spit, and it was on his hand running up his arm. His face of sheer horror was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I don’t remember anything of the ride, since I had my head down laughing at his face the whole time. He refused to go on again, so I didn’t get a true opinion of the ride. Therefore, I won’t rate it.
From there we just rode rides over again, and flats around the park. We did try to ride Tomb Raider, but we didn’t have any success since it broke down a number of times while in line. After about 45 minutes, we 86’d the ride. Top Gun was great, as any Vekoma, but nothing to get report. The HUSS Jump ride was great, loved every minute of it.
I didn’t understand this park. The midways where PACKED, yet all the rides were walk-on. The longest line we waited in was Scooby’s haunted mansion, and The Fly, which were both about 30 minutes.
I really liked this park, I know that I will return. I think their coaster line-up could use a little speed. But otherwise, we really enjoyed ourselves. The prices were very reasonable, and the park was clean. I’ll probably be returning this summer to get in everything that we missed. *** Edited 7/19/2005 10:43:05 PM UTC by DS*** *** Edited 7/19/2005 10:43:57 PM UTC by DS***
Just curious, what was it like crossing back through US customs on your return trip? Personally, I've never had difficulty crossing either direction -- not even a vehicle search. The US staff frequently ask us to pop the trunk, and roll their eyes when we say we're going to ride roller coasters. But they're strict compared to the Canadian customs officers I've dealt with. The Canadians are usually too busy swatting mosquitos to do anything besides rush through their questions, almost in one breath: "Where do you live, what's your citizenship, how long were you out of the country, what was the purpose of your visit, do you have anything to declare, thanks have a nice day...." We've ventured across the border 6 times this year (questioned by customs officers 12 times). The only time we had to stop more than 5 minutes was when we had to pay duty on some furniture strapped to the roof of the car. *** Edited 7/19/2005 2:10:38 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***
Keep up the good TR's! :)
And yes, most Canucks do drive like maniacs. I usually cruise at 120 [just under 80mph], but when I'm on a long drive, I speed up to 130/140 [85/90ish]. There are a lot of posted signs about speed, and a lot of "Monitored by Ontario Provincial Police" signs, but you rarely, if ever, see cops along the route - especially the QEW. Of course, now that I say this, I'm totally getting a ticket next time I travel that route, just because karma is a *****.
And yeah, sucks you caught Wild Beast on a bad day - or in a bad seat - or both. It's a GREAT ride if you know where to sit. Try to stay in the front seat of the car of your choice. It's less rough not on the wheels.
Glad you loved Vortex - my second favourite coaster in the park.
Did you get a spin on Shockwave? That's a definate must-hit, one of the best flats in the park.
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