where to travel next year (help me out)?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 12:33 PM
rollergator's avatar

Having made the US/CA crossing a few times in different locations, it seems to me the particular border guard (patrol officer, whatever) is the most important aspect of your crossing. If they're feeling "suspicious", then any answer you give can be deemed as not sufficient...and for some reason, yes, amusement parks did strike the one border guard the wrong way. "Tourism" and "the Falls" seem to be more popular in the Niagara area. The WA state area...there was a pretty significant delay getting through that crossing.

The one consistent lesson (kinda unfortunate for us): Don't have driver's licenses from different states in the vehicle. ;)


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 12:38 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I don't know what it is about the whole amusement park thing, but I've heard from at least 4 different people/groups of people that they were petty much grilled when they gave that as an answer. I don't know why it matters, but I do know that that has been discussed before.


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 2:33 PM

This was before the passport law kicked in, but last time I went across (ca. 2007), I told the Canadian customs official that I was there to visit Canada's Wonderland. He seemed delighted I was going there and wished me a good time.


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 4:25 PM
LostKause's avatar

I wonder if wearing lots of coaster related garb would help? lol

What if you bought your tickets online and had the paperwork available for the guards to see. Would that help?

I don't know why honesty wouldn't be the best policy in this situation. Just tell them that riding different roller coasters and visiting amusement parks is a hobby of yours. Spout off some stats of your favorite rides. Tell them to look up CoasterBuzz on the internet, and give them your screen name.

I probably won't get to Canada anytime soon. Going through Customs just doesn't sound worth the hassle to me.


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 4:28 PM

We (just wife and myself) had no problems last Labor Day weekend telling them our reason for crossing was to go to Canada’s Wonderland.

He did briefly get stuck on the fact that our hotel for that night was much closer to the border than it was to CW. But once I (very) politely explained to him that it was already 10pm and dark outside and I preferred doing the bulk of my driving around foreign countries during the daylight, he resumed his usual questions around whether we had any narcotics or expensive gifts destined for Canadians and sent us on through.

Total time at the Canadian border approx 1 minute. Total time at the US border coming back, approx 30 seconds.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 4:49 PM

When I went last summer, the customs official on my way into Canada (Peace Bridge crossing) asked what I had in the trunk. I told him the truth..dirty laundry, a coupla videos, and two photo albums. He questioned me about the content of the photo albums..maybe he was looking for porn? I said they're pictures of roller coasters and amusement parks. His response: "Oh, so you're one of them coaster enthusiasts, are ya.?" I told him I was meeting my friend in St. Catherines and we were heading to CW. No hassles at all, although he did look in the trunk.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 7:09 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Lesson I learned going to Canada. Don't try to cross the border in the middle of the night without having hotel reservations. Man, did they grill us!


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 7:10 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Tekwardo said:
I don't know what it is about the whole amusement park thing, but I've heard from at least 4 different people/groups of people that they were petty much grilled when they gave that as an answer. I don't know why it matters, but I do know that that has been discussed before.

Only children and pedophiles go to amusement parks, Clint!


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:42 AM

LostKause said:

I probably won't get to Canada anytime soon. Going through Customs just doesn't sound worth the hassle to me.

That's pretty much what I decided too. For some reason, going to Canada for camping is highly suspicious and will get you an extensive vehicle search. However, when I was 19/20, going to the casino/bars was a perfectly acceptable answer...

The last time I was up there (several years ago, before the passport requirement), I got grilled for a good 3 minutes on my way back about where Toledo was. Apparently the answers "Ohio" and "about 45 minutes south of here" weren't good enough. Too many stupid silly games to deal with when I can just stay here and enjoy stuff in this country.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 6:15 AM

Tekwardo said:
I don't know what it is about the whole amusement park thing, but I've heard from at least 4 different people/groups of people that they were petty much grilled when they gave that as an answer.

Might you be hearing about coaster-related delays because you're surrounded by people who frequently travel to ride coasters? Beyond that, might the people who have had problems be more young than old? That might explain the inordinate amount of trouble crossing to ride coasters.

After living near the border for nearly my entire life, and crossing for reasons ranging from going to the bar for a night to going fishing for a week, the reasons for being stopped seem less related to what you're headed to Canada for, and more linked to your age and/or how you present yourself. I've only had my vehicle searched once, and that was at 19, with a few friends of similar age, as we were headed to the bar, and probably being stupid.

CP Chris said:
...I got grilled for a good 3 minutes on my way back about where Toledo was. Apparently the answers "Ohio" and "about 45 minutes south of here" weren't good enough. Too many stupid silly games to deal with when I can just stay here and enjoy stuff in this country.

Of course you got grilled. Those are very general answers. And are you really suggesting that being questioned for 3 whole minutes is too much of a hassle when traveling between countries? You must not get out much. Here's a tip, then - never fly anywhere outside the US.


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 7:23 AM
kpjb's avatar

Here's another... never fly anywhere inside the United States. Security there takes much more than 3 minutes, too.

I've been to Canada probably 15-20 times and never had to get out of my car. Customs is an overblown toll booth. If they want to go ahead and check my trunk, that doesn't bother me. If you have nothing to hide, who cares?


Hi

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:13 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Might you be hearing about coaster-related delays because you're surrounded by people who frequently travel to ride coasters?


Well, I was only referring to coaster enthusiasts. I have tons of friends that have driven to Canada, but they weren't going to ride coasters, so that really didn't come up, and I assume most of them had no problems, at least they haven't said to me they did. But in this case I was just referring to coaster geeks.

Beyond that, might the people who have had problems be more young than old? That might explain the inordinate amount of trouble crossing to ride coasters.

Depends on what you consider young vs. old ;). The youngest coaster geeks I know that were grilled about going to parks were in their early 30s, and the oldest was probably late 40s early 50s.

Personally if I was going to Canada and was asked why I was going, I'd tell them I was going on Vacation instead of "Oh, I'm going to ride roller coasters". Course, if I'm going over into Canada, I'm probably going for much more than rolley rides.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:14 AM

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:26 AM

Tekwardo said:
...their early 30s, and the oldest was probably late 40s early 50s.

Dang. Well there goes my Evil Yankee Whipper Snapper theory. Maybe you just hang out with middle-aged miscreants? ;)


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:45 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Most (if not all) of them are Buzzers, so, yeah. ;)


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:04 AM
Vater's avatar

I don't get how a couple minutes of questions and maybe a quick look in your trunk equates to 'not worth the hassle' of going to Canada. Good heavens. Getting a passport is more of a hassle than going through customs...and that's not really much of a hassle.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

LostKause said:
I probably won't get to Canada anytime soon. Going through Customs just doesn't sound worth the hassle to me.

Seriously? The average fast food drive through is more of a hassle.

I've had to get out of my car a number of times, but mostly on the US side because I was returning with a few cases of Canadian and had to pay duty. Heh heh. Duty. Fortunately, they import that stuff now.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 1:34 PM
LostKause's avatar

Yep. Seriously. I'm not trying to fit in here. You probably have figured out by now that I have a mind of my own. lol YMMV.


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:02 PM

It would be my wife, my 1 year old and myself so not sure how stern they would be since it isn't all coaster nuts.

I have read up on some of the car rules since we would be renting a car in Buffalo but haven't looked into too much just yet.


Skol Vikings
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Rented a car in Buffalo last year - when the rental clerk heard that Jill and I were doing a border-crossing, it was an all-out push for additional insurance, etc. Might want to keep mum on that point - after clearing with your insurance and/or CC that you are in fact covered in (O) Canada. Just a tip! ;)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:10 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Make sure you have proof of insurance with you when your driving a rental car in Canada. Not a bad idea for the US too.


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