Whirlwind '04 - 19 parks in 7 days (Day 5 - Paramount Canada's Wonderland)

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, September 22, 2004 9:27 PM
The Whirlwind Tour ’04 (Day 5 of 7)

“Where did the video go?”

With the day we had before, Jeff Johnson and I was more than ready to get to another park. A park that was known to have better operations than the last park we visited. We woke up and were on the road by 8:00am. We had a 3 hour drive to Toronto where we would be visiting our next park.

At around 11:00am, we got a call from good friend Iain Hendry. Iain was already at the park and was waiting for us to show up. Once we arrived at the park, we met up with Iain outside and went in.

===Paramount Canada’s Wonderland===

Jeff had never been to this park so he had a lot to ride. We were planning on staying until close to allow us enough time to ride everything we wanted to. Iain was our guide for the day. I have spent some time at many parks with Iain but this was the first time I would be hanging out with him at his home park.

We knew there was one coaster we weren’t exactly looking forward to riding but we were going to give it a chance. Iain led the way and we soon were standing in a long line for our next coaster.

----Tomb Raider: The Ride----(#573)

Oh boy. Another Zamperla flying coaster. For a moment, I almost decided to skip this one considering our experience on the flying coaster we rode just two days before. The first thing I noticed was the strange theming this ride has. There are two large torches welcome riders as they join the line. The rest of the ride didn’t have much theming. To add to the confusion of the theme, the coaster is pained bright yellow and blue with some green mixed in. For some reason, I expected the coaster to look darker looking as the movie was pretty dark.

It took about 40 minutes for us to get on. The line moved fairly quickly. As we were heading up the spiral lift, I was having second thoughts. I didn’t want to coaster to ruin our day as the last one we rode did. Lucky for us, this one wasn’t as bad as the last one we rode, but that’s not saying much. One ride was more than enough. I am curious to see if any more parks are going to purchase these rides as we noticed some not so nice comments coming from other riders as they exited.

Time to move on.


---Mighty Canadian Minebuster---

For some reason, this coaster reminds me a lot of Timber Terror at Silverwood. Jeff and I rode in the front and had a pretty good ride. We noticed a collection of hats on the side of one of the tunnel walls. I forgot this coaster dove under a water slide. I remember my last ride being pretty rough. I could tell some work has been done to smooth it out.

---Skyrider---

The days of riding Paramount’s Kings Island’s King Cobra might be over, but you can ride the clone here. The layout is identical to King Cobra as was the ride experience. The only bad thing about the ride was it takes a long while to load. Luckily two trains were running to make the line move faster.

Instead of riding another coaster, Iain wanted to take me on one of the new flat rides in the park. Jeff decided to sit it out. Soon, we were standing in line for Sledgehammer a Jump 2. This is another Giant Huss ride but a one of a kind. I didn’t know what to expect so while we were standing in line, I decided to not look up at the ride so my anticipation would grow.

In a matter of a few minutes I found myself sitting in a seat very similar to those found on the other Giant Huss rides, minus the seat belt. The ride began with our “pod” beginning to spin. I don’t remember how many pods there are, but they all have 8 seats if I remember correctly. While the spinning continues, we are then shot up high into the air. This caught me off guard. So much so that I bopped my head on the side of the restraint. The ride continues to spin before dropping us back down and rising up again. It’s a very strange feeling but nothing like I thought it would feel like.

Once we were off the ride I got to look up and see what it looked like from the ground. To be honest, the ride looks a lot more evil than it actually is. It is very easy to ride. Jeff could have even ridden it. Iain explained the mechanics of the ride to me. He told me that the power to lift the large arms is more powerful than Top Thrill Dragster. I found that pretty amazing.

There was another insane flat ride nearby but we decided to skip it while we rode the rest of the coasters in the park.


---Silver Streak---(#574)

This is the second of the Vekoma junior suspended coasters to open up. There was a full queue when we arrived but we all agreed to wait it out. I was kind of surprised at the ride as it felt shakier than the one at PKI even though they are pretty much identical.

---Scooby’s Gasping Ghoster Coaster---

Just as with most of the other Paramount parks, this junior woodie isn’t the largest ride out there, but it was fun to ride. For reasons unknown to the both of us, Jeff and I decided to sit in the same seat. This wasn’t exactly comfortable as I kept banging my knees on the front of the car. (Note to self…ride by yourself next time.)

We were all pretty hungry by this time so we continued our walk through the kids area to find something to eat. I have to admit. The kid’s area at this park is much larger than I remembered it. Perhaps even larger than PKI’s award winning section. There is a lot for kids to do here. We found a pizza place and took a break while eating lunch. Jeff amused himself by gawking at two twin women that were walking by. Had his mouth been open, he would have drooled all over himself and his food.

. Time for more coasters. Jeff was denied the Taxi Jam coaster so we moved more into a side of the park we hadn’t been to yet.

--- The Bat---

This Vekoma Boomerang had a 45 minute wait. Iain and I were thinking of skipping it but we knew Jeff wanted to ride so we waited it out with him. While in line we talked a while with a fellow ACE member who Jeff and I recognized from the ECO trip. As for the ride, it was another Boomerang. I have ridden worse. For its age, this one wasn’t as bad as I remembered.

--- The Fly---

This was the first of the large Mack mice I have seen. The ride starts out with a nice 50 foot drop before doing the standard Mack mouse thing. Just before we got on, it went down. Iain pointed out a rider operator that cracked him up for some reason. The operator had a kind of angry look on his face but he was more concerned than angry. The ride wasn’t down long and we got our ride.

---Vortex---

We waited about a half an hour before we got to ride. While in line, Iain and I saw a woman bail out of line, and then jump right back in. It appeared she wasn’t sure she wanted to ride. Not to make fun of her, but she looked like a witch. Iain and I tried to avoid looking at her but it seemed every time we turned around, there she was.

As we were getting close to the station, Iain noticed the same ride operator that he pointed out to us at The Fly. The man was now working Vortex and was very strict to some quests who weren’t exiting the train fast enough. Iain got a kick out of this and says the man is known around the park for acting too seriously at times.

While this coaster shares the same layout at Top Gun at PKI, the ride feels different. The wheels are much smaller so it doesn’t seem as smooth. I like the turn that takes place at the top of the mountain that sits in the middle of the park as you can’t see the first drop until you get to it. The section where the train skims the water was nice as well.

---Wild Beast---

We walked up to the ride and Jeff told us he wanted a picture of Iain and me in front of some theming. Of course, this couldn’t be a standard picture. Jeff instructed us to do something to make the picture more “interesting.”

This coaster has a very similar layout to Grizzly at PKD. I don’t remember much about this ride other than it being pretty brutal. This time the ride was much better than the last time I rode. There were a couple of moments of airtime and laterals that surprised me.


---Dragon Fire---

This Arrow looper is very unique. For some reason the name was changed recently. It used to be called Dragon Fyre but the park dropped the Y for an I. The ride contains 4 inversions and some unique characteristics such as a straight section of track between the two vertical loops. I actually love straight track. No complains from me. I think it added a bit of uniqueness to the ride. Another thing that is very unique is the corkscrews. These are the first, and from what I understand, the only Arrow corkscrews to be taken counter clockwise. After riding so many Arrow loopers with corkscrews, it felt strange to be heading the other way.

As we were exiting our ride, Iain got a call from his good friend Roman who planned to meet up with us in a few minutes. Jeff and I walked back to see if Jeff could get his Taxi Jam credit while Iain met up with Roman. We agreed to meet back up with Iain at the last coaster we wanted to ride.

---Top Gun---

On the way to the coaster, we met back up with Iain and Roman. This was only the second time I hung out with Roman so it was cool getting to hang out with him once more. We made our way over to Top Gun and got in line. We had a while before we rode so Jeff impressed us with his PDA magic. =:^)

Roman and I rode near the back row. I usually ride the last row but one seat was roped off. I am not the largest fan of this ride as it can be brutal at times. The last ride I had on it was really bad. This time it was no different. I have ridden a couple good Vekoma SLCs before so I know they can be fun rides.

With all the coasters ridden, Jeff decided he was ready for a flat ride. Iain was more than eager to take us on his favorite flat ride, Psyclone. While it looked very similar to PKI’s Delirium, Iain assured us the ride felt different.

We boarded our seats and began our ride. It didn’t take long before we reached the highest part of the swing. Iain said we were sitting in the best seats as we would be rotated a certain way where we would always be at the highest point of the swing. As Iain mentioned, this ride felt different than Delirium. The forces felt different. I was expecting a similar feeling but felt something much different. The visuals while at the high part of the swing felt like we were actually upside down.

We talked Jeff into riding Sledgehammer next. His reaction was just like mine. He thought it looked much worse from the ground but found the ride to be very easy to ride. As we were getting ready to ride, we met up with Roman’s step father who was spending some time at the park. He decided to spend the rest of the time with us. He was cool to talk to as he is an adrenaline junkie that also loves skydiving and bungy jumping. We got to talk a while about where we had both jumped. He has jumped many more times than I have and told me where the best bungy jumps were.


There were two other flat rides that we were considering going on but we decided to pass on riding the Mondial Top Scan. I rode one of these at a Belgium street fair and had an insane ride that lasted over 8 minutes. I enjoyed it but wanted to ride something else.

We took a few minutes to take a quick ride on the powered coaster Thunder Run. While we were waiting in line we noticed a couple of ads for the Italian Job movie. Keep in mind that the ride hadn’t been announced just yet. We had heard the rumors of a version of it being built at PCWo but seeing those ads seemed like they were really pushing the movie for some reason. Hmmmmm. =:^)

Our last ride of the night is something that Jeff decided to sit out on. I have ridden many Top Spins before. However, I have yet to ride a Mondial version. This was all about to change. Just imagine a Top Spin but instead of two rows in one gondola, picture two separate gondolas with one row each. This way each row can flip independently. I also noticed quite a water show being put on for riders. It looked like we were going to be soaked.

We took our seats in the front gondola and prepared for our ride. I was pretty nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. The flipping of the ride started pretty quickly. It was so strange seeing another gondola flipping a few feet in front of you. As it turns out, they got the brunt of the water effects while we only got misted. I wasn’t complaining. I really enjoyed this ride and would have ridden again had the park not been closing.

We soon were walking out of the park. We said goodbye to Roman and his step father. I thought it was cool that we got to hang out with them as they were both very laid back and willing to ride whatever. I am sure I will get to meet up with them again in the future.

Jeff and I were to follow Iain to his apartment 45 minutes away from the park. The only problem was we reached a nasty traffic jam and our drive took about an hour and a half. This wasn’t Iain’s fault. I am sure the drive would have taken longer if he wouldn’t have taken us down some back roads.

We reached his high rise apartment building around midnight. We went up to the 17th floor where he lives and walked into his nice apartment. He had a nice view of Waterloo from up there and we spent some time checking it out. He also showed us a flat ride he is designing. I won’t go into details but it was something I had never seen before. Both Jeff and I had to pick our jaws off from the floor as we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. It was awesome!

Iain also decided to entertain us by playing a selection of videos that were, well, wrong. Jeff and I were laughing so hard at them for some reason. I will leave it up to Iain or Jeff if they want to describe what we were watching.


Iain had to work the next morning so we didn’t want to keep him up. Jeff copied the photos he had taken on the trip to Iain’s computer so Iain could burn us a couple of CDs. As he was doing this, I fell asleep. We weren’t going to get much sleep as it was but a few hours were better than none.

Next up….

One of the tallest rides in the world, and a new spin on things.

Thanks for reading,

-Sean


. *** Edited 9/23/2004 1:34:37 AM UTC by Sean Flaharty***

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Thursday, September 23, 2004 7:04 AM
Sweet!

PCW has an insane collection of flats as I found out.....the Sledgehammer really freaked me out, but I didn't have any headbashing. I missed the Psyclone frisbee as the lines were insanely too long and the top scan was just.....sick! :-)

I thought PCW was beautiful, and the coasters were average to "bleh" to painful like Top Gun and especially Skyrider, at least to me.

Tomb Raider was probably my favorite coaster in the park.

Did you guys notice a lot of line jumpers and smokers (mostly teenagers) around the park?

-Tina

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Friday, September 24, 2004 11:26 AM
PCW has one of the best flat packages anywhere. Their Vekoma's are smooth, their woodies are good, not too much you can complain about at this park. PKI might be the best park in the chain, but Canada's Wonderland is right up there with it.
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Friday, September 24, 2004 4:09 PM
Between the traffic and the thunderstorms, Our full day at PCW was cut to about 3.5hrs of actuall ride time.

I liked the park and thought Wild Beast was world class (Better than Grizzly).

The flats are great but the park does need some more thrilling coasters.

Chuck, Just reading another Sean TR :)

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Friday, September 24, 2004 4:28 PM
Ditto about Wild Beast. I was surprised I haven't heard much about the ride after I realized how good it was.
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Friday, October 1, 2004 9:38 AM
Good TR.

Minebuster must be finicky - humidity, temperature, time of day -- all must affect this coaster. It was rough on my last visit (August 7), but smooth when I've visited on previous years.

I have a higher opinion of Minebuster than you. From the park, you just see the helixes and suspect this woodie has no air. Surprise! The track runs straight out behind the park with a couple really aggressive camel humps with great airtime.

I like the ride at Top Gun, but they really should have installed a higher capacity coaster - one with rows of 4 seats instead of 2.

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Friday, October 1, 2004 10:57 AM
Doesn't matter if it's rows of 4 or rows of 2....

Vekoma trains have like 7 cars with 2 seats wide, but 2 rows per car for a total of 28.

B&M, on the other hand, have 7 cars with 1 row of 4, for a total of 28.

Hmmmm... now how is that a higher capacity having 4 wide vs. having 2 long? It isn't...
It's the manufacture of the coaster, and regardless who manufactured it... the trains generally have the same capacity. Now... how it's ran, is different.

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