Friday, 19 September 2014

Canada's Wonderland

Today was all about the biggest park in Canada, Canada's Wonderland located in the North of Toronto. I had done this park in 2010 with the coaster club over a day and a half so for me this was a day where I could enjoy the new stuff and ride the coasters I liked rather than those I had to ride to get the tick. 

Tal on the other hand was visiting here for the first time and with 17 coasters to ride and photograph his day was going to be a very busy one.

First tip. Check their website ahead of your visit. Tal spotted a 30% discount code that we took advantage of and with the park accepting e-tickets with a system that actually worked getting into the park was a breeze. A great start to what would be a great day.

Since the last visit the park had added a couple of new coasters the first visible from a good distance away from the park. At just over 300ft tall Leviathan looked great, but how would it ride?

The centrepiece to the park is the mountain in which the second new coaster had been installed. Wonder Mountain's Guardian opened this year so was the biggest draw and the ride we headed to first.

As ever with the big parks staggered entrances are the norm and having got into the park soon after opening we had to wait a second time beside the mountain for the rope to drop opening up the park proper.

Big tip. The coaster is to the left as you look at the mountain and heading to the right is not the right way to go. We suffer so you don't have to :)

The ride is a 3-in-1 attraction mixing a small coaster section with a 3D shooting game and a third part consisting of a surprise that I'm not going to spoil here. For coaster trivia fans this probably makes the ride unique in that you have to wear glasses. Ironic in an industry where they're sometimes banned.

This queue jumping warning was clearly aimed at Tony Jaa, star of Ong Bak

I'm referring to the bit at 03:55

The ride is a lot of fun but over quite quickly after quite an exciting build up whist queueing. Quite a lot of money has been spent on this ride (somewhere in the region of 10 million dollars) and the project finally coming to fruition from an initial idea 10 years ago (the technology wasn't affordable at the time)

Tal beat Thomas, but I beat them all - Having used all my ninja reflexes during the ride. I failed to take the photo quick enough before it changed.

Damn straight there's a British Invasion today. Tal and I are here!
This is some cheesy music review shoe featuring One Direction covers.

Also in the mountain is the powered mine train. Chooo Choooo! (thanks to the ride op for insisting we all shout that before she'd start the ride) 

A novel way to ride a coaster :)

I ducked out of queueing for the Fly, the park's mouse coaster. Choosing instead trying to find a decent shot of the first drop. I failed miserably.

Hoots mon! Celtic Smurfs have joined the British Invasion. Apparently this character "Gutsy Smurf" is popular in the smurf films, which I've clearly not seen.

I let Tal ride The Bat on his own.

I wasn't going to let him ride Leviathan on his own. This was one I'd not done before.

Queue time wasn't bad at all despite the horrid looking queue line. With three big trains in operation and a platform crew that were doing a great job getting people onto the ride we were off and riding in around 30-40 minutes.

Someone had come prepared and this would have been very clever had he not had to pack up and move forward every minute or so due to the queue constantly moving.

The ride is quality but there's a but. It ends a bit prematurely, and despite it's amazing air time hills and incredible speed when it hits the brakes you can't help but think "where's the rest of it?"

How did I manage to get the entire drop tower in from so close? I will not reveal my secrets :)

A shot from the queue line.

Dragon Fire is the park's corkscrew coaster and a ride I rode non-stop for an hour in 2010. On this occasion I was happy to ride it just the once.

Cool double-storey top spin ride.

We let Tal and Christof ride the Wild Beast, a pretty shocking wooden coaster from what I remember. This one must have had throughput issues as the two of them took so long to exit that we thought they'd died. I think this may have been the longest queue of the day...well that's how it felt.

A happy Tal finally gets off the slow coaster.

Multi-player Pacman. Cool !!!  

We want to call this stall "ringtoss". 
(Things said in theme park boardrooms that should elicit laughter but probably didn't)

A weird stall in this park was this wax copy of your hand. I guess if you come up with something that isn't in Rollercoaster Tycoon then you deserve a pat on the back. You know that the staff have tried doing more than just hands...they must have done.

Vortex is one of a small number of swinging coasters and was a great surprise when ridden in 2010. I'm pleased to say it's still really good in 2014.  

Just a shame I couldn't photograph it properly.

In 2010 this was a 3D shooting ride where you had to pay to buy the glasses. The ride has had a refit this year and glasses are no longer required. I'm wondering if they made their way to the mountain for use there? This was an OK ride but not worth the waiting time.

There's a new dinosaur attraction in the park. 

How to be a dick parent. Encourage your kids to pull things off the trees then don't tell them off when they jump the fence to do it with branches they can reach. He did get his comeuppance when he let a branch go and it smacked his mate in the face. Haha!

The Charlie Brown swinging scene is a niche movement but it was cool that they were having this month's meet up in such a public place. See in you Times Square next month guys...

You can come up with your own comment for this.

Terry's Chocolate Orange - the ride. 

Another of the dinosaurs seems to have escaped. It's Jurassic Park all over again. 

Seems like a good place to post my all time youtube comment taken from the credits to Jurassic Park!

The Ghoster Coaster is the kiddy wooden coaster and probably the best wooden coaster in the park.

The toughest credit to get in the park is the kiddy Taxi Jam ride. I had a wager that Tal wouldn't get it. He's clearly a driven man (I saw that at La Ronde) and he did manage to get it having agreed with a dad that he could kidnap his daughter to get on it.

Well done Canada's Wonderland for coming up with a stall more strange than the wax hand casting one. A flippin' lip balm stand. What a stupid unnecessary addition to a theme park...I bought a cherry one.

The park has one of those super big chainless starflyer rides. It had big queues but with quite a high capacity was eating through the crowd pretty quickly. I think I had to wait 3 goes before it was my turn. Not bad at all.

The Minebuster seemed to be having a tricky day with throughput challenged by it regularly breaking down. Tal did get it though.

Just prior to our trip the park announced that the stand-up coaster was going to be removed from the park at the end of this season. The first coaster in the park's history to be removed in its 33 year history which is quite an achievement. 

Sledgehammer is the only Huss Jumping 2 in the world and such a great ride. This really deserved to be in more parks but it makes riding it here a must-do.

It reminds me of this.

Cool cars outside the "Coasters" diner. Having this name technically means the park has 18 coasters, not 17.

The giant frisbee was a lot of fun. Thinking about it though you'd have to be pretty crap with a frisbee to have it move like this. Thinking it through more you probably wouldn't want to ride one that moved like a real frisbee.

Over to the second biggest coaster now and checking out a crowd gathered near the entrance I spotted this very naughty means of selling fast passes. Having punters gambling at $5 a pop to try to win one.

The Behemoth coaster was the best ride of the trip in 2010 and I can say that its probably still the best coaster in the park, better than the 100ft taller Leviathan over the other side of the park.

When it was announced that the park was building a taller coaster from the same maker as their already existing big coaster enthusiasts ridiculed the park claiming no-one would ride the smaller of the two. It shows how little those people know because it's a really good decision. Both rides were attracting sizeable crowds and whilst Leviathan is a big coaster, that's all it is. Behemoth is a more complete ride and doesn't have you questioning the layout like it's big brother. The only question we had coming off this was "should we do it again", which is exactly what the park wanted no doubt.

The stunt coaster had a partial shut down as we got to it but was soon back up and running.
Tal was coping very well with the day and by the time we reached this he had less than half a dozen coasters to ride, and 1,000 photos to take.

Stunt Coaster is still great and perhaps being used to the ride now didn't find the whiplash on the first turn to be as harsh as last time. It's such a shame that most of the effects are now switched off. This was a great ride when it first opened, now it's just a good one.

I had to ride the SLC and its still great. It is, it really is!

I however did not choose to join Tal on the Volare. I'm nuts enough to ride SLCs but not that crazy!

I finished the day with another go on the Big Starflyer thing. Like a moth to a bulb I was attracted by the flashing lights.

On the way out I caught this kid climbing the mountain to read the sign. I wish he'd fallen.

and that was Canada's Wonderland, a park I got to enjoy rather than endure.
Well done to Tal for showing that a 17-coaster park can be done in a day.

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