May 5, 2019
Instead of getting to Canada’s Wonderland early on Sunday morning, which just happened to be the first open operating day of the year, I decided that I’d sleep a bit and then head out. I was already planning on getting a Fast Lane+, so I wasn’t that worried. I could have gotten there an hour early and gotten ERT for passholders, but, again, late nite, vacation, and Fast Lane+. So I arrived in the area around noon instead, and headed to a McDonald’s for a quick bite before heading in.
Canada’s Wonderland is a great park. Beautiful once you’re through the gate. But very obviously packed. I’d purchased Fast Lane online so after a quick restroom (sorry, washroom, because we’re in Canada) stop I traded in my digital voucher and got my wristband. Then it was off to my first destination for the morning, the country’s tallest, fastest coaster, and cousin to a really fun ride just down the road from me. I was excited to see the plaza for the ride because I’d seen pictures of how awesome the sign looked since it was installed. I got in line for the front row and ended up riding with 2 local enthusiasts.
Leviathan (385)-The first drop is very much what Fury’s first drop was inspired by, and very similar. I liked the tunnel at the bottom. Then you hit the first turn, and a couple of great floater airtime hills, then the far turn around, before you hit the next couple of airtime hills, then the over-banked turn before you hop up into the brakes. The ride is fast, with a lot of floating airtime and some flojector air as well. Fury is definitely the next evolution of the ride, and I’m excited to see what the next incarnation of a B&M giga coaster is like.
I walked over towards the mountain to see about riding Wonder Mountain Guardian, but the line was too long and it didn’t take Fast Lane of any kind. So I headed, instead, to the park’s newest steel member of the family, which had a 2.5 hour wait. Unless you had Fast Lane+ like I did, in which case it was maybe a 10 minute wait.
Yukon Striker (386)-I sat in the second row. I’m not a super fan of dive coasters. They’re okay, and the first drop is usually great, but otherwise they’re usually just several inversions strung together. You drop then hit the first inversion, turn then hit the next inversion, inversion, mid course break, drop off that, couple more maneuvers, then you’re done.
So another large steel coaster down, up next was the park’s first B&M coaster, the hyper coaster Behemoth. I headed over and got in the Fast Lane line. There were some local obvious coaster enthusiasts in front, and eventually some non-local obnoxious enthusiasts behind me in line. They really kind of killed the vibe, so I was glad I didn’t have to stand in line very long with them.
Behemoth (387)-After a great first drop you hop up into the first airtime hill. The airtime was pretty decent, then you speed off and head up and around the far turn around. The next set of three airtime hills before the mid-course brakes all had trim brakes, but none of them were on or hitting at this point. There was decent airtime over every hill. And then you pop up into the brake run before dropping down into the helixes. Then you finish off with a final airtime hill and pop up into the final brake. For a more recent B&M hyper coaster, there’s more of an ending here than many of the more recent ones have after the MCBR.
One ride at Canada’s Wonderland that I really wanted to ride was Sledgehammer, a Huss Jump 2. I’ve heard it was fun, if not as impressive as it looks, but it’s unique and I’ve always wanted to ride. Sadly, I walk over and it wasn’t running. It tested a little during the day, but never ran. Bummer. So I walked over towards Time Warp instead, stopping by the Poutinerie food truck on the way. Sadly, though, they took cash only, and I didn’t have enough in CAD to pay in cash. Still no poutine for me and I’ve been in Canada for 2 days. After arriving at the entrance to Time Warp, it was down because someone on the ride dropped some stuff and it was being searched for. Really? This can’t be done after park closing like normal rides? I needed the credit. So I decided to come back later.
I really wanted something sweet so I headed to the front plaza. I walked in to Tim Hortons for my first Tim Hortons experience, but the line was long and I could tell they had a limited selection and did not want my first Tim Hortons experience to be less than regular. After taking some pictures and video near Wonder Mountain, I headed back around the park, hitting up the next closest coaster.
Thunder Run (388)-This ride doesn’t accept Fast Lane, sadly, and the line was pretty long for what it was, but I felt I should get it out of the way while I was here. Once I did board the ride, you’re propelled (not really launched) out of the station on this powered coaster and into the mountain. The ride was super fun. There are lights and you circle around the guardian monster of the mountain. It was more fun than I expected it to be, and you get to go around twice. Though the line for it was too long, the ride was really a lot of fun.
Around the back of Wonder Mountain is Vortex, the park’s suspended Arrow coaster, and one of the few left of this dwindling type of ride. I took a peek at Soaring Timbers as it cycled, and Lumberjack before getting in the Fast Lane line.
Vortex (389)-Though this is the ‘original’ of the 2, I’d ridden Flight Deck at Kings Island several times, which is a clone of this ride. This one is a little more fun as it interacts with the mountain and the lake behind. The first drop is really fun, and the lateral turns and drops, all causing the cars to swing out, make for a fun experience, especially as this is becoming a more rare experience.
Still on a sweet kick that had yet to be satisfied, I headed back to the front plaza for a Canadian treat (even if it is available in the states now), and got a cheesecake Beavertail, which was really very good. It was a shame that Guardian didn’t take Fast Lane because it was one of the longest lines in the park, but since I wanted to ride it I decided to get in line and tough it out. I’m not sure why they had the line outside of the indoor queue in direct sunlight, with the indoor switchbacks closed off. It would have been nice to be out of the sun for the hour or so I was outside.
Wonder Mountain’s Guardian (390)-I’d ridden the dark ride at Knott’s by the same company and really enjoyed it. I don’t know if my glasses were having issues or the projectors weren’t working correctly, but I couldn’t see what was on the screens very well. I like the concept of an open shooter like this, but I feel like it could have been a better ride. As far as the coaster itself goes, the first drop and turn into the mountain was fun enough, and the surprise drop at the end, which I wasn’t aware of or had forgotten about, was really good. Especially since I didn’t anticipate it.
Having never heard much about Wonderland’s wooden coasters meant that I was going in kind of blind. I knew what they were, but no one seemed to talk about them. My first stop was Wilde Beast.
Wilde Beast (391)-I road near the back of the 2 bench train. The first drop was really good. I expected the train to jackhammer at the bottom, but it didn’t. The layout is nearly a clone of the Grizzly coasters at other former KECO/Paramount Parks. This was just as good as Grizzly in Virginia. You hop up into the turn around, then drop down into a sort of double down. Pop up and down a few times, turn, hills, turn, then eventually hit the final brake run. I really enjoyed it, the ride was running well.
Don had texted me saying he was on the way to the park and would be there in a while. I decided to try and get several of the rides that I still really wanted to ride in before he got there on my Fast Lane so that we wouldn’t be tied to shorter lines once he got there, as he wouldn’t have Fast Lane, so I headed over to the park’s other wooden coaster.
Mighty Canadian Minebuster (392)-This is a classic out and back wooden coaster with 3 bench trains. I sat near the back again for this one. The first drop was a lot of fun. That was followed up by several hills as you head to the turnaround and then up, around, and down again. As you pass back towards the lift hill the ride goes through a helix that, surprisingly, was fairly smooth and fun. Then you roll into the final brake run. Mindbuster was seriously a lot of fun, and I’m glad that I had no expectations of the 2 wooden coasters at the park, because they were both super enjoyable.
At some point I walked through the kids sections of the park, looking at the line for the Jr. Invert and Jr. Wooden coaster, neither of which I was willing to wait in at the moment. But the kid’s sections are very nice and very well done. I walked back through the medieval area and stopped for a cup of the Yukon Striker peach cider. It was good.
Thinking through a list of what other coasters I still needed to ride, which was quite a lot at 17, I realized I still had several coasters left. Canada’s Wonderland is tied with Cedar Point as the 2 parks with the second most roller coasters in the world, behind Magic Mountain. As I was close to Stunt Track, and it had a Fast Lane line, I decided to hit it up and get it over with.
Back-Lot Stunt Coaster (393)-The third and final one of these I needed to ride. I really wish Cedar Fair would completely re-theme these rides into something a little better than shipping crates. But anyways. You start with the launch into the upward helix and the rest of the ride I’ve done plenty of times at Kings Island and Dominion. Except they weren’t even pretending there would be any type of show during the mid-course brakes as you rolled on passed and into the tunnel. Then it’s over. Bam. Another credit down.
I walked over by Time Warp to see if it was back up, got in line, walked to the station and…It was down AGAIN to look for someone’s lost article in the infield of the track. Seriously. Make them wait till the end of the day. At this point Don had entered the park so I was heading up to meet him. We ran into each other by the globe statue. I needed a bathroom break before any more riding. Then we headed over to see if Time Warp had reopened and, thankfully, it had.
Time Warp (394)-The line wasn’t terribly long and moving at a good pace. Once it was our turn we climbed into the car and were locked in, ready to go. I like the lift mechanism on the spiral lift. Then the ‘fun’ begins. These rides are notorious for being rough. And this one was. You drop, turn, go through several inline twists, turns, drops, and more twists. Once it was over I was glad I’d finally ridden one, but happier I didn’t have to ride this one again.
Don wanted a drink so he headed into a restaurant selling beer as I headed over to Flight Deck’s (395) Fast Lane line. Don wasn’t too interested in riding, and I just needed the quick credit. The theming wasn’t too shabby. I was asked to sit in the second row of the train as only one of the restraints was working, and was right on in no time. While I don’t intentionally skip riding SLCs, they’re nothing special and I’ve ridden several. This was another mark on the list. Not bad. Nothing special.
When I got off of the ride, Don had gotten 2 of the peach ciders as it was only $3 more for 2 than one, so we walked around drinking our cider and talking Janet, coasters, Toronto, fans, and more. Then we headed over to The Bat (396), the park’s boomerang. Again, these are a dime a dozen and I’ve ridden more of these than I can remember. Since it had Fast Lane and Don didn’t need to ride, I took a quick spin to get the credit and get it over with. On a positive note, it wasn’t super rough. So we finished our ciders and headed over to Dragon Fyre, which Don hadn’t ridden in several years.
Dragon Fyre (397)-Dragon Fyre has the same sequence of elements as Carolina Cyclone, but instead of turning at the top of the lift, you drop straight away, then there is a straight section of track before the 2 vertical loops. After the turn and 2 corkscrews there is a mid-course brake run that drops into the helix before the ride ends. It was fun and I’d definitely ride it again.
We walked over by The Fly, but the line was long and there was no Fast Lane line for the ride, so we decided to skip it. Don wanted to ride Vortex as it’s one of his favorites, so I gladly obliged as I liked it a lot as well. Then our day at Canada’s Wonderland had come to a close. We headed to my car and made dinner plans, with Don suggesting Milestones, which was a great choice. I had a cheese plate as an app, a blackberry whisky drink, and steak. And it was very good. That evening Don took me to some of his favorite spots in Toronto. We had some drinks, watched some shows, and hung out, it was a lot of fun. Then I dropped him off before heading back to my hotel room for the evening.