Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Photo Trip Report to Niagara Falls & MarineLand!
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Should bert post lots of pics of the falls in his trip report?

Yes - I love seeing pics of the waterfalls from many angles
22
59%
No - only need to see a few pics of the waterfalls to get the idea
15
41%
 
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby Married a Canadian » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:11 pm

Are the Go Karts open yet (at the top of Clifton hill)?

They advertised them up here as a sort of Supermariokart track (I suppose it is the spiral that does it), and I have to admit it looked pretty fun (we were there in April but it wasn't finished).
There has been a lot of building over the last couple of years, they are starting on a huge theatre to be attached to the Hilton Hotel, which will try to take some of the traffic away from the Fallsview Casino.
I don't know if you saw when you drove past the whirlpool, they have one of those treetop rope courses overlooking the gorge, that only opened last year, and required some immense stones to do the top level!

Glad you had a nice trip (surprised it was the Aussies giving trouble on the tour!, I used to live in Australia and didn't find them like that at all! Must have been a bad couple of days for them!!). Believe it or not, you have even "educated" us locals, I did not know about the clock hands on the floral clock and what they represented. That is a nice thing to know!

Hope you can get further north next time (Canada's Wonderland awaits). Great trip report.
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby Philrad71 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:19 pm

I definitely got some chuckles from your report on the overall weirdness that is Marineland, Bert.

It truly is a quirky park, but it's disappointing that it seemed to be hitting strides in the mid-80's into the early 90's and then...thud. They lengthened the time in putting in new rides and kept peddling the same commercials on local TV, which turned it into a tourist spot versus a place where local folks would want to go to. They unfortunately picked a new ride to install in 2007 that turned into a complete flop IE: the Huss Topple Tower.

That weird volcano thing on Dragon Mountain was really supposed to be a completed volcano with lava waterfalls and eruptions during the initial plans. Then the park seemingly fell on hard times and they halted construction to where the the volcano was only partially completed. They did do some work on it a few years ago, but it still doesn't match the original renderings that I recall seeing when the coaster was originally announced.

I know that you mentioned cringing when you drove by Fantasy Island, but I would actually go there versus Marineland any day of the week. They have been adding rides and attractions whereas Marineland is adding something once every ten years or so... not going to cut it in this day and age.

I do love the fact that Marineland has so much land and potential, but the condition of the park tells me that management basically is in it for the profit margin and cutting cost and could care less about enhancing the experience for guests by investing money into expanding the 1/2 mile sections of basically nothing.

We went about 7-8 years ago in the middle of summer on a weekend and it wasn't much more crowded than what I see in your report. Maybe a little more, but all the rides were walk-ons and the ride op's were so bored, they were practically begging people to ride and promising double-cycles (which I admit was cool).

Every year I wonder how long this place is going to hold on. I am almost surprised that CF hasn't bought the park and shut it down given the proximity to CW...ala Geauga Lake.
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby ThemeParkJunkie51290 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:08 pm

Awesome report! =) The park map does make it seem as if everything is close by, but actuality it's like hiking a long trail! Lol. I hate y'all didn't get a chance to experience the topple tower ride. I rode Timber Tower at Dollywood in 2007, and I found the ride to be very enjoyable. =)
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby Nrthwnd » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:55 pm

^^ Yeah, I still have I guess what was called an announcemtn art concept of
what Dragon Mountain was supposed to look like, and where it went...
DragonMountain_art1.jpg
What was to be ~ but didn't....be. (o;
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby bert425 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:04 pm

Married a Canadian wrote:Are the Go Karts open yet (at the top of Clifton hill)?

They advertised them up here as a sort of Supermariokart track (I suppose it is the spiral that does it), and I have to admit it looked pretty fun (we were there in April but it wasn't finished).


Yep. . less than one block away from our hotel (right next to the Ferris Wheel and the Dinosaur Golf.

we walked down there on our last evening, tho Nick didn't want to drive em (or ride the ferris wheel, or play the golf. . he was being a poop head. . LOL. . but at least he went walking with me and we grabbed dinner).

you go UP the spiral ramp, and there's a "hump" there which has great potential for airtime, but there was an employee up there flagging folks to slow down so as not to take that hump too fast.

they seemed super popular tho, while we were watching, the line never got shorter. . they seemed to have 3 lanes of cars (12 cars in each lane), and they run one lane for 5 minutes, while the next lane is getting loaded up/instructions given. Looks to be a mix of ~1/3rd solo driving cars, and 2/3rds two-seaters with driver/passenger.

gas powered. looked like fun.

IMG_4301.JPG



Married a Canadian wrote:There has been a lot of building over the last couple of years, they are starting on a huge theatre to be attached to the Hilton Hotel, which will try to take some of the traffic away from the Fallsview Casino.
I don't know if you saw when you drove past the whirlpool, they have one of those treetop rope courses overlooking the gorge, that only opened last year, and required some immense stones to do the top level!


yep, we were taken by it on the tour, and told the firemen up there use it for training!
it wasn't open when we passed by in the evening, but they said it gets a lot of "thrill seekers" climbing on it when it's open.



Married a Canadian wrote:Glad you had a nice trip (surprised it was the Aussies giving trouble on the tour!, I used to live in Australia and didn't find them like that at all! Must have been a bad couple of days for them!!). Believe it or not, you have even "educated" us locals, I did not know about the clock hands on the floral clock and what they represented. That is a nice thing to know!

Hope you can get further north next time (Canada's Wonderland awaits). Great trip report.


thanks! still have the 2nd half of MarineLand. . will try to get it up by Friday (work has me slammed. . in a conference call right now).. but will try :)

the Aussies were only late every time. . LOL. they weren't really *trouble". .that was the family group on the 2nd tour (the non-Austrailians :p)

and see what you can learn by doing a Touristy thing? we learned on the tour . . hehe

my work has an office in Markham. . so who knows, if I stay here (I've been here for 13 years), maybe I'll take a trip to that factory.
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby bert425 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:16 pm

Philrad71 wrote:I definitely got some chuckles from your report on the overall weirdness that is Marineland, Bert.

It truly is a quirky park, but it's disappointing that it seemed to be hitting strides in the mid-80's into the early 90's and then...thud. They lengthened the time in putting in new rides and kept peddling the same commercials on local TV, which turned it into a tourist spot versus a place where local folks would want to go to. They unfortunately picked a new ride to install in 2007 that turned into a complete flop IE: the Huss Topple Tower.

That weird volcano thing on Dragon Mountain was really supposed to be a completed volcano with lava waterfalls and eruptions during the initial plans. Then the park seemingly fell on hard times and they halted construction to where the the volcano was only partially completed. They did do some work on it a few years ago, but it still doesn't match the original renderings that I recall seeing when the coaster was originally announced.


it really does look like nothing has been touched in decades. .but regardless, we had a great time, and everything (other than topple tower) was operating. I would recommend stopping here just for the rides (and the exercise).

I will note that unlike US parks (in particular Six Flags), we did not see one security officer the entire visit, nor did we go thru metal detectors, nor have bag checked -- they let us come in with full bottles of water (which I suppose is OK, since they have so many picnic areas). Just odd, but not "bad"

Older doesn't necessarily mean decrepit, or bad. . even tho things LOOKED old, there wasn't any peeling paint, or missing tiles/fencing, etc. . and the animal enclosures were very well done.

and nice to see they are adding that new Aviary Safari section. .shame they didn't finish the volcano thing. . it's so weird to go around inside what basically looks like a giant termite mound!

Philrad71 wrote:I know that you mentioned cringing when you drove by Fantasy Island, but I would actually go there versus Marineland any day of the week. They have been adding rides and attractions whereas Marineland is adding something once every ten years or so... not going to cut it in this day and age.

I do love the fact that Marineland has so much land and potential, but the condition of the park tells me that management basically is in it for the profit margin and cutting cost and could care less about enhancing the experience for guests by investing money into expanding the 1/2 mile sections of basically nothing.

We went about 7-8 years ago in the middle of summer on a weekend and it wasn't much more crowded than what I see in your report. Maybe a little more, but all the rides were walk-ons and the ride op's were so bored, they were practically begging people to ride and promising double-cycles (which I admit was cool).

Every year I wonder how long this place is going to hold on. I am almost surprised that CF hasn't bought the park and shut it down given the proximity to CW...ala Geauga Lake.


more than one Op told us the owner will never sell, he likes to keep the park as a hobby. So he's not in it for the profit, he's in it for his amusement. . so that would explain why he's not in any rush to update or add much new.

we'd never been, so for us, we had a wonderful time, and as a bonus, Nick would ride almost everything with me.
Looking at Fantasy Island, that's NOT the case (also true of Canada's Wonderland (and is same reason I went to Cedar Point last year without him, as he would ride almost nothing there, due to phobias or physical issues).. so I think we made the right decision, tho do wish we had stopped in for a ride on the woodie there.

oh well. . if we ever go back.
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby bert425 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:20 pm

ThemeParkJunkie51290 wrote:Awesome report! =) The park map does make it seem as if everything is close by, but actuality it's like hiking a long trail! Lol. I hate y'all didn't get a chance to experience the topple tower ride. I rode Timber Tower at Dollywood in 2007, and I found the ride to be very enjoyable. =)


as you'll see when I get to part 2 (hopefully by Friday night). . we ended up skipping a few things towards the end of our visit (we really should have done the Tivoli wheel. . it was so cute!). . . but yeah, other than the Topple Tower, was able to ride everything I wanted to, and even got to try TWO new types of rides for me, and a re-ride on a type of ride I HATED at BGW, but loved it here when I gave it a try.

Glad you're enjoying the TR!
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby bert425 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm

Nrthwnd wrote:^^ Yeah, I still have I guess what was called an announcemtn art concept of
what Dragon Mountain was supposed to look like, and where it went...



wow. . very interesting! Looks like the section that goes over the Buffalo pasture (or cow pasture) was originally planned to go over a mini version of Niagara Falls.

would have been cool.. but I could see that being super expensive!

in that concept art tho, the "volcano" is still open at the top, we can see the Helix inside.

thanks for sharing that, Bill
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:50 pm

Great report of Marineland! Your experience with Dragon Mountain basically captures my thoughts. The "dragon" you enter looks like a demon and that is the darkest queue I've ever seen. Honestly I think staying on the train is safer than stumbling through that thing :lol:

But it's such a unique ride that it's enjoyable and not too rough for an Arrow.
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Re: Step by Step, slowly we turned!

Postby TBpony414 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:56 am

bert425 wrote:
TBpony414 wrote:Really great report, Bert! I love waterfalls, pictures, and lots of details/silly stories so keep up your super TR style! As I mentioned in our texts a few days ago I've never been to Niagara Falls or Canada but I am becoming more interested in making a trip up there after this.


you'd love Niagara Falls.. the Canadian side tourist area is beautiful and friendly (and they have go-karts, and dinosaur mini golf (with an "active" volcano that kept belching out fire all night . . we could see it from our window).


Dino mini golf, Super Mario go-karts, and a ropes course all nearby?! That is definitely right up our alley. Guess who is going to plan a trip to Canada, eh??! :)

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