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Photo TR: Canada's Wonderland June 10th and 11th


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TR: Canada’s Wonderland June 10th and 11th, 2009

 

Next, and last, on the park list is Canada’s Wonderland. I had to get a passport for my son for us to go, so this was a fairly expensive park to visit. I hadn’t been in many years. I had been twice before when I lived in Niagara Falls, and a third time for a David Lee Roth concert back when Steve Vai was with him, but I did no riding then. There hadn’t been much reason to return, really, until Behemoth came to town.. I think my last visit was during Vortex’s first season where I made the mistake of not knowing when Canada’s Independence day was and waited for about 1.5 hours to ride it.

 

It’s sort of odd how the park has fared since then. The right side is mainly unchanged apart from 2 new small coasters squeezed in. The left side is totally gutted. The log ride is gone, as are many other flats I’d assume. The skycoaster surprisingly takes an enormous plot of prime land right off the fountain. This seems to be an odd choice. The newer crap coasters are here too, including the SLC and the scary Volare.

 

We arrive with what we think is 2.5 hours to go, but instead find it is only .5 hours, which royally sucks. Traffic in Toronto was god aweful bad. Just miserable. We had a later start than I wanted anyway, and then waited for our lunch at the awesome Cheeburger Cheeburger by the Boulevard Mall in Buffalo. We breezed across the border only to find traffic come to a near stand still as soon as we neared the bridge on the West side of Toronto. And it just got worse and worse.

 

Since I had a SP, I decided to go ahead and get a 2-day pass for my son, which wasn’t much more, only 2 dollars I believe, although you couldn’t use coupons on it. Weather for the next day was sketchy though, and I really wanted to ride Behemouth, so we start the looong trek back to it. The line was surprisingly short at about 10 minutes. We get front seat back row, my favorite.

 

This ride is another excellent B&M hyper. Awesome air on its many hills, a unique figure–8 helix, and a few more great hills. This ride delivers the whole time. Add in the nice lake setting, and I think it is a bit better than Diamondback. We decide to hit Stunt Coaster next, my last of the 3 versions of this. A very short wait for probably the middle of the trio. A bit rougher than KI’s and no onboard audio, but not as bad as King’s Dominion’s. They did seem to skimp on the theming a bit on this one, and of course the show scene was nothing but the helicopter barely moving and the sound.

 

We got off to realize we had time for one more ride. We decide to brave Time Warp, the Volare. We get there to find it is down. Probably for the best since Volares rate second from the bottom of Mitch’s poll. I still think the only reason Rye got one was that some of the politicians against the park did some research and found the worst ride the park could possibly buy, since Gouderix was too big and too far away. The ride looks fun, until you see the flying position where you are really craning your neck to look forward and the fact that there are bars on both sides of your head. It was probably for the best.

 

So, we run back to Behemoth for a second ride. The crew was simply insane. They were apparently trying to beat a dispatch record that Diamondback’s crew held. So, they were rushing through quite quickly, verbally abusing anyone taking too long to exit the train, or to put something in the station box. It was funny, but was a bit rude. Ultimately, they missed the record by 1 dispatch that they probably needed another 90 seconds for. The ride delivered a great ride once again, and we headed to the exit.

 

We stopped at a grocery store near the park. There were a few different things about it. First up, you had to put a quarter in to get a cart out. Secondly, the thing was huge. Really nice and clean, although quite expensive. Milk was especially high, but it was the first time in years I have seen milk in bags, which was neat. We got some Aero bars, which my wife and I love, and headed to the front. The checkout girl seemed to barely speak English, and asked if I wanted a bag, which was odd since I had a number of items. I find out later I was charged 5 cents for the thin plastic bag that probably cost the store one one-hundredth of that . I guess that’s par for the course in a socialist wacko country

 

We head to our hotel, swim for a bit, and crash. We get up early for breakfast, which was pretty aweful, but we did drink about $5 worth of milk at Canadian prices. I ask where a Starbucks is, find out one is very near the park, and head off. I was relieved to see only 3 busses in the parking lot. We head back to the rope drop by Behemoth. We end up on the second train out. It’s a bit chilly, and quite a wakeup call. Since the line was still barely out the station, we go for a second ride. I then figure we need to hit the other rides before lines get bad. First up, the Mighty Canadian Minebuster. I recall this ride being so-so, and think it has been reprofiled some, which is probably right since it goes through some waterslide supports. The ride is quite rough, even in a middle seat of the 3-bench cars. Not fun. My son decides to skip the stand-up, which is no big deal, although the Togo standups are sorta fun. We get to Vortex for a walk-on. They have the video cameras on this ride. The video wasn’t very good since it was overcast, so the contrast was pretty bad and you couldn’t see your faces well. A fun ride that seemed MUCH faster than the former Top Gun a few days ago. Noticiceably faster, and a bit jerkier because of it. This ride approached Eagle’s Fortress speed in a few sections, I thought. I wonder if it really is faster than KI’s. I would assume they are virtually identical, so perhaps CW does a better maintenance job.

 

We then hit the Fly mouse, which was good fun until the brutal stop on a dime brakes at the end. There was no reason for that. We check the line for the powered ride in the mountain, and it is already probably an hour. No way, so we head into the kiddie section. Somehow, during my two previous riding visits, I totally missed the junior wooden coaster back here. It delivers a very good ride, and was running two trains even with half full trains. I must say that ride operations was VERY good at all three Cedar Fair parks we visited. Much better than what I see at Six Flags parks.

 

We check out the Scooby dark ride only to find a sign saying 45 minutes from the spot where the line reached, which was NOT very long. I went up to the exit to see the cars moving reeeaaallllllyyyy ssslllloooooowwww. I ask a lady just getting off how long the wait was, and she says about 20 minutes. We decide to skip it anyway, since the line had probably gotten longer in that 20 minutes. So, we head to Silver Streak for I believe the last of the Vekoma junior inverteds for me. My son plays in the slide area for a few minutes and he says he wants to do the Action Theater. Its’ the same Spongebob 3-D that is seemingly everywhere now, but there was no line.

 

I remembered having seen a rice bowl restaurant earlier, so we went there for a very good Thai chicken rice bowl My son did a few spinnies while I was in line. We decided to skip Dragon Fyre, but he wanted to ride the pirate ship before we get the last woodie credit. This woodie has 2 bench seats, and did run a bit better, although still a very average to below average ride. No wonder I rarely hit CW.

 

We decide to check out Behemoth‘s line, and are pleased to see it is still only about 15 minutes, so we take another great spin. He finds a cool name keychain that is solar powered and flashes black to cover the name when powered. And he wants the obligatory shot glass for Behemoth. We look to see if any of the games have the same alien dog that King’s Island had at one of the really hard games, but we couldn’t find one, so we headed out. I guess Toronto schools are still in session, because the park was not crowded at all. We had a really fun time, although, Behemoth IS Canada’s Wonderland. Hell, it’s about twice the height of every other coaster there, and is the only top tier ride there..

 

We hit a few more stores for some Aero bars to use up our Canadian cash, and get some of the Olympic quarters. The return traffic was just as brutal, with it being damn near bumper to bumper about half way to Niagara Falls. As we approach the border, I remember that “I like to stop at the duty free shop”, so I go in and buy a bottle of 8 year Bacardi for $20 cash. Not as good of a deal as they had on Crown Royal, but I’m set for a while with that.

 

I drive past my old Lafayette Square apartments in Niagara Falls that are just scary. I don’t think I’d spend a single night there. I drive past the kookier looking than ever Zoundz music store, although I don’t know if it is still even open. I then recall Sammy’s pizzeria. This is where I always ordered from when I co-oped up here. I wondered if they were still open. Sure enough, they were, so we went in, and stepped back to the 80s. Seriously, this place hasn’t changed one bit. The 25 year old comics in frames on the wall helped me realize that I had been there before, not just ordered for delivery. They had a Super Pac-man and Centipede machines and about 20 years of smoke and whatever. We played some games while they baked the half tray (I forgot that you get trays of pizza in Buffalo, basically a square pizza cooked in a cookie tray). It really was a blast from the past. When I got the pizza, we head out to the car and I grab a piece, and yep, that’s Sammie’s pizza, complete with the little pepperoni slices that turn into little grease bowls. We stop at Smokin’ Joes for some gas that is slightly cheaper than other stores, meaning Smokin’ Joe is making a mint on it, since he doesn’t pay some of the taxes on the sale.

 

For the first time in probably 15 years, I make the drive from my apartment to my wife’s house. It was quite the trip down memory lane. I made this trip tons of times in the few months I lived there when I met her. I then visited some friends I hadn’t seen since my wedding the next day, stopping by Halley’s Comics in North Tonawanda, a quick stop to the Corner Store, and then an evening of pizza, wings, guitars, beer, and hockey. Buffalo doesn’t get any better than this. I do miss the 70 degree weather, as the pilot just said we are approaching Houston, where it is 95 degrees. Oh well, Buffalo isn’t exactly a thriving metropolis, so I won’t miss it much, but it was a fun ending to another great vacation.

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Station craziness.

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My buddy Dave at Halley's Comics. Secret lair to the Video Rangers. Yeah, I'm a geek.

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Gee, do you think the guy that runs this place is a Hippie? The ultra weird and creepy Zoundz 2001.

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Yes, I actually lived in the upper left apartment at one time. The place was a mix of Niagara University students and welfare folks. I think it's mostly welfare now. If you can affor NU, you sure as hell ain't staying here.

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A parting shot from the parking lot.

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The very photogenic, and surprisingly fast Vortex. I guess it's also a reason to go to Canada's Wonderland, but not on its own.

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I'm glad this remnant is still in the park. And it still looks fabulous. It brings back great memories of King's Island.

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The beginning of a surprisingly uncrowded day.

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Bag 'O Milk.

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Really the only reason to come to Canada's Wonderland.

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So, we run back to Behemoth for a second ride. The crew was simply insane. They were apparently trying to beat a dispatch record that Diamondback’s crew held. So, they were rushing through quite quickly, verbally abusing anyone taking too long to exit the train, or to put something in the station box. It was funny, but was a bit rude. Ultimately, they missed the record by 1 dispatch that they probably needed another 90 seconds for. The ride delivered a great ride once again, and we headed to the exit.

The crew was like this when we visited last year too, although without the rudeness. While it's not necessary to be rude to the guests I do give them credit for the speedy dispatch of trains!

 

I was amazed that at a corporate run park they were able to unload, load and dispatch a train in about 45 seconds!

 

I wish some other parks would take note of this!

 

I really do like Canada's Wonderland, I just wish they had a better selection of coasters. Behemoth is certainly a step in the right direction, though. Let's just hope more of this quality or better are added in the near future.

 

--Robb

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Vortex proved to be a real surprise for me, especially since I love Arrow suspended coasters. It is mostly certainly better than Top Gun. Glad you loved Behemoth, its my favorite B&M Hyper that I have ridden so far. (Though I still need to ride La Ronde's Goliath and Silver Star).

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I wonder if Wild Beast got some work done during this past off season?

 

I haven't ridden it this year yet, but the last couple of years it's ridden much worse then "very average to below average". Last years ride during Behemoth Bash was particularly awful.

 

You were right about the schools. Schools in this area don't get out until like the last week of June or so.

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Making you pay 5 cents for plastic bags in groceries is part of an environmentally friendly movement to encourage consumers to use reusable bags.

 

France is even worst... Its either bring your bag or we charge you 50-75 cents US for a plastic bag!

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Making you pay 5 cents for plastic bags in groceries is part of an environmentally friendly movement to encourage consumers to use reusable bags.

 

France is even worst... Its either bring your bag or we charge you 50-75 cents US for a plastic bag!

They do this all over Scandinavia now too. I know at least Denmark, Sweden, and Finland charged me for bags. I even got charged for a plastic bag at McDonalds!

 

--Robb

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Haha no way, you were there when they were trying to beat us?! There's signs all over the drive box with posters and such about the rivalry. We make sure we're being courteous to everyone; but in a very, very, VERY hasty manor! LOL!

 

MUAHAHAH!!!

 

Diamondback - 1599 (max capacity set: 1600)

 

Behemoth - 1469? Something like that? (max capacity set: 1610)

 

Diamondback crew rules!

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^^^ The thing is, this isn't environmentally friendly at all. The energy it takes to make a cloth bag is probably hundreds of times the tiny amount of energy and materials that goes into a single plastic bag. And if you then WASH that reusable bag, it gets even worse. Just more idiocy from the Al Gore crowd with absolutely no facts or science behind it. Use the plastic bag for garbage like we do, it gets used twice, and is much more "green" than a special made bag that will probably only be used a few dozen times before being lost or ripped and thrown away, taking up the space of a thousand plastic bags in the landfill. My wife bought a "green" bag from Half Price Books. I don't think she's ever taken it back to the store. So, in actuality, it was a big ANTI-environmental purchase.

 

^ Yep, the ride op told me about it. They came in one dispatch short. TO be honest, I've never seen anyone dispatch trains like they were. I can't see anyone else doing it that fast without being just as rude to the customers. Maybe Americans carry less stuff on the ride than Canadians do. That's the clencher. If people would stop carrying around so much crap, and they just got on the damn ride, you could easily dispatch trains as soon as the block was free.

 

-RO

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^^^ The thing is, this isn't environmentally friendly at all. The energy it takes to make a cloth bag is probably hundreds of times the tiny amount of energy and materials that goes into a single plastic bag. And if you then WASH that reusable bag, it gets even worse. Just more idiocy from the Al Gore crowd with absolutely no facts or science behind it. Use the plastic bag for garbage like we do, it gets used twice, and is much more "green" than a special made bag that will probably only be used a few dozen times before being lost or ripped and thrown away, taking up the space of a thousand plastic bags in the landfill. My wife bought a "green" bag from Half Price Books. I don't think she's ever taken it back to the store. So, in actuality, it was a big ANTI-environmental purchase.

 

^ Yep, the ride op told me about it. They came in one dispatch short. TO be honest, I've never seen anyone dispatch trains like they were. I can't see anyone else doing it that fast without being just as rude to the customers. Maybe Americans carry less stuff on the ride than Canadians do. That's the clencher. If people would stop carrying around so much crap, and they just got on the damn ride, you could easily dispatch trains as soon as the block was free.

 

-RO

 

There are 10's of millions of plastic bags (made with oil) thrown every year in the dumpsters and you complain about paying 5 cents for one or bringing a reusable one? The rest of the world is wrong and you're right? What will you do when the grocery chains in the US start doing the same? Will you live in a socialist wacko country too?

 

Sorry that this is offtopic, but I can't take abuse toward a country (that happens to be mine) just because of... plastic bags.

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I find out later I was charged 5 cents for the thin plastic bag that probably cost the store one one-hundredth of that . I guess that’s par for the course in a socialist wacko country

 

Socialist Wacko Country eh? Dick move! Our grocery stores are just, ahem.. "Concerned about the environment".

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Actually, yes, our country is going to become a socialist wacko country. Obama is going to pass socialized health care regardless of if it is really good for the country.

 

I don't know what you mean by "the rest of the world is wrong". Charging for plastic bags isn't done everywhere except the USA. It's mostly done in countries that have environmentalist wackos controlling things. Luckily, Al Gore has started fading away after his inconvienient truth has been exposed as basically a lie. Should we go back to paper bags? Are you one of the ill-informed that thinks paper magically decomposes in a landfill? The average person wastes tons more "things" than plastic bags that weigh a fraction of a gram. Do you worry about being "in style" and stop wearing clothes becuase of their lack of style, not because they are worn out?

 

For full disclosure, I work for a company that makes the plastic for those plastic bags, so I may be a bit biased. However, plastic bags are hardly a big deal in the big environmental picture, especially if they are reused for trash like I do. And who makes the grocery store the environmental keeper? They are making a hefty profit off of those bags.

 

And don't forget that oil is one of Canada's few major exports. Without it, what would Canada export, except Tim Hortons? : )

 

Anyway, Behemoth is the best coaster in Ontario.

 

-RO

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Behemoth looks like a fantastic coaster.. hope one day I can ride it!

 

Haha, about the plastic bags - come to where I live (South Australia) and you get a $315 on the spot fine for selling plastic bags. They're banned here, some people can get up to $5000 fines! It's insane really, and everyone still asks for plastic bags to carry their shopping in.

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How do you carry home groceries then? What do you put your garbage in?

 

-RO

 

The grocery goes inside the reusable bags. The garbage inside large plastic bins with wheels that you roll to the side of the street and the garbage truck come with a big boom arm that picks it up and empty it. Same with the recycling bin.

 

Once a month or two, the city post a "large item" collection day, where you put big items on the side of the street and they come with a standard garbage truck to pick it up.

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Come on everyone - we should be in this thread to talk about CW, not the environment. For the record, pretty much everything a living human does is unfriendly to the environment. Take all discussions of the environment to the Random Forum. Let's get back on track.

 

This MOD has spoken.

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^ What he said!

 

Nice TR, I actually prefer Vortex to Behemoth but I'm sure that was only because it was SUCH a surprise when I visited.

 

A great park with a few nice pieces of landscaping (not to mention the awesome mountain in the middle). They need some quality rides there because a lot of them are fairly run on the mill, even though there at about 14 coasters already. I'd love to go back if they had a few more substantial offerings.

 

Thanks for the TR

 

Dave

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I always through Vortex was an amazing coaster, but my one ride last year was kinda slow and I wasn't too impressed with it.

 

What's up with their wooden coasters? Wild Beast is pretty awful and last year was running so slow, I through we'd never make it up the second hill. It used to be rather nice.

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^^^ The thing is, this isn't environmentally friendly at all. The energy it takes to make a cloth bag is probably hundreds of times the tiny amount of energy and materials that goes into a single plastic bag. And if you then WASH that reusable bag, it gets even worse. Just more idiocy from the Al Gore crowd with absolutely no facts or science behind it. Use the plastic bag for garbage like we do, it gets used twice, and is much more "green" than a special made bag that will probably only be used a few dozen times before being lost or ripped and thrown away, taking up the space of a thousand plastic bags in the landfill. My wife bought a "green" bag from Half Price Books. I don't think she's ever taken it back to the store. So, in actuality, it was a big ANTI-environmental purchase.

 

^ Yep, the ride op told me about it. They came in one dispatch short. TO be honest, I've never seen anyone dispatch trains like they were. I can't see anyone else doing it that fast without being just as rude to the customers. Maybe Americans carry less stuff on the ride than Canadians do. That's the clencher. If people would stop carrying around so much crap, and they just got on the damn ride, you could easily dispatch trains as soon as the block was free.

 

-RO

 

If your wife bought the bag and never used it she should probably start using it then shouldn't she. The truth is plastic bags require alot of oil and energy to make for such a wasteful one use outcome. The new Green bags are used thousands and thousands of times before being thrown out and that cuts down on demand for plastic ones which means less are produced which means less oil and energy is used to produce the bags...they are quite effective. If used properly... And to get on topic Behemoths line is always really quick, they're always pushing to get the line moving. Even for the most popular ride in the park it has less of a line than Top Gun and other rides with bad capacities.

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^Can you tell me the environmental impact of putting plates of food on the bathroom floor by the urinal while you pee? Is that more or less damaging to the environment than plastic bags?

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Milk in bags! YES! It's so weird for me when I go to the US and only see jugs or cartons.

 

Wonderland...always nice to see a TR from my home park. I was surprised by Behemoth's quick line too. Jer and I went yesterday and with a pretty full queue it was only a 15 minute wait. They weren't being rude or rushing us though.

 

I agree with a lot of your comments on the set up of the park. The left side used to be much better and well themed, even without the coasters. They took a lot out. I really miss the old log ride.

 

Glad you guys had a great vacation!

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OK guys, Larry posted a nice friendly message on the last page and people have just ignored it. Please do not go off topic, if you want to discuss this take it to the random forum, end of.

 

Any further posts on the subject will be deleted and the users given 24hr bans.

 

Dave

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Edit: instead of posting here I will simply PM TPDave in regards to the issue.

 

Now, to the actual park: Wild Beast is still running horribly this year, if not even worse than last year. I went on it a few weeks after the park opened and it was jarringly bad. Minebuster was actually smoother for the most part but when it hits the bottom of those hills, oh man, it's like having organs re-arranged. Ghoster Coaster was never the smoothest coaster in the world but even it has gone way downhill in terms of not kicking the crap out of the rider. That could just be me having gained a bunch of weight, though.

 

Vortex is still running great even after 18 years... except there's one 'pot hole' in the track coming down after the big fan turn off the drop, where the train just seems to slam downwards for a second. The lack of padding on the backbone is where the pain lies with that pot hole.

 

Always good to see a Wonderland report on here. I have a soft spot for my home park even though I pretty much agree entirely with the mentality that the park is just a huge collection of mediocre/bad rides... and Vortex and Behemoth.

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