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I've always wanted to try Dragon Mountain for the weirdness factor, but I couldn't justify the drive and the entry fee last time I was in the upstate NY area. I've always been curious about the two tunnel drops in Dragon Mountain as POV footage makes it difficult to tell what they're actually doing. Are either of the drops (the one coming out of the volcano, and the one going into the bowtie) steep or particularly intense? The one going into the bowtie looks like it might be similar to the first drop into the loops.

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ok. . so unless were just completely wiped out, Nick is insisting he wants to go to Marineland to ride Dragon Mountain.

 

so I'm going to give into his request, and we'll likely end up visiting. Going to do my best to only spend the money on entrance fee, and not eat or buy souvenirs there. . but will have to see how it goes.

 

most important is that he's happy.

 

 

starting to look at booking stuff for our trip, since it's in 2 weeks. . . man, didn't realize how much was on the American side, since I know the view is considered better from the Canadian side.

 

likely will end up doing Hornblower from the Canadian side (rather than Maid of the Mist). . but since we will end up having to cross back into the USA to do the Cave of Winds, might just do the Maid of the Mist.

 

or might consider doing a day tour. . maybe they will pick up from the Canadian side and bring us to the USA side?

 

hmm. ..

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ok. . so unless were just completely wiped out, Nick is insisting he wants to go to Marineland to ride Dragon Mountain.

 

so I'm going to give into his request, and we'll likely end up visiting. Going to do my best to only spend the money on entrance fee, and not eat or buy souvenirs there. . but will have to see how it goes.

 

most important is that he's happy.

 

Definitely make sure you aren't wiped out since the park is absolutely massive. Dragon Mountain is definitely a unique coaster so it's worth a few rides.

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What do you call the area where they bury animals illegally?

 

Apparently there's 4 mass mammal graves on Marineland property, with about a thousand animals buried in them. I believe the illegality of this unpleasant subject is that they may have used lime and plastic sheeting to accelerate decomposition in the graves, which I believe is not legal. Another concern was the these mass graves are very close to the Welland River which runs along one of the sides of the park. There have been times outbreaks of virus have affected dozens of deer and they were euthanized,stored in freezers and eventually buried.

 

I know it's part of life at a zoo or aquarium that animals will die, it's just that there's so many bad stories about animals treatment in both life (and apparently in death) that is concerning here. I always feel guilty supporting the place given this status... but on the other hand I don't wish the place would close. I think inevitably they will go the way of sea world and focus more on adding some new rides, if they hope to continue on.

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Though it appears that your decision has been made, I'll join in on the Dragon Mountain love. Marineland is a large, weird place- but it has that going for it.

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ok. . so unless were just completely wiped out, Nick is insisting he wants to go to Marineland to ride Dragon Mountain.

 

so I'm going to give into his request, and we'll likely end up visiting. Going to do my best to only spend the money on entrance fee, and not eat or buy souvenirs there. . but will have to see how it goes.

 

most important is that he's happy.

 

Definitely make sure you aren't wiped out since the park is absolutely massive. Dragon Mountain is definitely a unique coaster so it's worth a few rides.

 

the main reason we're going is for the falls tho. . so that's the full day on Tuesday.

 

Wed is the day planned for the park.. but we're gonna be doing a LOT of walking on Tues. I can handle it, him not so much.

But I'm making him take his cane. . so we shall see.

 

I've already warned him how much walking is involved.

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I loved the place when I was a kid. Dragon Mountain was my first big steel coaster.

 

I went back about 10 years ago though and was kind of sad about the park. I was likely influenced however by understanding more about what was going on behind the scenes and the idealistic memories of the park from my childhood.

 

I'd say it's still worth a visit, but the park needs some love, change, and updating. (still worth a visit in my mind)

 

The drop tower (especially when facing the falls) has an amazing view.

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Based on this thread, I think I'll squeeze Niagara Falls and Marineland into my Toronto trip if weather permits / dictates.

 

I have all of US Memorial Day weekend (in Friday evening, out Tuesday morning). But if I only get two days of good weather, should I rush Canada's Wonderland to be able to do this?

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Based on this thread, I think I'll squeeze Niagara Falls and Marineland into my Toronto trip if weather permits / dictates.

 

I have all of US Memorial Day weekend (in Friday evening, out Tuesday morning). But if I only get two days of good weather, should I rush Canada's Wonderland to be able to do this?

 

we're gonna just miss each other, sounds like, tho we'll be on a Tour of all the Niagara Falls tourist stops on that Tues

(Marineland will be on Wed. . tentatively)

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Maid of the Mist and Hornblower are interchangeable (both do the same thing). Cave of the winds is one of our favourite attractions at Niagara and the "hurricane deck" is really good fun (you will get SOAKED!). A few years ago there was a "no smoking" sign on the deck, which was truly magnificent!

 

If you stay on the US side for longer, then Maid of the Mist/Cave of the Winds becomes the more logical option, doesn't take up too much time, and can be walked quite easily, or take the trolley bus that runs round the island.

On the Canadian side, "journey behind the falls", while fun, is not quite as spectacular.

 

If you get the chance (depending on your timeframe), I strongly suggest "white water walk", which is a short bus ride down from the falls on the Canadian side (the bus network is called "WEGO" and there are numerous ticket options that can get you anywhere you need to be).

 

You can walk across the bridge from the US of A to Canada and vice versa. It is quicker than driving and means you don't have to worry about parking on the other side. Normal border security and customs rules apply, but the wait is never that long (think pedestrians).

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Maid of the Mist and Hornblower are interchangeable (both do the same thing). Cave of the winds is one of our favourite attractions at Niagara and the "hurricane deck" is really good fun (you will get SOAKED!). A few years ago there was a "no smoking" sign on the deck, which was truly magnificent!

 

If you stay on the US side for longer, then Maid of the Mist/Cave of the Winds becomes the more logical option, doesn't take up too much time, and can be walked quite easily, or take the trolley bus that runs round the island.

On the Canadian side, "journey behind the falls", while fun, is not quite as spectacular.

 

If you get the chance (depending on your timeframe), I strongly suggest "white water walk", which is a short bus ride down from the falls on the Canadian side (the bus network is called "WEGO" and there are numerous ticket options that can get you anywhere you need to be).

 

You can walk across the bridge from the US of A to Canada and vice versa. It is quicker than driving and means you don't have to worry about parking on the other side. Normal border security and customs rules apply, but the wait is never that long (think pedestrians).

 

because trying to save on walking, looking into booking a tour, that does things on both sides (4 hours on US side, 4 hours on Canada side), and will pick us up at the Canada hotel.

 

I THINK this particular tour includes White Water Walk (I know it doesn't do Hornblower, since includes Maid of the Mist earlier in the tour). Waiting for them to confirm something for me before I book. . . yeah, it's expensive, but they will drive/take us, and that will save him on some of the effort in/out of car.. and he's more comfortable w/ that.

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if you're curious, here's the tour we've booked (thru Greyline). Ended up being ~$400 for both of us, but worth it to not have to worry about getting to/from places, and that they will pick us up at Hotel Lobby.

 

So Nick is very happy.

 

Part 1: American Side:

 

Explore the undeveloped natural beauty of the Niagara Falls State Park, as your guide takes you through the paths of the park arriving at the Niagara Falls Observation Tower. Once there you'll descend 250 feet to the base of the American Falls to board onto the world-famous Maid of the Mist Boat Cruise.. The Maid of the Mist brings you into the belly of the Horseshoe Falls, so you can experience its refreshing spray and the unforgettable roar of water rushing over its cliffs. Hang on tight as you feel the magnitude of the churning water below you, as it makes its way down the Niagara River. As an added bonus, you may go to the base of the falls and climb a series of stairs to the Crow's Nest. The view from the Crow's Nest provides yet another multi-sensory experience of the Falls. The exploration continues as you're guided onto Goat Island where the Cave of the Winds will take you closer to the Falls than ever before. Once you're 175 feet deep into the Gorge you'll put on the provided attire (bright yellow poncho and specialized footwear)and hike a series of wooden walkways up to the famous "Hurricane Deck." This is where you’re face to face with the fierce base of the Bridal Veil Falls, and where rainbows are spotted day and night.

 

The adventure doesn't stop here! You'll also enjoy views from above the Falls at various lookout spots including Prospect Point, Terrapin Point, and more. All of this, while your guide provides an ongoing commentary of the rich history and mystery of the Niagara Region.

 

Part 2: Canadian Side:

Watch the Falls come alive on this breathtaking evening tour of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The evening will begin with a trip to Journey Behind the Falls where you'll explore Table Rock Centre and the bedrock tunnels that lead to the viewing portals. You'll stand in the mist of the mighty Horseshoe Falls behind a sheet of water rushing 174' down on the rocks below. The tour will of course include the fascinating history of the Niagara Region told by one of our talented guides. Relax aboard one of Gray Line's comfortable coaches as we take you along the Great Gorge to witness the fierce and unforgettable Niagara Whirlpool. The next stop includes the School of Horticulture and the Floral Clock both abound in beauty, and the tour isn't quite over yet. Once the sun sets over Niagara, we'll take you to the top of the 775' Skylon Tower to witness a remarkable panoramic scene - the night sky is the perfect backdrop as the lights on the Falls radiate a tranquil glow.

 

 

Oh, and yes, I told him Skylon tower is included in this tour, and that I don't care if he has to keep his eyes shut the whole time, he's going up there with me, just to pose for a picture.

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Based on this thread, I think I'll squeeze Niagara Falls and Marineland into my Toronto trip if weather permits / dictates.

 

I have all of US Memorial Day weekend (in Friday evening, out Tuesday morning). But if I only get two days of good weather, should I rush Canada's Wonderland to be able to do this?

 

For the love of God don't rush Wonderland. Stay two days if need be, especially if it's the long weekend. One unique Arrow Coaster is not worth rushing one of the best Cedar Fair parks. I guarantee you will regret it an hour after arriving to Marineland and realizing there's not much to do and a lot of walking to do it.

Spend a day with the coasters and another day dedicated to flats if you want. The water park is decent as well given the weather is nice. Stay for the food, scenery and a multitude of shows.

CW is worth the money.

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^Good. Then if it's two nice days and one rainy day, I'll just make it two days at CW and spend the rainy day in Toronto. Got the Cedar Fair Platinum Pass, so I'm good there. Having rushed SFoG due to Amtrak delays, I don't want to repeat that experience.

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I would highly recommend checking out Toronto. The res over 50 micro breweries in the city plus a plethora of great Restaraunts from practically every culture. The festivals and markets every weekend are great and I would highly recommend on a good day to check out the islands just a ferry ride from downtown to rent a bike and plan a picnic. There's a lot to do here.

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Dragon Mountain is GREAT... there may have a been a couple *punches to the head* when exiting the tunnels, if my memory serves me. Other than that, it's very smooth and truly one-of-a-kind. More ride-able than MOST Arrow coasters. When I was there it never had more than a 1-3 train wait, but that can turn in a while when they are only running one train on a mile long ride (hi, Hades). There was what looked like a perfectly fresh train in transfer they were not using.

 

The park overall was beautiful but very deserted and as others have said, it's kind of sad in various ways. Deserted rides, begging bears... It reminded me of a HUGE version of Magic Mountain, but more deserted and with less rides (but cleaner!). Have fun!

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The tour you have booked looks fine and covers pretty much all of your bases. The Cave of the winds will provide you with flip flops that you can keep afterwards. I would suggest not wearing socks that day till after you have done the "get soaked stuff". You will get wetter at the Cave of the Winds than you do on the Maid of the Mist.

 

The whirlpool is downriver from "White Water Walk". I wouldn't call it "unforgettable" but it is still quite a view, and there is a "Spanish Aero Car" that takes you across if you have the stomach for it! The trip downriver is very scenic, and the Niagara parks commission keeps the area looking very beautiful. I will be interested to hear your opinion on it. It is one of our favourite places as a family, and it is always the most requested place to visit by all my British tourist friends.

 

Hope you have a great trip. Will look forward to your report. I won't be able to meet up this time as I am working the next few weekends (downside of shift work!), but if you do find yourself coming up to Toronto for the day then drop me a PM.

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I second the White Water walk. Take a taxi/uber and do it. It's so powerful and impressive to walk right beside the raging river. If there is time, Niagara on the Lake is another must do (stroll the shops and get ice cream).

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  • 2 weeks later...

yes. . I'm still in Niagara Falls, but felt the urge to log into TPR from the hotel lobby . . . LOL

(we had an absolutely stellar day today at MarineLand, so made me think about TPR).

 

I spoke to several of the trainers, and the park staff thruout the day (as it was a slow pre-season day for them, and they loved chatting). . .I really do believe them in that changes have been made in terms of treatment of the animals, and there *are* reduced amounts/types of animals on display). I honestly didn't feel bad about the animals as they seemed very well taken care of. (tho the Bears did seem to still do the "begging for food" that I saw Elissa mention when I asked about the park. The animal care staff on hand told us that they are omnivores, and that the park set up the "bear feed" (corn pops) stands, to help prevent folks from tossing them just any type of food. . so at least they are trying to keep them on a restricted diet.

 

I'll have a trip report up when we get back, but I really did enjoy the place -- as huge and weirdly laid out - as it is.

 

Added bonus, with the current exchange rate, and discount coupons from the local tourist magazines? it was less than $35 each to get in - and we started off the day with 4 rides on Dragon Mountain, so we could have just ridden that and left, and it still would have been a great day).

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Glad that you had a great time at Marineland, Bert!

 

It sounds encouraging if they are putting $$ & effort to properly maintain the park. A new ride or attraction would be great as it seems like forever since they have added anything.

 

How long are you in NF? While it would have been awesome to meet up with you guys for an afternoon, unfortunately Michael's been having some issues which involved a bunch of hospital tests yesterday.

 

I think that it's a reaction to a new med he just started taking, but we'll hopefully have his test results back tomorrow.

 

Funny that we were just talking about a possible visit to San Antonio (in the future) tonight and your post popped in about being in Niagara Falls.

 

If we get to SA, we're definitely hooking up at SFFT and/or drinks at the Riverwalk

 

Have fun on your trip...looking forward to your trip report!

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Glad that you had a great time at Marineland, Bert!

 

It sounds encouraging if they are putting $$ & effort to properly maintain the park. A new ride or attraction would be great as it seems like forever since they have added anything.

 

How long are you in NF? While it would have been awesome to meet up with you guys for an afternoon, unfortunately Michael's been having some issues which involved a bunch of hospital tests yesterday.

 

I think that it's a reaction to a new med he just started taking, but we'll hopefully have his test results back tomorrow.

 

Funny that we were just talking about a possible visit to San Antonio (in the future) tonight and your post popped in about being in Niagara Falls.

 

If we get to SA, we're definitely hooking up at SFFT and/or drinks at the Riverwalk

 

Have fun on your trip...looking forward to your trip report!

 

Hey Phil,

 

we're only here thru tonight, then on plane back to Texas in morning.

 

not sure I'd truly say they "are putting $$ & effort to properly maintain the park"

 

it's VERY overgrown, lots and lots of weeds (but more than one employee I chatted with said that the owner really likes the greenery, and doesn't care if it's trees, bushes, or weeds.. . tho on Ladybug coaster, the op told me that they had cut all the weeds out 3 weeks earlier, and she guessed they didn't get the roots, as the entire center of the track was all weeds.. towering weeds).

 

definitely odd, and that the park is so dang big, it gives the impression of being abandoned in places (at the top of the skyscreamer mountain, it was like "walking dead" up there, with deserted tables, and tons of weeds peeking out from the bricks. . .. but the ride was open, and the ops were friendly and chatty).

 

oh, and yeah, Topple Tower is still sitting there, rotting. . .sign is gone, and weeds have ovetaken the ride vehicle.. . the Dragon Mountain Op told me that due to the counterweights below the ride, they would need a crane to remove the ride, and it was simply more cost effective to just let is sit there and rot (I did ask why they don't put a fence around it, or make the station into a restroom, since there's not one close. . LOL).

 

HOWEVER: *every* ride other than that one was being staffed, and well operated (despite how dead it was in the park). . .and oh, they *are* adding a HUGE new section in the back -- a "bird Safari" section! It's on the maps, and in the tourist magazine ads. . .tho it wasn't open yet -- looked to be a couple of months away from being ready to go.. but they are adding this new area.

 

Sorry to hear Michael is having a bout of issues. . hopefully just getting used to the meds.

 

we went slow today (worked out really well that it was so dead, as we could take our time walking, and Nick was able to navigate with no issues. . as long as we went slow). Ended up spending about 6 1/2 hours in the park. And rode almost everything (skipped a couple of the "Family rides" section), but did all the animal exhibits, and peeked into the main show

 

He even went with me up to Skyscreamer (slowly, but he went). He wasn't going to -- he was gonna wait, but it was almost time to check in for our flight, and we were getting no bars on the phones... so we went to the top of the mountain so we could get internet connection (it worked).

 

absolutley. . lemme know when you're gonna be in SA. If I'm in town, will drive down to meet ya

 

bert

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So it sounds as if Marineland hasn't changed much since we visited. Glad to hear that they are adding something new though!

 

We're actually at the ER now. Michael's condition has worsened, so his doctor recommended this as precaution. BP is low and he's running a temperature. They think that it might be CHF, but they're running all the tests now.

 

Safe travels home, Bert...we also hope to be home soon.

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So it sounds as if Marineland hasn't changed much since we visited. Glad to hear that they are adding something new though!

 

We're actually at the ER now. Michael's condition has worsened, so his doctor recommended this as precaution. BP is low and he's running a temperature. They think that it might be CHF, but they're running all the tests now.

 

Safe travels home, Bert...we also hope to be home soon.

Oh wow. Best of luck to the ER staff, hope they can get him better.

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