Sorry about the double-post, but I wanted to go ahead and post my EPIC CW TR, Part 1, and just so happened to be the last person to post here. Enjoy!
Ok, so here goes! I tend to be a bit long-winded, so bear with me as I try to put this TR together for my first trip to Candada's Wonderland since 2008, and my kids' first trip out of the States, period!
We headed out from Mid-Michigan early this past Saturday, the 7th of September, and made our way across the border to Canada's premier amusement park! We didn't have any issues with customs, and were through it in less than a minute. It's about a 5 hour drive to CW from Lansing, and may have been a little bit longer in the end, due to the seemingly perpetual heavy traffic in the Toronto area. And let me just say, every time I've been to the Toronto area, I'm stunned by how wild and crazy the drivers are! Trucks speeding around like they're Jeff Gordon, people zipping around, cutting people off and giving zero cares. I've driven around LA, and around Chicago, but the craziest traffic I've ever had is still the Toronto area! Wild!
We got to the park around 3:30, and headed to the Season Pass Processing, to get our Platinum Passes activated, and in hand, and then headed into the park!
I expected the park to be crowded on a Saturday, and having heard the stories about how busy this park is all the time, and it did not disappoint! With our free FL+ to use the next day though, we focused first on riding things that either weren't on FL, or didn't have long lines. Before that though, we walked around the entire park, taking it all in, checking out line lengths, and enjoying the atmosphere. As I mentioned before, this was my kids' first time to the park, and my first time in 11 years. So there was a lot of new and exciting things to see for all of us!
On our way around the park, I made sure to stop by Muskoka Craft Burger, Beer Bar, and Chippery, to get a craft beer! While it was nice to get a beer, I'm pretty sure they poured the wrong beer for me, and I didn't notice it until after I tasted it. Not being a big fan of IPA's (yeah, I know... I'm not a very good Beer Snob apparently!), I didn't care much for what I got. But after paying $13 for it, I wasn't about to let it go to waste, so I drank it up as we completed our circuit around the park!
Let me just say, that the new area around Yukon Striker is simply fantastically done! The way the coaster swoops over the path, which is set up to take in the fantastic view of the coaster drop, and its interaction with Vortex, is just perfect! I know people have given the coaster crap for its finish, but I thought that post-mid-course finale was great, with a fun near vertical drop, a pop of air into that fun part where you soar over and around the pathway, able to interact with people staring up from below! I think this coaster is great, from start to finish! But I'm getting ahead of myself now... So we checked out the lines for YS as we walked by it, and even the FL+ line was way out onto the main pathway. So I was nervous for our attempt to get on the next day, but figured the crowds wouldn't be nearly as bad. That was not entirely the case, however, but I'm getting ahead of myself again...
Making our way back around to the center of the park from, beer still in hand (just my hand, not my kids' to be clear!), we decided to make our first ride of the day Wonder Mountain Guardian, since it isn't on FL, and the line was only about 45 minutes. I knew what to expect, but I'd intentionally been making sure the kids didn't know what to expect, other than a hybrid coaster/shooting dark ride. It worked to perfection, when they all were shocked at the surprise at the end! While I thought on the whole, WMG was only "ok", with the shooting part during the interior of the mountain looking very bare bones, going down the first drop backwards was fun, and the end was super fun! It was my first time doing something like that, so it was a fun new experience for me, as well as my kids! One funny tidbit from the WMG experience, was thinking I was doing great, and feeling bad that my youngest son Daniel, who was sitting next to me, wasn't getting anybody. Silly me... Dan is my biggest gamer in the family, and it was actually HE, who was schooling me!
I had the lowest score of our group, and he had the highest, so that was pretty amusing, and showed just how much I've fallen behind my kids in that video game department!
After our fun first ride of the day, we made our way back around to Medieval Faire to pursue some more easy riding. First off though, we took some photos in the photogenic Wonder Mountain area.
Once back in Medieval Faire, we checked out Leviathan's line, and it was still quite long. So we went next door to Dragon Fyre, which we walked into the station for. While old Arrow loopers are often among my least favorite coasters, this one wasn't the worst I've ridden, and with the exception of the corkscrews, was actually pretty good. My favorite part of the ride though, was realizing that the lift hill of Dragon Fyre, directly lines up with the drop of the first hill of Leviathan! I thought that was a pretty cool touch, and for our ride, we even had a near-synchronized drop with Leviathan, as that dropped directly in front of us, and then we dropped over on Dragon Fyre. Well done, CW!
About this time, we decided to eat, so we went to the King's Feast, and got an order of Chicken Tenders and a drink to share among the four of us. We had the All Day Dining plan for the next day (two of them, actually), so I didn't want to waste too much money on food that first night. It timed out perfectly, because no sooner did we get our food, and sit down at our table under the covered area, it started to absolutely downpour! Everybody came flooding from the midways into the shelter, filling it up quickly, so it was nice we just happened to already be sitting under there. By the time we were done eating, the rain had blown through, and we were ready for our next ride!
Since it was right across the way, and had virtually no line, we went to ride Wilde Night Mares, but my oldest son Ian, didn't want to, because he's still a little skittish about some flat rides. So I just went on it with my daughter Faith, and other son Daniel. We absolutely loved it! It was definitely our favorite flat of the entire trip, and we would go on to ride it two more times the next day! There's just something about being in a cage, with no restraints, and just centrifugal force holding you in place while you're up in the air looking straight down!
After getting off of Wilde Night Mares, we went to Drop Tower, and dragged my oldest along with us. He's been terrified of Drop Towers, and hadn't ridden one ever before. He was still very nervous, and unsure if he wanted to go through with it, but appeared to be ready to give it a try. We ended up deciding the wait was too long though, as it was moving pretty slowly, and we got out of line. We'd be back though, the next day. The only question was, would Ian finally get on his first drop tower???
Our plan all along has been to go on Leviathan, regardless of the wait, for our last ride of the night, so with the time we had left, we figured we could get in one more ride on something, just so long as it didn't have much of a wait. I led us down to Vortex, to check it out, and see if the line was lower than it was earlier, when it filled the queue and spilled out into the midway. As I suspected might be the case, it was much lower, and before long, we were on the best remaining Arrow Suspended coaster, in my opinion! We grabbed the back car, where the action is the whippiest, and off we went, up Wonder Mountain! This was the coaster that was my favorite after my first visit in 2006, and was my second favorite my last visit in 2008. Well, this great ride has held up, even after all these years, and delivered a very fun ride for all of us, and the kids were excited to have a much more exciting Suspended coaster than Iron Dragon under their belt! In the end, it still is my favorite non-B&M coaster at the park, and my only regret is not making it back to ride a second time in the front, the next day.
Before we get to the next day though (and don't worry, I'm splitting these days between two posts, so you're almost to the end of this post!), there was one more ride to get in: our very first ride on Leviathan, to close out the night, in the dark!
We got in line for it about 15 minutes before close, and waited about 30-40 minutes for our turn to ride. As darkness fell over the line, and the coaster, the excitement ratcheted up a bit, and people were clapping and cheering every dispatch out of the station, and past the crowd below! It was fun to be a part of that end of operations excitement, and it definitely built hype! When it was finally our turn, we were able to get the very back row, and as the train departed, we clapped and whooped it up as we readied for our first go-round on this giant thrill machine! Up the 300 foot hill we went, and then it was time, and down we went! I loved the tunnel at the bottom of the drop, and the glowing eyes were an awesome touch! That was definitely an excellent touch on this coaster, and I'd love to see them add something like that on Orion at some point as well! Tunnels are just great! At any rate, we blistered through the course, taking every element aggressively, and when we'd finally hit the legendary 100 foot high brake run, it was such a rush! I particularly loved that banked and curved speed hill, and going over that airtime hill, and zooming down towards the people walking the path in front of the park below! The only slight "boo" part was that one trim on the way back, but other than that, Leviathan hauled, from start to finish! We got off of the coaster, extremely pumped, and my oldest Ian and myself purchased Leviathan shirts from the shop at the exit. We all agreed, it was a fantastic finish to a fun fraction of a day at the park, and we were so excited to come back the next day, to fully tackle the park!
I'll wrap this first part of my TR for now, and I will do everything I can to make Part 2 a little shorter, and more succinct! I have more pictures to share, and more coasters and rides to relate our experience on, but will try to do a little bit better at condensing it all down for you. I hope those of you who read the whole thing enjoyed it, and thank you for reading!