I posted this in the Canada's Wonderland thread, but thought some more people might enjoy this.
This past Sunday morning, my girlfriend and I decided we should go to Wonderland, as it would definitely be our last chance for the year. We didn't hustle out the door to get there for opening, as we didn't expect the park to get too crazy on such a cold day; I think the highest temperature reached around 9-10 C (50 F). So we made a nice big breakfast of BLTs and scrambled eggs, watched an episode or two of the office, then bundled up in a couple of sweaters, grabbed some gloves, and hit the road.
We got to the park around 11:30 or so (it's a 35 minute drive for us), and while plenty of people were showing up at the same time, the parking lot was well under half full. Once in the park we headed straight for Leviathan, hoping it wouldn't be too full of a line, which luckily for us, it wasn't. Seriously, this line never went behind the station any of the times we checked it out, and our first wait was 10 minutes, max. We got on somewhere in the middle, I think 3rd or 4th train, as we have great rides on this no matter where we sit. We were shivering before we even went down the first drop, but I was pumped, I love that "Oh shit" moment cresting the hill. The ride was great. I was expecting it to feel sluggish or something in the cold, but it definitely DID NOT feels slow. By the end of the ride, I could barely see, my eyes had watered up so much from the cold wind our faces. It was such a great ride that we just swung right back around for another short wait, this time getting to jump ahead a bunch because they needed two riders. We got seated second from the back, and this was even better. Seriously, I love that drop in the back, just wild.
After our two rides on Leviathan, we decided to do something we'd been putting off for a while: Wild Beast. Earlier in the season, we got the absolute shit kicked out of us on this ride. It was pretty startling, as we'd ridden this a dozen or more times in 2016, and while we had some rough rides, never anything so bad as at the start of 2017.
I'm pretty sure we must have been in a wheel seat that time, which I wouldn't have thought of at the time. So we made sure to sit in the front seat of our car, and away we went. Honestly, it was much better this time, and it was quite an enjoyable ride. It was rough in the way you expect an old woodie to be without being painful. We were glad to have ridden it again, as it was always a regular part of our roster before this year. We'll keep giving it a chance next year.
Next up was our favorite flat, and really, one of our favorite rides overall.
Seriously, we love the HELL out of Shockwave. Even when they don't shake up the ride cycle, you don't really get the same ride twice, and it's usually one of the crazier rides you can get in the park. This particular ride was no exception. We started out going backwards, and did some crazy backwards soaring and flipping. But really, my favorite thing with this ride is when it changes directions and launches you up and over. Just the best kind of ludicrous madness.
Next was another one of our favorites that we ride 95% of the time we go to the park: Vortex. This ride isn't super intense, but damn is it fun. I love going up the side of the mountain, and then back down the other side. I love the consistent speed, I love diving over and around the pond and fountain, and I love the consistent speed. This ride is fairly tame for us now, but is just pure fun. We also have some fond memories of this ride, which we always have a laugh about once we hit the break run. In September we brought my brother and sister-in-law to park with our free bring a friend passes, and we all rode Vortex. Well, my sister-in-law was screaming like a mad banshee the whole time, which was absolutely hilarious to us, and was the best ride we ever had on Vortex. Seriously, we couldn't stop laughing. So we always remember that on Vortex, and it always gives us another fit of the giggles.
This year we've been having bad luck with our visits. Most of our visits have been on really busy days, so we tend to avoid rides that slow-moving lines. This has meant that some of the rides we really enjoy have gotten less love this year, and so we wanted to make it up to them, and one in particular.
The operations on this ride are usually pretty slow, and as much as we love it, it takes less priority than rides like Behemoth, Vortex, Shockwave, and Leviathan, so it often gets skipped. Not this time. The line was prettty short, so we only had to wait two cycles before we got on. I really enjoy this ride. Another ride that gives a very different experience depending on where you sit. I know it can give some pretty crazy air where it feels like it's gonna launch you into the sky, which is great, but I actually prefer the seats that have you staring straight down at the ground. I find that damn thrilling. This ride we got some pretty wild air, which is the ride we get less often, so I was good with it. Glad we got on it one more time this season.
And then it was time for my most loved ride in the park, the ride that I think of when I think airtime. The massive beast of the land:
This line had actually gotten fairly long relative to the other lines we'd seen, and we waited probably about 25 minutes, our longest wait all day along with Shockwave (which is always slow as shit). Even given the length of the line, this felt slower than normal, and it was no wonder. The operations were not so hot, and all three trains were stacking almost every time. The entire time we were in line, there was only one dispatch that happened within mere moments of the currently running train leaving the MCBR. It was unfortunate, but I didn't sweat it too much, as the wait wasn't terrible anyway.
We sat front row, second to last car. Now, I actually usually prefer to sit at/near the front on Behemoth. I find that the airtime is longer lasting near the front, and that the hill right after the hammerhead turn is hugely better near the front than the back as I don't seem to lose air because of the trim the same way I do in the back. Now that said, this was an especially great near-back ride. The air going down the camelbacks was good, but I kind got slammed back into my seat after each hill, in a good way. Seriously, I've ridden Behemoth dozens of times, and I'd never had a ride quite like this one. What a solid end-of season ride on such a solid coaster.
By now we were getting hungry, and we were pretty damn cold, so some hot food sounded perfect. We headed up the by Spine Warp and Flight Death, thinking we would go to International St and grab some Chinese, our usual. Except that we noticed for the first time that Backlot Cafe is on the meal plan!
So we ducked inside to check it out. I was impressed with the variety of food, and we decided to get some curry. We quickly changed our mind though, as the lineup for the Mediterranean was pretty much non-existent. So we grabbed a chicken souvlaki platter and grabbed a seat outisde - the place was packed because everyone was trying to escape the damn cold! The food was decent, definitely better than we expected. I mean, we lived near the Danforth for a few years, so obviously this did not actually impress us (we're snobs, we know, deal with it
), but really, it was better than most of the other food we've had in the park. I mean, there were actual vegetables...
It was getting to be late afternoon, around 3pm or so, and we both had things to do at home, so we decided we should head home. So we headed out to International St, but we knew we had one thing left to do before we left the park for the last time in 2017.
The line was still short, not even going behind the station, which was nice. We were gonna ride no matter what the line was like, but we were pleased to see a short wait, probably only 10-15 minutes. Except we didn't wait quite that long. Once again, they needed a pair of riders, and we got pulled forward, cutting our wait down by a train. We were seated second to the front. This ride was so damn good. As much as I love the drop at the back of this ride, I also love staring down the drop as you crest the hill, and the front/near-front gives such a great vantage-point to do so. As before, I was surprised at how much it felt like we were hauling-ass, and had a great ride. Seriously high note to end our season on.
And so we headed out of the park, satisfied with our short, but dense visit, one of the best of the season. We're looking forward to next season, and hope Lumberjack is better than Soaring Timbers turned out to be, but we're optimistic. Now that the season is over, I get to obsess and theorize about 2019, and she gets to put up with it, humoring me with good patience.