Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster

Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long)

TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long)

leviathan leviathan Profile

Posted:
7/19/12 at
3:30:26 PM

I just joined the website and am posting my first TR.

I brought the family to Vaughan, Ontario last week for our now annual trip to Canada's Wonderland. We arrived in Vaughan on Monday evening, hit the park Tuesday and drove home (3 hours) that night.

So Tuesday morning, we made our way down the road to the main entrance where cars were already piled up at the parking booths around 10 am. This is an area where they can certainly make some improvements...maybe stacking attendants 2 deep at the booths earlier in the day. It took us about 10 minutes to get in...but on busier days, expect a longer wait.

The weather was sunny and low 80s forecasted, a perfect day. Conveniently, the Leviathan entrance is located near the front of the park, so that is where we headed first (along with everyone else). The line was already pretty maxed out as far as the queuing gates were concerned, and this was at around 10:30. The wait was approximately 45 minutes with a 3-train operation, as it was for most of the day I assume. They did shade most of the queueing area, which is nice.

I must say, it is quite funny staring up the lift hill of this coaster. You just can't really see where it ends. It appears to go on forever. And as the train grabs onto the longest roller coaster chain possibly in the world (?), you begin your fairly rapid ascent towards what must be an apex...somewhere...and then, suddenly the whole train seemingly nose-dives back to Earth without restraint. It is the most breath-taking coaster drop I can recall in recent memory. And upon reaching the bottom of that drop (yes, there is a bottom), you feel the wheels once again grab hold of the track as the train heads back upwards, continuing its journey towards that hammerhead element that lingers over the park's entrance terrace.

But after the hammerhead, I found myself...well...a little bored I suppose. The extreme pace continues throughout the ride, but there's really not much else interesting to speak of. Just speed. And then you hit the infamous brake run, which is possibly the most absurd ever on such a large coaster. It is somewhat abrupt and as you slowly descend towards the station, you can't help but wonder why the designers seemingly became lazy in closing out the ride. The funny thing is that it is quite a long ride in terms of track length, but the train travels so fast that the course is covered fairly quickly.

All told, I enjoyed it enough to go on again (utilizing the parent swap procedure) with the adult that was watching all of the kids during this time. My rides consisted of the second and fifth row seats. This is a roller coaster that I could easily ride all day, no exaggeration. It is ridiculously smooth and the first drop alone is worth the wait. Leviathan has at least found a place in my top 20, but I feel it comes up shorter than I had hoped. Personally, I like it immensely better than the Intimidator 305, which puts me on the cusp of graying out after the first drop.

On a side note, parent swap was executed flawlessly all day at the park. And I feel that the ride operators at this park in general are pretty good at what they do. They seem to care about their jobs and really work hard to keep the queues moving all day long. And further, the park seemed pretty clean. Hopefully this is some of the influence of Matt Ouimet coming through.

***Rant alert***
And on side note part B, I really don't understand the addition of Leviathan to CW. I mean, they already had a signature hypercoaster. It seems like the powers that be really missed an opportunity to add something unique to the park. If the need to add another coaster was unavoidable, given the location I believe they should have removed Dragon Fire and built a floorless looping coaster. Or a 4th dimension coaster. Or a wing coaster. So many options.
***End of rant alert***

Anyway, after we got our Leviathan fix, we proceeded to hit some flat rides on our way towards Vortex. At one point many years ago, this was my favorite ride in the park. It is a rare breed of suspended coaster now, with a short but somewhat somewhat breathtaking drop of its own off Wonder Mountain, leading into several high-speed turns until you seemingly brush the pond below. Father time has taken its toll on Vortex as it is not as smooth as it once was, but still worth riding if for no other reason than there just aren't many of these types of coasters left. 2-train operation and a 20 minute wait.

On our way to Vortex, we decided to bypass the Bat (boomerang) and Fly (wild mouse). They're both clones that we have previously ridden - here and elsewhere. And they're both slow-moving lines. Both use Fast Lane also, which can really exaggerate the wait time. CW's execution of Fast Lane allows guests unlimited direct access to the ride stations, rather than joining up with the main queue near the station, a la WDW.

So next it was back to the children's area. And let me point out that the kids' area at this park is actually 2 adjacent separate sections making 1 pretty sizable area. It is possibly the largest dedicated children's area contained within an amusement park that I have encountered.

There are some pretty unique rides back there as well. We made our way towards the Ghoster Coaster, the family-size double out & back wood coaster. It's a fairly smooth ride, but even with 2 trains it can be one of the less efficient roller coaster queues in the park. We waited about 30 minutes to ride.

Later, after some kiddie rides, we moseyed over towards the Silver Streak. It is another family-sized coaster, but this one is an inverted coaster with 2-across seating. There are no big drops, just lots of mid-speed turns. And a tire-propelled lift hill. Not a bad wait, despite 1-train operation. Maybe 15 minutes. Strangely, there isn't a second train available...that I have seen anyway.

At this point, I took the bigger kids and headed back towards the front of the park. On the way, I was talked into riding Wild Beast, one of the two big woodies at the park. I have no use for this ride anymore, which is quite sad because there was a day where this was a personal favorite. Now this thing is nothing more than a headache (literally). 2 train operation and minimal wait, which was not surprising. The park really needs to do something with this ride...new trains, major retracking or just take it down. It seems to struggle over some of the early hills, but then makes up for it with the spine-damaging second half of the ride. It's cousin Grizzly at King's Dominion isn't doing much better...

We continued to Dragon Fire, which as I expressed in my rant above should have come down to make more room for Leviathan. It is a short, dated Arrow looper with a reverse corkscrew. One of the 4 original coasters at CW. Typical Arrow head banger but thankfully it is a short ride. 2-train operation and a 5 minute wait.

We decided to start conquering the opposite side of the park at this point and elected to bypass Flight Deck (a.k.a. Top Gun). I used to love this ride the few years after it opened. But as is typical with these compact inverteds, your head becomes a punching bag. (see a pattern here?) And my older kids can't quite ride yet anyway, so it was an easy decision to skip it. The line did not appear to be very long.

We also skipped Time Warp (the old Tomb Raider) because of the length of the line and the fact that I had the kids. Because they can only seat 4 per car/train, the line moves painfully slowly. This would have been another great candidate to replace with a high-capacity flying coaster. Interestingly, this is the one coaster in the park that has eluded me. I'll eventually get to it...one of these trips...if it remains...

So we made our way back towards the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, the park's other woodie. It also has a 2-train configuration, except these trains have 3 rows per car where Wild Beast has 2 rows per car, presumably so those can navigate the Beast's turns better. This one is an out and back and is actually still a pretty good ride, likely due to the lighter lateral forces on the structure. It's slightly rough, but nothing too bad...until you reach the final helix. It is a high-speed 360 through a tunnel that will shake you to your core. We waited about 10 minutes for this ride.

We decided to bypass another clone coaster, the Sky Rider, a.k.a. TOGO piece of junk. King's Island removed theirs years ago and it is long overdue for this one to see the same fate. Although admittedly, I have never liked the ride partially due to the G-forces, partially because of the rough ride. That TOGO standup model has always seemed like an out-of-place carnival ride to me.

Having met up with the rest of our party, we decided to hit Behemoth. After riding Leviathan, I wasn't sure if this would continue to be my favorite CW coaster any longer. We selected the second row (outside seats). The first hill didn't seem quite so big anymore, but someone forgot to tell that to the drop! Because of the similar angle of descent to the Leviathan, this coaster also seems to nose-dive back to the ground free of any tracks. But that's where the similarities end. Behemoth is a relentless journey into airtime. Not the Intamin airtime that suddenly jerks you into the air, but the kind that will leave you wondering when your bottom will once again be planted back in your seat. This ride not only confirmed that it outperforms Leviathan IMO, but firmly planted it inside my top 10 list. The queue wasn't completely full and we waited about 30 minutes.

We decided to skip over Backlot Stunt Coaster. It seems that they're still having issues with the LIMs on this ride as the 3rd car was empty all day. So what should have been a 15 minute wait seemed like closer to 30 minutes.

Our final coaster ride of the day was Thunder Run. We had skipped it earlier because the wait was pretty long, probably due to the fact that it is in a busier section of the park now with the addition of Leviathan. It is a custom powered coaster that travels through Wonder Mountain. But it performs 2 circuits in a ride cycle so there is only 1 train that can run on this ride. It is a fun ride with some surprises inside the mountain and another coaster that the whole family can ride, so it is a must ride for my family. We waited about 20 minutes.

All told, it was a great day. The seemingly large crowd never really amounted to long waits. But due to the height of kids in our party combined with the ever-increasing size of the park, we picked and chose what we would ride on this day. I imagine CW is crowded on most summer days now with 2 world-class roller coasters in its lineup. Unfortunately, there are some real fixer-uppers here that can leave a bad taste in your mouth, all in the name of the race for roller coaster supremacy. It is definitely worth a trip, but here's to hoping that their new CEO can focus on quality over quantity going forward. With a little TLC, this massive park could really set itself apart.

Re: TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/19/12 4:34:03 PM
They say you never forget your first time..and for a first trip report, this was quite memorable.

Nice work, John!

I only made one visit to CW, in June of 2010. I enjoyed the park. Although I was somewhat disappointed in Behemoth, I liked Wilde Beast. Believe it or not, my favorite coaster in the park was Thunder Run! You didn't touch much on CW's collection of flat rides, but that was what impressed me the most about the park.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/19/12 4:42:46 PM
Great TR. I visited Canada's Wonderland in 2010. I loved Behemoth. It has the most and best air time of any steel coaster that I have ridden. El Toro is the only coaster that has better air time. I couldn't stop riding Behemoth. I think I rode it 10 times. We were planning on visiting Canada's Wonderland this year, to ride Leviathan. Trouble with passports may delay our visit to next year. My daughter and I have ours, but it seems that I didn't provide all necessary information for my other kids. Leviathan was my most anticipated coaster of 2012, but were not going to go until we all can go. One thing about CW, it's a busy park. I was there on a day that I considered to be very crowded. The employees and some park regulars were telling me how dead the park was that day. It seems that fast passes are a must for that place. It's good you got to go and ride Leviathan. I've been hearing mixed reviews. Some reviews are like yours, while others are really praising the ride. The good news is that I haven't read a bad review.
Re: TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/19/12 4:49:58 PM
Before I even read the report, I note you are new here and your posting name is "leviathan."
So I will just go on the premise that you loved the new installation at CW.
As I hope to do come Sept 15 when I visit CW for the first time as an attendee of the ACE event "Rollercoasters, Eh?"

Now to read the full TR (and thanks for that "long" warning)...
;-)


Edit: after reading the TR, which was quite good, I have one question: why isn't your URC name "Behemoth?"

* This post was modified at 7/19/12 4:57:34 PM *

Mike B.
Re: TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long) by leviathan leviathan Profile at 7/19/12 8:48:39 PM
MABrider said:

Before I even read the report, I note you are new here and your posting name is "leviathan."
So I will just go on the premise that you loved the new installation at CW.
As I hope to do come Sept 15 when I visit CW for the first time as an attendee of the ACE event "Rollercoasters, Eh?"

Now to read the full TR (and thanks for that "long" warning)...
;-)


Edit: after reading the TR, which was quite good, I have one question: why isn't your URC name "Behemoth?"

It was already taken!!! And I opted for a username without any numbers or special characters! I probably came off as being indifferent, and if so that was my fault. It really is a very good ride...just wished they did a bit more with it. I have yet to ride a B&M that I don't like :)

Also, the Leviathan theme is more...well...kick-ass than Behemoth...they actually put up a cool statue in front of the queue, which is a lot of theming for a park like this!

* This post was modified at 7/19/12 8:52:51 PM *

Re: TR - Canada's Wonderland, July 10 (long) by leviathan leviathan Profile at 7/19/12 9:05:23 PM
beastmaster said:

They say you never forget your first time..and for a first trip report, this was quite memorable.


Nice work, John!

I only made one visit to CW, in June of 2010. I enjoyed the park. Although I was somewhat disappointed in Behemoth, I liked Wilde Beast. Believe it or not, my favorite coaster in the park was Thunder Run! You didn't touch much on CW's collection of flat rides, but that was what impressed me the most about the park.

Mike

Mike, you know what is funny? I was thinking the exact same thing after I reread my review...although that would have put me into novel status! They have a nice collection of Huss rides, like a super enterprise, a breakdance scrambler-type ride and a giant jump (Sledgehammer). But they also have some newer Mondial rides, like a revolution, splash over (think wet top spin) and wind seeker. Those are just to name a few!

Thanks for pointing that out. And you're right, the collection of flat rides here is maybe equally as impressive as the number of coasters.