Readers' Opinions

From Rob Pastor on August 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM
We went there a couple of times in the early 90's. Beautiful park. At that time it reminded me of King's Island. I think they had the same owner back then(before Cedar Fair).
From James Rao on August 7, 2014 at 3:29 AM
Good stuff, Russell. Thanks for sharing. I was interested in how Cedar Fair would pull off Wonder Mountain, and from your review it sounds like they did a lot of things right with their first attempt at a dark ride in years. I look forward to CF adding more Wonder Mt type attractions at other Cedar Fair parks in the coming years (looking at you, poor, forgotten Worlds of Fun).
From Bobbie Butterfield on August 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Dragon Fire aging gracefully? I got such an ear-boxing on that coaster that nothing would tempt me to ride it again; the best thing I can say about this ride is that it's mercifully short. Alas, I never did get to ride Wonder Mountain's Guardian b/c there is no Fast Lane entrance as far as I could see and the queue was prohibitively long.

Loved Leviathan, on which I got 8 rides, but had to purchase Fast Lane Plus, as the regular ride queue was easily 2 hrs. long. Probably picked a bad day to go to the park (June 21, which was a Saturday, and with 5 weeks paid vacation I could easily have taken the time off work to go during the week) as the crowds were far larger than anything I've ever seen at my home park of Six Flags Great Adventure and even with Fast Lane Plus had to wait close to half an hour to get on Behemoth.

I actually thought that Behemoth was better than Nitro and didn't perceive it as rough. It struck me as being in pristine condition compared with Nitro (of course, Nitro is older but could be much better maintained) and the hang time over the first drop from the front seat was mind-blowing. I found both Wild Beast and Mighty Canadian Minebuster too rough to be enjoyable and should have skipped Flight Deck, as it's essentially the same ride as Mind Eraser (possibly the worst coaster on earth). I'd never ridden anything like Backlot Stunt Coaster so this was a small treat. Vortex was good but I found it a bit rough in spots. But then I'm 62 years old and not as physically resilient as youngsters like Russell and his wife.

Canada's Wonderland is a beautiful park and the cast members were unusually friendly. Also, park security actually enforced the no line jumping policy, something I've never seen any security at my home park do. Plus it was a huge advantage to be able to pay with US dollars and not have to exchange currency.

From Ed Newman on August 7, 2014 at 8:08 PM
Great report Russell. Appreciate all of your opinions and recollection of details. Especially your positive review of Leviathon (sp). I hope the new Carowinds 300 footer planned for next year will be similar. Also glad your son had such a great time on the "big" coaster.

I actually visited this park many, many years ago (82 or 83) when a high school friend and I journeyed up to Toronto. I really need to make a return visit. I probably wouldn't recognize the place. My wife has family near Toronto and has been hinting at a possible visit...

From Russell Meyer on August 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM
@Bobbie - I didn't mean to make Dragon Fire sound like an amazing experience, but compared to other old Arrow Loopers, it's not too bad. It's smoother than Viper (SFMM), Vortex (KI), and Anaconda (KD), and is on par with Corkscrew at Cedar Point. I don't recommend anyone riding Dragon Fire before riding any of the other bigger coasters, but if the line is less than 15 minutes, and you're looking for something different, it's worth checking out.

Perhaps it was riding Behemoth first thing in the morning, but it just wasn't as good as Nitro for me. I'm not a huge fan of the new staggered seating arrangement, and the coaster has added seat belts (like Diamondback) that aren't necessarily confining, but psychologically make you fell like you don't have the freedom you do with just the lap bar. I did ride on 2 of the 3 trains, and one was a bit smoother than the other, but not dramatically. My wife noted that she thought that it felt a little rough as well. I rode Nitro a little over a week later after our trip to Canada, and just rode Diamondback last week, and I have to stand by my assessment that Behemoth is an unusually rough B&M hyper with a surprising amount of chatter on the trains.

Also, I wasn't aware that the park accepted American currency. Our research indicated that some places in Ontario would take American currency, but there was typically no way to know without asking in advance. We chose to use CAD as soon as we left Niagra Falls to avoid any issues, and found that most places in Toronto, aside from the big tourist draws, were only accepting CAD.

From 174.113.24.144 on August 8, 2014 at 7:47 PM
Nice to hear some good things about my home park. It was just announced that Skyrider, the stand up coaster will be closed down at the end of the season to make way for other great adventures. I am a Disney and Universal fan and love the fact that child swap and fast passes are available. At Wonderland you have to pay a steep price (mom to three here so it adds up) to bypass lines. You didn't mention if you had funnel cakes...yum. I find that the rides at Wonderland are short and was hoping that Guardian would be a nice long one but everyone I know has been disappointed with the length. Great article, keep up the great work.
From Bobbie Butterfield on August 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Russell - I see your point about Dragon Fire. I've ridden only one of the others that you mention - Anaconda at KD - and agree that it's pretty brutal, but mainly for the 1st part of the ride. I thought it got better towards the end.

On the currency issue, I was in a quandary as to whether to buy CAD. My flight from Philly left from a terminal with no currency exchange and when I told an airport employee that I was flying to Toronto, she told me that she had been able to use USD anywhere in the Toronto area so I took her word for it and was delighted to find out that she was right on the money.

From Russell Meyer on August 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM
We did not have a chance to sample the funnel cakes because we were so full from the All-Day Dining Plan. However, we did notice the extremely long lines for the funnel cake stand on International Street in the evenings (at least 20-30 people deep), so they must be pretty good.

The lack of child swap was pretty annoying, which was exacerbated by the fact that we couldn't use our phones due to the ridiculous international roaming charges. We don't mind splitting up in a park to keep our son happy and entertained, but we probably lost about an hour of time total waiting for each other at our meet up spots because we couldn't communicate with each other.

I actually find the second half of Anaconda the rougher part with the tight twists and turns before looping around to the double corkscrew.

We just didn't want to deal with any currency issues, so we stopped at an ATM as we were leaving Niagra Falls, and loaded up on CADs. Our bank credits our account for foreign ATM fees, and we double-checked with them that the policy extended into Canada. The currency exchange is pretty even, but I did notice that most places that did take both USD and CAD were charging the same price in both currencies, meaning you were paying slightly more for the item if you paid with USD (@1.09 CAD to 1 USD).