Canada's Wonderland is a 134-hectare (330-acre) theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, a suburb approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Downtown Toronto. Opened in 1981 by the Taft Broadcasting Company and The Great-West Life Assurance Company as the first major theme park in Canada, it remains the country's largest. The park, currently owned by Cedar Fair, has been the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America for several consecutive years.
|Location||Vaughan, Ontario, Canada|
|Slogan||It's Amazing in Here|
|Owner||Cedar Fair Entertainment Company|
Kings Entertainment Company (1981–1993)
National Amusements (1993–2006)
|General manager||Norm Pirtovshek|
|Opened||23 May 1981|
|Previous names||Paramount Canada's Wonderland (1993–2006)|
|Visitors per annum||3.950 million in 2019|
|Area||134 hectares (330 acres)|
As a seasonal park, Canada's Wonderland is open daily from May to Labour Day, with weekend openings in late April and after Labour Day until end of October. There are special events throughout the season, including various food festivals, as well as "Celebration Canada", a month-long Canada Day festival, among others. The park holds Halloween Haunt, a Halloween-themed event, each fall until the last weekend of October at midnight. Beginning in 2019, the park launched WinterFest, a holiday-themed event that would extend the park's operating season to late December.
With seventeen roller coasters, Canada's Wonderland is ranked second in the world by number of roller coasters, after Six Flags Magic Mountain (19 coasters), and tied with Cedar Point (17 coasters). The 134-hectare (330-acre) park includes an 8-hectare (20-acre) water park named Splash Works.
The park was known as Paramount Canada's Wonderland when it was owned by National Amusements via Paramount Parks from 1993 to 2006. Following Cedar Fair's purchase of the park in 2006, "Paramount" was dropped from the name. In 2018, it was the most-visited seasonal amusement park in North America as well as the second-most-visited Cedar Fair amusement park, behind Knott's Berry Farm in California with an estimated 3.79 million visitors.
When Canada's Wonderland was planned the region lacked a seasonal amusement park. Toronto had previously hosted three amusement parks which had roller-coasters. Sunnyside Amusement Park closed in the 1950s to make room for the Gardiner Expressway. The Scarboro Beach and Hanlan's Point amusement parks both closed in the 1920s.
In 1972, the Taft Broadcasting Company, headed by Kelly Robinson, first proposed building a 134-hectare (330-acre) theme park in the then small village of Maple, part of Vaughan, Ontario. Several other possible locations in Ontario were considered, including Niagara Falls, Cambridge, and Milton, but Maple was finally selected because of its proximity to the City of Toronto and the 400-series of highways.
Others had seriously considered the Greater Toronto Area as a spot to build a theme park, among them the Conklin family (whose Conklin Shows ran various midways around North America, including Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition midway). Walt Disney also considered the idea before choosing Florida for Walt Disney World, rejecting Toronto mainly because of the seasonal climate, which would make the operating season too short to be profitable.
Construction of the park was opposed on multiple fronts. Many cultural institutions in Toronto such as Ontario Place, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the operators of the Canadian National Exhibition felt that the Toronto market was not large enough to support more competition. Other groups that fought the building of Wonderland included a Vaughan residential association called SAVE, which thought the increased traffic would reduce property values. People in the region were concerned that the new park would be similar in aesthetics to a carnival or midway.[dubious ] Some of the concessions the company made included a landscaped berm around the park to reduce noise and modifying the appearance of the large parking lot. Taft was concerned about opposition and flew a group of opponents and regional councillors to Mason, Ohio (near Cincinnati) to show them the positive impact of one of its theme parks on the local community.
Canada's Wonderland was also responsible for changing the master development plan for the province of Ontario. The provincial government wanted to increase residential and commercial development to the east of Toronto in the Regional Municipality of Durham, which includes Pickering and Oshawa, while keeping the lands to the north of Toronto agricultural, as a Greenbelt. The Wonderland promoters were able to convince the province to amend the planning policy for the region, and the park secured infrastructure improvements, including a highway overpass and sewage systems, that were expanded and built out to the site. This infrastructure paved the way for increased development throughout the region.[dubious ]
Concerns were also raised about the cultural implications of allowing an American theme park to open in Canada. Many felt that it would be a "Trojan Horse" for American culture. To counter the criticism, Taft planned to open Frontier Canada, a part of the park devoted to Canada's history. Early park maps show the area encompassing what is now Splash Works, White Water Canyon, the Action Theatre and the southern part of Kidzville. Taft also proposed including a steam passenger train. While Frontier Canada was not brought up as an idea until 2019, several original themes remain in the area. Unlike its sister parks, Kings Island and Kings Dominion, it was decided early that the centrepiece of the park would not be a replica of Paris's famous Eiffel Tower. Instead, the park's designers chose to build a massive mountain, known as Wonder Mountain, situated at the top of International Street. Wonder Mountain featured a huge waterfall and interior pathways that led visitors to a look-out point. The interior pathways have been closed since and have remained closed. Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Vaughan at Canada's Wonderland, a hotel, was being built during the first half of 2019 and set to open in late 2020.
Construction and openingEdit
On 13 June 1979, Ontario Premier Bill Davis depressed the plunger on an electronic detonating device at St. Lawrence Hall in downtown Toronto, triggering an explosion on the site. Construction began immediately and continued on to early 1981. Canadian companies were partners on the preliminary design and engineering of the project. Construction of the mountain alone involved a dozen local companies under Cincinnati engineer Curtis D. Summers.
Two years later on 23 May 1981, Davis and Taft Broadcasting President Dudley Taft officially opened Canada's Wonderland to the public. The spectacular opening ceremony included 10,000 helium balloons, 13 parachutists, 350 white doves, and a pipe band. Four children, representing the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions of Canada, each poured a vial of water from their home regions into the park's fountain. Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky also appeared as a special guest, helping to raise the Canadian flag. 12,000 guests were welcomed into the park for the first time. The park cost $120 million ($323 million in 2018 dollars) to build.
Kings Entertainment and Paramount eraEdit
During the 1980s, Canada's Wonderland and the Loblaws supermarket chain mounted a cross-marketing campaign. Loblaws issued "Wonder dollars" based on customers' purchases, which were redeemable at Canada's Wonderland at par with the Canadian dollar on weekdays. The obverse of the coin featured Wonder Mountain, while the reverse featured the Loblaws logo.
Kings Entertainment Company operated the park during the 1980s and early 1990s. The park's former connection to Hanna-Barbera Productions lessened after Paramount Pictures raised its stake from 20% to full ownership of the park in 1993 and renamed it Paramount Canada's Wonderland. After Viacom bought Paramount in 1994, a successful attempt was made to bring families back to the park by attracting children with original Nickelodeon cartoon characters that were familiar to a new generation.
Many changes occurred in the next decade. In 1996, Splash Works expanded, with a new water slide, a wave pool and a new child-friendly water playground (The Black Hole, White Water Bay and The Pump House). In 1998, the park expanded by adding KidZville, which was mainly designed for infants and children. In 1999, Splash Works expanded for the second time, with the addition of raft rides: The Plunge and Super Soaker.
In 2001, a new themed area called Zoom Zone was added within the KidZville section. Three new attractions were built in that area: Silver Streak (a family roller coaster), Blast Off (a "frog hopper"), and Jumpin' Jet. In 2002, the park unveiled Action Zone, a new themed area replacing the Exposition of 1890, which at the time contained already existing rides and added the Psyclone ride.
Splash Works also received its third and most current upgrade, with the addition of a child water playground area called Splash Island and the removal of Pipeline.
On 11 May 2003, with the park packed with people for Mother's Day, two guests were involved in a fight at the front gates of the park, which led to a shooting death. It was thought to have followed a prior dispute involving the two over a drug exchange, according to York Regional Police. The park has since added metal detectors at the front gate, with additional security.
In 2005, the park introduced Fearfest, a Halloween event featuring various haunted house attractions in different themed areas. Though the section for smaller children was closed off, the park continued running many of the thrill rides during the event, such as the Thunder Run, in which patrons ride a mining type train through a mountain. During the Halloween season, it is re-themed as the "Haunted" Thunder Run, with a darker tunnel and more strobe lights, fog machines, and black-light lit scenes featuring the "skeletons" of miners.
In 2006, the park introduced Spooktacular, a child-oriented Halloween event. The event included children's rides, costume contests and a treasure hunt. Spooktacular was open on weekends during the daytime, while Fearfest remained open at night. Fearfest got renamed to Halloween Haunt and Spooktacular to Camp Spooky.
Cedar Fair eraEdit
On 14 May 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced it was interested in acquiring the five Paramount theme parks from CBS Corporation (successor of the original Viacom), including Canada's Wonderland. CBS stated that amusement parks did not fit the company's new strategy. The acquisition was completed on 30 June 2006.
After the sale, Cedar Fair began to drop the name "Paramount" from all of the former Paramount properties it acquired, as a result, the park has reverted to its original name of Canada's Wonderland in January 2007. The 2007 season was a transition year throughout the park and included renaming the movie-themed rides since Cedar Fair did not hold the rights to Paramount film properties. By the start of the 2008 season, all Paramount logos and similar references had been removed. In August 2007, Cedar Fair announced that Fearfest would become Halloween Haunt to remain consistent with most other Cedar Fair parks, and that Spooktacular would become Camp Spooky. The park extended its regular operating season until the last weekend in October. Halloween Haunt runs in the late evenings on October weekends.
On May 4, 2008, Canada's Wonderland opened a Bolliger & Mabillard hypercoaster called Behemoth, which held the record for the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada at the time of its opening, standing at 70 metres (230 ft) and reaching speeds of 124 kilometres per hour (77 mph).
In 2011, Canada's Wonderland opened a 91.8-metre-tall (301 ft) WindSeeker, making it the tallest ride in the park until Leviathan opened in 2012. The park also announced the addition of the Starlight Spectacular show, which started on 25 June 2011 and ended on Labour Day, 3 September 2011. It was a nightly 'light and sound show' designed to celebrate the park's 30th anniversary; it was shown at 10 pm EST every night on International Street. Canada's Wonderland stated that the total cost for the show was approximately $1 million, with 16 million different colours and 300,000 LED lights. While the show took place at the front of the park (International Street), the highlight was on Wonder Mountain, with many 3D images and colours.
In 2012, Leviathan, a Bolliger & Mabillard Hypercoaster (also classified as a giga coaster), opened, surpassing the Canadian records set by Behemoth in 2008, becoming the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada. Norm Pirtovshek, general manager of Canada's Wonderland, said that the Leviathan as a new attraction would help to spread out visitors. It was also described as part of a "roller coaster renaissance" where theme parks distinguished itself by introducing bigger and faster rides to attract guests. In addition to Leviathan, Canada's Wonderland also opened the Dinosaurs Alive! walk-through dinosaur exhibit.
On 27 May 2012, for the first time in the park's history, Canada's Wonderland hosted a one-kilometre, 5-kilometre, and 10-kilometre run to raise money for the planned Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital (then known as Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital) that will be built on land once owned by Canada's Wonderland north of Major Mackenzie Drive.
On 30 August 2013, Canada's Wonderland announced that Wonder Mountain's Guardian would open inside Wonder Mountain in May 2014. The attraction is a 4-D interactive dark ride/ roller coaster with animations from Montreal-based Triotech. Park management also announced that SkyRider would close Labour Day, 2014.
Near the close of the 2015 season, Canada's Wonderland announced that two new flat rides would be added in 2016: Skyhawk (a Gerstlauer Sky Roller) and Flying Eagles (a Larson International Flying Scooters). Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimett also confirmed in December 2015 that virtual reality (VR) headsets would be added to Thunder Run in 2016. Available to riders for an additional upcharge fee, the experience is co-developed with Mack Rides, a German amusement ride company. The VR headgear is a type of head-mounted display that animates the entire field of vision to produce a 360-degree 3D experience.
On 26 August 2016, Canada's Wonderland announced that a new flat ride would be added in the 2017 season: Soaring Timbers (a Mondial Inferno). The ride is stated to be the first of its kind in North America. The park also announced a Splash Works expansion for 2017 in the form of Muskoka Plunge, a 18-metre (60 ft) tall waterslide complex featuring four "trap-door" speed slides.
On 16 August 2017, Canada's Wonderland announced the addition of Flying Canoes for the 2018 season. Flying Canoes is an interactive family ride that allows riders to control their journey of flight in two-person canoes that rotate speedily around a circuit. They also announced the addition of Lumberjack for 2018. Lumberjack is a thrill ride that takes guests to heights of 23 metres (75 ft) on two swinging axe-themed pendulums, propelling them into a looping 360-degree experience. In addition to these two attractions, the park announced an expansion to the Splash Island pool (located in Splash Works), which would double the size of the pool and include new interactive water features and children's slides. The area was renamed to Lakeside Lagoon following these upgrades.
On 15 August 2018, Canada's Wonderland announced Yukon Striker, a B&M Dive Coaster which opened to the public on 3 May 2019. The ride features a 75-metre-tall (245 ft) drop into an underwater tunnel in the centre of the Vortex helix, which has a top speed of 130 km/h. Upon opening, the ride became the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world and features four inversions, more than any other dive coaster, including the first vertical loop on a Dive Coaster. They also announced the opening of Frontier Canada, a gold-rush-themed attraction area that includes Yukon Striker, Mighty Canadian Minebuster, Lumberjack, Soaring Timbers, Flying Canoes, Vortex, Timberwolf Falls and White Water Canyon. Canada's Wonderland also announced Winterfest, an immersive holiday-themed event. In addition, Wonderland announced that Dinosaurs Alive! would be closing on 28 October 2018.
On 4 February 2019, the park announced that Orbiter would not be opening for the 2019 season. Since the announcement, the attraction has been removed from the park and the area surrounding it was replaced with a pathway connecting Action Zone and Frontier Canada.
On 14 August 2019, Canada's Wonderland announced the addition of two new attractions for the 2020 season. The first, Beagle Brigade Airfield, will be a new children's ride to be located in Planet Snoopy. The attraction will be similar to the version at sister park Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri, which share the same name. In addition, the park will introduce Mountain Bay Cliffs to Splash Works, a cliff-jumping style attraction featuring multiple platforms of varying heights, the highest of which is 7.5 metres (25 ft).
On 22 November 2019, WinterFest debuted at Canada's Wonderland. WinterFest is a holiday event. During WinterFest, five million energy-efficient LED lights were strung on 800 trees, the buildings, the décor, and on Wonder Mountain. On International Street, the lake had been frozen into a skating rink called Snow Flake Lake. There were eight themed areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the park remaining closed for the 2020 season. This led to the cancellations of that season's Halloween Haunt and Winterfest events in the park. 2020 season passes were extended to include the 2021 season and refunds were not offered.
Due to the pandemic, the 2020 edition of Toronto's original Santa Claus Parade was pre-recorded from Canada's Wonderland with no spectators on site and was broadcast on prime time on December 5, 2020.
|Thrill rating (out of 5)|
|1 (low) 2 (mild) 3 (moderate) 4 (high) 5 (aggressive)|
|Name||Year opened||Manufacturer||Location||Minimum height requirement||Requires a supervising companion?||Height to ride alone||Maximum height||Description||Thrill rating|
|Yukon Striker||2019||Bolliger & Mabillard||Frontier Canada||132 cm (52")||N/A||N/A||196 cm (77")||This dive coaster opened to the public on 3 May 2019. Announced on 15 August 2018, the ride became the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world upon opening, breaking the records from Valravn at Cedar Point. It also features the largest drop on a dive coaster and the most inversions on a dive coaster, including a vertical loop, the first of its kind to be featured on a dive coaster. The ride is the park's 17th currently operating roller coaster and the 18th coaster to be installed at Canada's Wonderland.||5|
|Leviathan||2012||Bolliger & Mabillard||Medieval Faire||137 cm (54")||N/A||N/A||203 cm (80")||Bolliger & Mabillard's first installation of a giga coaster, Leviathan, is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada. It became the park's sixteenth roller coaster and ranks high among the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world.||5|
|The Fly||1999||Mack Rides||International Festival||112 cm (44")||112 – 137 cm (44" – 54")||137 cm (54")||N/A||A Wild Mouse roller coaster added as the eleventh roller coaster in the park. The ride begins with a 15 m (49 ft) drop, then returns up followed by a series of sharp turns, drops, then brakes.||4|
|Thunder Run||1981||Mack Rides||International Festival||102 cm (40")||102 – 117 cm (40" – 46")||117 cm (46")||N/A||One of the five original roller coasters at the park. It was located in a different section of the park when the park first opened in 1981. In 1986, the ride was relocated to Wonder Mountain. The ride uses a drive motor with a rubber wheel in the front of the train to drive it around the track, rather than a traditional lift. Thunder Run makes two passes through Wonder Mountain at the centre of the park and contains multiple special effects such as strobe lights.||4|
|Vortex||1991||Arrow Dynamics||Frontier Canada||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A steel suspended roller coaster that also functions as a terrain roller coaster, similar to The Bat (formerly Flight Deck) at Kings Island (not to be confused with Wonderland's The Bat, which is of a different design). It was Canada's first suspended roller coaster when opened, and was the eighth roller coaster added to Canada's Wonderland. It shares Wonder Mountain with both Thunder Run and Wonder Mountain's Guardian for its lift and first drop, but the majority of the ride takes place over the open water behind the mountain. Its helix runs around Yukon Striker's underwater tunnel entrance.||5|
|Wonder Mountain's Guardian||2014||Triotech||Wonder Mountain (listed on park maps in International Festival)||107 cm (42")||107 – 122 cm (42" – 48")||122 cm (48")||N/A||A 4D interactive dark ride roller coaster located inside Wonder Mountain. Contains one of the largest drop tracks in the world. It was the 17th coaster to be added to Canada's Wonderland||4|
|Backlot Stunt Coaster||2005||Premier Rides||Action Zone||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A family LIM-launched roller coaster based on the chase sequence of the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Riders launch into a parking garage, dodge police cars, and are attacked by a helicopter, which ignites fire all around riders before hitting a second launch section, sending riders into pitch black darkness. Formerly known as The Italian Job: Stunt Track (2005–2007).||5|
|Behemoth||2008||Bolliger & Mabillard||Action Zone||137 cm (54")||N/A||N/A||203 cm (80")||A steel hypercoaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, and the park's fifteenth roller coaster, beginning operation in May 2008. It is currently the second tallest and third fastest roller coaster in Canada, with a maximum height of 70 metres (230 feet) and a maximum speed of 124 km/h (77 mph). Rather than the standard, four-seat-across setup common in most B&M roller coasters, Behemoth features a new, "prototype" seating arrangement that has four seats arranged in a "V" formation. This train design was used on three other B&M coasters.||5|
|Flight Deck||1995||Vekoma||Grande World Exposition of 1890||132 cm (52")||N/A||N/A||198 cm (78")||Canada's first inverted roller coaster and the ninth coaster added to the park. Formerly known as Top Gun (1995–2007).||5|
|Mighty Canadian Minebuster||1981||Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting||Frontier Canada||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the five roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981, and is one of three wooden coasters at Canada's Wonderland, modelled after a ride at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio (The Shooting Star). Today, Minebuster is still the longest single-tracked wooden coaster in Canada.||5|
|Time Warp||2004||Zamperla||Grande World Exposition of 1890||137 cm (54")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A steel flying roller coaster. It was the thirteenth roller coaster added to the park, and Canada's first "Flying Coaster." Riders lie flat on their stomachs in a car suspended from overhead, in order to take in the experience face-first. The ride has two heartline rolls but no vertical inversions. Formerly known as Tomb Raider: The Ride (2004–2007).||5|
|The Bat||1987||Vekoma||Medieval Faire||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster. It was the seventh roller coaster added to the park. The Bat's train was originally from the park's Dragon Fyre coaster. During the 2008 season, The Bat's supports were painted orange. The supports returned to their original black colour scheme for the 2017 season||5|
|Dragon Fyre||1981||Arrow Dynamics||Medieval Faire||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A steel custom looping roller coaster manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. It is one of the five roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981. It contains a pair of counter-clockwise corkscrews, the only currently operating coaster from the company to feature said element. One of the three original trains is now used for The Bat. It was known as Dragon Fire between 1997 and 2018, but was reverted to its original name in early 2019.||5|
|Wilde Beast||1981||Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting||Medieval Faire||122 cm (48")||N/A||N/A||N/A||A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the five roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981. It is modelled after the Wildcat coaster at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Formerly known as Wild Beast (1997–2018).||4|
|Silver Streak||2001||Vekoma||KidZville||112 cm (44")||112 – 137 cm (44" – 54")||137 cm (54")||193 cm (76")||Silver Streak is a Vekoma inverted family roller coaster. The ride opened in 2001 as one of the first inverted family roller coasters.||4|
|Ghoster Coaster||1981||Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters||Planet Snoopy||102 cm (40")||102 – 117 cm (40" – 46")||117 cm (46")||N/A||This junior version of the Wild Beast is fun for the whole family. One of 3 wooden roller coasters at the park and one of the original five roller coasters that were at the park when it opened in 1981. Formerly known as Scooby's Gasping Ghoster Coaster (1981–2009).||4|
|Taxi Jam||1998||E&F Miler Industries||KidZville||91 cm (36")||91 – 102 cm (36" – 40")||102 cm (40")||152 cm (60")||The ride opened as the tenth roller coaster in the park, as a part of the brand-new KidZville which opened in 1998. It is the shortest and least intense coaster in the park and makes two passes. It is themed after the freeways of the Greater Toronto Area with the vehicles being taxis (except for the police car as the trailing car).||2|
The park has several themed areas. The five original sections include International Street, Medieval Faire, Grande World Exposition of 1890 (renamed Action Zone; Grande World Exposition of 1890 returned in 2019 by renaming a portion of Action Zone), International Festival, and the Happyland of Hanna-Barbera (divided into more than one children's area since 1998). The current areas include the original sections stated above, White Water Canyon (1984), Splash Works (1992), and three children's areas: Kidzville (1998), Zoom Zone (2001) and Planet Snoopy (2010). In 2019, the park introduced a new themed area, "Frontier Canada", a gold-rush themed section originally planned for the park's original opening in 1981, but was postponed until 2019 due to financial issues.
International Street is the park's entry area, similar to the Main Street, U.S.A. sections of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Using a format borrowed from sister parks Kings Island and Kings Dominion, both sides of the street are lined with shops, including souvenir shops, clothing stores, restaurants, and candy stores. Unlike the use of replica Eiffel Towers at Kings Island and Kings Dominion, Wonder Mountain, the park's centrepiece, appears at the end of the street. In the early decades of the park's history, stores sold high-quality imported goods themed to the buildings, and restaurants sold non-standard foods for a North American theme park, such as shrimp, paella, and smoked sausage. The buildings are named the Latin, Scandinavian, Mediterranean, and Alpine Buildings.
International Street has hosted to a number of shows presented at the park, including:
|Show||Year opened||Year closed||Description|
|Snoopy's Symphony of Water||2014||N/A||On an hourly/semi-hourly basis Snoopy Conducts the royal fountain in a dazzling spectacle. The park uses the dancing fountain from the nighttime spectacular Starlight Spectacular.|
|Victoria Falls High Divers||1981||N/A||Professional divers perform acrobatic dives off a 18 metres (60 ft) platform from Wonder Mountain's Victoria Falls into the pool below .|
|Starlight Spectacular||2011||N/A||This nightly light and sound show that takes place on Canada's Wonderland's International Street at approximately 10:00 pm EST. The show was introduced to the park for the 2011 season as well to celebrate Canada's Wonderland's 30th birthday. Now known as "Starlight: Northern Reflections".|
|The Eruption||1998||2001||A nighttime pyrotechnic show with 12 metres (40 ft) flames smoke ash geysers and even more special effects. The park removed this show as it became very expensive to produce due to using liquid propane for large flame effects with minimal smoke. The show consisted of three 5–10 minute segments in a 20-30 minute show. While the show lasted it drew large crowds to the front of the park. One of the most notable shows on International Street besides Starlight Spectacular, the "new version" of eruption using modern day technology now available|
|Electric Circus (annual)||1998||2001||Electric Circus (also known as EC) was a Canadian live dance music television program that aired on MuchMusic and Citytv from 16 September 1988 to 12 December 2003. The name originated from a nightclub that once existed at Citytv's first studio at 99 Queen Street East in Toronto. The show came to the park annually until 2001 when MuchMusic discontinued their partnership with Canada's Wonderland and transitioned to pop culture programming for youth.|
Action Zone was created as a subsection within the Grande World Exposition of 1890 section of the park in 2002. However, the entire Grande Exposition section was renamed Action Zone in 2009. In 2019, the park split Action Zone into two sections, with its eastern portion of Action Zone reverting its theme and name to The Grande Exposition of 1890.
|Backlot Stunt Coaster||2005||Premier Rides||A family LIM-launched roller coaster based on the chase sequence of the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Riders launch into a parking garage, dodge police cars, and are attacked by a helicopter, which ignites fire all around riders before hitting a second launch section, sending riders into pitch black darkness. Was originally known as The Italian Job: Stunt Track (2005–2007).|
|Behemoth||2008||Bolliger & Mabillard||A steel hypercoaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, and the park's fifteenth roller coaster, beginning operation in May 2008. It is currently the second tallest and second fastest roller coaster in Canada, with a maximum height of 70 metres (230 feet) and a maximum speed of 124 km/h (77 mph). Rather than the standard, four-seat-across setup common in most B&M roller coasters, Behemoth features a new, "prototype" seating arrangement that has four seats arranged in a "V" formation.|
|Psyclone||2002||Mondial||The 1-minute and 54-second ride features 40 seats facing outwards that rotate from a central pendulum as the ride reaches its maximum arc angle of 120 degrees.|
|Skyhawk||2016||Gerstlauer||A Gerstlauer Sky Roller. Riders control their flight as their car spins in a circle 41 m (135 ft) in the air. It is the first ride of its kind in North America.|
|Sledge Hammer||2003||HUSS||A HUSS Giant Jumper prototype. Currently the only ride of its kind in the world.|
|SlingShot||2015||Funtime||A pay-per-use slingshot launching riders nearly 91.5 m (300 ft) in the air.|
|WindSeeker||2011||Mondial||A Tower swinger ride featuring two-person swings that slowly rotate and ascend the 91.8-metre (301 ft) tower until reaching the top where speeds increase up to 48 kilometres per hour (30 mph).|
Grande World Exposition of 1890Edit
The Grande World Exposition of 1890 is one of the original four themed areas of Wonderland. It was made to resemble a late 19th century world's fair with expositions from different countries with a particular focus on African and Asian themes. The restaurants and washrooms were formerly true to the exposition theme. One of the restaurants was called Ginza Gardens (now The Backlot Cafe) and had a Japanese theme and a Japanese façade. There is also an arcade area (Crystal Palace Arcade) within this section of the park.
In 2009, the entire Grande Exposition section was incorporated in Action Zone, an area of the park that formerly operated as a themed subsection of the Grande Exposition. The section operated as a part of Action Zone until 2019, when the eastern portion of Action Zone reverted to its original name and world fair theming.
|Antique Carrousel||1981||Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters||A carousel that was originally located in Palisades Park, New Jersey. The ride features 64 original hand-carved horses; the lead horse's name is Caesar. The carousel model number is PTC #84.|
|Flight Deck||1995||Vekoma||Canada's first inverted roller coaster and the ninth coaster added to the park. Was originally known as Top Gun (1995–2007).|
|Swing of the Century||1981||Zierer||A Zierer Wave Swinger 36 model swing ride that rotates with a wave motion lifting riders up to 9 metres (30 ft) in the air. Was originally known as Swing of Siam (1981–1989).|
|Time Warp||2004||Zamperla||A steel flying roller coaster. It was the thirteenth roller coaster added to the park, and Canada's first "Flying Coaster." Riders lie flat on their stomachs in a car suspended from overhead, in order to take in the experience face-first. The ride has two heartline rolls but no vertical inversions. Was originally known as Tomb Raider: The Ride (2004–2007).|
|Xtreme Skyflyer||1996||Skycoaster, Inc.||Pay-per-use Double Skycoaster with a dive of 46.7 metres (153 ft). Currently Canada's largest free-fall swing.|
Frontier Canada is the newest themed section of the park, debuting for the 2019 season. The section consolidates most of the park's Canadian themed rides; as well as an area of the park formerly known as White Water Canyon, which operated from 1984 to 2018. The area is themed after a boom town found during the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, with most of its inspiration coming from Dawson City, Yukon, and its surrounding area.
|Yukon Striker||2019||Bolliger & Mabillard||A B&M Dive Machine that has four inversions, a height of 68 metres (225 ft) with a drop height of 75 metres (245 ft), a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph), and a track length of 1,105 metres (3,625 ft), making it the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in the world. The ride also features the first vertical loop for a dive coaster.|
|Mighty Canadian Minebuster||1981||Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting||A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981, and is one of three wooden coasters at Canada's Wonderland modelled after a roller coaster at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio (The Shooting Star). It is also the longest single-tracked wooden coaster in Canada, with a track length of 1,166.8 metres (3,828 ft).|
|Timberwolf Falls||1989||Hopkins Rides||A "shoot the chutes" flume-style water ride. Riders plunge down a 15-metre (50 ft) drop into a pool of water that soaks riders.|
|White Water Canyon||1984||Intamin||A river rapids style water ride. Riders traverse through a wooded forest with rapids, drops, waterfalls and other water effects. The ride was the first new attraction added to the park after its initial opening in 1981. One of three Intamin rides in Canada's Wonderland.|
|Flying Canoes||2018||Preston & Barbieri||A canoe-themed interactive family ride based on La Chasse-galerie. Riders control their journey of flight in two-person flying canoes. The ride has replaced Launch Pad, an upcharge attraction consisting of a set of trampolines.|
|Vortex||1991||Arrow Dynamics||A steel suspended roller coaster, similar to The Bat (formerly Flight Deck) at Kings Island (not to be confused with Wonderland's The Bat, which is of a different design). It was Canada's first suspended roller coaster when opened, and was the eighth roller coaster added to Canada's Wonderland. It shares Wonder Mountain with both Thunder Run and Wonder Mountain's Guardian for its lift and first drop, but the majority of the ride takes place over the open water behind the mountain, classifying the ride as a terrain roller coaster. It is also the tallest and fastest currently operating suspended coaster in the world, sharing its speed record with Ninja (Six Flags Magic Mountain).|
|Soaring Timbers||2017||Mondial||A Mondial Inferno located across from Vortex. The ride is stated as being the first of its kind in North America. Soaring Timbers features two free-rotating gondolas that rotate at a 45-degree angle, reaching heights of 20 metres (65 ft).|
|Lumberjack||2018||Zamperla||A Hawk 48 that is located beside Soaring Timbers. The ride takes guests on two swinging pendulums, propelling them into the sky with their feet dangling through 360 degree loops, reaching heights of 23 metres (75 ft). The ride vehicles are themed to axes, and brings visual as well as aesthetic changes to the area consisting of a Canadian theme.|
|Action Theatre||1994||Iwerks Entertainment||Action Theatre is a large stationary theatre, Previously and Originally Opening with Days Of Thunder (DOT), Action Theatre Continued to present 4D Shows until 2012 when it was replaced with The Dinosaurs 4D movie becoming an uncharged attraction. At this point Canada's Wonderland Continues to use Action theatre South and Action Theatre North was closed and now used as a Haunt Attraction During the park's Haunt season. The queue line was reduced with the introduction of Flying Canoes in 2018.|
|The Fly||1999||Mack Rides||A Wild Mouse roller coaster added as the eleventh roller coaster in the park. The ride begins with a 15 m (49 ft) drop, then returns up followed by a series of sharp turns, drops, then brakes.|
|Klockwerks||1981||HUSS||One of the original rides from when the park opened in 1981. Moved to its current location in 2001 after the introduction of Shockwave. Was originally known as Klockwurker (1981–1991).|
|Krachenwagen||1981||Lusse Bros.||A traditional bumper-car ride. Model: Auto Skooter.|
|Shockwave||2001||Mondial||A Mondial Top Scan that is located on the former site of Klockwerks before the attraction was relocated within the park. The ride spins around on an angle while guests (restrained on the seats) are spun around at almost every possible angle the ride operates on.|
|Thunder Run||1981||Mack Rides||A powered Mack Rides Blauer Enzian production model that was located in a different section of the park when the park first opened in 1981. In 1986, the ride was relocated to Wonder Mountain and the name changed to its current title. The ride uses a drive motor with a rubber wheel in the front of the train to drive it around the track, rather than a traditional lift. Thunder Run makes two passes through Wonder Mountain at the centre of the park.|
|Wonder Mountain's Guardian||2014||Triotech/ART Engineering||A 4D interactive dark ride roller coaster located inside Wonder Mountain.|
The Medieval Faire section of the park has a medieval European theme in both the setting and the rides. The two original roller coasters, Wilde Beast and Dragon Fyre, use pseudo-Elizabethan English spellings before being renamed using modern spelling (Wild Beast and Dragon Fire) from 1998 to 2018. Many of the original names of some the attractions have reverted to their pseudo-Elizabethan spelling, such as Dragon Fyre, Wilde Beast, Wilde KnightMares, Viking's Rage, and Canterbury Theatre. These renames occurred prior to the beginning of the 2019 season.
The stores, midway games and restaurants follow the medieval theme, as does the castle theatre (Canterbury Theatre, renamed Paramount Theatre during Paramount's ownership, and Wonderland Theatre until 2019) and a pirate show (originally opened with the park as Sea Sceptre and later replaced with Kinet-X Dive Show) in the middle of Arthur's Baye. However, rides such as Drop Tower: Scream Zone and Speed City Raceway have no medieval theme.
Canterbury Theatre hosted ice shows from 2006 to 2011 and hosted Cirque Ambiente in the summer of 2012 and 2013.
|The Bat||1987||Vekoma||A Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster. It was the seventh roller coaster added to the park. The Bat's train was originally from the park's Dragon Fire coaster. During the 2008 season The Bat's supports were painted orange. The coaster returned to its original colour scheme (Red Track and Black Supports) in celebration for its 30th anniversary during the 2017 season.|
|Dragon Fyre||1981||Arrow Dynamics||A steel custom looping roller coaster, featuring four inversions. It is one of the five roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981. It contains a pair counter-clockwise corkscrews, the only currently operating coaster from Arrow Dynamics to feature this element. One of the three original trains is now used for The Bat. Was originally known as Dragon Fire between the 1997 and 2018 seasons.|
|Drop Tower: Scream Zone||1997||Intamin||A drop tower ride. All the former Paramount Parks have a ride similar to this with different heights. Was originally known as 'Drop Zone: Stunt Tower' (1997–2007). One of three Intamin rides in Canada's Wonderland.|
|Leviathan||2012||Bolliger & Mabillard||Bolliger & Mabillard's first installation of a giga coaster, Leviathan, is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada. It became the park's sixteenth roller coaster and ranks high among the tallest roller coasters in the world.|
|Wilde Knight Mares||1981||HUSS||Riders are lifted 15 metres (49 ft) in the air while spinning from a horizontal to vertical position, giving riders a mix of weightlessness and high g-forces. It currently one of last known operating rides of its kind in the world. Was originally known as Wilde Knight Mares (1981–1997).|
|Viking's Rage||1981||HUSS||A HUSS swinging ship ride. Was known as The Rage between the 1997 and 2018 seasons, but the name was quietly reverted to Viking's Rage in early 2019.|
|Riptide||2000||Mondial||A Mondial Splashover Top Spin. Was originally known as Cliffhanger (2000–2007).|
|Speed City Raceway||1997||J&J Amusements||Go karts; pay-per-use|
|Spinovator||1981||Heinrich Mack GMBH & Co||A Mack Calypso Teacups ride. Was originally known as Quixote's Kettles (1981–1997).|
|Wilde Beast||1981||Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting||A wooden roller coaster. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981. It is modelled after the Wildcat coaster at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Was originally known as Wilde Beaste (1981–1997).|
There are presently two children's areas at Canada's Wonderland, KidZville, and Planet Snoopy. A third themed area known as Zoom Zone also exists as a part of KidZville section.
The children's areas in Canada's Wonderland originally were themed as The Happyland of Hanna-Barbera. The three areas were themed as Yogi's Woods, Scoobyville, and Bedrock; the first was converted to Smurf Village in 1984 and the last also had a marine mammal show held at the Bedrock Aquarium. In 1993, the Smurf area transitioned to Kids Kingdom, which became KidZville in 1998. In 2003, Bedrock became Nickelodeon Central; Bedrock Aquarium and its marine mammal show closed down as well. The park replaced Nickelodeon Central with Planet Snoopy for the 2010 season, standardizing the park with the rest of the Cedar Fair chain. Planet Snoopy is a section of the park themed after the comic strip Peanuts.
The Zoom Zoom subsection of KidZville was created in 2001 with the debut of Silver Streak; it also contains the small rides Blast Off and Jumpin' Jet. One of the KidZville rides, and originally a Kids Kingdom ride, Jumbo Bumps, was removed to make way for these three rides and the new section. Starting in 2004, Zoom Zone was no longer shown on park maps as an independent section. However, since Cedar Fair's acquisition, each of the three rides are depicted in Zoom Zone, and park signage continues to use the name.
The first ride accident in the park's history occurred on 23 August 2003, when the Jimmy Neutron Brainwasher (later renamed Woodstock Whirlybirds due to Cedar Fair's contract with Peanuts) fell apart. Three children were sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Rides located within these children's areas include:
|Blast Off||S&S Worldwide||KidZville||2001|
|Flying Eagles||Larson International||KidZville||2016|
|Frequent Flyers||Bradley & Kaye||KidZville||1981|
|Jokey's Jalopies||Bradley & Kaye||KidZville||1981|
|KidZville Station||Mack Rides||KidZville||1981|
|Maple Park Treehouse (formerly Candy Factory and Kids Kingdom)||KidZville||1993|
|Sugar Shack (formerly Flavourator)||Zamperla||KidZville||1998|
|Taxi Jam||E&F Miler Industries||KidZville||1998|
|Treetop Adventure (formerly Chopper Chase)||Caripro Amusement Technology||KidZville||1998|
|Beagle Brigade Airfield||Zamperla||Planet Snoopy||2020|
|Boo Blasters on Boo Hill||Sally Corporation||Planet Snoopy||2000|
|Character Carrousel||Chance Rides||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Ghoster Coaster||Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Joe Cool's Dodgem School||Lusse Brothers Incorporated||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Lucy's Tugboat||Zamperla||Planet Snoopy||2010|
|Peanuts 500||Zamperla||Planet Snoopy||2010|
|The Pumpkin Patch||SBF Visa Group||Planet Snoopy||2003|
|Sally's Love Buggies||Eureka||Planet Snoopy||2003|
|Snoopy vs Red Baron||Herschell||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Snoopy's Revolution||Zamperla||Planet Snoopy||2010|
|Snoopy's Space Race||Intamin||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Swan Lake||Bradley & Kaye||Planet Snoopy||1981|
|Woodstock Whirlybirds||SBF Visa Group||Planet Snoopy||2003|
Opened in 1992, Splash Works is an 8-hectare (20-acre) water park. The water park is home to Whitewater Bay, the largest outdoor wave pool in Canada, and 16 water slides. It is included with the price of admission to Canada's Wonderland and is open from late May to early September.
|Barracuda Blaster||2002||ProSlide Technology||A bowl ride slide that leads into the Lazy River.|
|The Black Hole||1996||ProSlide Technology||Two four-story enclosed water slides.|
|Lazy River||1992||Water Technology||A 400 metres (1,310 ft) lazy river.|
|Mountain Bay Cliffs||2020||A cliff-jumping style attraction, featuring platforms of various heights, the highest of which being 7.5 metres (25 ft).|
|Muskoka Plunge||2017||SplashTacular||A 18-metre-tall (60 ft) waterslide complex featuring four "trap-door" style speed slides.|
|The Plunge||1999||ProSlide Technology||A three-seater raft ride featuring free-fall plunges in three drops totalling 15.3 metres (50 ft).|
|The Pump House||1999||Specialized Component Supply Co.||A children's play area.|
|Riptide Racer||2002||ProSlide Technology||Multi-lane racer water slide|
|Splash Island Waterways||ProSlide Technology||A tube slide for adults and children.|
|Splash Station||2015||A children's interactive play area that features two serpentine water slides, jet sprays, a large tipping bucket, and water guns. Moved from Ontario Place.|
|Super Soaker||1999||ProSlide Technology||A family raft water slide.|
|Typhoon||2015||ProSlide Technology||Two partially enclosed tube slides with funnels located where Wipe Out was once located. Moved from Ontario Place.|
|Whirl Winds||1992||ProSlide Technology||Two open-air water slides.|
|White Water Bay||1996||Aquatic Amusements Associates Ltd.||A wave pool. The largest wave pool in Canada.|
|Lakeside Lagoon||2018||N/A||A kid's splash area featuring a zero depth pool, new children's slides and a Canadian theme. Replaced the Splash Island Kid's Pool.|
|Fast Lane||Fast Lane Plus|
|Backlot Stunt Coaster||Skyhawk||Behemoth|
|Drop Tower: Scream Zone||Sledge Hammer||Leviathan|
|Flight Deck||Soaring Timbers||Yukon Striker|
|Klockwerks||Swing of the Century|
|Mighty Canadian Minebuster||Viking's Rage|
|Wilde Knight Mares||Vortex|
Fast Lane is Canada's Wonderland's two-line system since 2012, which is also implemented at other Cedar Fair parks. For a cost of $80 (in addition to normal admission charges), visitors receive a wrist band that enables them to bypass the 'normal-wait' line and enter the Fast Lane. Opting for this benefit essentially allows purchasers to cut in at the front of the line on 21 of the most popular attractions without waiting. In 2013, the park introduced Fast Lane Plus, which allowed purchasers to bypass the lines of two additional attractions (later three with the addition of Yukon Striker in 2019) that standard Fast Lane users would otherwise not have access for an additional $10. An unspecified limited amount of both types of passes are sold each day.
Boarding pass for guests with disabilitiesEdit
Similar privileges are given to guests with mobility issues and guests within the autism spectrum, though such guests must be accompanied with one other person at least 14 years of age (most often the support worker or family member (i.e. someone who can assist boarding the ride with the guest with the disability) for the entire duration of the ride and enter the ride at a designated time based on the length of the queue. Guests with these disabilities receive paper boarding passes in which ride operators mark the designated times these guests can enter a ride without queuing if one has a cast or other issues. If one is within the autism spectrum, one gets preset times (every half-hour on normal nights or 15 minutes for Winterfest) and can go to the exit (or entrance) and get priority boarding. One waits elsewhere outside of the queue line, get food or watch a show so they are away from the stimulation for long periods of time. These guests enter either at the ride's exit or get a time from the associate at the beginning of the ride, such as Wonder Mountain's Guardian, Leviathan, Behemoth, and Yukon Striker. Lazy River is the only attraction in Splash Works that accepts boarding passes.
Today, Canada's Wonderland has over 200 attractions (including games), with over 60 thrill rides. The park holds a number of Canadian records, among them the most roller coasters, with 17. The park encompasses eight themed areas on 134 hectares (330 acres) of land, with an artificial mountain as the central feature. In the southwestern quadrant, an 8 hectares (20 acres) waterpark called Splash Works has over 7,570,000 litres (2,000,000 US gal) of heated water, Canada's largest outdoor wave pool, measuring 3,300 square metres (36,000 sq ft), a lazy river, and 16 water slides.
In 1983, Canada's Wonderland added the Kingswood Music Theatre, a 15,000 seat amphitheatre that has hosted many concerts. After the Budweiser Stage (then known as Molson Amphitheatre) opened on the grounds of Ontario Place in 1995, itself replacing The Forum, cultural festivals at the theatre became less prominent.
Major attractions by yearEdit
Current name in (parentheses) *Additions to Splash Works are italicized
Canada's Wonderland is east of Highway 400 between Rutherford Road (Exit 33) and Major Mackenzie Drive (Exit 35), 13 km (8.1 mi) north of Highway 401, 6 km (3.7 mi) north of Highway 407 and 64 km (40 mi) south of Barrie. It is bounded by Highway 400 to the west, Jane Street to the east, Major Mackenzie Drive to the north and an access road approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) north of Rutherford Road to the south. When the park originally opened, its surroundings were largely rural; however, the suburban sprawl since the mid-2000s has resulted in it being surrounded by housing and shopping plazas on all sides.
Canada's Wonderland is located 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) north of Vaughan Mills and 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) north of Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station of the Toronto subway system. Prior to the opening of the subway station in December 2017, it was served by the 165 Weston Road North bus operating from York Mills station. The park has two public entrances and one entrance for staff, deliveries, and buses. On the north side of the park, there is a small bus terminal, which serves a seasonal bus route operated by York Region Transit.
The park, from its opening in 1981, was known as Canada's Wonderland. In 1994, when Paramount Pictures (later Viacom) purchased the property, the name of the park changed to include the word Paramount, a practice Paramount Parks implemented with all of its parks in 1993. Prior to that, none of the Paramount-owned parks included Paramount in the name.
In 2003, Viacom updated the logo of Paramount Parks, and all its theme parks, including Wonderland, to include an updated Paramount logo, even though the logo for Paramount Pictures, the film studio, remained unchanged.
In 2006, CBS Corporation (split from Viacom in 2005) sold all of its theme park properties to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which in turn, dropped the Paramount prefixes from all five parks (and thus reverted to their original names), and adopted a Cedar Fair logo and typeface.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Canada's Wonderland.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Canada's Wonderland.|