Monday, November 22, 2010

Aerial Antics: Marineland Canada

Everyone Loves MarineLand, located near Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.  It's a odd looking park though - well, I've never been there so it is not fair of me to assert that - but it really looks weird from the sky.

I have been to Niagara Falls, which has turned into a rather large tourist trap in the last few decades.  The falls are pretty, though.

Take for instance Clifton Hill, which has one of the oddest mixtures of haunted houses, rides (like the Ferris wheel and drop tower), simulators, dark rides, bars, restaurants, and just about anything else you can think of that tourists might pay to do.

But Marineland is located just far enough away from the falls that it sits in a much calmer area.  The park is certainly not meant to be an average theme park, instead it combines a Marine park with rides and other attractions.  Like deer.  But we'll get to that.

Above is the entrance to the park, which actually took me a bit to locate.  There's several family sized rides placed in the area (on the left) and a whale stadium and aquarium too.

One you move past that first area the park opens up into some seriously large spaces, sparsely populated with attractions.  Here's a couple flat rides located near one of the animal interaction areas.  I think the park might have the widest midways I've ever seen - it looks like a 6 lane road could be on some of them!

Here is a perfect example of how isolated everything in the park seems.  This is a HUSS Topple Tower that was added a few years ago.  Does it not look like it's located along a dusty road in Mid-American farm country?

Oh yes the deer.  You can visit the Deer  Park that's seen above - it even has a big fancy castle for an entrance! It must be a royal deer park.

There is also a really big mound of dirt located in roughly the center of the park.  At the top of it is Sky Screamer, a triple tower of S&S combo rides.  The towers are about 300 ft. tall, but that mound they sit on is another 150 ft., leading the park to advertise that the attraction is 450 ft. tall.

I really love tower rides, but the thought of that big, spiraling 150 ft. climb to get to the ride might make me think twice!

The biggest attraction at Marineland is Dragon Mountain, a 1983 Arrow Dynamics designed looping coaster that features four inversions, 5,500 ft. of track, and two tunnels. The ride closely follows the landscape and passes through a Volcano (which was only finished in 2006) and the now rusty support structure of a never finished waterfall section.

As much as I've been a little hard on Marineland I really want to go to experience it myself.  Plus I like Canada.

Here's a link to Bing's aerials of the park.


Mikewhy said...

I have been to Marineland, and it is as strange as you see from the air! We had a nice day there though. The rides are located a huge distance from each other, and in between there is absolutely nothing. It is really weird! But each ride has a really nice, high quality queue building, the coaster is rather fun, the animals interesting to see (we got to pet a Beluga whale, which was amazing!), and once you do take the LONG walk to the drop tower, it is amazing to ride and the view is wonderful. We had a nice day there, and it was rather low key and calm for a park, which was nice for a change...