Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Blast From The Past - Canada's Wonderland: Part 3

Editor's note: This is the final installment of our look into the history of Canada's Wonderland. We hope you enjoyed the look back!

After nearly 2 years of construction Canada's Wonderland open the gates on May 23rd, 1981. The opening ceremonies for Canada's first amusement park were quite elaborate, 10,000 helium balloons released, along with 350 white doves.

Thirteen skydivers, a pipe band and 4 children representing the regions of the country, the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes participated in the ceremony. Each of the children poured a vial of water from their home regions into the park's spectacular fountain.

Ontario's Premier, William Davis (who had gotten the construction started off with a blast back in 1979,) the President of Taft Broadcasting Co., Dudley Taft and Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky were among the dignitaries on hand. Fittingly, Gretzky was ask to raise the Canadian flag over the park as 12,000 guests were welcomed into the park for the first time.

The park open with many of the standard attractions popular with park guests many of which have since been removed for more modern attractions. Zumba Flume (a classic log flume,) which was removed to make way for Flight Deck (Top Gun).

Other rides include a classic 1928 Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) carousel, Swing of Siam(circular swings,) which is still in the park, but it was moved and renamed. Sol Loco (enterprise,) Balloon Race, Wonder Tour (antique cars.) Krachenwagon (bumper cars,) Vikings Rage (swinging ship,) White Knight Mares (rotor,) Quixote's Kettles (tea cups) & a selection of rides for the kiddies in Hanna Barberra Land.

Oh... and they also had some roller coasters! On the steel side, an Arrow looper, Dragon Fyre, which features 4 inversions, 2 loops & a corkscrew. At 2160 ft long this coaster features a 76 ft drop and reaches speeds up to 50mph. Then there's the Curtis Summers/PTC trifecta.

The Mighty Canadian Mindbuster, Wilde Beast and Scooby's Gasping Ghoster Coaster. The Mindbuster and Wilde Beast were modeled after legendary woodies that once thrilled riders at Coney Island in Cincinnati Ohio.

Located in Medieval Faire, at 3150 ft long with a 78 ft drop and reaching a top speed of 56 mph, the Wilde Beast is a fitting tribute to Coney's Wildcat. It's longer (3828 ft,) larger drop (87 ft) brother the Mindbuster is a near replica of the legendary Shooting Star.

Last but not least, little brother Scooby's Gasping Ghoster Coaster which at 1356 ft long, with a 39 ft drop and a top speed of 35mph, offers up family thrills!

Wonderland also had a powered coaster, Blauer Enzian, which was originally located behind Wonder Mountain. In 1985, all 1083 ft of the Mack ride was moved inside the mountain and renamed Thunder Run.

In 1992, Canada's Wonderland added a 20 acre water park, Splash Works In 1993, Canada's Wonderland was acquired by Paramount and was renamed Paramount Canada's Wonderland, reflecting the association with Paramount Parks. And, in January 2007 the park's name returned to it's original Canada's Wonderland after Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. acquired the Paramount Parks

Throughout the park’s history Wonderland has introduced some of North America’s most popular ride attractions, With more than 65 rides, a water park, shows and other attractions Wonderland continues to be a place of wonder!


Koshka42 said...

Nice look at Canada's Wonderland! Gotta point out though, it's the Mine Buster, not Mind Buster - like in gold mining. Thanks for the history!