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General Canada's Wonderland Discussion Thread


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Not meant to draw people away from the "meanderings" threads, I just wanted to have a general CWL discussion thread. 

What fascinates me about Canada's Wonderland is that they are basically a bigger version if Knott's in a lot of respects. Next to Knott's, Canada's Wonderland is often the 1st park to receive new rides that haven't been introduced anywhere else in the chain. They're also landlocked which requires them to get creative with some of their ride placements.

I often find myself wondering where this park will be in 10 years or so? What new rides will we be introduced to? What big changes will they go through?

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To compare it to Knott’s, personally I think the more obvious comparison is to Kings Island. Heck it practically is Kings Island #3, after the original, Kings Dominion which is the second park they built and then Wonderland (which theoretically could have been called Kings Wonderland).

Wonderland has the same “Taft” layout as both Island and Dominion, so I think it’s kind of unfair to compare it to Knott’s.
 

Let’s not also forget the important connection to Cincy’s Coney Island, while not the exact same rides, both the Wilde Beast and Minebuster take inspiration from the two legendary wooden coasters at Coney. (Yes, inspiration, the jumps on shooting star are much higher than wonderland’s humps from videos I seen)

 

As for Wonderland itself, to say it’s maxed out is an understatement, some areas of the park with coaster tracks now almost resemble giant bead mazes, how Leviathan’s piers are higher than Dragon Fyre, and how Yukon Striker comes into very close proximity of Vortex and Timberwolf Falls.

Wonderland has only removed one roller coaster so far, the SkyRider which as the same ride as the King Cobra you once had.

In my personal opinion, I personally don’t want to see the Coney coasters replaced because of the sentimental value they hold.

Some quick ideas for redevelopment, maybe eliminate Speed City Raceway with a new attraction. Maybe removal of Kingswood as it’s practically used for nothing.

Personally I’d like to see Flight Deck removed and a water flume be reintroduced to the space, I still say that was Paramount’s most boneheaded move.

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It can be a very frustrating park. I love it being my home park (Covid lack of access notwithstanding), but there are a lot of things I prefer at CP and KI, which we also visit for multiple days each year.

The food at Wonderland can really be awful. They've added some improvements to the dining plan, but frustratingly removed several in 2019. Drink locations are sparse and restrooms are oddly located. Merch, specifically ride merch, lags well behind CP and KI, and even smaller parks like Dorney and Dominion.

Flight Deck/Time Warp is the obvious candidate for removal. I'd favor that to be their next major new coaster location, but a lot of people think it will be in the back of Frontier Canada, where the park's two water rides are currently. Cedar Fair inherited an awful coaster lineup, and WMG was a big miss in my opinion. The 3 B&Ms are all excellent fits, Yukon was a smash hit in 2019. The flat ride lineup deserves all the praise it gets, however. I love that they spent the money to refurbish their top spin, rather than scrap it like so many other parks. SkyHawk is great fun and Sledgehammer is the high maintenance nightmare/awesome one of a kind star. 

My wish list:

1. Modern indoor multi option eatery, replacing the decrepit Backlot Cafe (nasty building).

2. Remove Flight Deck and Time Warp, replace with a Mack, B&M, Vekoma or Intamin. If any park were going to bring Cedar Fair back to Intamin, I'd say its Wonderland and not CP.

3. RMC the Wild Beast. That'll likely never happen for a couple of reasons, but I can dream.

4. New park entrance and toll plaza.

5. Re-theme of the two kids areas into one coherent theme. They did a ton of work in that area for 20/21 it seems, so that's a step in the right direction. 

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Just a question, how long have you been going to wonderland, just wondering so I can discuss more possible things in the wish list. Moreso, how familiar are you with the history of what we now call Action Zone. Many of your points relate to it.

 

1. I agree with you, this place needs a replacement.

2. We may differ on this one, as I’ve said a lot, I have strong disdain for the 2004 season as this is when Time Warp was added, this replaced two great family rides, an Eyerly Monster and Mack Sea Storm. I wish we could get these two rides back as Lara Croft isn’t even a quarter of what these rides were.

As for Flight Deck, my dream would be to return this to a newer log flume ride.

3. I don’t know much about this topic to make an opinion.

4. Do you want an actual toll plaza like at Kings Island? Funny we say this as toll plazas have disappeared in New York State. Do you want a different access road? 
 

The new Vaughan hospital terminal which I’ve never seen actually better serves Wonderland than the hospital, it would make sense to me if they rerouted wonderland transit into this new terminal. As it stands I think they are using both terminals. I don’t know if this new terminal exists to be honest yet because YRT doesn’t acknowledge it on their maps.

But anyways, I’d like to see a nice promenade that leads from the bus terminal into the front gate so to speak. I’ve had pipe dreams of the subway being extended up there and this being an underground passageway from the station to the front gate area. 
 

5. I’m not sure if Wonderland wants to go that route as they have somewhat rethemed KidZville into an extension of Frontier Canada for the little ones. This one section here from roughly the KidZville station train ride to the edge of KidZville has had a complicated history with theming over the years, I know, I remember walking through the Smurf Cave as a very young kid.

However, they have done a good job at retheming the Bedrock and later Nick Central area into an expanded Planet Snoopy, with the addition of all the newer rides there it feels like a continuous section now. Again, I’m not sure how much you know the history of the bedrock area but it’s something I like to discuss going further.

 

 

Finally, as for washrooms, in my humble opinion the main area that’s not served well by them is international festival, if it were possible to have one close to where that funnel cake shop is in that area it would help, as the nearest washrooms from that area are the ones inside the mountain.

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Agree that the indoor multi-option eatery is badly needed...

And I think that MisterSG1 is correct, don't sleep on the space taken by the go-karts and Kingswood. Take a look on a satellite map at how much room those 2 take up... 

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15 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

As someone who's never been to CWL, I wish their water park was separate like CP shores is to CP or what you see with Busch Gardens and their water parks.

How come?

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12 minutes ago, MisterSG1 said:

How come?

Two reasons

  1. Frees up space for the dry park
  2. The Water park can grow without having to protrude onto the dry park- I suppose CP Shores and CP kinda compete for space so maybe a better comparison would be like Knott's water park
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44 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

Two reasons

  1. Frees up space for the dry park
  2. The Water park can grow without having to protrude onto the dry park- I suppose CP Shores and CP kinda compete for space so maybe a better comparison would be like Knott's water park

In Wonderland’s case, Frontier Canada was supposed to occupy the upper left portion of the park map, with the Mighty Canadian Minebuster being the centrepiece of this area, this area never got built, and SkyRider was added to the area in 1985 followed by the first phase of Splash Works which opened in 1992, As I understand, the construction of both the west and east bridges, first built in 1996 and 1999 respectively made alterations to the Minebuster’s track layout.

Anyways, I wonder if Frontier Canada was built, how would splash works exist, would it exist? Perhaps they could have built splash works entirely on the other side of the minebuster? Or maybe just maybe, they could have built a separate water park where the hospital sits today.

Honorarius knows more about this than me but I’m sure wonderland owned that land immediately north of Major Mack until recently when it was sold for the hospital. Maybe a water park could have been built up there, but this is all fantasy now.

That being said, I wonder which amount of land actually belonged to wonderland over the years, did they own everything down to Rutherford at one point, or did they always own the land closer to Major Mack only?

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Cedar Fair sold that chunk of land (82 acres)  on the north side of the Major Mackenzie for $60,000,000 in 2009... 

A chunk of land like that could have come in handy... Not sure how much it would have been to move the existing waterpark to that lot to develop the Splash Works land for the dry park...

There was a pre-existing tunnel under the Major Mackenzie so they could also have used the land on the north side for parking and run trams like some parks do when they have lots that are a bit too long to walk... Would have opened up a nice chunk of lot beside the park to develop into park...

Selling wouldn't have been my choice, but it's not my money either... They likely used the $60 million to pay off some of the debts they took on when they bought the parks...
 

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^This is what makes me glad that KI put their waterpark away from the main park.  For KD, I think the waterpark placement was very poor and did the park no favors.  Sound like Cland is in a similar situation.

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1 hour ago, BeeastFarmer said:

^This is what makes me glad that KI put their waterpark away from the main park.  For KD, I think the waterpark placement was very poor and did the park no favors.  Sound like Cland is in a similar situation.

The Waterpark placement at KD began a string of really bad decisions by that park's planners.  Many blame Paramount for the devastation of KD's original "feel"... but, in fact, it was well underway in the years leading up to the sale.  Draining of 75% of Lake Charles was a ridiculously poor decision - not only because of the esthetic loss, but also because from the start they "land locked" the waterpark.  It was inevitable from the beginning that they'd have to split it up and expand on the other side of Rebel Yell.  They very easily could have duplicated what KI did, and utilized the Old Dominion line as a transport to a waterpark placed on the back corner of the property... or built it adjacent to (then) HB land in the front of the parking lot where (ultimately) Dominator was placed.

Of all the parks, Wonderland (IMO) has managed to stay pretty true to its original concepts.  The biggest change to the park is the land surrounding it.  When I first went there some 20-25 years ago, the entire area surrounding it was essentially all farmland.  Then, within a couple years *BAM* it was surrounded by development.  I've never seen that kind of change anywhere else.

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Now first, in reply to Honorarius, did Wonderland ever own the land all the way south to Rutherford, sure they own that piece that the access road sits on, but the area where the subdivision now sits, was that theirs at one point?

For the record, I believe the subdivision was constructed and opened in 1999 or 2000.

 

The way I understand Kings Dominion, as I’ve never been there, the layout there is less like that of Kings Island and Wonderland, as in Kings Dominion, what should be the area where Planet Snoopy is doesn’t exist as a public area of the park. An entire quadrant doesn’t exist at KD.

Remember that KECO first built the first part of Splash Works, the bridges over the minebuster were done by Paramount later on as I stated in an earlier post. I don’t think Splash Works wouldn’t have been a problem if it was contained entirely on the opposite side of the minebuster, more space could have been opened up.

As for original theming, the “Expo” section of the theme park would like to have a word with you, besides the flags and the big globe, this area has completely lost its theming, heck only two of the rides in today’s Action Zone were Expo natives. While CF has done a good job at reintroducing the theming time Medieval Faire, Expo would be a bit more tricky as it would require retheming if practically every ride in that section.

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We started going in the mid 90s, 94-96 we went every year when I was 9, 10 and 11. After 96, we only went up a few times before Cedar Fair took over, I remember our last Paramount trip was Italian Job's opening year. We went in Behemoth's opening year, and then every year since Leviathan opened we've been going yearly, usually 2 or 3 times each season. It's always nice to get the platinum pass and add ons through Wonderland, saving on the exchange a bit. I can't wait to get back. I saw that even more markers have been found all around the White Water Canyon area, so hopefully major investment will resume for 2022-24. 

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5 hours ago, Shaggy said:

The Waterpark placement at KD began a string of really bad decisions by that park's planners.  Many blame Paramount for the devastation of KD's original "feel"... but, in fact, it was well underway in the years leading up to the sale.  Draining of 75% of Lake Charles was a ridiculously poor decision - not only because of the esthetic loss, but also because from the start they "land locked" the waterpark.  It was inevitable from the beginning that they'd have to split it up and expand on the other side of Rebel Yell.  They very easily could have duplicated what KI did, and utilized the Old Dominion line as a transport to a waterpark placed on the back corner of the property... or built it adjacent to (then) HB land in the front of the parking lot where (ultimately) Dominator was placed.

Of all the parks, Wonderland (IMO) has managed to stay pretty true to its original concepts.  The biggest change to the park is the land surrounding it.  When I first went there some 20-25 years ago, the entire area surrounding it was essentially all farmland.  Then, within a couple years *BAM* it was surrounded by development.  I've never seen that kind of change anywhere else.

Ironically, on my 2017 visit to KD, the park felt more like 1982 KI than KI did at the time.  KD is a very beautiful park; Paramount saw the potential I think.  CF did at first, but have not invested in it.  

For the Cland folks...who can do a video and post it, highlighting International Street?  I haven't made it up there yet, but would love to see a perspective of how it looks.

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12 minutes ago, BeeastFarmer said:

Ironically, on my 2017 visit to KD, the park felt more like 1982 KI than KI did at the time.  KD is a very beautiful park; Paramount saw the potential I think.  CF did at first, but have not invested in it.  

For the Cland folks...who can do a video and post it, highlighting International Street?  I haven't made it up there yet, but would love to see a perspective of how it looks.

I can do it as I’m going to the park next Thursday evening again if you want to see me explain it.

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1 minute ago, MisterSG1 said:

I can do it as I’m going to the park next Thursday evening again if you want to see me explain it.

That would be awesome--whatever you can do that shows the building facades, interiors (if you are allowed to film interiors), the Royal Fountain and the Majestic Mountain.  I am a sucker for theme park environments.

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5 hours ago, MisterSG1 said:

Now first, in reply to Honorarius, did Wonderland ever own the land all the way south to Rutherford, sure they own that piece that the access road sits on, but the area where the subdivision now sits, was that theirs at one point?

For the record, I believe the subdivision was constructed and opened in 1999 or 2000.

I not sure if they owned it or not.

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I always felt like this park could get away with getting cloned coasters like skyrockets or free spins. I think the reason I think this is because the park itself has no direct competitor in terms of other amusement parks. Additionally cloned coasters are more compact which I think could fit in the park a lot easier than something custom

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I'd worry about the capacity on a skyrocket or free spin. The lines get bad enough on the rides with good capacity...

There's room if they want it... Kingswood sits empty a lot, and that land is beside 2 coasters that are absolutely terrible...

Let's be honest, unless people are really looking through rose-coloured nostalgia-glasses, they have a lot of very, very bad coasters...

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19 minutes ago, Honorarius said:

I'd worry about the capacity on a skyrocket or free spin. The lines get bad enough on the rides with good capacity...

There's room if they want it... Kingswood sits empty a lot, and that land is beside 2 coasters that are absolutely terrible...

Let's be honest, unless people are really looking through rose-coloured nostalgia-glasses, they have a lot of very, very bad coasters...

Capacity would be the trade off unfortunately, unless Cedar Fair invested in a transfer station, longer trains, etc but that all would cost extra and wouldn't be worth it.

I do however believe that down the line if the park where do you get another good capacity ride I think they could afford a small compact ride of a lesser capacity

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11 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

Capacity would be the trade off unfortunately, unless Cedar Fair invested in a transfer station, longer trains, etc but that all would cost extra and wouldn't be worth it.

I do however believe that down the line if the park where do you get another good capacity ride I think they could afford a small compact ride of a lesser capacity

I think there is a sweet spot below B&M people eater, but above Sky-Rocket pitch-a-tent-in-line that would serve the park quite nicely.

 

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33 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

A Vekoma, Mack or Premier launch coaster (talking custom here, not Skyrocket) would fit in.  CW could use a better launch coaster. 

A premier launch similar to west coast racers would be an excellent fit since they don’t have a racing coaster.

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^ I actually really like that idea a lot.

Grande World Expo and Action Zone are basically indistinguishable to me (read: I think both are boring and concretey and kinda treeless), so it would be really wonderful to see Flight Deck and Time Warp go away and see both areas united and given a gentle retheme a la Frontier Canada. Make it the spiritual successor to Carowinds's newer County Fair by making it a World's Fair-type theme set at the turn of the 20th century. The main attraction would be a dueling Premier coaster like West Coast Racers themed to, like, steampunk drag racing or something. (I'll be daydreaming about this for the rest of today.)

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12 minutes ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

Make it the spiritual successor to Carowinds's newer County Fair by making it a World's Fair-type theme set at the turn of the 20th century.

Isnt this what The Grande World Exposition of 1890 is supposed to be in the first place?

Aesthetics aside, what that area is missing is family thrill rides, we lost two great ones for that stupid Tomb Raider/Time Warp, is it too much to dream to want those two rides back?

In that area you have the carousel and the wave swinger, but not much else for calmer rides.

That being said World Expo reminds me of the Coney Mall section at KI, it always has for some reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh you are right.  The first article I saw made it sound like they were gone altogether.  Either way, still surprised it happened so soon in Canada given how tight their restrictions have been compared to the US.

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