Canada's Wonderland9th July 2009
At the start of last year Canada's Wonderland installed Behemoth (#1389), a massive design from B&:M that took the new record as the tallest roller coaster in Canada. The previous incumbent was Dragon Mountain, which twenty six years later remains the longest coaster in the country. The new ride was the debut installation of the trains I wrote about earlier this weekend, and in a word, it's stunning. The 230ft lift hill leads away from the rest of the park, providing a scenic view of downtown Toronto. The ride from there is essentially an out and back design over a lake, with hills loaded with airtime. The overall effect was almost exactly the same as Diamondback, the only thing missing being the splash down at the end of the course.
The only other coaster on my agenda today was a repeat of Vortex, and while it has become a bit bumpy it is still one of the best rides in the park. With that out of the way I elected to do a lap of the park with my camera, the weather on my previous visit having been unsuited to good photographs. It was during this walk that I managed to accidentally ride the Wild Beast, as I'd wandered aimlessly through the entire empty queue line while looking for my photo spot!
While Canada's Wonderland is a pleasant park it really doesn't have any truly stand out coasters beyond the aforementioned Behemoth. As I'd already done everything on my must-do list I decided to leave at lunch time and head somewhere else.
Darien Lake9th July 2009
Darien Lake is roughly one hundred miles away from Canada's Wonderland, though that distance does include a border crossing back into the United States. The inevitable delay at passport control meant that the journey took just over three hours. This proved particularly hard work in a vehicle without cruise control, but the thought of some more coasters at the end of it made everything seem worthwhile.
It was quite a surprise to see a queue of guests waiting to buy tickets for the park even in mid afternoon, all the more so given that that the car park was pretty full; I'd have thought that anyone with a choice would have chosen a different day to visit. Be that as it may there was still no what whatsoever for the Boomerang (#1390). One might have thought this a warning about ride quality, but there were no real problems; I've certainly been on far worse!
The real draw for me today was the OCC Motocoaster (#1391), the latest attempt at a motorbike coaster, this time from Zamperla. The layout started reasonably well, with a powerful launch leading into a sharp right turn. From there, however, the experience consisted of slight descending turns leading all the way back ot the station, the overall effect being not unlike a hammock swinging in the wind. The motorbike style seating does restrict ride designs somewhat, but one need only look at the Intamin or Vekoma products to see how much more this coaster could have been.
I took a quick lap on the Ferris Wheel before heading for the Predator. This proved a serious mistake; the tracking was on the far side of brutal, to the point that it completely finished me off for the day. I'd have liked to have done the Ride of Steel but there was no way I had the energy to stand in what looked to be a two hour queue.