Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Canada's Wonderland- August 8th, 2018

Today marked our sixth visit of the season to Canada's Wonderland. Despite being quite rainy throughout the day, we had another amazing time! it allowed us to get on many rides! Be sure to check out the photos below! 

Our day started out cloudy and drizzly, the perfect conditions for a not so busy day of thrills!
Ghoster Coaster is a family wooden roller coaster. It has operated at the park since day one, over 37 years ago. For a smaller wooden roller coaster, it provides a great amount of airtime in the back seat!
With the construction that has recently been taking place at Canada's Wonderland for next year's roller coaster, the path to Splash Works was closed early in the season. Here is a view of Vortex with one of its trains speeding over the water below from the newly constructed path.
Due to the rainfall that had hit Vaughan earlier in the morning, Splash Works was closed for the day due to low attendance levels.
The announcement for the new for 2019 roller coaster will be on August 15th, 2018. So, stay tuned for details on that!
To me, Medieval Faire has always been ever so charming. Don't get me wrong, the other sections are beautiful in their own rights, but there is something about castle architecture that makes it so appealing. 
The Wonderland Theatre just tops off Medieval Faire. The Wonderland Theatre originally opened with the park in May of 1981 as "Canterbury Theatre". In May of 1994, it received the name of "Paramount Theatre", due to the park's second owner, Paramount Parks, a division of Viacom. In 2008, the venue received its current name, nearly two years after Cedar Fair had acquired the Paramount Parks properties in June of 2006. Regardless of the various names the theatre has had over the 37 years, it has always captivated audiences with its show-stopping performances.
The Medieval Faire section is also home to some beautiful flower arrangements, as seen here.
No matter how many times I have been to Canada's Wonderland over the years, I can never get tired of seeing some of the original theming that is "hidden" around the park. Such details make Canada's Wonderland quite unique.
After a great day soaking at Canada's Wonderland, the sun began to come out just as we were leaving for the day! Here is a photo of our Mom, Scott, and I before we headed out. Thanks for reading! :-)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Canada's Wonderland- July 18th, 2018

This beautiful Wednesday marked a fifth visit to Canada's Wonderland this season for our Mom, Scott, and I. The weather was cooler than it was over the weekend, so it made our visit more tolerable and enjoyable. It was nice to be back after travelling to other amusement parks in the US.

Since our last visit to Canada's Wonderland which happened a month ago, something had unfortunately changed. While it is not overly significant, some visitors may notice. You will soon discover in one of the photos below (don't worry, all rides are still there and operating!).

Now, let us get onto the photos of our fun-filled day at Canada's premier theme park!

It was nice to see Wonder Mountain again after a nearly a week of travelling to other amusement parks in the US earlier this month. I felt at "home" once again.
While I was away from "home" over the past month, the plumbing was fixed, as in White Water Canyon has its waterfalls again. Although not exactly the same as they were when they had last operated, it was nice to see them falling down the rock facade once again.
Since it is the month of July, Celebration Canada has returned for another season of spectacular performances from acrobatics, to stunt bike shows, and even diving shows at Arthur's Baye, in Medieval Faire. Celebration Canada wraps up on July 31st, so be sure not to miss it! 
Classic rides such as Nightmares were drawing in large crowds today!
Now, it is Skyhawk that has changed, and not for the better as far as I am concerned. I had read reports online stating recently that the wings on Skyhawk were fixed in such a way that it makes it nearly impossible to flip the seat upside down while the ride is in operation. These reports were unfortunately true. For someone like me who enjoyed Skyhawk for the ability of being able to flip the seat upside down continuously throughout the duration of the ride, the modification of the wings is a huge disappointment! Why the park only allows the wings to move only half of the way they formerly had is beyond me. Last time I had visited Canada's Wonderland was a little over a month ago, which at the time I was still able to flip the seat multiple times throughout the duration of the ride. It is a shame that an awesome ride such as Skyhawk, only installed two years ago is now ruined for the unforeseeable future. :-(
Here is Slingshot sending passengers 300 feet into the air in only a matter of seconds. Scott and I look forward to taking our annual ride on it sometime this season.
Here is SledgeHammer, the one and only Huss Jump 2. SledgeHammer is celebrating 15 years of operation at Canada's Wonderland this year.

After I had captured this photo, Scott and I took another ride of the day on SledgeHammer. After the second jump, the ride came to a screeching halt. For the next 10-15 minutes, we were stuck on board until maintenance came by to resolve the issue, which of course was a technical one. Despite all the downtime SledgeHammer faces, I still greatly enjoy riding it!
After a fun-filled day, we decided it was time to head home. Thanks for reading and looking at our photos of another day at Canada's Wonderland! :-)

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Knoebels- July 9th, 2018

From July 5th to July 9th, my Mom and I had visited four amusement parks in the US Northeast, those being Great Escape (Six Flags), Six Flags New England, Six Flags Great Adventure (Day 3 & Day 4), and Knoebels.

Day Five- July 9th, 2018:

Located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, Knoebels is America's largest free admission amusement park that has been operating for the past 92 years. Owned and operated by the Knoebel family, Knoebels allows visitors to step back in time as this traditional amusement park that opened in 1926 is home to many vintage thrill rides, wooden roller coasters, and a few modern attractions thrown into the mix. The Phoenix, Twister, and Flying Turns are all very fun and thrilling wooden roller coasters. Even Knoebels' modern steel roller coaster Impulse was quite enjoyable! Their food and drinks, souvenirs, and ride tickets/wristbands are very affordable, making it a great day out for families and enthusiasts alike. As you will discover in the photos below, the setting of Knoebels makes the park even more special and unique.

In the evening, I had met up with fellow amusement park enthusiasts Dave, Joshua, and Izzy. We rode a few of Knoebels' classic rides together throughout the evening.

Going to Knoebels on the final day of our trip was an excellent way to end our trip! I greatly enjoyed Knoebels and definitely want to visit again one day soon!

After arriving at Knoebels and redeeming my all-day ride wristband I had rode the Flying Turns wooden bobsled coaster and the Log Flume. Both were very fun and enjoyable!
Here is an on-ride photo of me on the Log Flume at Knoebels.
Once I had finished riding the Flying Turns and the Log Flume, it was time to go ride the legendary Phoenix. The Phoenix dates back to 1947 where it had opened at Playland Park of San Antonio, Texas as the "Rocket". It continued to operate at Playland until the park's closure in 1980. Thankfully, Knoebels had purchased and relocated this classic wooden double out-and-back Philadelphia Toboggan Coaster in early 1985. By June 1985, the Phoenix had opened at Knoebels and has been thrilling riders ever since.

The Phoenix consists of 3,200 feet of track, featuring a tunnel leading to the lift hill which is of 78 feet high, followed by a drop of 72 feet, allowing the two 24-passenger trains to reach a maximum speed of 45 mph (72.4 km/h). A ride on the Phoenix lasts for about two minutes and is filled with an abundance of airtime due to the combination of steep drops and the buzz bar restraints on the trains.
After a ride on the Phoenix and a few classic rides thereafter, it was now time to ride the Twister. As the name implies, this is one twisted wooden roller coaster! While many twisted wooden roller coasters can be rough, the Twister was very smooth as Knoebels takes pride in maintaining and preserving their wooden roller coasters.
The Twister is a high speed wooden roller coaster that is modeled after the defunct Mr. Twister at the original Elitch Gardens of Denver, Colorado.
Since opening day in July of 1999, the Twister has given many intense rides to passengers who board its two 24-passenger trains. Throughout the Twister's 3,900 feet of twisted wooden track, passengers come across two lift hills, the second one taking them to a height of 101.6 feet with a drop of 89.6 feet, ultimately allowing the trains to reach speeds of 51.5 mph (83 km/h). In addition to the twisted wooden track, passengers also navigate a large double helix at high speeds that wraps around the station platform. An exhilarating ride on the Twister lasts for 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
As mentioned, Knoebels is home to many vintage and classic rides. Here is the Looper, a restored Allan Herschell ride that is quite rare these days.
On the Looper, pairs of passengers sit in a tub, with the larger rider sitting in the seat on the right. Once the ride begins to move, passengers are able to rock their tubs back and forth. Once enough momentum is gained from rocking of the tubs, passengers can then flip upside down by pressing down on the pedal located near the floor of the tub.

As the ride went around, I believe I was able to get the tub to flip upside down at least six times. Heavier riders could possibly be able to get the tub to flip for the majority of the ride once enough momentum is gained!
 
After riding a few more classic amusement rides, it was time to board the rare and unique Black Diamond. This roller coaster/dark ride opened at Knoebels in late 2011. 

Prior to operating at Knoebels, the Black Diamond began its operational life at the long defunct Hunt's Pier in New Jersey back in 1960 as the "Golden Nugget". From 1960 until 1998, the Golden Nugget continued to operate at the pier until the park's closure later that year. From 1999 to 2009, the Golden Nugget stood abandoned, faced with the possibility of demolition. In January 2009, it was announced to the public that Knoebels had successfully acquired and saved the Golden Nugget from being demolished. Over the course of the next two years, the Golden Nugget was restored and transformed into the Black Diamond which it operates as to this day.

What makes the Black Diamond unique is that it was the only steel roller coaster to be built by the wooden roller coaster manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Throughout the duration of the ride, passengers ride in mine cart shaped-trains that navigate the tracks, following the story of an abandoned mine shaft. There are also a few drops throughout the ride to increase the overall excitement of this classic coaster/dark ride. Knoebels sure did a great job with this one!
Here I am taking a spin on the beautiful and classic 1913 Grand Carousel, which has been operating at Knoebels since 1948.
Here is the Grand Carousel under its shelter from a distance. It is very detailed and nicely maintained. Of interest, it is one of only a few to have an operational brass ring dispenser which passengers can try to grab as they ride around on the Grand Carousel.
Here is another rare vintage thrill ride, the Satellite.
The Satellite is a Roll-O-Plane ride that was manufactured by Eyerly. Riders are loaded into one of four two-passenger cockpits. As the ride begins to operate, the arm holding the cockpits rotates in a vertical clockwise and counter-clockwise position, allowing the cockpits to swivel and dive-bomb without flipping upside down. After that, the arm holding the cockpits then positions horizontally to allow for more side-winding, dive-bombing fun. The arm the returns to its vertical position in order to unload and load passengers.
The Satellite is a very fun and somewhat intense ride which I would recommend to anyone who is into classic rides like I am!
Here is a look up at the 110 foot Giant Wheel. The gondolas are most definitely colourful!
In addition to the Log Flume, another water ride at Knoebels is Sklooosh!, a large splash boat ride that gets passengers and by-standers soaked! It was quite fun and sure cooled me off!
After taking a ride on the classic Merry Mixer, 1001 Nachts, and a ride on the modern Power Surge, it was time to slow things down a bit with a ride on the relaxing Scenic Skyride.
After taking a ride up the mountain in a ski lift chair, you crest the top of the mountain to turn around and head down again.
As you go back down the hill on the Scenic Skyride, the views only begin to get better...
Since my Mom doesn't like heights, I made sure to get some great views of Knoebels from above for her to check out safely on the ground! Here is the Twister from the Scenic Skyride.
To my left you could see the compact and fun Impulse steel roller coaster with the Giant Wheel standing prominently behind.
To my far right you could see a bit of the Phoenix poking out above the surrounding trees.
Also from the Scenic Skyride you could see the 1001 Nachts ride rise high above the trees, before it lowers, providing some stomach flipping fun!
In addition to classic rides, Knoebels is home to some more modern thrills such as the StratosFear. This drop tower, manufactured by ARM stands 130 feet tall and drops without warning. While on the smaller side, it still provides a great amount of airtime!
Knoebels also has some very nice landscaping, including these planters placed along the fence of Flying Turns.
Another unique attraction at Knoebels is the Christmas Cottage, a gift shop selling various types of Christmas decorations. Out front is an 'authentic North Pole' made using real ice! I just had to make sure my Mom got a photo with it!
The Flying Turns was my first roller coaster ride at Knoebels earlier that day.

Modeled after the 1920's John Norman Bartlett and John A. Miller wooden bobsled coaster design, the Flying Turns at Knoebels had officially opened in October of 2013 as the World's only exisiting wooden bobsled coaster after nearly seven years of construction and redesigning of the track and cars. Passengers take a ride in one of three six-passenger trains that climb a lift hill to navigate the remainder of the 1,300 feet of the bobsled-styled track. Throughout the course of the ride, the trains navigate banked curves and multiple helices offering some smooth swaying motions, like that found on a real bobsled course. The Flying Turns is a fun and unique coaster no one should miss when visiting Knoebels!
Here is the truly amazing Flyer, one of the fastest Flying Scooter rides in operation! You sure get a lot of swooping and diving one these ones! The Flyer is definitely a classic and iconic ride at Knoebels. Speaking of iconic rides, be sure to check out the Lusse Auto Scooters (Bumper Cars) during your visit to Knoebels! They are the most violent bumper cars around! You won't be disappointed!
Here is a look at the Zierer manufactured steel roller coaster, Impulse. The Impulse opened at Knoebels in 2015. it features a 98 foot tall vertical lift and drop in addition to four inversions that the single eight-passenger trains navigate at speeds up to 55 mph (88.5 km/h).
While the vertical lift hill may seem intimidating to some riders, the first drop on Impulse is just as intense and intimidating!
As the sun started to go down, the park came alive with many lights on the rides and buildings.
Dave, Josh, Izzy, and I took a ride on the amazing Twister together. Here I am with my Mom after the ride!
Another unique attraction is the Sky Slide, a Spiral Slide that has operated at Knoebels for many years. It gives a nice ride on a mat as you spiral down towards the ground.
Here is a look at the night life at Knoebels with the Downdraft and 1001 Nachts two of the many rides that stand out after dark in the park.
Here is the fun and thrilling Power Surge. This ride flips passengers heads-over-heels many times throughout the duration of the ride. The Power Surge also has a very nice light package.
Here is the Twister with its chaser lights turned on full tilt! Watching them made it seem as if someone had hit the fast-forward button!
With only 40 minutes left before closure, my Mom and I made our way over to the Phoenix so that way I could get a night ride on it before heading out! Here is the iconic neon Knoebels sign found along the path.
After catching an amazing night ride on the Phoenix, it was time to leave and head to our hotel for the night. The chaser lights definitely make wooden coasters look like true classics!
On our way to the parking lot, I captured this fast moving shot of the Impulse in the dark! The car was just a blur as it passed through the loop! I hope you enjoyed looking at our trip to Knoebels! Also, thanks for checking out the photos of our four amusement park vacation! :-)