Mid-Atlantic Misfit

Mid-Atlantic Misfit

Life between cultures

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Canada day 7 – Wonderful Wonderland

18 October 2013 , , , , , , ,

Well this is long overdue as it’s almost a week late.  I try, but have failed to write the next day, when my memories are fresh and I can convey greater detail.  Last Friday my friend Chris had bought tickets for us at Canada’s largest amusement park, Canada’s Wonderland for their Halloween Haunt, as well as for the buffet dinner beforehand.

We set off from North Bay at about 1.30 p.m. for what should have been a 3-hour drive or so down highways 11 and 400. However… on highway 11 just north of Orillia, we ran into a very long queue (line of traffic).  After nearly an hour of crawling at less than 5 km/h we finally reached the source of the delay, with the inside of two lanes closed or rather it was closed… they were removing the cones just as we arrived.  Apparently they suspended the roadworks for the Thanksgiving weekend.  Too bad they didn’t start the suspension a little earlier.

A further hour and having passed two accidents, we finally pulled into the parking lot of the park.  It’s bizarre to me arriving there amidst what is now the sprawling city of Vaughan in York Region north of the Ontario capital.  When I lived in Toronto, the mountain of Wonderland stood out in the middle of nowhere well up on highway 400, but now it’s hidden amongst the tangle of strip malls, hotels, light industry and new subdivisions.  Greater Toronto or the ‘GTA’ just seems to grow and grow and grow.  It’s now over 6 million!

We met three other friends of Chris before we went in and went straight to the buffet.  Now buffets tend to be my idea of food hell.  In this case, it was a lot of fast food… pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs and tacos.  There were also an array of desserts.  I was quite wary of eating heavy food before thrill rides, though!

We finished up with the food and headed to one of the haunted mazes, ‘Club Blood’.  Actually, they were all much the same.  Someone jumping out and growling or screaming, someone stamping their foot, someone walking past unexpectedly.  Quite frankly, I get more of a scare looking in the mirror each morning!

Then it was on to the rides!! First up was the Great Canadian Minebuster.  I didn’t care for it.  It’s a wooden coaster and somehow, although it didn’t have the biggest or fastest drop, it felt the least safe of all rides and throws you around a lot, especially side to side.

After that jarring experience, we went on Sledgehammer, which lifts you or drops you suddenly then spins you around.  Just thinking about that so soon after the heavy food, has me feeling queasy.  At the time it made me quite nauseous and that feeling stuck with me for an hour or so afterwards.

Next up were Behemoth, Dragon Fire, Flight Deck, Skyrider, The Bat and Windseeker.  My absolutely favourite and in my opinion the best ride I’ve ever been on was Leviathan.  It drops 306 feet at an 80 degree angle, reaching speeds of 148 km/h (92 mph) in the process. What a rush, but it’s incredibly smooth too.

It was such a fun night with good company.  It took ages for us to get out of the crowded car park to spill out onto Major Mackenzie Road and head to the Marriott, Springhill Suites.  Chris had booked it and it was an excellent choice… new, very funky/modern and clean with all you’d need, though it did have an odd layout.  We were both starving, so although it was 1 a.m. by the time we reached the room, we ordered a pizza and then retired to the twin Queen beds with full bellies and worn out bodies from all the fun we’d had that night.


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