Canada's Wonderland is really two parks in one: an amusement park and a waterpark. Description of top rides and shows, and practical tips to make the most of your day and dollar.
Canada's Wonderland is one of North America's biggest amusement parks and the largest in Canada. It's a huge draw for local families and a big Toronto tourist attraction as well.
Photo above courtesy of Canada's Wonderland
What makes it special is that it’s actually two parks in one: a 20-acre waterpark with wave pool and water rides, plus a sprawling, traditional amusement park with rides, live shows and other entertainment…altogether over 300 acres of thrills.
The park is located 30 km north of Toronto (about a half-hour drive from downtown). It opened in May 1981. About 3 million visitors a year pour through the gates, even though Wonderland is only open from June to October. In other words, this place is busy! You’ll find it a little quieter before the school year ends or after school begins in September. Weekdays are naturally less busy than weekends. And early in the day and late at night the lines for the rides are shorter too.
At Canada's Wonderland you’ll find more than 65 rides including 15 roller coasters. The biggest roller coaster is the Behemoth Roller Coaster which features a 3 minute ride at up to 77 miles an hour with 85 degree inclines.
There’s also the Top Gun (a hanging roller coaster), a kiddie roller coast called Scoobi Doo and the Haunted roller coaster for those who enjoy mixing different types of terror at the same time.
You’ll also find gentler rides like carousels, train rides and Swan Lake – what the park calls “milder thrills”.
When everyone’s pooped by the rides, you can all sit and watch some shows for a bit. Kids will enjoy shows geared to them. Families can enjoy stunt shows featuring high divers. And adults can relax with short concerts that take place on a daily basis. Of course there are plenty of souvenir shops to browse through too.
Other entertainment includes kiddie characters like Scooby-Doo who wander the park (similar to what you’ll find at Walt Disney park) and special kid-areas like Nickelodeon Central, Kidzville and Hanna-Barbera Land.
The park also hosts special events (big name concerts, for example). These events have separate ticket prices.
A one day pass runs around $30 to $50 (prices vary so check the Canada's Wonderland web site listed at the end of this page). However, you can often find discounts through local stores and restaurants. Many corporations also offer discounted tickets to their employees.
If you’re going more than once in a season, you can save money when you buy a season’s pass. Seasons Passes cost about double the price of a one day pass. It’s also cheaper if you buy four or more seasons passes at a time. Seasons Pass holders also get discounts such as 15% on food and 20% on merchandise. And perhaps one of the best perks: early entry to “Enjoy some of your favourite rides before the park opens to the public from 9am-10am on Saturdays & Sundays.”
Food and drink
You’ll find restaurants and snack bars at Canadas Wonderland but buying lunch or snacks can really add up. If you want to save money, bring a picnic lunch in a cooler bag and enjoy your meal at the small picnic area set up just outside of the park. You can’t bring food and drinks (except bottled water) into the park itself so you’ll have to leave the food in your car or in the lockers at the gate.
Parking is about $20. Again, if you’re making more than two visits a year, you can save money with a season's pass for parking at double that cost.
GoTransit will get you to and back from Canada’s Wonderland for about $8 from the York Mills subway station. Check gotransit.com for details.
For more information:
Canada’s Wonderland web site: http://www.canadaswonderland.com
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