Month: June 2018

CoasterCircuits Update July 2018 – Renewed for Another Year

A Recap

I launched this blog last year to start fresh at the beginning of the 2017 season. It started off strong because Wonderland actually retweeted a link to one of my first blog posts with information about the upcoming season. (Thanks, Wonderland.) I ended up losing that post to the hack that’s detailed next…

In June 2017, my websites hosted on GoDaddy were taken over by ransomware. I found the hosting service from GoDaddy to be really spotty with periods of downtime and slowdowns, and I thought it was a bit odd how they didn’t seem to care to learn how the attack on my websites actually happened. I had no regrets immediately looking elsewhere for hosting after this incident.

In July 2017, I transitioned over to Nixihost where I haven’t had any problems.

It was a rocky time blogging through 2017, having to deal with the hack and becoming inconsistent in posting, so I regrouped over the offseason. In November, I decided to have another go at hosting the blog on my own rather than on WordPress.com. And here we are now in 2018.

The Test

Every time I’m on paid hosting and it’s coming up to the time to renew, I always look at how things are going to decide whether we’ll keep going for another year. In my long history of hosting websites, there have been times where I pulled the plug just because the motivation wasn’t there. Even at times on free hosting services, I’ve still done the same re-evaluating.

The blog doesn’t do huge numbers. It doesn’t have to, really. Once I see people coming through every time I post, it’s cool. I enjoy putting the trip reports together and archiving my thoughts. I think it’s kind of cool to see the archive grow and be able to go back myself and see what I was thinking on certain dates, particularly with past special events.

So Now What?

Obviously, with the title of this post giving it away, my hosting plan has been renewed today so we’re here for another year. I like how things have been going this year.

So far, I’ve written a trip report for every trip to Wonderland this year so I want to keep that going. I’d also like to do a little bit of creative writing outside of just trip reports, which I’ve done from time to time already like my Sledgehammer birthday and Top 10 Thrill Flats posts. I’ve got a few other ideas I’m working on too…

On the social media front, I’m still mostly on Twitter while occasionally posting on Instagram (and Instagram Stories).

Thank You

If you’ve read through even just one of my posts or if you happen to be someone who visits every time there’s something new, THANK YOU.

Ranking CW’s Thrill Flat Rides – 2018 Edition

Canada’s Wonderland is home to Canada’s largest collection of rollercoasters. It also happens to be home to one of the world’s most diverse and exotic flat ride collections! With the addition of Lumberjack and Flying Canoes for 2018, the line-up of flat rides just got even bigger.

We all know what my #1 is, but let’s have a look at how the rest of Wonderland’s thrill flat rides stack up against each other.

Of course, this list is completely opinionated and I outline my reasons for why they are ranked the way they are. This list is based on how the ride was performing the last time I had ridden it, which was probably already at least once this season.

#10 Nightmares/Orbiter (HUSS UFO/HUSS Skylab, 1981)

I put Nightmares and Orbiter into the same ranking because I find the experience to be extremely similar. They’re both very forceful rides that push you into your seat (or backrest). They’re not bad rides by any means, which tells you a lot about how awesome the flat ride collection at Wonderland really is if this is at the bottom of the list.

Perhaps the only reason they sit at the bottom of this list is because they’re the oldest rides I’ve enjoyed through my childhood and have not really grown much attachment to either.

#9 Drop Tower (Intamin Giant Drop, 1997)

Drop Tower is still one of the most intense ride experiences in the park for me so I honestly ride it just a few times each season. A big reason for riding it more often many years ago was to get a good view from up above but we have many options for that now so the Tower has taken a bit of a Drop down this list over the years.

#8 Soaring Timbers (Mondial Inferno, 2017)

Would you believe that, during its debut weekend in 2017, Soaring Timbers was up there in my top three flat rides? This is where that bit I wrote earlier about the ride’s current performance really applies.

When it first opened, it ran at a nice speed, causing the gondolas to sway, flip, and stall upside down on every cycle. After that first weekend, things rapidly got worse and now people don’t really compare it with Shockwave but more with the Rage (the park’s non-inverting swinging pirate ship ride). After the initial thrust upward, the ride is very uneventful as it seems to meticulously control its speed, avoiding any flips or harsh swings of the gondolas.

#7 Riptide (Mondial Splashover, 2000)

Riptide was the first ride from the consecutive Mondial Rides back in the early 2000’s. I love taking a spin on it from time to time, but I only do when it’s not splashing riders.

#6 Lumberjack (Zamperla Hawk 48, 2018)

The park’s newest thrill flat ride sits in the middle of my list. I will say that the ride is not very intense at all but it’s an incredibly fun and smooth ride, making it a hit among guests at Wonderland. It’s especially fun if you manage to get an end seat as you get a full view of the other gondola zooming past you while upside down.

#5 Skyhawk (Gerstlauer Sky Roller, 2016)

Skyhawk was one of my favourite things to do at the park in 2016 when it first opened at Wonderland. My personal record is at 63 flips and I don’t think my body could handle anything more than that. After 2016, I found that spinning so much wore me out way faster than that first season. I rarely ride it anymore for that reason… but if I feel good, I’ll give it a spin (or 40).

#4 Windseeker (Mondial Windseeker, 2011)

Windseeker is a pleasant thing in so many ways. The height of it used to frighten me but I’ve gotten used to it over the years. It’s a must-do, especially if I’m at the park in the evening.

#3 Psyclone (Mondial Revolution, 2002)

Psyclone is still a fun, forceful, reliable ride after all these years (though the cycle could definitely run longer than one full swing). It’s always been a favourite ever since my first ride on it in 2003.

#2 Shockwave (Mondial Top Scan, 2001)

The program running at Shockwave seems to change from time to time but you’ll get at least a few really fun moments every time. The unpredictable twists the gondolas make, especially on the down-swing, is something that other rides can’t provide.

#1 Sledge Hammer (HUSS Jump Squared, 2003)

Sledge Hammer naturally sits at #1 on this list, and probably always will. It’s 15 years old this year but still provides fun jumps and forceful drops. It’s encouraging to still see people literally run to the ride when it opens after some downtime.

What does your list look like?

Does your list look like mine? I’d love to see your lists in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading!

June 23, 2018 Trip Report – Brew & BBQ

Trip Notes

I arrived at the park at around 11:30am. Today was the first day of Brew and BBQ in Celebration Plaza. Even though the forecast for the weekend wasn’t ideal, there were still crowds throughout the park.

Before diving into the Brew and BBQ event, there were a few updates elsewhere in the park. Sledge Hammer is down again.

One of the construction fences was removed, completely opening up the view of the park from the back again.

I tend to skip Leviathan often because of long lines but the line wasn’t as intimidating today. It was roughly half an hour when I rode. Lines weren’t too long and were manageable around the park, for a Saturday.

The dive shows are back for the season again. Flying Frontenacs was performing the second half of the show, skipping the Mountie costumes and the synchronized trampolining. I hope it returns soon as I like that part of the show the most.

Brew & BBQ

Now, to Brew and BBQ!

I love the Celebration Plaza signage this year. It has a summer camp kind of feel to it and is miles better than the flat printed signs on to the arches last year.

Brew & BBQ Pricing

There was a passport this year that is a little different from previous years. You get to chose four of the items on the passport menu. The passport menu is nearly all of the food offerings at the festival so you can really do the tastings to your personal liking. I prefer this to the previous passports.

Tokens are still available and are refundable if you don’t use up all.

As you may have heard, Wonderland is now completely licensed meaning you can walk around the entire park with a beer in hand. Prior to the park-wide licensing last year, you had to remain within a patio or event area to drink.

Brew & BBQ Entertainment

One of my favourite things at these events is the local talent invited to perform at the park. I believe Parkside Drive performed in previous years but this is the first time I heard them. They’re fantastic.

The other group performing on Saturday was the Rolling Stronz. On Sunday, it was Parkside Drive and the Mike Walmsley Band.

There were also street performers throughout the day, including a stilt-walker, jugglers, and a magician.

Brew & BBQ Food

I had the passport today so I was able to try four of the food items. Be sure to check out CPFoodBlog for the latest on food at Cedar Fair Parks.

“Pit-Smoked Macaroni n’ Cheese with home baked corn bread.”

The corn bread was not too sweet or dry.

The macaroni and cheese was terribly bland with no seasoning or toppings.

My rating: 2/10

“Pork Belly Slider topped with old cheddar, grilled onions, and sauteed mushrooms, on a glossy bun.”

The concept and choice of ingredients are great.

The slider was completely soaked in mushroom and onion water, leaving the bread soggy and diluting all flavour of the pork belly.

My rating: 2/10

“Smoked Beef Brisket Slider served with a side of coleslaw and potato chips.”

The meat and sauce was delicious.

The coleslaw was not too sweet nor tart to overpower the flavour of the meat and bbq sauce.

It would have been perfect with the glossy bun that the pork belly slider had.

My rating: 9.5/10

“Wood Fire Pizza – Smoked Beef Brisket”

Great flavour of the meat, cheese, and sauce together.

The crust was nice and crispy, thanks to the wood-fired oven used on-site.

Good to have several types to choose from. (Other choices at this event were BBQ pork belly and BBQ grilled veg.)

My rating: 10/10