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5 Things To Do In Celebration Plaza 2018!

Celebration Canada at Canada’s Wonderland is a full month of Canadian-themed awesomeness, from stunt shows to delicious foods! Unfortunately, that month is quickly coming to an end with less than a week to go.

However, if you’re planning a trip to the park this weekend or by the end of July, there’s still time to take in the festivities in Celebration Plaza (located in Medieval Faire). Here’s 5 things to check out before it’s gone!

#5 Find Major Mac and the Super Tall Mountie

Looking for someone to take a selfie with? You’ve got options in Celebration Plaza!

The stilt-walking Mountie frequently roams the Plaza (usually with some fun prop in hand) and happily takes photos with guests. You might also run into the park’s unique Mountie costumed character, Major Mac, in the Plaza who also makes a great selfie pal.

Showtimes: Various times throughout the day.

#4 Discover With The Earth Rangers

The Earth Rangers is a conservation organization that educates guests on the animals they showcase. There are different animals that presented throughout the day so you never know the friends you’ll meet next!

Showtimes: 12pm-4pm

#3 Cheer for the Craz-E-Crew Stunt Show

The Craz-E-Crew Stunt Team is made up of Canadian talent who have preformed their tricks all over the world. Be sure to check them out on the Arthur’s Baye stage!

Showtimes: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm

#2 Indulge In Celebration Canada Food & Beer

Special Canadian food options are available in Celebration Plaza, offering a wide range of options only available during Celebration Canada!

Menu:

  • Maple Poached Corn on the Cob
  • Wood Fire Pizza (Peameal Bacon, Pork Belly, Veggie) (Meal Plan Accepted)
  • Sour Cabbage Roll (Meal Plan Accepted)
  • Peameal Bacon Slider (Meal Plan Accepted)
  • Enright Beef Slider (Meal Plan Accepted)
  • Deep-Fried Blueberry Butter Tart
  • Poutine
  • Ontario BBQ Chicken

Operating Hours: 1pm-7pm

Need something to sip on while enjoying the food? A beer stall in Celebration Plaza offers a wide range of imported and craft beers, as well as a Caesar Bar for Celebration Canada. The park is currently running a few multi-deals on beers, including one for the park’s signature beers, Behemoth Blonde Ale and Leviathan Lager, for $15 together!

#1 Listen for the Live Music Performances in the Plaza

One of my favourite things in Celebration Plaza is the live musical acts, but the performances out in the Plaza in particular are just so charming. From time to time, you’ll suddenly hear beautiful instrumental covers of songs like Can’t Feel My Face and Spirits from the Celebration Plaza band (pictured) which roams the area. You’ll also find a violinist on a smaller stage out in Celebration Plaza, also covering songs such as Drake’s Headlines and Destiny’s Child Say My Name.

Showtimes: Various times throughout the day.

Check It Out Before It’s Gone!

Celebration Canada at Canada’s Wonderland continues until July 31st so you’ve still got time to discover all of the fun for yourself. See you there!

A #TBT to Wonderland’s First Enthusiast Event… #WhatsInTheVault

The Backstory

As I’ve talked about before on the blog, I became a Wonderland super fan back in 2003. Around that time, I was surrounded by amazing enthusiast websites and was active on many community forums. Being an immature kid trying to fit in, I wanted one of my own.

With my new site and forums, we formed a little group of coaster enthusiasts and Wonderland fans.

I used to annoy the park with really dumb questions (and probably still do) and at some point I must have asked if they’d be willing to host an enthusiast event, since I was so jealous of seeing trip reports of events at parks in the US. The discussion got serious and we were offered a 30 minute ERT slot for the new Italian Job: Stunt Track roller coaster in 2005. It was a really basic event but it was free and had one requirement: At least 30 people must be there.

Leading up to the event was a bit hectic from what I remember because we didn’t really have 30 people to list off hand. Thanks to the legendary PCW Junkies who must have brought in at least half of the required number, it happened. I was told this was the first enthusiast event the park had ever hosted.

Event Day

September 3, 2005 rolled around and we gathered at the floral flag for a picture… which I’ve censored for privacy reasons and because the internet doesn’t need my mug on it, even from 2005.

I had a cheesy little day schedule printed out for everyone, which included a few times where we’d meet at certain rides. I don’t think anyone actually did meet up for those.

Once 9:30am came, we were escorted toward the back of the park to the Italian Job: Stunt Track where we enjoyed Paramount Canada’s Wonderland’s newest roller coaster for ourselves. (I don’t have any pictures other than the group photo or any video from the event, unfortunately.)

At the end of the event when the public started joining the queue, we were stopped down the exit path at a table where they had a set of these boxes. Each family/group was given one as they took down our contact information. I was told they’d be holding it so we could try and organize something again but learned that the list was lost once the Cedar Fair transition happened.

The box (the “vault”) contained copies of the Italian Job and School of Rock DVDs, a Mini hat, a small Nickelodeon plush, and this very clean set of pens. Keep in mind that this whole event was free to attend so we were all blown away by the gifts.

I still remember people coming up to me as they were picking up their gifts, telling me “great job” and “thanks for putting this together”. It was a great experience and one of the many reasons why I always feel I’m in debt to this park.

End of The Line

After that event, there were things that were going on that essentially guaranteed there wouldn’t be a sequel. I lost interest in keeping up with a website and forums while dealing with high school and other things…

A New Beginning?

Thirteen years later, it’s interesting to look at how the internet has changed and how the coaster community has changed with it. Social media platforms have made it easier reach so many people, and share information and media immediately. Parks are embracing it. It’s great.

However, I’m a lot more timid and fearful than most because of my past with trying to build up something big on the internet. There was a lot of drama that unfolded but I’d like to think it was part of being a kid with an internet connection.

As I’ve tried to put into words many times, back then I used to focus on the amount of people visiting my websites but I try not to be like that anymore. (Seeing success still feels nice, though…) If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s to do whatever you want that will make you happy, even if that means going to Wonderland weekly by myself just to share some pictures and make bad jokes on Twitter.

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!