Canada’s Wonderland Halloween Haunt 2017 Opening Night!

Just so you know

I haven’t visited Halloween Haunt since 2006 when it was still FearFest. I just don’t like horror things. But being a Wonderland fan, I couldn’t keep that gap growing any bigger so I took them up on their opening night deal for season pass holders. Tickets were just $9.99. I also got a No Boo Necklace which tells the monsters not to scare with you.

My plan was to catch some night rides and check out all of the shows. I had no intention of doing any of the mazes.

The Night Begins

I had a full 10am-5pm daytime visit before waiting outside until 7pm for the gates of Haunt to open. By the time we were let inside, the fog machines were already going. I immediately went to pick up my No Boo Necklace from the CW Store at the front gate.

I wasn’t sure where to go first so I ended up following everyone to Zombies 4D which is a rethemed Wonder Mountain’s Guardian.

I haven’t ridden WMGuardian since May last year so I was interested to see how the ride was doing. I want to like it. I think the coaster and trains are cool but I feel like it’s lacking with the physical theming and game. Whenever they decide to do a retheme, I’m hopeful it’ll feel more complete.

Again, I haven’t been to Haunt in many years, but the scare zone boundaries seemed more strict and smaller. When I moved from Wonder Mountain’s Guardian into Action Zone, it seemed like any other night at the park with the bubbly FunTV sounds louder than the park audio.

Anyways, once I got here, I was happy to see Sledgehammer open since it was down all day. They set up a fog machine right next to the entrance for the scare zone in front of the ride. Just throwing it out there but I think it would be neat to have extended nights in the summer with fog machines, lights, and techno music.

I didn’t do too many rides since the night seemed to go by very quickly. The rides I did get were great though and the lines weren’t too bad.

I loved the Mountain projections. It was a lightning scene with random spooky scenes in between. It would be cool for it to be an actual scheduled show like Starlight Northern Reflections.

For most of the night, I tried to keep my No Boo Necklace off just to see how things would go. A lot of the time, the monsters were focused on getting the big scares on other groups. I was stared at and followed a few times, and yelled at just once. In future years, I’ll stick with the No Boo anyway, just for the comfort of having it for times when I just want to move between rides in peace.

On With the Shows

Devil’s Circus

My first show of the night was Devil’s Circus which was new this year. This turned out to be my favorite. Great acts and I loved the fire effects on the set.

Shoutout to the guy with the phone who kept moving in front of me with his phone in the air. (Whenever I record things, which is a lot, I try to keep my camera at eye-level or lower unless I’m at the very back.)

The Sentimentalists

I saw a short bit of this show on my way to Sinner’s Lounge. It wasn’t interesting enough to stop me.

Sinner’s Lounge

Being so used to silly raccoon shenanigans in Wonderland Theatre, I was a bit caught off guard by the themes in this show but I know I shouldn’t be. Pole dancing, drunk guy, shirtless dude, and bar fights. It’s a good show with humorous bits in it too. I liked it.

Good Night?

It was a good night, even though I skipped out on the main draw of the event which are the mazes. That said, I’d only go to Haunt if they do this cheap ticket promotion again, but that’s just me.

Thanks for reading!

We’re going to the Island! A trip to Centreville!

After a long day at Canada’s Wonderland the day before (Trip report ETA: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), I decided to put a pause on the back-to-back Wonderland trips and head downtown for a mind-clearing walk, which is what I tend to do in the off-season.

I wanted to check out the TTC streetcars that were now using pantographs instead of the pole. I also wanted to see Word on the Street, which is a festival for literacy with presentations by authors and lots of opportunities to pick up some books.

After quickly becoming uncomfortable at Word on the Street by realizing I probably should read more, I decided to take a ferry over to Centre Island. There was a line at the ticket booths so I pulled up the online ticket service, bought my ticket, and bypassed the regular line into the terminal, all within a minute. Technology!

The ferry at the time wasn’t too crowded so I was able to get a nice spot at the back of the ferry which gives a great view of the city as you float away.

The birds were greeting me upon arrival.

The whole laid-back vibe on the Islands is just so pleasant that I wish I had come here more often in the summer.

With the flooding that did a number on the Islands just before the summer, some parts look a bit off. The appropriately named Duck Pond at Centreville was still bustling with wildlife, though some of the small docks were damaged and inaccessible.

I was happy to see their new skyride open as it was under construction when I walked through Centreville last year. I wasn’t really following but, upon some light research, it appears that the old one was replaced after a child fell while boarding the old one and broke some bones.

It’s such a large piece of steel machinery that looks out of place, yet impressive at the same time.

It wasn’t too crowded but there was still a nice amount of people to make the place feel alive enough.

The Toronto Island Mine Coaster, which I still have not ridden, is a cute little coaster. It’s still fairly new as it opened in 2014.

One of my favorite parts of Centreville is the farm. Unfortunately, it remained closed for the season after the flooding.

I’m no photographer but the Islands would bring out the photographer in anyone with a camera here. It’s definitely a great place to experiment with angles.

After a little while of touring around Centreville, I decided to continue my walk elsewhere.

There were lots of people lining the beaches and out in the water. It was perfect weather for that.

After walking to Hanlan’s and back, it was time to go.

I should do this more often.

Videos

Wonderland 2017 Live Entertainment Round-Up and My Top 3 Picks!

Confession Time

Every season before 2017,  I really didn’t pay any attention to the live shows.

This season, I made it a mission to stop getting stuck in one area of the park or at one ride. (Last year, I probably spent at least 50% of the season on Skyhawk.) I tried really hard to go see all of the special events and live shows. Admittedly, I’m ashamed of myself for not paying more attention because it’s made my visits so much more special!

The Line-Up

This year had a mix of seasonal live shows, special “contracted” shows in International Showplace, and special events. Here’s the complete list, in order as listed in the show and event guide.

Live Shows

  • Cirque Canadien
  • Starlight Northern Reflections
  • Flying Frontenacs Stunt & Dive Show
  • Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers
  • Peanutes Party in the Plaza
  • Snoopy’s Symphony of Water
  • Victoria Falls High Divers

International Showplace Special Events

  • Ultimate Thrills Circus
  • Parkour Freestyle
  • Chinese Acrobatic Show

Special Events

  • Celebration Canada
    • West Coaster Lumberjack Show
    • Freestyle Ski Aerials
    • Earth Rangers
  • KidZfest
  • Taste of Greece
  • Taste of Italy
  • Food Truck Festival
  • Oktoberfest

I’m happy to say I’ve seen everything on this list, though, depending on my interest, ranges from multiple viewings to a single incomplete viewing.

My Top 3!

#3: Flying Frontenacs Stunt & Dive Show

Flying Frontenacs was the latest stunt and dive show to perform on Arthur’s Baye.

While the routines change slightly between seasons, this year’s renewal of the show made it feel like something completely new. The Arthur’s Baye structure was given a new red color scheme, along with a great wooden finish on the boxes that the performers do their trampoline stunts on. The performers wore Mountie costumes which blended well with the overall set. The former dive shows here used to be something I’d walk past or forget about but everything about Flying Frontenacs is so pleasant that it makes it a show I actually plan to show up for.

#2: Starlight Northern Reflections

Starlight Northern Reflections is the newest version of the former Starlight Spectacular show. The show returned with a Canadian theme, highlighting different sights and landmarks across the country. In addition to the recently added fountains and spotlights, new lasers were added on top of Wonder Mountain.

I found that the show was very well put together. Every element of the show played its part well, none of which seemed out of place or “shoe-horned” in as I felt with certain parts of previous shows. The only recycled part was some of the mountain projections toward the end of the show but they still worked in the spotlights, fountains, and lasers to make it feel completely new. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they can do!

#1: Cirque Canadien

Cirque Canadien is the newest cirque-style show to perform at Wonderland Theatre.

As with other shows this year, the Canadian theme to this cirque show made it unique. Put up against similar shows at other Cedar Fair parks, some of which follow near identical scripts at times, I really think Cirque Canadien is the most well put together. The amazing athleticism by the performers coupled with their funny antics made it a perfect show to me. I can’t wait to see it again next season!

Subscribe to the CoasterCircuits channel on YouTube as a full-length Cirque Canadien video is in the works!

Reflection

There are a few of points I want to make about this year’s entertainment overall at the park.

It feels like entertainment is at the forefront of Wonderland’s attention and the rides are the ones that are just kinda there. In past years, I would have said that the other way around. The quality of the shows and special events seem better than ever.

One thing I noticed while watching all of these shows is that none of the shows take themselves too seriously. There’s not so much mystery or over-dramatics (aside from maybe the Vic Falls High Divers introduction) as there is a feel-good awe.

There’s still more, folks!

Thanks for reading! The summer’s gone and it feels like the season is coming to an end, but there’s still more events happening like Oktoberfest, Halloween Haunt, and Camp Spooky. Stay tuned for coverage on the rest of the season’s fun!