The Park, that entertains millions annually, first opened for guests in 1981.
Following an extensive site selection process by the Park’s developers, Maple (Vaughan) was finally chosen as the ideal location, due to its close proximity to Toronto and 400 series highways.
Initial construction of the Park commenced in April, 1979. During construction, Canadian companies partnered on the preliminary design and engineering of this massive project that involved 12 architectural and engineering firms and over 700 trades people. The Park sits on a 379 acre plot, 300 of which are currently developed.
Two years later, on May 23, 1981, Canada’s Wonderland was officially opened by then Premier of Ontario, William Davis, during a spectacular ceremony that included 10,000 helium balloons, 13 parachutists, 350 white doves, a pipe band and 4 children representing the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions of Canada each poured a vial of water from their home regions into the park's fountain.Right in the centre the park boaster a 170ft manmade mountain, known as Wonder Mountain, as opposed to an Eiffel Tower found at sister parks. This decision was made to make the park more “Canadian” Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky also appeared as a special guest,with other guests including Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera mingled with mascots the hype was so great that expected attendance on day one was in the ballpark of 40,000 people. In actuality, only 12,000 showed up the price per ticket was $11.95 to enter the park and access to the 18 attractions Wonderland had arrived in style.
The park cost $120 million ($311 million in 2016 dollars) to build.
Antique Carousel, Mighty Canadian Minebuster which is still the longest wooden coaster in Canada., Orbiter, Swing of the Century, Dragon Fire an Arrow Dynamics 4 inversion coaster featuring a double loop and a double corkscrew,, Night Mares, The Rage, Spinovator, Wild Beast were some of the attractions that was open when the park opened.
Around 2.2 million visitors visted in the first season of Canada’s Wonderland. Though exact numbers weren’t revealed, park officials said that they made“a tidy profit.”
To prepare for 1982, $5 million was spent upgrading dining facilities, drinking fountains, and street furniture.
In 1983, Wonderland built the Kingswood Music Theatre, a state of the art 15,000 seat amphitheatre that has played host to many of music’s major artists. Currently, Kingswood hosts multiple Cultural Festivals throughout the season, featuring world renowned acts from across the globe.
In 1984 Yogi's Woods was converted to Smurf's Village and The Intamin made White Water Canyon opened this was the first ride that opened since it opened in 1981.
In 1985 Skyrider opened it was the second purpose-built stand-up coaster it was built by TOGO the coaster is still operating now under the name freestyle which is now located in Italy. The first one was king cobra in kings island which opened in 1984 and closed in 2001, which makes Skyrider/Freestyle the oldest running purpose built stand up coaster.
Boring fact Momonga Standing & Loop Coaster in Yomiuriland is the first Modified stand-up roller coaster the coaster opened in 1979 and stand up trains added in 1982 and its still in operation today!!!
In 1991 Vortex opened and still holds world records for being the fastest suspended coaster in the world with speeds up to 89km/h and the tallest suspended coaster in the world 91ft, the arrow dynamic rollercoaster giving riders the illusion that the train will touch the water, unfortunately Vortex isn't sitting in first place on its own for the fastest suspended coaster it shares the spot with Ninja at Six flags magic mountain.
In 1992, Canada's Wonderland became two parks in one with the addition of Splash Works, a 20 acre water park. Splash Works boasts Canada’s largest outdoor wavepool and over two million gallons of heated water attractions, including 18 speed slides and interactive water features.
In 1993, Canada's Wonderland was acquired by Paramount Communications Inc., becoming part of its Paramount Parks division. Shortly thereafter, Canada's Wonderland became Paramount Canada's Wonderland, reflecting the Park's new association with Paramount Parks.
In 1995 Top Gun opened yes it was based on the film the Vekoma SLC (Suspended Looping Coaster) this is a standard SLC layout and there are around 39 built, When Vekoma announced the SLC, Paramount had cancelled their plans with Bolliger & Mabillard to make an inverted coaster to go on the land where Behemoth currently stands on due to Cedar Point's contract on having no B&M inverted coaster in the 200 mile radius of a Cedar Fair park. Canada's Wonderland clocked to 198 miles from Cedar Point, so the custom invert was cancelled and the SLC was put in place. so think about it Canada Wonderland could have had there very own Nemesis. Also after Paramount take over a successful attempt was made to bring families back to the park by attracting children with original Nickelodeon cartoon characters that were familiar to a new generation.
In 1996 Xtreme Skyflyer and Splash Works Expansion with White Water Bay, Pump House & Black Hole
In 1997 Drop Tower Riders sit on a high-speed transport lift that travels over 16 feet per second, 230 feet in the air. Guests have but moments to take in the view before it registers that what goes up must come down. Towering at 230 feet (70.1M), Drop Tower is the same height as Behemoth; only Leviathan and WindSeeker are taller than this extreme thrill! and Speed City Raceway opened.
In 1998 KidZville, The Edge Climbing Wall, and James Bond - License To Thrill inside Action Theatre opened
In 1999 a Mack wild mouse The Fly, Escape from Dino Island 3D inside Action Theatre, and Splash Works Expansion again with Super Soaker & The Plunge opened
In 2000 Riptide and Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
In 2001 Shockwave Riders are lifted as high as 63 feet (19M) in the air and then spun and turned in all directions on this rotating ride spectacular. 7th Portal inside Action Theatre, and a new themed area Zoom Zone with Silver Streak a family Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster, Blast Off! and Jumpin' Jet all opened
In 2002 Psyclone and Splash Works Expansion with Barracuda Blaster & Riptide Racer
In 2003 Sledge Hammer, Nickelodeon Central, and Launch Pad
In 2004 Tomb raider the ride opened the Zamperla 360 degree viewing coaster which was later re-themed to Time Warp
In 2005 Backlot Stunt Coaster and Halloween Haunt
On 14 May 2006, it was announced that Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. was interested in acquiring Canada's Wonderland. The acquisition was completed on 30 June 2006. As a result, in early January 2007 the Park referred back to its original name, "Canada's Wonderland".
Cedar Fair's dedication to providing the best in family entertainment and guest service has kept guests coming back year after year.
Today, with eleven amusement parks, four water parks, and one indoor water park, Cedar Fair is one of the largest and most successful amusement park operators in the world.
Each season, Canada's Wonderland has introduced new attractions and features, investing an additional $250 million since the Park first opened.
And most notably, throughout the Park’s first quarter century of operation, Wonderland has introduced some of North America’s most popular ride attractions, including such favourites as Flight Deck, The Fly, Drop Tower, The Bat, Skyrider, Vortex, Psyclone and Silver Streak.
In 2008 Saw the premier of Behemoth a steel hypercoaster developed by Bolliger and Mabillard ,it set the stage for thrills riders with a climb to a height of 230 feet (70.1M), followed by an adrenaline pumping 75 degree drop with speeds reaching 125 kilometers per hour in 3.9 seconds, and a track length of over 5,300 feet (1,616M).This was also the first time B&M tested out their new ‘v-shape’ seating on their trains the new seating arrangement ensured all riders got a unobstructed view,Wonderland was finally on the map with this addition as well as showing Toronto how good roller coasters could be.
2010 - Planet Snoopy opened which included Snoopy's Revolution, Peanuts 500 and Lucy's Tugboat
2011 - WindSeeker a 301ft swing ride opened, this was the first one out of 4 different parks to open the mondial ride and Starlight Spectacular also opened
In 2012 The park also unveiled Leviathan, one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world. Riders climb to a record breaking 306 feet (97.7M) followed by an exhilarating 80 degree drop, reaching speeds of 148 kilometers per hour. Leviathan is the park's 16th coaster and positions Canada's Wonderland as one of the top coaster destinations in the world!
2014 set the stage for a thrilling new interactive 4-D dark ride inside the depths of Wonder Mountain, with the introduction of Wonder Mountain’s Guardian. Riders experience stunning 3D effects overlaid with 4-D elements, encountering mythical creatures on a quest that culminates in an ultimate battle with a heart stopping finale that will shock thrill seekers of all ages!
In 2015, park launched the most extensive special event line-ups in park history. Alongside new attractions in Splash Works, Typhoon and Splash Station, the 2015 season was filled with extreme thrills and great family entertainment.
In 2016, Canada’s Wonderland took guests to new heights with the addition of two new rides that captured the imagination of both families, and thrill-seekers, as they took flight in an interactive flying experience with Skyhawk and Flying Eagles. Skyhawk riders take control of their own cockpit, showcasing their flying abilities as they maneuver through 360 degree turns, and challenge themselves to engage in multiple inversions at 135 feet in the air. Flying Eagles thrills little pilots and will quickly become a family favourite for parents and children alike. These two-person planes will glide 28 feet above the ground and allow each rider to control their flight and ride experience.
In 2017, Canada’s Wonderland showcased two new unique and adrenaline-pumping attractions with the addition of towering water slides in Splash Works and a new thrill ride that was the first of its kind in North America. Muskoka Plunge, a 60 ft. (18 m) tall waterslide complex featuring four speed slides, had riders feeling the adrenaline rush by stepping into an enclosed launch chamber and plummeting into a high-speed free-fall through S-curves and 360° loops at speeds of approximately 40 km/h. Canada’s Wonderland also introduced Soaring Timbers, a unique ride experience that sends guests spiraling through the sky on two massive rotating and sweeping gondolas.
The 2018 season promises more thrills and family fun, with the addition of two new rides and a Splash Island expansion. Lumberjack will take guests for a thrilling ride on two swinging axe pendulums, propelling them into the sky with their feet dangling through 360 degree loops. With inversions reaching up to 75 feet high, Lumberjack will give riders the sensation of an inverted coaster loop! The all-new Flying Canoes will be an interactive family ride that will allow riders to control their journey of flight in two-person canoes. And children will get more water play with the expansion of Splash Island kiddie pool in our water park and the addition of new interactive spray features.
With more than 200 attractions, 70 rides, Splash Works, great live shows and more, Canada's Wonderland is the perfect summer destination!
Fun Facts supplied by Canada Wonderland media team
Over 50,000 pounds of bulk candy are sold in a season. That’s the average size of 5 adult elephants!
International Street’s Pizza Pizza sells more pizza slices that any other Pizza Pizza location in Ontario, even though we are only open for 130 days a year!
Over 120,000 foot long hotdogs are consumed in a season, equivalent to the length of more than 333 Canadian football fields or 36.5km (36,500m).
If you piled all of the 92,000 pizzas sold in the Park during the 2013 season on top of each other, they would equal the height of Windseeker 25 times!
In the 2016 season the Park sold over 238,000 Funnel Cakes!
Half a million stuffed toys are won at the Park each season.
The Park has close to 6,000 trees and 75,000 shrubs.
The Park’s parking lot is over 3 million square feet with 10,300 parking spaces. It would be able to hold over 50 cruise ships!
Both the Victoria Day, Canada Day, and Labour Day Weekend firework celebrations use in excess of 6,000 fireworks hitting heights of over 600 feet (183m).
Canada’s Wonderland has over 780,000 fans on Facebook!
During the Park’s Opening Ceremonies on May 23, 1981, Wayne Gretzky made a special guest appearance to raise the Canadian flag!
Wonder Mountain originally had a red beacon at the top peak to alert planes of the structure. This was due to the Maple Airport that was once located on the other side of Jane Street near Major Mackenzie.
30,000 gallons of water flows over Victoria Falls every minute.
It would take 154,567,128 bottles of water to fill Splash Works.
Number of stairs up Leviathan lift hill – 430.
Number of stairs up Behemoth lift hill – 322.
Longest roller coaster in the Park – Leviathan at 5486 feet long (1,672m)
Shortest roller coaster in the Park is Taxi Jam at 205 feet long (62m)
Fastest roller coaster in the Park – Leviathan 148km/h
Fastest non-coaster in the Park – Drop Tower 100km/h.
Before its departure after the 1994 season, Zumba Flume gave over 14,000,000 rides (14,398,530)
Sledge Hammer is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ attraction with no other similar ride ever built.
Dragon Fire was originally built to operate with three trains. During testing it was discovered that it only allowed 22 seconds to unload/load each train. The third train was eventually modified and used on The Bat.
Canada’s Wonderland is home to 2 unique carousels, with 106 horses to ride.
Canada’s Wonderland’s WindSeeker was the first to open in the world.
2017: Soaring Timbers had 302,076 riders for its inaugural season.
2017: Highest ridership on a particular ride for the 2016 Season – Leviathan 1,594,657.
2017: Total rides given since Park open (not including Splash Works) on all rides that ever existed – 827,485,938.
2017: Highest ridership on any ride (since 1981) – Dragon Fire 41,570,251.