Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Canada's Wonderland

We took our kids to Canada's Wonderland for the very first time this summer. What a blast! I spent half my summers there growing up, and with the park just around the corner from us I can't believe we haven't been sooner - the biggest, best theme park in the country is practically at our doorstep, and yet we travel all the way across the continent to visit Walt Disney World every year.


Wonderland has changed a lot in the fifteen years or so since I last visited and there are probably twice as many rides. The boys are a little young yet for the biggest, fastest roller coasters - Ghoster Coaster and Wild Beast were as brave as they were willing to get this year - which is why we've put off visiting Wonderland until now, thinking there wouldn't be much for them to enjoy. But I had no idea how much the children's area of the park has expanded!

Canada's Wonderland, rides, kids, theme park, summer
There are two themed areas of Wonderland for younger kids: Kidzville and Planet Snoopy. All of the rides in these areas are designed for little ones with family-friendly height guidelines and rider restrictions - although we thought we'd spend most of the day taking turns waiting out with our youngest, we were able to do almost every ride all at the same time, either all five of us together or split two and three. There's a great mix of slower rides like the Character Carrousel, Swan Lake, Jokey's Jalopies and the classic trains as well as faster rides like the Ghoster Coaster roller coaster, Taxi Jam mini coaster, Lucy's Tugboat swinging boat and Peanuts 500 racecars, and up-in-the-air rides like Snoopy's Revolution, Space Race and Red Baron, The Pumpkin Patch and Chopper Chase. The older boys had a blast and Baby almost lost his mind with excitement over riding the "big boy" rides with his brothers.

Canada's Wonderland, kids, rides, summer, theme parkThe wonderful thing about Wonderland is that it's almost like two theme parks in one - there are the two children's areas and the three areas packed with roller coasters and thrill rides (Action Zone, International Festival and Medieval Faire) but there's also Splash Works, a water park area as large as a theme park itself. We spent nearly half the day in Splash Works, working up from the kiddie slides, spray pad and pools of Splash Island to the family-friendly Lazy River to the fun of the Pump House and the Whitewater Bay wave pool and finally the action-packed "thrill ride" slides - Body Blast, Riptide Racer, Super Soaker, Whirlwinds, the Black Hole and The Plunge. Baby had to sit the big slides out, of course, but was thrilled to play in the Pump House splash area for hours.

I can't think of a better way to spend a scorching August afternoon!


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