This ride will throw you for a loop
Canada’s Wonderland and Carowinds announce 2023 additions
Most people know the Six Flags brand. But there is another chain that is comparable in size, number of parks, and signature thrills with which most folks, beyond enthusiasts and those who work in the industry, are not familiar: Cedar Fair. The company’s name is a portmanteau of Ohio’s Cedar Point and Minnesota’s Valleyfair, two of the parks under its umbrella.
Cedar Fair recently released info about the new rides, attractions, and other developments it will be debuting next year. It is spending a cool $200 million on its North American parks. Today, let’s take a look at what’s on the way in 2023 at two of the company’s more popular locations: Canada’s Wonderland outside Toronto and Carowinds on the border of North and South Carolina.
There are plenty of new goodies, but the wackiest, most thrilling addition has to be Tundra Twister, the one-of-a-kind spinning ride coming to the midway at Canada’s Wonderland. It looks like a high-tech torture device designed by a mad scientist. I could see Dr. Nefario creating this for a delighted Gru of “Despicable Me” fame.
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Two gondola platforms will independently rotate 360 degrees on two axes on one end of a pendulum arm, which itself will spin the entire contraption 360 degrees in a giant arc of a loop. At its highest point, passengers will be some 47 meters, or 154 feet, in the air. Tundra Twister will hit a top speed of 75 km/h, or about 47 mph.
Needless to say, some intrepid thrill seekers will make a beeline for the outlandish ride, while others will choose to watch it from terra firma and shake their heads in disbelief at the mere sight of the monstrosity.
It‘s a bit difficult to explain the ride experience that this nutty mechanical beast will deliver in words. The static rendering above doesn’t do it justice either. But an animated video from Mondial, the ride’s manufacturer, gives a good sense of the madness. Goodness gracious.
In addition to Tundra Twister, Canada’s Wonderland will introduce the considerably tamer Snoopy’s Racing Railway. A launched family coaster, it will accelerate from 0 to 50 km/h, or a modest 31 mph. While details are scant, the Peanuts-themed ride will probably be similar in intensity to Slinky Dog Dash, the delightful, launched coaster at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, part of Florida’s Walt Disney World. Snoopy’s Racing Railway will be the 18th coaster at the Canadian park.
Carowinds to kick off 50th anniversary with a flying start
The former Crossroads area at Carowinds will be transformed into Aeronautica Landing, a sleek land that will pay homage to the history of flight and the Carolinas’ important role in aviation. It will include a package of five new family thrill rides as well as a re-themed Dodgem bumper cars.
Among the new additions will be Gear Spin, which is a NebulaZ model from Italian manufacturer, Zamperla. The spinning attraction is a blast to ride and mesmerizing to watch. Also in the package from Zamperla will be Air Racers and Gyro Force, which also spin. Air Walker will be a Disk’O model, which spins passengers on a circular platform that undulates back and forth on a coaster-like half-pipe track.
Aeronautica Landing will also offer two new eateries, one of which, Terminal A, will serve craft beer. The park says that details will be forthcoming about additional 50th anniversary plans including nighttime spectaculars, special entertainment, and more. Cedar Fair has been lavishing a lot of attention on Carowinds over the past few years, elevating it to the level of the company’s showcase properties such as Kings Island in Ohio.
What do you think about the crazy Tundra Twister ride on the way to Canada’s Wonderland? Are you in the “can’t wait to ride it” or the “no thanks, I’ll watch it from the midway” camp? Might you plan to check out Carowinds during its 50th anniversary season? What do you think about Aeronautica Landing?