Canada’s Wonderland unveils mile-long coaster
Canada’s Wonderland outside Toronto has added the country’s biggest, fastest and tallest rollercoaster – Behemoth. As Paul Ruben reports, B&M ride also features a new style of open seating.
This out-and-back mega-coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), set adjacent to one of the park’s lakes, becomes the 15th rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland. The ride’s three trains feature a new style of open-air seating that gives riders an unobstructed view of what lies ahead.
At around a mile in length (5,300ft/1.6 km), Behemoth carries riders to a height of 230ft (70.1m), followed by a 75-degree drop with speeds reaching 78mph in 3.9 seconds. Next comes a series of high speed twists and turns, including double banked flat loops (horizontal loops) and eight extreme drops. From the top of the lift hill you can easily see 19 miles to downtown Toronto, and on a clear day perhaps even the mist rising from Niagara Falls 57 miles away.
“Behemoth is the biggest investment in Canada’s Wonderland’s 27-year history at approximately $26 million dollars,” declares vice-president and general manager, Raffi Kaprelyan. “What’s more, the open-air seating makes this ride distinctive and unique from others in North America.”
A word about those new trains. More than 50% longer than earlier B&M trains, 71ft 11 inches versus 47ft 2 inches, to accommodate them B&M thoughtfully modified the shape of the hills by making larger parabolic camelback curves. The resulting air time lets guests float for an extended period instead of the choppy up-and-down motion of tighter camelbacks, a serendipitous and welcome consequence.
Once again, a B&M coaster went up problem-free. “I have worked with B&M on other projects and they are a very professional company,” notes Kaprelyan. “Working on projects like this is a partnership; they not only worked with us to meet our needs but they exceeded them. I do also want to acknowledge the hard work of Norm Pirtovshek, Brent Ellis, Peter Switzer, Heather Hill and Chris Mortensen for executing the quality and the timeliness of this project.“
But Kaprelyan, who had come to Canada’s Wonderland from balmy Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm (another park in the Cedar Fair chain) had never experienced a Canadian winter before: “During testing, the water in the dummies that are used to add weight to the trains froze while testing! I have opened many rides, but never experienced that.”
If Kaprelyan is excited about his newest attraction, it shows: “Height, speed, airtime… how can you not enjoy this ride? We have had an incredible amount of buzz surrounding Behemoth.”
More photos in the July/Auguts issue of Park World.