Sick Canadian Amusement Parks that are Still Open

For my kids, amusement parks are sick -which in today’s kidspeak means cool, rad, insane, like totally awesome. Personally, amusement parks rides make me literally sick, but the kids’ excitement is contagious and somebody has to hold the bags.

With the summer heat and crowds gone, fall weekends are the perfect time to visit and enjoy a last day of thrills and spins before the roller coasters, log rides, race tracks and carousels hibernate for the long Canadian winter.

Here are a few that are still open:

Canada’s Wonderland

You can’t miss the Behemoth roller coaster as you drive up to Canada’s most popular amusement park. With 5318 feet of twisted metal, a height of 230 feet and a speed 77mph (125km) this monster of a coaster is Canada’s longest, tallest and fastest. Before the park opens, fans line up at the gates chanting ‘BEHEMOTH’ and sprint to be the first in line the minute they enter.

Though this year ‘Planet Snoopy’ opened with rides catering to younger kids, it’s still the big rides that are the park’s main attraction. From the Minebuster, a wooden coaster that rattles so much it feels like it’s going to fall apart to the Time Warp, where you lay on your stomach and ‘fly’ at dizzyingly speeds, there seems to be no end to the ways kids can scare themselves silly.

Rides are rated from one to five with one being the tamest and five the wildest. My tall I-love-speed -eight-year-old was brave enough for the 5-rated Wild Beast, but decided against the Behemoth with the same rating. You can get the kids measured and given a colour-coded wristband when you first enter the park so you don’t have worry about not being allowed on a ride due to height restrictions.

One drawback of the park is that you’re not allowed to bring your own food in and the park food is mediocre and over-priced. You can, however, re-enter the park during the day so a cooler in the car is always an option.

The park is open weekends until the end of October with special Halloween-themed events held during the last four weeks.


‘Everyone loves Marineland’ the catchy advertising jingle goes and while the tune stays in your head far longer than you want it to, this amusement park does have activities and rides to please all ages.

An abundance of trees –especially pretty in fall- and open green spaces make it more laid back and relaxing than most amusement parks. It does have a couple of high-thrill rides including the Sky Screamer which soars 320 feet in the air, one of the highest drop towers anywhere, before the knee-wobbling-stomach-lurching drop. The view of Niagara Falls from the top is supposedly spectacular. As for me, I’ll settle for the view from the 150-foot hill that the ride is perched upon and wait for the kids.  There are plenty of other less frightening rides for younger kids.

The main attraction at the park, however, is the Marine animals. At the Artic Cove, the kids got up close to these amazing creatures and  petted and fed ‘peek-a-choo’, a Beluga whale. Entertaining shows that appeal to all ages are presented throughout the day.

Marineland offer a nice change of pace from parks that are only about the chase of the adrenaline rush. It’s a little more pricey than some but everything (parking, shows) is included and you can bring your own food in if you wish. Open until October 10.

Find these amusement parks along with more than 200 other attractions and 1400 photos in the Toronto Essential Guide iphone app.-

Featuring google maps, offline content, free updates and insider information that goes beyond the generic blurbs or unfiltered lists of free apps, it’s the only guide you’ll need on your visit to Toronto.








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