Rating and Ranking Canada’s Wonderland Roller Coasters

Four members of the Coaster101 team recently met at Canada’s Wonderland to experience the Toronto amusement park’s 17 roller coasters, which of course we had to rate and rank.

From left to right, Coaster101 writers John Stevenson, Larry Treece, Nick Weisenberger and Eric Wooley

Below are our ratings, on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great), of the roller coasters at Canada’s Wonderland followed by our overall ranking of our five favorites.


Backlot Stunt Coaster

Originally known as Italian Job: Stunt Track, this family launch coaster was the first of three Italian Job coasters in the then-Paramount chain of parks to open (followed by Kings Island and Kings Dominion). The coaster was renamed Backlot Stunt Coaster after Cedar Fair purchased the Paramount parks in 2006.

Car themed train on the Backlot Stunt Coaster going across the photo from left to right before going into the brake run of the ride.

Our Backlot Stunt Coaster ratings:

  • Eric: 3
  • John: 3
  • Larry: 2
  • Nick: 3

We declared on Twitter the day we were at the park that Backlot Stunt Coasters are underrated, and we stand by that. These rides are fun! The launch of 0-40 mph in 3 seconds is exciting without being super extreme, and we love how much the ride stays close to the ground (especially this one, which is partly against a hill). The second launch and the sequence in the tunnel are also great. Would it be better if it still had some special effects going? Of course! But even without those, what’s not to like about a launch coaster with tight twists and turns and partially indoors? You don’t need to go out of your way to ride Backlot, but we would never skip it at the park.

Overall Backlot Stunt Coaster Rating: 2.75/5


Behemoth

Behemoth stands 23 stories over the Action Zone area of Canada’s Wonderland, yet most of its out-and-back layout is hidden from view (from the midway, at least). It was the first of only four B&M hyper coasters in the world to use the split-style seating arranged in a “V” formation.

Our Behemoth ratings:

  • Eric: 5
  • John: 4
  • Larry: 4
  • Nick: 5

While in height Behemoth may be overshadowed by its younger sibling, Leviathan, the coaster offers enough delicious floater airtime to keep it a can’t-miss coaster at Canada’s Wonderland. It’s definitely one of our favorite B&M Hyper Coasters we’ve been on, and would go back just for it.

Overall Behemoth Rating: 4.5/5


Dragon Fyre

Dragon Fyre is an Arrow looper that opened in 1981 Originally had three trains but one was moved over to the Bat boomerang coaster. The design was copied and mirrored for Big Loop at Heide Park in Germany.

Our Dragon Fyre ratings:

  • Eric: 2
  • John: 2
  • Larry: 2
  • Nick: 2

Dragon Fyre isn’t much to look at, and its ride experience isn’t exactly memorable (or comfortable), but Arrow loopers are a dying breed — so it’s definitely worth a ride if for nothing but nostalgia.

Overall Dragon Fyre Rating: 2


Fly

Fly is an extended version of Mack’s Wild Mouse model, one of the most noteworthy differences being its unusual (for a wild mouse coaster) 50-foot drop. After that, the coaster takes a more traditional course.

Our Fly ratings:

  • Eric: 2
  • John: 3
  • Larry: 2
  • Nick: 3

Clones of Fly can be found at several Cedar Fair parks, so it’s not unique — but it’s still a great option for newer coaster enthusiasts who are looking to test the waters. And the operations on it were running better than any Cedar Fair Wild Mouse we’ve seen in awhile, so the wait was much less than most of them are (thank your ride operators when they do a good job, people).

Overall Fly Rating: 2.5/5


Ghoster Coaster

Ghoster Coaster is a 41-foot-tall wooden coaster that shares a similar design with many other family-friendly coasters found throughout the country. This Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc. built coaster isn’t easy to find as it’s located all the way in the back of the park mostly out of sight.

Our Ghoster Coaster ratings:

  • Eric: 3
  • John: 4
  • Larry: 3
  • Nick: 3

While small in size, Ghoster Coaster is the smoothest, most enjoyable wooden coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.

Overall Ghoster Coaster Rating: 3.25/5


Leviathan

Leviathan was B&M’s tallest coaster at 306 feet when it opened in 2012. To this day it remains the fourth tallest roller coaster in the world to use a chain lift. The world’s 3rd giga coaster (and first in six years) reaches a top speed of 92 miles per hour, which you can really sense when riding in the front row like we did on our last ride of the night. The first drop is huge, the speed is maintained throughout, and it’s so comfortable you could ride it over and over. The one downside is it ends too soon with a brake run seemingly 100 feet in the air. That’s a lot of wasted potential. It’s always better to hit the final brakes with some speed rather than a sluggish ending, but we still feel Leviathan is severely lacking at least one climatic addition to the end of the ride such as another airtime hill, helix, or water feature.

Our Leviathan ratings:

  • Eric: 5
  • John: 5
  • Larry: 5
  • Nick: 5

While the lack of a proper finale keeps this ride from being one of the best in the world, it’s still loads of fun and another “can’t miss” attraction at Canada’s Wonderland. It’d be worth making the trip to Canada’s Wonderland just for Leviathan, one of our favorite coasters, period.

Overall Leviathan Rating: 5/5


Mighty Canadian Minebuster

One of the three wooden coasters at Canada’s Wonderland and opening in 1981 as one of the opening attractions for the park, Mighty Canadian Minebuster is an out-and-back style layout featuring a tunneled helix finish. This was designed by Curtis D. Summers and modeled after the former Cincinnati Coney Island Shooting Star and features PTC 3-bench trains. The water park was built up and around this coater so it offers some unique head chopper effect with the slides and lifts, although this was slightly removed due to a recent fire that resulted in the removal of sections of one of the waterslides.

Our Mighty Canadian Minebuster ratings:

  • Eric: 1
  • John: 2
  • Larry: 1
  • Nick: 2

This coaster… As our rating shows, it desperately needs help. Using an older generation of PTC trains that don’t articulate and have been modified by the park to have tight-fitting dividers in between the seats, you will feel every single bump and uneven curve of the wooden track. Hopefully, with the success of Titan Track on Wolverine Wildcat and Predator, this will be a future candidate for an overhaul. It would have a pretty great layout only if it didn’t beat and pummel you with its older trains and rough track.

Overall Mighty Canadian Minebuster Rating: 1.5/5


Silver Streak

Silver Streak is a Vekoma junior suspended family coaster model that stands just under 50 feet tall with a top speed of 26 mph.

Our Silver Streak ratings:

  • Eric: 2
  • John: 2
  • Larry: 2
  • Nick: 3

Silver Streak won’t blow away any seasoned coaster enthusiasts, and it’s a little rough, but it’s a great ride for enthusiasts-in-training.

Overall Silver Streak Rating: 2.25/5


Thunder Run

Thunder Run is a Mack Powered Coaster, the only one of its kind in North America. The ride originally opened in 1981, although it wasn’t actually at its current location until it was moved in 1986. The ride is themed after an abandoned mine train and is located almost entirely within Wonder Mountain, the park’s centerpiece. The track consists of a series of helices, and the ride includes two cycles. It reaches a max speed of 40 mph, and because it’s a powered coaster actually speeds up as it ascends to start the ride.

Our Thunder Run ratings:

  • Eric: 4
  • John: 3
  • Larry: 3
  • Nick: 4

Thunder Run is a surprisingly fun ride. Hitting a top speed of 40 mph, and being mostly indoor helixes for the ride, it’s one of those coasters that feels more thrilling than it should (like a Space Mountain). Getting up to speed quickly is exciting, and the double helix in the dark with flashing lights and a surprise creature in the middle is a blast. That you get to take two cycles makes it even more fun. We rode it at night and that took it up even further. Combine all that with it being the only Mack Powered Coaster in North America and it really makes it one of the top rides at the park.

Overall Thunder Run Rating: 3.5/5


Time Warp

Time Warp is a Zamperla Flying Coaster that opened in May 2004. These Zamperla “Volare” models use single-car trains and a fun spiral lift hill. Time Warp is one of only 2 of these models in North America (and only a few operating ones anywhere).

Our Time Warp ratings:

  • Eric: 3
  • John: 3
  • Larry: 2
  • Nick: 3

These Zamperla flying coasters have a pretty bad rep for being painful. But, our experience actually wasn’t that bad. Yes, you definitely bang your head a bit, but the padding is pretty soft. I think the only really painful thing is when my shins hit the metal stairs you climb to get into the seat. So yeah, it wasn’t the smoothest ride, but the loading is neat, the flying experience isn’t bad, and I enjoyed a lot of the helixes. I think if it didn’t have the quick inversions that really jostle you, this wouldn’t be a bad ride. As it is, probably worth riding, but not worth a long wait or riding twice.

Overall Time Warp Rating: 2.75/5


Vortex

Opened in 1991, Vortex is just one of five Arrow suspended coasters still operating in the world today. The Vortex lift hill climbs up the back of Wonder Mountain, and it starts to drop over the side of the mountain, providing a unique view of the park. The track is filled with twists and turns and interacts with the track and supports of both Wonder Mountain Guardian and Yukon Striker. For most of the ride, Vortex’s cars swing over a large body of water, sometimes getting very close to the surface.

Our Vortex ratings:

  • Eric: 4
  • John: 4
  • Larry: 4
  • Nick: 4

Vortex (left) vs The Bat (right)

Fun fact: The Bat at Kings Island uses nearly the exact same layout as Vortex, but is slightly shorter and runs with 7 car trains instead of 6. In the picture are two aerial images with the same scale and you can see the small differences between the layouts.

Vortex is probably our top suspended Arrow coaster after this ride. Normally we think of these rides as fun, but not particularly thrilling or wild. But Vortex didn’t feel that way. Maybe it’s the terrain around it, or maybe it actually is different, but the swinging seemed more extreme, and the changes in direction seemed quicker and faster than on other suspended coasters. Plus the way it interacts with the mountain, dives under Wonder Mountain Guardian, and swings around the Yukon Striker track all add to the thrill. If you’re a fan of these Arrow Suspended Coasters and haven’t been on Vortex, it should be one of your next new coasters for sure.

Overall Vortex Rating: 4/5


Wilde Beast

Wilde Beast was one of the five original coasters at Canada’s Wonderland when it opened in 1981. The ride was based on the Coney Island Wildcat from Coney Island in Cincinatti, Ohio. It features a double out-and-back figure-8 layout. Wilde Beast trains use 7 PTC cars with 2 rows of two. The coaster’s track was partially rebuilt in 2015 to give a smoother experience, but we’re not sure it helped.

Our Wilde Beast ratings:

  • Eric: 1
  • John: 2
  • Larry: 1
  • Nick: 1

A coaster that manages to both be boring AND painful. The layout of Wilde Beast reminds me a lot of Grizzly and California’s Great America. But while Grizzly is a very uninteresting ride, it usually isn’t that unpleasant to ride. Wilde Beast hurts. Yeah, there are some turns, I think it crossed over once, and maybe there was some airtime once or twice, but the ride doesn’t really DO anything other than bang your head around. There isn’t even any interesting landscaping, it has roads on either side and just an empty grass field in the middle. The ride at least needs new trains, if not a more major rebuild. The best thing about it is the cool Wilde Beast statue out front. Luckily you don’t need to ride it to see that.

Overall Wilde Beast Rating: 1.25/5


Wonder Mountain’s Guardian

Wonder Mountain’s Guardian is arguably the most unique coaster at Canada’s Wonderland. It’s more “4D interactive dark ride” than a coaster, but it’s still a must-ride at the park. The coaster portion was done by ART Engineering, the same company producing their new-for-2023 family launch coaster. Much of the coaster — aside from its lift hill and first drop — is built inside Canada’s Wonderland’s iconic mountain.

Our Wonder Mountain’s Guardian ratings:

  • Eric: 3
  • John: 3
  • Larry: 3
  • Nick: 4

wonder mountain's guardian car

While the ride’s story may not be as engaging and immersive as expected, this unique interactive dark ride with a few surprising coaster elements still adds to Canada’s Wonderland’s unique lineup of attractions. And we’re big fans of these rides that interact with the iconic Canada’s Wonderland centerpiece mountain.

Overall Wonder Mountain’s Guardian Rating: 3.25/5


Yukon Striker

Yukon Striker broke a slew of records upon its opening in 2019, including being the world’s tallest (223 feet), longest (3,625 feet) and fastest (81 mph) dive coaster — its height record is tied with Valravn at Cedar Point. But thanks to an underground tunnel, Yukon Striker drops its 24-seat trains 245 feet. It also touts a 90-degree drop and the world’s then-tallest inversion, a 187-foot-tall Immelmann loop (it was broken less than two months later by Steel Curtain at Kennywood and is now 3rd tallest inversion).

Our Yukon Striker ratings:

  • Eric: 5
  • John: 5
  • Larry: 5
  • Nick: 5

Yukon Striker beautifully rounds out Canada’s Wonderland’s trio of B&M coasters. The stunningly gorgeous coaster is almost as fun to watch as it is to ride thanks to its central placement within the park and interaction with the midways below. Its towering, (actually) vertical drop alone is worth the wait to ride (but don’t forget about the time-saving single-rider line).

Bonus points: Yukon Striker features a unique loose article conveyor system that allows riders to place their belongings into a bin on one side of the station and then retrieve it on the other side after their train returns. Worth a point on our scoring system on its own.

Overall Yukon Striker

Rating: 5/5


Note: we did not ride Bat (closed for most of the day), Flight Deck (we were SLC-ed out from Mind Eraser at Six Flags Darien Lake the day before) and Taxi Jam (we’re too tall).

Canada’s Wonderland Best Coasters Ranked

How would you rank your top 5 favorite Canada’s Wonderland coasters?

Eric

  1. Behemoth
  2. Leviathan
  3. Yukon Striker
  4. Thunder Run
  5. Vortex

I would put the top-3 as almost interchangeable. Behemoth surprised me with how good it is. It’s hard to directly compare to every other B&M hyper I’ve ridden since some of those it’s been a while, but I feel like it must be top-3 among them for me. Leviathan was great as expected, especially our last ride of the night in the front row! Wow. I love every B&M Dive Coaster I’ve been on, and Yukon Striker MIGHT be my favorite. I think the only reason it’s lower is that the section after the brake run is so short and mild. But it also gets points for the conveyor belt storage system.

Thunder Run was an unexpected gem for me. I’ve never been on one of these old Mack powered coasters, and I loved it. The way it went in and out of the mountain, with some surprises inside, elevates it even more. Finally, Vortex felt like the fastest, “swingiest” Arrow suspended coaster I’ve been on, and I loved the location on the back of the mountain.


John

  1. Leviathan
  2. Yukon Striker
  3. Behemoth
  4. Vortex
  5. Ghoster Coaster

This ranking was more challenging than I was expecting, especially after I ranked the top 3 (all Bolliger & Mabillard coasters). The park is really missing some stellar mid-tier coasters to bridge the gap between the not-so-great coasters and the cloned coasters that can be found at other parks. Nevertheless, the park’s 11-year-long B&M trilogy has cemented the park on enthusiasts’ must-visit list. The park itself is gorgeous and much larger than I was expecting. It seems to have plenty of room for even more coasters in the future.


Larry

  1. Yukon Striker
  2. Behemoth
  3. Leviathan
  4. Vortex
  5. Wonder Mountain’s Guardian / Thunder Run

I had a really hard time figuring out the 5th spot since this park suffered hard under Paramount and was given a rather poor coaster lineup under their ownership. Cedar Fair has certainly turned this park around for what is supposed to be the Canadian equivalent of Disney being the largest amusement park in the country. Being my 2nd time here, I definitely can stand by my rankings for the coasters.


Nick

  1. Behemoth
  2. Leviathan
  3. Yukon Striker
  4. Vortex
  5. Thunder Run / Wonder Mountain

Behemoth surprised me as well. While I had been on it before, I apparently forgot about it or had much better rides this time around but the airtime was off the charts. The first time we rode Leviathan I immediately thought “Orion is better” but after our final ride of the night in the front row, I might have changed my mind again. It was an incredible ride and the perfect way to cap off a great day at the park. Yukon Striker might also be my favorite dive coaster. The only one that might challenge it is Sheikra but it’s been too long since I last rode it. Vortex has to be the best of the remaining Arrow suspended coasters. Its placement going on the mountain and all the swinging around Guardian’s and Yukon’s supports just add to the thrill. For the fifth best coaster, give me Thunder Run or Guardian (in the front seat, which results in the best screens). The top of Wonderland’s coaster lineup is really good, but after those coasters, the quality really drops off.

Canada’s Wonderland Video


Overall, we had a great day at Canada’s Wonderland and can’t wait to return to ride the recently announced Snoopy’s Racing Railway!

Do you agree with our ratings and rankings? Let us know in the comments section below!

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