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Canada's Wonderland reveals old artistic renderings of its original rides and themed areas

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Artistic renderings of Canada's Wonderland before it was built convey a promise of fun, fantasy and delight

Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

Every year when we have a new attraction coming to the park, we typically have an artistic rendering done that we can use to promote it before it's built. This helps drum up excitement but also assists with the theming of the attraction. 

Imagine drawing up an entire amusement park from scratch? 

That was the challenge before the park designers in the late '70s, before any shovel hit the ground on that swath of land in Maple, Ontario. 

Kings Productions put its artists to work. It was the entertainment production and facility design division of the Taft Broadcasting Company, who was based in Cincinnati, Ohio and the original owner of Canada's Wonderland. They had to bring to life, through drawing, the rides, attractions and themed areas that had been concepted for the new Canadian park. 

The drawings, some of which you can see below, are whimsical and carefully detailed. They held promise of a fantasy land; a place of laughter, adventure and merriment. Imagine the excitement people have must have felt, the first time they saw images of these wonderful rides and themed areas and to think "This is going to be built here?"

The names attached to the renderings wouldn't have been official at the time of their drawing, but instead some suggested the general ride concept like "Whirling Bucket Ride" or perhaps early name ideas.

"The WidowMaker" was the early name for a possible second log flume ride in the forest in what was originally supposed to be the Frontier Canada section of the park. The concept for the water ride changed to a river rapids ride and the name changed before park opening to White Water Canyon.

Have a look at these amazing drawings. Recognize any of them? 

Historic rendering of Medieval Faire drawbridge at Canada's Wonderland

The castle wall and drawbridge leading to the Medieval Faire section of the park.

Historic rendering of Bedrock Dock at Canada's Wonderland

Bedrock Dock was a small boat ride in Hanna Barbera Land. 

Historic rendering of The Widowmaker at Canada's Wonderland

What is now known as White Water Cayon was originally concepted to be a second log flume ride in the Frontier Canada section of the park. 

Historic rendering of Yogi's Cave at Canada's Wonderland

Yogi's Cave in Yogi's Forest was a funhouse-like cave building that existed until 1984 when it was converted into the Smurf Cave in Smurf Forest.

Artistic rendering of Barney's Burgers at Canada's wonderland

The Flintstone-themed restaurant Barney's Burgers was a staple food venue in Hanna Barbera Land until 2003. 

Historic rendering Quixotte's Kettles at Canada's Wonderland

The 'Whirling Bucket Ride' would become Quioxete's Kettles in Medieval Faire at park opening in 1981.

Artists rendering of International Street at Canada's Wonderland

A view of International Street with the Royal Fountains and Wonder Mountain.

Original artist rendering of the Moroccan Bazaar at Canada's Wonderland

The Grande World Expo of 1890 section of the park featured buildings and attractions representing different parts of the world. This drawing shows the Moroccan Bazaar. 

Historic rendering of Marketplace restaurant at Canada's Wonderland

Drawing plans for the restaurant pub and beer garden in Medieval Faire beside Arthur's Baye. This building would eventually become known as Marketplace. 


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Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

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