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?
The castle wall and drawbridge leading to the Medieval Faire section of the park.
Bedrock Dock was a small boat ride in Hanna Barbera Land.
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.
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.
The Flintstone-themed restaurant Barney's Burgers was a staple food venue in Hanna Barbera Land until 2003.
The 'Whirling Bucket Ride' would become Quioxete's Kettles in Medieval Faire at park opening in 1981.
A view of International Street with the Royal Fountains and Wonder Mountain.
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.
Drawing plans for the restaurant pub and beer garden in Medieval Faire beside Arthur's Baye. This building would eventually become known as Marketplace.