Canada’s Wonderland Gets Rides Ready for Opening Day
Even though it’s winter and we are currently closed, our maintenance crew, facilities team and ride technicians are in full-gear getting everything ready for when the park opens.
When it comes to our rides, this important T-L-C is a multi-step process. Winter maintenance is broken down into the following steps:
- Repair / Repaint
DID YOU KNOW: All our rides get COMPLETELY disassembled during the winter months…down to the very last bolt! It’s a busy time of year and it happens every year to help prolong the life of our rides and ensure the safety of our guests.
The first step of off-season ride maintenance is removing the cars or trains from their tracks, and transporting them back to our maintenance shop.
Dave Ward disassembles a Flight Deck wheel carrier prior to annual NDT inspection and reassembly.
DISASSEMBLY, CLEANING AND INSPECTION:
Sections and components of every ride are disassembled, down to the very last bolt. Each individual piece is then cleaned and ready to be inspected using various methods. The parts from each ride undergo testing methods specified by the manufacturer, including: RE (Radiographic Examination), UE (Ultrasonic Examination), MPE (Magnetic Partial Examination), LPE (Liquid Penetrant Examination), VI (Visual Inspection) and TT (Torque Testing).
If there are any minor defects, we’ll repair it. Otherwise we’ll replace the part to meet the manufacturer’s standards. This is key to keeping them in great shape year after year.
Chris Branco adjusts the height of the sway effect rollers up to support the bottom of the vehicle.
Rides are sand-blasted and epoxy painted.
Since each horse is made of wood, Glen Shields carefully sands down the horses, and then one by one they are carefully hand-painted using spray guns and air brushing techniques.
Once the inspection and repair are complete, it’s time to the put the puzzle back together!
Ride cars and trains remain in the maintenance shop throughout the off-season, safeguarding them from the weather elements.
Fun Facts provided by David Grange:
- The Yukon Striker rebuild requires 2,000 rebuild hours annually, with a crew of three mechanics.
- The Leviathan rebuild requires 3,000+ rebuild hours annually, with a crew of three to four mechanics.
Farrell Garcia loads a Flight Deck frame into the automatic parts washer, prior to annual NDT inspection and reassembly.
While summer months are spent maintaining the rides daily with morning inspections, maintenance and repairs, it’s the winter months where the heavy-duty maintenance occurs.