Another exciting season at Canada’s Wonderland has come to an end, but just because the gates are closed, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work going on behind-the-scenes.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s involved when it comes to winterizing the park, we rounded up a list of 10 ways our teams gear up, to hunker down, for the winter.
- New Ride Construction. The ground work has already begun for our new attractions, Lumberjack and Flying Canoes, as well as our Splash Island expansion. The sites have been cleared, foundations laid, and buildings/utilities have been installed in preparation for the arrival of the new rides in early 2018.
- Ride Disassembly. Rides are taken apart and components are brought into the shop for cleaning, inspection and ‘non-destructive’ testing. Worn parts are replaced, paint touch-ups are done, and the rides are reassembled back in the park. Fun fact: Drop Tower is one of the few rides whose passenger seats are stored indoors over the winter.
- Wooden Coaster Inspection. The Mighty Canadian Minebuster and the Wild Beast receive a little extra TLC each year. The wooden rollercoasters get inspected and repaired by our ride carpenters and worn track gets replaced. Did you know even though a rollercoaster is wooden, its track is made of steel?
- Paint Touch-Ups. The park’s signs, buildings and structures, roller coaster and ride cars get spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, if needed.
- Refurbishment of Wonder Mountain. As part of a multi-year project, Canada’s Wonderland is bringing new life to our flagship centrepiece. This year’s focus is on replacing steel beams in the mountain’s interior, waterproofing and installing a new roof, and undertaking a complete renovation of the mountain’s public washrooms.
- Ride Evacuation Training and Drills. In the unlikely event of an emergency, staff are trained in the evacuation procedures for both flat rides and roller coasters. Evacuation drills take place multiple times throughout the year, not just in the off-season.
- Food Donation. We don’t let good food go to waste. After the season ends, we donate perishable food items to local food banks to help feed those in need.
- Water Maintenance. Once the season ends, the fountain on International Street, the Wonder Mountain pool, Splash Works, Arthur’s Baye, Swan Lake and other man-made water features are drained. The Vortex lake is lowered, while the Behemoth lake and adjoining creeks are left to freeze over the winter.
- Winterize the Gardens. The gorgeous park landscape requires some serious muscle work before the temperature falls. Some 58,375 flowers are dug up, 130 hanging baskets are emptied and 57 garden beds are turned over by hand. Compost and sand are mixed in to ready the soil for spring. We also blow out the irrigation systems so the pipes don’t freeze when temperatures fall below zero.
- Menu Tasting. Each winter, our Food & Beverage team looks at new food trends and begins menu tasting in order to bring new food options to the park. With over 100 menu items available, new and delicious additions are made each season.
So while it may seem like park employees get an extended vacation during the winter months, they’re actually very busy preparing not only for the winter, but for the upcoming year ahead.
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