Skip to Main Content

Building Yukon Striker is like Building a Ship in a Bottle

Skip to Next Section

Building Yukon Striker is like Building a Ship in a Bottle

Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

It’s official, Yukon Striker’s first world record has been set: the 75-metre, 90-degree drop has been built and is the tallest dive roller coaster drop on the planet.

The steep lift hill and drop were completed and joined last month, and work motored along at the exit of the underground tunnel with the completion of the first exciting inversion, the Immelmann, just this week. (That’s a vertical climb into a half loop, before the track twists into a roll and levels out).

Building a coaster is serious business for the construction crews, but it’s a fun challenge at the same time.

“I tell everyone who comes to the park that building Yukon Striker is like building a ship in a bottle,” said Peter Switzer, Director of Maintenance and Construction.

In the conceptual phase, there was the logistical issue of figuring out where the roller coaster would fit in with the existing rides, venues and amenities. But the challenge also continued beneath the surface of the ground.

“We have quite the extensive infrastructure underground that we have to interface with. We needed to be able to make it work and make it look like this ride had always been there. That’s the challenge for me and the puzzle to solve,” said Switzer.

Everything has to fit, including matching up sensitive schedules to keep the project moving. As Yukon Striker’s track pieces and columns are being manufactured and delivered to the park, the foundations need to be ready in order to erect the steel. The cranes need to be assembled on site and ready to do the job. Many sections of the coaster require assembly and electrical work to be completed on the ground before they can be lifted into place.

The park is now closed for the season, which gives the construction crews much more flexibility in when and where they can be working. But since April, the other big piece of the puzzle was coordinating construction activities around the park’s operating schedule.

For obvious safety reasons, much work was limited while guests were in park walking around and with nearby attractions running. The project was able to propel forward on much of the vertical work once Wonderland went to weekends-only and Splash Works closed, after Labour Day.

But even the five-day construction work-week proved a challenge for some element builds: like the first Immelmann inversion just out the exit of the underground tunnel. Out there by Skyhawk and the Vortex hill, much of the ground is sloped. So that particular element ended up requiring the pathway there to be closed and several different cranes to assist with moving the track pieces over and hoisting them up into position. As the last weekend of operation approached, the pathway had to be cleared and cranes had to be taken out – including one that had been placed in the drained-out Vortex lake. After the weekend, everything was brought back in to pick up where the crew left off. You can imagine the task of disassembling and re-assembling the cranes each time!

With the Immelmann now complete, the construction team is working ahead to the next coaster element: the zero-G roll.

The massive puzzle continues, but it’s starting to take impressive shape!

Share This

Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Our Antique Carrousel Never Looked So Good

Canada's Wonderland's Antique Carrousel get some serious TLC during the off season.
Read More

Season Pass Perks Include Discounts to the ROM, Great Wolf Lodge and More!

Season Pass Perks Include Discounts to the ROM, Great Wolf Lodge and More!
Read More

Looking For A Fun Summer Job? We're Hiring!

It’s a new year, which means a new season is on its way, creating a ton of new opportunities.
Read More

Flashback: Building a Wonderland for the amusement of millions

Travel back to 1980 when Wonderland rose from the ground among the farmland in Maple
Read More

10 Ways the Park Preps for Winter

Just because the gates are closed, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work going on behind-the-scenes!
Read More

Canada’s Wonderland hosts students for Scare School

Who said school was boring? A trip to Canada’s Wonderland can not only be thrilling, but also educational!
Read More

Getting spooked at Camp Spooky

It’s that time of year! Time to get spooked at Camp Spooky at Canada’s Wonderland. The kids haven’t visited Canada’s Wonderland yet this year, so when we got the invite to go we jumped on it.
Read More

Halloween Haunt is an epic scream

I love Halloween. A day of costumes, candy, and creepiness. It is a fun time to bring children together to visit the generous homes in their local neighbourhoods, as well as a fun time for adults to get creative with masquerade balls aplenty.
Read More

See Devil’s Circus, Sentimentalists and Sinner’s Lounge at Halloween Haunt

At Canada’s Wonderland, we have all your scary and creepy cravings covered with our annual Halloween Haunt event. Once you enter the Park after 7 p.m. on weekends, there are over more than 700 monsters and creatures that sneak into your personal space, praying on your deepest fears, and eager to hear your loudest, most blood-curdling screams.
Read More

The Making Of A Halloween Haunt Monster

Blood, blood and more (fake) blood… Canada’s Wonderland’s annual Halloween Haunt attracts not only daring visitors from across Toronto and the GTA, but also all kinds of zombies, ghouls and menacing monsters.
Read More