Skip to Main Content

Building Yukon Striker: Constructing a World-Record Breaking Dive Roller Coaster

Skip to Next Section

Building Yukon Striker: Constructing a World-Record Breaking Dive Roller Coaster

Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

It was only two months ago that Canada’s Wonderland announced it was building a world-record breaking dive roller coaster, and as of mid-October, Yukon Striker’s imposing lift hill and 90-degree, 245-foot drop into an underwater tunnel will be complete. 

The construction project is moving quick – all of the coaster’s track and columns could be finished by the end of 2018 if things go according to plan. But despite the seemingly rapid progress, Yukon Striker has been long in the works.

“We started construction in January of 2018 and will wrap up in April 2019,” said Peter Switzer, Director of Maintenance and Construction for the park. “But the planning timeline took much longer and started back in 2014.”

That’s when the big decisions were made as to what attraction options were available to the park, based on funds, footprint, and things like desired features and height. Site surveys were done to assess how the new ride will interact with existing attractions and park amenities. Geotechnical boreholes extracted soil samples to understand the conditions of the soil. That information was paired with the foundation requirements from the ride manufacturer (Bolliger & Mabillard) so the structural engineer could design the proper concrete foundations to hold up the coaster.

Things really progressed this past winter with the construction of the underwater tunnel.

“That was a pretty major part of the project,” said Switzer. “Logistically, and from a time and cost point of view.”

A diversion channel was built for the man-made ‘lake’ under Vortex, to allow the building of the tunnel but also to help protect the environment by preventing silt runoff downstream. Vortex itself was in the way, so three of its columns and two pieces of track had to be temporarily taken out in order for the tunnel to be built.

The concrete walls, floor and roof were constructed, two pumps installed to keep rainwater out, four pieces of Yukon Striker’s roller coaster track put in, and then the whole thing was fenced off, covered up and hidden from view during the park’s operating season. The tarps were finally removed on Yukon Striker’s announcement day, Aug. 15, 2018.

The construction project involves a lot of different players: the ride manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard from Switzerland, local structural engineers, architects, landscape architects, electrical contractors, iron workers, civil contractors, plus Canada’s Wonderland’s own project management team.

Since the park opened in April for guests, work continued on the Yukon Striker site, with the construction of the ‘pit’ area that houses the main motor and gear box for the lift assembly, as well as the evacuation unit. The loading station began to take form and steel support columns began being erected in August. After Labour Day, when Splash Works closed, the pathway up from Mighty Canadian Minebuster was closed to allow for continued work on the lift hill and building the drop track up from the tunnel.

Land near Timberwolf Falls is being cleared for Yukon Striker’s north end, including a below-grade element where the coaster will take riders for an exhilarating ‘dip’.

There’s much more still to come:

  • More foundations will be cast;
  • Columns and track will be erected;
  • Electrical and pneumatic work continues;
  • Buildings will be constructed, including the loading station;
  • Queue lines, the entrance and exit will be built;
  • Landscaping and planting work will be done;
  • Canopies, lighting and sound systems installed.

All aspects of the roller coaster will then undergo comprehensive testing for several weeks, to have it ready for the first public ride in April of 2019.

Yukon Striker is an impressive engineering feat and will be a breathtaking addition to the landscape and attraction lineup at Canada’s Wonderland next year!

Share This

Grace Peacock

Director of Communications,

Canada's Wonderland

Twitter: @GracePeacock

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

A Parent’s Guide to Camp Spooky

Canada’s Wonderland’s annual daytime Halloween event, Camp Spooky, takes place during weekends from September 30 - October 29, and is located in KidZville and Planet Snoopy areas.
Read More

5 Things to Know About Halloween Haunt

Halloween Haunt is Canada’s premier fall event that will terrorize your thoughts and infect your mind, long after you leave.
Read More

5 things to do with the kids at Camp Spooky this fall

Are you looking for fall activities within the Greater Toronto Area that your whole family can participate in? You’re in luck!
Read More

Our Annual Oktoberfest Street Party Returns for TWO Weekends

There is no need to fly all the way to Germany for Oktoberfest celebrations when you can join us during our 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Festival right here in the Greater Toronto Area!
Read More

Join Our Team: Instill Fear at This Year’s Halloween Haunt

Does the thought of menacing monsters, deranged clowns, and creepy zombies excite you? How about getting paid to inflict fear on helpless mortals? If so, we’ve got just the opportunity for you!
Read More

Last Blast of Summer at Canada's Wonderland

Since late April, the days have been full of family fun in the sun and A LOT of funnel cake. Guests have been enjoying all-new attractions, record-breaking rides, splash zones and waterslides, live entertainment, festivals and even Celebration Canada 150. Even though summer is winding down, we’re not ready to close this chapter on the 2017 season!
Read More

Experience Taste of Italy at Canada’s Wonderland

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore! Canada’s Wonderland’s 2nd Annual Taste of Italy Festival is back and we’re ready to fill your stomachs and have you fall in love with the most delicious food!
Read More

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Season Pass

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: you are now able to purchase your 2018 Canada’s Wonderland Season Pass for only $69.99! The benefits are endless when you become a Passholder and it all begins with enjoying an entire season of unlimited FUN, whenever you want.
Read More

Taste of Greece is Hitting the Streets

Opa! Summer is nowhere near over yet at Canada’s Wonderland. We’re continuing to celebrate the 2017 season with the 2nd Annual Taste of Greece Festival!
Read More

2017 Charity Duck Drive at Canada’s Wonderland

Canada’s Wonderland’s Third Annual Charity Duck Drive has returned in support of the SickKids Foundation.
Read More