Usage of Trees at Amusement Parks

Usage of Trees at Amusement Parks

Introduction

This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to look at the usage of trees at amusement parks. The amusement parks of discussion this week will be Canada’s Wonderland, Dorney Park, and Kings Island.

Here is a view of the trees located within Action Zone at Canada's Wonderland in October. The three trees have red leaves and the sky is blue with white fluffy clouds.
Trees located beside Orbiter in Action Zone on a nice warm October day.

While spending a day at the amusement park, you may seek refuge from the heat of the sun under a tree, keeping cool in its shade. There is more to trees than just a source of shade as they are found among the landscape. Interestingly enough, the usage of trees can significantly give an amusement park a certain kind of aspect. This certain aspect cannot be experienced at amusement parks lacking trees.. In the following paragraphs we will discuss those specific aspects that trees produce. Let us first take a look at the “outback” sections that Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island have to offer.

 

The Forests of the Parks

As visitors venture towards the back of the parks, they will come across a forest-like section. White Water Canyon at Canada’s Wonderland and Rivertown at Kings Island offer the aspect of seclusion unlike any other sections at the parks. Many thrilling rides and attractions are home to these sections. The signature attraction that operates at both parks is the White Water Canyon river rapids ride. First, we will take a look at the usage of trees in the White Water Canyon section at Canada’s Wonderland.

White Water Canyon at Canada’s Wonderland

The White Water Canyon section at Canada’s Wonderland debuted in 1984. Interestingly enough, a ride of the same name is the star attraction of the section. The White Water Canyon is a river rapids ride manufactured by Intamin of Switzerland. It consists of a long concrete channel and rafts that meander throughout the forest-like section. As passengers ride White Water Canyon, they may feel as if they’re actually traveling along a roaring river. The bush of trees that surrounds White Water Canyon is quite dense, often obstructing the view of the park.

Here is a view of some visitors navigating down White Water Canyon's water channel in a six passenger raft. The water channel is surrounded by green trees.
Here are some visitors navigating down the water channel of White Water Canyon.

The White Water Canyon section at Canada’s Wonderland is also home to another water ride known as Timberwolf Falls. It was manufactured by Hopkins and has been drenching riders since 1989. Timberwolf Falls is also semi-secluded from the rest of the park due to the great amount of trees. Visitors can also feel a sense of isolation as they eat at the Roadside Chicken eatery or walk along the path between Action Zone and White Water Canyon. The trees within White Water Canyon also complement the buildings that have a rustic look and design. You will come to discover that Rivertown at Kings Island has the same sense of seclusion and old time charm.

 

Rivertown at Kings Island

The Rivertown section at Kings Island has been a somewhat prominent section of the park since opening year in 1972. Rivertown replicates the look of an old logging town. This is evident as the buildings and other theming within the section reflect that of a bygone era. The Rivertown section offers seclusion by many trees that have been there for years. The Rivertown section has been home to the KI and Miami Valley Railroad since opening day.

Here is a view of the KI and Miami Valley Railroad's green steam locomotive pulling into the Rivertown Station at Kings Island. The station is densely surrounded by green trees and foliage.
The KI and Miami Valley Railroad green locomotive pulling into the Rivertown station at Kings Island.

The KI and Miami Valley Railroad is miniature railroad that features two steam locomotives. It has been taking passengers throughout the forested area of Rivertown now for 45 years. Along the forested track, visitors can view the remnants of a western village. They can also view Fort Coney, that was built long before the park existed. Originally, the KI and Miami Valley Railroad traveled a loop only making one stop in the Rivertown section. Since the introduction of the Soak City water park in 1989, the train has been making stops to pick up and drop off passengers there as well.

Here is a view from the green train on the KI and Miami Valley Railroad at Kings Island. The train is surrounded by many trees and foliage which is green.
An on-ride view looking into the forest of Rivertown at Kings Island.

 

Increasing Popularity of Rivertown

Interestingly enough, it was not until 1979 that Rivertown had become a very popular section of the park, due to one particular attraction. In April of 1979, The Beast was introduced. It sends riders into terror as they travel along the 7,359 feet of wooden track throughout the forested Rivertown section. The Beast was regarded as the World’s longest wooden coaster when it opened, and still claims this title to this day.

While riding The Beast, one may come to forget that they are at Kings Island due to the forested nature of the back section of the park. Passengers may only notice the rest of the park once they crest the second lift hill before plummeting into the double helix prior to returning to the station. Six years after the introduction of The Beast, White Water Canyon debuted in 1985. The White Water Canyon is a river rapids ride very similar to the one found at Canada’s Wonderland. Many trees surround the ride, giving passengers a sense of seclusion.

Here is John Brooks standing in front of The Beast's sign at Kings Island. The ground is laid with brown cobblestone brick with a wooden mesh fence behind.
Here I am in front of The Beast at Kings Island after taking a thrilling ride on it.

The Rest of Rivertown

As we continue our way through Rivertown, there is an original log flume ride that has been splashing riders prior to Kings Island’s grand opening in 1972. The Race for Your Life Charlie Brown log flume sits on the edge of Rivertown. It had previously operated at Coney Island in Cincinnati prior to opening at Kings Island. The Race for Your Life Charlie Brown log flume features a water channel that sits above the ground as the log-shaped boats roam along, eventually leading to a splashdown finale.  Trees also densely surround the log flume, just like the rest of the rides and attractions in Rivertown, giving it a secluded feel.

It is important to note before we move on that Rivertown was previously home to the Kenton Cove rowing boats and the Kenton Cove Keelboat Canal log flume. Both of these attractions were heavily surrounded by the landscape of trees as well.

 

In 2009, another major attraction opened known as Diamondback. The Diamondback is a hyper roller coaster manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard. It features a 230 foot tall lift hill. After passengers descend down the 230 foot hill, they maneuver through Rivertown at speeds up to 80 mph (128 km/h). Diamondback’s lift hill is one of the only parts of the coaster that sticks out high above the surrounding tree line. Surprisingly, another coaster will be calling Rivertown home this spring. Mystic Timbers is a wooden coaster that situates itself among the trees in Rivertown, thrilling all those who take a ride. Now, let us take a look at an amusement park that is home to a mecca of trees in Pennsylvania.

Here is a view of Diamondback as seen from the KI and Miami Valley Railroad at Kings Island. The Diamondback has red track and brown supports.
A view of Diamondback as seen from the red train on the KI and Miami Valley Railroad at Kings Island.

 

The Amusement Park of Allentown

Dorney Park is an amusement park operating in Allentown, Pennsylvania that opened in 1884. As visitors arrive to Dorney Park for the day, they will come to notice the limited view of the rides and attractions from afar. The amount of hills in and around the park also affects the view of the rides. Despite the trees affecting the view looking in, you will immediately become immersed by the beauty of the trees once you enter the park.

Here is a view of the roller coasters at Dorney Park standing tall above the surrounding trees.
The roller coasters of Dorney Park peeking out above the trees on this nice summer’s day.
Here is a view of Dominator at Dorney Park standing tall above the trees. Dominator is a tall white tower ride that shoots passengers safely into the air.
Dominator at Dorney Park standing tall above the surrounding trees. Steel Force is in the background. Demon Drop is the aqua blue tower next to Dominator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only truly themed section of the park is the children’s section, Planet Snoopy. The rest of the park, including Wild Water Kingdom, the park’s water park is quite generic but, also quite unique in its own way. The uniqueness at Dorney Park is created by the amount of trees spread throughout the park. The tree placement at Dorney Park creates a somewhat relaxing but thrilling atmosphere all at the same time.

The Feeling of Yesteryear

In a World of modern technology, Dorney Park is able to retain the old amusement park feel of yesteryear. This is mostly in part by the great amount of trees which gives the park an antiquated and somewhat isolated impression for visitors. Not only do the trees add beauty to the park but, they also complement the rides that operate at Dorney Park. The Monster, Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Ferris Wheel are perfect examples of this. The trees really make these classic rides stand out and create for quite a thrilling experience.

 

Visitors can truly feel as if they’ve stepped back in time as they walk down the path nearby Thunderhawk, the park’s wooden roller coaster. Thunderhawk opened in 1924 making it one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the World. Trees line the path that interacts with Thunderhawk as strings of lights run along Thunderhawk’s track, making it highly attractive a night. The combination of trees and lights makes way for the ultimate vintage amusement park atmosphere.

Here is a view of one of Thunderhawk's trains climbing the lift hill in the evening. The Thunderhawk is a wooden roller coaster that is painted white.
One of Thunderhawk’s trains climbing up the lift hill on a beautiful evening in June.

Water Rides and Trees

As we venture throughout the rest of Dorney Park, you will come to notice the abundance of trees that are nearby two of the three water rides. The trees mostly hide Thunder Creek Mountain and Thunder Canyon, which are the park’s log flume and river rapids. The usage of the trees alongside these water rides creates the illusion of actually flowing down a raging river. Finally, the trees also serve as a purpose of shade for passengers riding the water rides on a hot summer’s day.

Here is a view of a yellow coloured raft on Thunder Canyon navigating the large waterfalls at Dorney Park.
A view of Thunder Canyon from the Cedar Creek Cannonball train at Dorney Park as a raft navigates the water falls and rapids.
Here is a view of the Thunder Creek Mountain log flume station platform. It is densely surrounded by green trees.
The station platform for the Thunder Creek Mountain log flume at Dorney Park.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the usage of trees at amusement parks plays a huge role in regards to landscaping. Trees more than just serve as a source of shade. They beautify the landscape and give amusement parks an amazing atmosphere that varies at each amusement park. I hope you enjoyed this week’s topic of the usage of trees at amusement parks! Be sure to come back next week as we’ll be looking at the landscaping throughout the seasons at amusement parks! Until next week, be sure to check out the beautiful Fall foliage of Kings Island back in November of 2002 thanks Paul Drabek via Negative G.

Flower and Shrub Arrangements at Amusement Parks

Flower and Shrub Arrangements at Amusement Parks

Introduction

This week on Art of Amusement Parks we are going to look at flower and shrub arrangements at amusement parks. The amusement parks we’ll be looking at this week are Canada’s Wonderland, Dorney Park, and Kings Island.

Main Flower and Shrub Arrangements

Flower and shrub arrangements are what make amusement parks very beautiful during those warm summer months. Some of these flower and shrub arrangements are less refine or very luxurious making way for picture perfect opportunities. During last week’s post, we made mention of the Royal Fountains at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island. At the front of both Royal Fountains at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island are some very attractive floral arrangements. The floral arrangement at Kings Island consists of a wonderful arrangement of colourful annuals.

Here is a photo of the flower arrangement found at Kings Island.
Here is a partial view of the flower arrangement on display once you enter he front gate at Kings Island. From left to right is my friend Travis, myself, and my twin brother Scott. This photo was taken during June 2016 by a kind passerby.

 

Whereas the floral arrangement found at Canada’s Wonderland features the Canadian flag. The Canadian flag floral emblem features red, white, and creamy yellow perennials. Both floral arrangements are the focus of attention as visitors enter the parks for the day.

Here is a view of the floral Canadian Flag at Canada's Wonderland on International Street. The flag displays a red and white flower arrangement.
The floral Canadian flag on International Street at Canada’s Wonderland.

 

When we continue alongside the Royal Fountains at Canada’s Wonderland, you notice the rows of shrubs and marigold flowers. The shrubs and marigolds enhance the experience for visitors as they walk alongside the Royal Fountains on International Street. Visitors can also observe the shrubs and marigold flowers as they eat at one of the fountain side patio tables. In turn, visitors at Kings Island can also enjoy the rowed shrubs alongside the Royal Fountains.

Here is a view of the flower and shrub arrangements along the Royal Fountains at Canada's Wonderland.
The marigold flowers and shrubs that line the Royal Fountains at Canada’s Wonderland.

Iconic Shrub Formations at Kings Island

Speaking of shrubs at Kings Island, let ‘s take a look at the iconic and magnificent shrub arrangements at the park. The two iconic shrub arrangements are found nearby the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Carousel. The first shrub arrangement that visitors come across is the giant iconic Living Liberty Bell. The Living Liberty Bell has been a huge tradition as well as a photo spot for many years at Kings Island. Another iconic shrub formation tradition also found nearby is the Floral Date. The Floral Date consists of a flower and shrub combination. The Floral Date tells visitors as what day it is they are visiting the park. It also serves as an amazing photo opportunity for visitors as they can have a photo captured in front.

Here is a view of the Floral Date at Kings Island. It consists of a flower and shrub arrangement.
The Floral Date at Kings Island on July 9th, 2014.
Here is a view of the Living Liberty bell at Kings island. It is a large hanging shrub shaped as a bell.
Here is the Living Liberty Bell at Kings Island. The left photo shows the Living Liberty Bell on July 9th, 2014 and the photo of the right shows it on June 16th, 2016.

Kings Island’s Floral Clock

Since we have just discussed the Floral Date, let us take a look at the Floral Clock. The Floral Clock has also been a signature feature of the landscaping efforts at Kings Island since opening year as it rests behind the Eiffel Tower. Not only is the Floral Clock a decorative landscape piece, it also tells visitors the time as it’s large arms move around, just like a regular clock.

 

Interestingly enough, the idea for the Floral Clock at Kings Island derived from its precursor, Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Floral Clock at Kings Island is a large round clock with large arms covered in ivy. Throughout the years, it appears that the floral design changes as noted in the comparative photo below. Although its appearance changes every so often, it still manages to successfully tell the time throughout the years. It is also serves a perfect place to capture a group photo of your visit. Now that we looked at the most extravagant floral and shrub landscaping elements, let’s now take a look at the less refined ones.

Here is a view of the floral clock at Kings Island. The Floral clock features a flower arrangement.
Here is the Floral clock at Kings Island. The photo on the left is of the Floral Clock on July 9th, 2014 and the photo of the right is of the Floral Clock on June 16th, 2016.

More Attractive Flowerbeds and Shrubbery at Canada’s Wonderland

As we venture back to Canada’s Wonderland for a little while, you will come to notice many subtle yet attractive flowerbeds and shrubs. Many of these flowerbeds are not only found alongside paths, but also ride queue lines and the rides as well. A few very well implemented examples of flowerbeds can be found throughout the park. These examples include the flowerbeds nearby the Kidzville Station ride, the flowerbed along the way to Planet Snoopy from Medieval Faire, and the flowers right beside Shockwave nearby the queue line. In late May, the flowers are planted. They tend to keep their beauty until the end of October as the park closes fro the season.

Here is a view of the Kidzville Station ride with an arrangement of flowers nearby. The flowers are pink and red in colour.
Kidzville Station at Canada’s Wonderland with a flowerbed nearby.
Here is a view of multi-coloured marigold flowers nearby the entrance to Planet Snoopy at Canada's Wonderland. The flower arrangement consists of orange, yellow, and red marigolds.
Flowerbed consisting of various coloured marigolds nearby the entrance to Planet Snoopy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a view of vibrant red flowers nearby Shockwave at Canada's Wonderland.
Vibrant red flowers located nearby Shockwave’s queue line.

 

 

 

Judging by my own personal observation earlier in the 2016 season, a landscaping crew at Canada’s Wonderland can effectively make up a beautiful small flowerbed in half an hour or less. It sure takes a lot of team work and dedication to make Canada’s Wonderland such a beautiful place as expressed through landscaping. Canada’s Wonderland is home to many other beautiful flowerbeds, so many in fact that we could not mention all of them here. You will have to visit Canada’s Wonderland yourself to take in the true beauty of the park.

More Shrubs at Canada’s Wonderland

There are also many shrubs that dot the park’s landscape as well, some of which that are worth mentioning. The greatest examples of shrubbery at Canada’s Wonderland apart from International Street is when you venture from International Street towards Action Zone. As you walk along there, you will notice the low lying shrubs that attractively line the paths heading into Action Zone. Visitors may not notice the shrub arrangements but, they do subconsciously enhance the visitors’ experience.

Flowerbeds at Dorney Park

Interestingly enough, not all flowers added within the parks are colourful and bright. Dorney Park in Pennsylvania displays a great example of this. Dorney Park is a smaller amusement park located north of Philadelphia, in Allentown. The park is shaded with a great amount of foliage. Not all annual flowers can bear this amount of shade. Instead of giving up, Dorney Park has added many beautiful hosta plants within the flowerbeds alongside the paths. Hosta plants do not produce much colour but, they do provide wonderful pinkish-purple chutes once they do bloom. Ground cover flowers that can also bear the shade also line the flowerbeds.  Along with the shade bearing flowers, are some lively shrubs that capture the attention of visitors as they enjoy their day at the park.

Here is a view of shrubs and flowers that line a path at Dorney Park. The shrubs are green.
The Flowers and shrubs that line a path at Dorney Park on June 25th, 2015.

Conclusion

As you now know, flower and shrub arrangements make the landscape at amusement parks beautiful. Next time you’re at an amusement park, be sure to take in the beauty of flowers that make amusement parks such stunning places. Next week, we will be looking at the usage of trees at amusement parks. This will sure be a topic you do not want to miss! Until next week, be sure to check out these stunning photos of the landscaping at Canada’s Wonderland during May 2012 thanks to Paul Drabek via Negative G.

Addition of Fountains at Amusement Parks

Addition of Fountains at Amusement Parks

Introduction

In the previous post, we looked at and discussed the natural landscape features at amusement parks. These natural features consisted of ponds and streams at Canada’s Wonderland.  This week, I am here to discuss the addition of fountains at amusement parks. Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island will be the amusement parks of subject throughout this post.

Just like ponds and streams, fountains play a huge role in terms of landscaping at amusement parks. Fountains tend to have a soothing and relaxing sound as the water trickles, hitting the pool of water below. Many of these fountains can be the main feature attraction as you enter the park for the day. They may also be alongside paths, or interacting with some of the largest rides within the park. In the next following paragraphs, we will look at some interesting fountains located at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island.

Here is a photo of the Royal Fountains at Canada's Wonderland. There is a family standing in front of the fountains. There are willow trees lining the fountains.
The Royal Fountains in mid height at Canada’s Wonderland.

 

The Major Fountains

First, let us take a look at the two main fountains that Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island have in common. Visitors are greeted by the Royal Fountains when they enter either park for the day. These fountains have been a part of the decorative landscaping at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island since 1981 and 1972, respectively.
The Royal Fountains impress many visitors each year as they are central of International Street. They lead their way up to the iconic formations of the parks. Those formations are a 1/3 quarter scale Eiffel Tower at Kings Island standing 300 feet tall and Wonder Mountain at Canada’s Wonderland which overlooks International Street. Wonder Mountain is also home to three roller coasters. The Royal Fountains are not only beautiful during the day. They come to life at night as coloured lights illuminate onto the fountains, creating a dazzling display for all to see.

Here is a view of the Royal Fountains at Kings Island. There are three rows of fountains in a pool. Standing behind is a replica of the Eiffel tower.
The Royal Fountains at Kings Island.

 

Also, Wonder Mountain has Victoria Falls emitting tons of water off the front, flowing into the Royal Fountains. The only add to the spectacular display. It is of note to mention that Victoria Falls is also home to Victoria Falls’ High Divers who dive off Wonder Mountain from Victoria Day until Labour Day each season. Branching out from International Street at both Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island, let us take a look at fountains which interact with some of the parks’ feature attractions.

 

Beyond International Street

When we venture behind Wonder Mountain at Canada’s Wonderland, you will notice a red suspended roller coaster known as Vortex. Vortex has been operating since 1991. Vortex operates within the International Festival section of the park. From 1991 until early 2016, Vortex operated without water fountains near the helices which go over the stream. It was not until July 2016 they were added as Vortex celebrated 25 years of operation in 2016. The addition of the water fountains definitely add to the park’s landscape as well as make Vortex even more photogenic. Although the water fountains added do not interact with Vortex, they do add to the visual experience as Vortex’s trains race by, only nearly missing the trains keeping the passengers dry.

Here is a photo of a fountain located next to the Vortex roller coaster at Canada's Wonderland. The roller coaster is red.
One of the two fountains located nearby Vortex at Canada’s Wonderland.

 

Here is a photo of Diamondback's trains going through the splashdown element. Diamondback is red and brown.
Here is one of Diamondback’s trains going through the splashdown element.

When you venture out to the Rivertown section of the park at Kings Island, you are greeted by the Diamondback roller coaster. Diamondback opened in 2009 at Kings Island and has a very special illusion you do not find on many steel roller coasters. Diamondback’s special illusion is the splashdown effect. From a bystander’s point of view, it would appear that the passengers on Diamondback would get soaked, especially judging by the name of the element. But in fact, the passengers stay completely dry while the train whizzes through the splashdown element, as it approaches the final brake-run. Although, I am sure that many would agree the splashdown element would be welcoming on those hot Ohio summer days.

 

The Fountains in Action Zone at Canada’s Wonderland

As we venture back to Canada’s Wonderland, let’s head over to the Acton Zone section of the park. Action Zone is home to some of the park’s most decorative fountains, even though they have been altered over time. Back in 1981, Action Zone opened with the park as Grande World Exposition of 1890. It showcased rides and attractions themed to many (former and current) countries of the World. For the 2002 season, The Grande World Exposition of 1890 would receive a re-theme to its current theme, Action Zone. Originally, the two fountains located within Action Zone were very decorative. These two fountains continue to enhance the experience of visitors as they add to the landscape. The first fountain is located nearby the Antique Carousel.

 

The second fountain in Action Zone is located across from the Fighter Town Funnel Cakes shop. Although both of these fountains are constructed of concrete, fenced off with low black railings, and the interior painted a light blue. These fountains are rather relaxing and appealing as the water trickles in the pool below.

The Medieval Faire Fountain

Before we head back to Kings Island, let’s quickly venture through the rest of Canada’s Wonderland, looking at the rest of the fountains that dot the park’s landscape. As we leave Action Zone and head across International Street, we arrive at the Medieval Faire section of the park. Once you have arrived, you will notice an extremely decorative medieval themed fountain. This fountain, located outside of Wonderland Theatre has been catching the attention of visitors since the park’s opening in 1981. It has been the focus of photo opportunities throughout the years as well, as it features a knight slaying a dragon atop the fountain. Also, there is pseudo styled messages engraved near the base of the fountain warning visitors not to take a drink.

The Medieval themed fountain located outside of Wonderland Theatre at Canada's Wonderland. The fountain features a night slaying a dragon atop the fountain.
The Medieval themed fountain located outside of Wonderland Theatre at Canada’s Wonderland.

More Fountains Within Medieval Faire

As we continue to tour Medieval Faire, there is another fountain to the left, located within Arthur’s Bay. Although it enhances the landscape and the atmosphere, this fountain is mostly keeps the water flowing and deters the algae from growing in the pond. Further along in the Mediaval Faire section, we come across Leviathan’s sign to our right. Leviathan opened in 2012 as Canada’s tallest and fastest coaster, at a whopping 306 feet, reaching speeds up to 92 mph (148 km/h). The coaster’s sign features the head of the mythological Leviathan, with a slowly tickly rock formation fountain below. Leviathan’s fountain as well is a spot to create memories as many visitors stop and take a photo during their visit.

Planet Snoopy Fountains

Here is a photo of one of the fountains located nearby the Planet Snoopy bridge.
One of the fountains located near the Planet Snoopy bridge.

Now, let’s detour to the Planet Snoopy section of the park before travelling 8 hours back to Kings Island in Ohio. As you cross the rainbow coloured bridge into the child friendly Planet Snoopy, you a greeted with the soothing, trickling sound of the water fountains located in the pond below on both sides of the bridge. These fountains also act as a decorative part of landscaping, while circulating the water to keep the algae from forming.

Travelling Back to Kings Island

Now, we are heading back to Kings Island to look at one last fountain. This fountain been a part of the decorative landscaping efforts at Kings Island since opening day back in 1972. Located within the Oktoberfest section of the park, located off to the left of International Street, is the Oktoberfest pond. The large fountain is visible to visitors within the Oktoberfest section. It is visible to them either from the pathways nearby or from the Bier Garten patio.

 

Visitors to Kings Island may also notice the large fountain while they ride Viking’s Fury. It is a large swinging ship ride that swings over the far edge of the Oktoberfest pond. This fountain, due to its large size is quite photogenic, especially when the Vikings Fury is operating.

The Conclusion and Beyond

I hope you enjoyed learning about the addition of water fountains at amusement parks! Next week, we’re heading land bound and taking a look at flower and shrub arrangements at amusement parks. It sure will whet your appetite for the beauty of landscaping at amusement parks! In the meantime, be sure to follow along on our Facebook page!

Natural Landscape Features at Amusement Parks

Natural Landscape Features at Amusement Parks

This week here on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to discuss natural landscape features at amusement parks. The amusement park of focus this week is Canada’s Wonderland, located in Vaughan, Ontario.

Natural Landscape Features at Canada’s Wonderland

Canada’s Wonderland is an amusement park which is home to many natural landscape attributes. The main feature are rides and roller coasters that thrill and delight many visitors each season.  But, there are also natural features at the park which indirectly delight visitors as well. Some visitors may never notice these natural features as they are quite busy riding rides but, they may notice on they take a break from the thrills. Whenever a visitor at an amusement park notices these natural landscape features, they are always there, even during the off-season. These natural landscape features consist of mostly ponds and streams. Trees are also seen as a natural landscape features. But, for the purpose of this article they will not be mentioned here but, in a future article.

Ponds As a Natural Landscape Feature

As mentioned earlier, ponds at amusement parks usually are a natural feature. This is the case regardless of whether or not they were expanded upon, as long as there is a natural water source constantly feeding the pond. At my home park, Canada’s Wonderland they have a couple of ponds which are fed by a natural stream. The stream begins north of the park and keeps a constant level of water, even during some of the of the hottest and driest of summers.

Here is a photo of a ride at Canada's Wonderland known as The Rage as it swings over Arthur's Bay. Arthur's bay is a landscape feature. The water is green and brown, whereas the ride is brown. The sky is blue with some white fluffy clouds.
The Rage and Arthur’s Bay at Canada’s Wonderland.

The First Pond

The first pond I am going to discuss is located within the Medieval Faire section of the park, where it is known as Arthur’s Bay. It has been home to many different stunt diving shows throughout the years. It is even home to a ride known as The Rage, which has been swinging over Arthur’s Bay since 1981. Arthur’s Bay connects to the stream which runs throughout roughly the center of the park leading towards Rutherford Road. The stream which runs throughout the center of the park interacts with rides and pedestrian bridges found along the paths. The stream also connects with other ponds which can be found throughout the park.

The Second Pond

The second pond of discussion can be found within the Planet Snoopy section of the park. It is home to a ride which many children enjoy, known as Swan Lake. If it was not for the natural stream running throughout the park, Swan Lake may not exist, as it requires water to operate the guided track that propels the swan-like boats around the pond. Swan Lake has been operating successfully for 35 years now thanks to the constant flow of the natural stream. Now, following the stream from Swan Lake towards Rutherford Road, takes us to the largest pond within the park. But, before we travel further down the stream, let’s take a look at some creatures that call the stream home.

This is a photo of the stream within the landscape at Canada's Wonderland that flows nearby the Pro Putt Mini Golf Course. Within the photo there are willow trees near the stream with a yellow and blue roller coaster in the distance. The grass is green and the water is brown as it is natural water.
The stream located nearby Pro Putt Mini Golf Course at Canada’s Wonderland.

Creatures Within The Stream

Apart from the Canadian geese flocking to the stream’s bed, causing quite a mess, there are more majestic creatures who flow among the stream. These creature are found in the Action Zone section of the park, located nearby the Mighty Canadian Minebuster roller coaster.

The creatures in discussion are carp, which appear to be really over-sized goldfish. The carp are easily seen by visitors as they fight the current of the stream as they flow underneath the pedestrian bridge located nearby Mighty Canadian Minebuster. Visitors also see the carp further down the stream nearby the Backlot Stunt Coaster, just prior to the largest pond at Canada’s Wonderland. The carp captivate the attention of visitors both young and old, making a picture perfect scene for many visitors.

After the section of the stream that features the carp, we head towards the largest pond at Canada’s Wonderland.

In this photo are six carp fish in a stream located at Canada's Wonderland. Three of the carp on the left side of the photo are orange in colour and the three on the right are yellow in colour.
Carp in the stream at Canada’s Wonderland.

The Third Pond

The third pond has mostly served as a non-special landscaping feature since 1981. Motorists on Wonderland Drive or those riding Mighty Canadian Minebuster prior to 2008 could only see the pond. Behemoth opened in 2008 as Canada’s tallest roller coaster, at a jaw dropping height of 230 feet. Behemoth situates itself next to the large pond. It is believed by many to only intensify the ride experience of Behemoth. The passengers appear to be going for a drink even though Behemoth has no interaction with the pond. After the stream flows through the third pond, it exits the park. The stream then continues on its way heading southbound towards the rest of Vaughan and beyond.

So as you can see, the major stream that winds its way through Canada’s Wonderland plays a huge role in creating and shaping the landscape. The stream ultimately enhances the visitor’s experience during their visit. I hope you enjoyed this week’s segment of natural landscape features at amusement parks. Next week, we will look at another wet and wild topic, the addition of fountains at amusement parks. Until next time, hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

In the meantime, please be sure to checkout my blog which features my visits to amusement parks at www.amusementviews.blogspot.ca!