This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to take a look at the charming landscaping at Fantasy Island of Grand Island, New York. Before we begin to look at this wonderful landscaping, let us first get acquainted with the Niagara Falls area family amusement park. Fantasy Island opened in 1961 as a 12 acre family amusement park. In 1974, the park grew to its current day size of 85 acres. Throughout the years, Fantasy Island continues to entertain and thrill children and adults alike through their immersive collection of rides and attractions. Some of Fantasy Island’s attractions consist of the Silver Comet wooden coaster, the Crazy Mouse, and a water park.
Although the rides are the major attraction of Fantasy Island, the landscaping is just as attractive and unique as you will discover throughout this article. Before we go on to the photos, I would like to thank Logan Benjamin of The Amusement Parkrats for kindly sending his photos my way for the use of this article.
Indian Village at Fantasy Island
There are many charming landscaping scenes to be found at Fantasy Island. Starting off in the Indian Village section of the park, visitors can see teepees, life-sized Native American figurines, and totem poles. Visitors can experience the landscaping of the Indian Village while taking a paddle on the canoes or riding the relaxing Iron Horse Train that travels throughout the park. They can also just stroll through the Indian Village on a nearby path on a beautiful summer day.
The Whimsical Kiddie Land
Another charming collection of landscaping at Fantasy Island can be found in the Kiddie Land section of the park. Kiddie Land features many nursery rhyme and fairytale characters. The characters take older visitors a trip back in time to their childhood. They also allow younger visitors to create new, memorable experiences as they explore the section of the park, dedicated to children of all sizes. Many of the characters found throughout Kiddie Land section date back to when Fantasy Island’s early days. Also, some newer ones have been added over the years only to enhance the experience for the youngest of visitors.
Interactive Landscaping Fun
Children can also take a slide down a shoe, or taking a peer into the iconic whale mouth. The youngest of visitors can even find Humpty Dumpty and Jack and the Bean Stalk (featuring the giant and Jack; climbing the beanstalk) while in Kiddie Land at Fantasy Island.
Other Charming Landscaping Features
Throughout the rest of Fantasy Island, visitors will immediately notice many other landscaping features which are beautiful. Trees found around the park, including some very fascinating small trees make up the additional landscaping. Once they do bloom in the late spring, they make way for a picture perfect opportunity. Historic features at Fantasy Island make way for an excellent rustic sensation. These features consist of fences and even an old train tunnel, to remind visitors of the park’s wonderful past.
That wraps up the look at Fantasy Island’s amazing landscaping features. This park may be small, but it sure is has many highly attractive and charming landscaping features that perfectly compliment the rides and attractions. I would like to thank Logan Benjamin for sending his great photos of Fantasy Island our way! In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest news of Fantasy Island by making your way over to The Amusement Parkrats website!
This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to take a look at some early season landscaping at Canada’s Wonderland. Season Pass Sneak Preview Night is an event held for Season Pass Holders to visit the park before the general public on opening weekend. Season Pass Sneak Preview Night also allows us to see some amazing landscaping efforts early in the season.
International Street Sneak Peek Springtime Landscaping
After a long winter season, Wonder Mountain continues to stand tall overlooking the Royal Fountains. It is a beautiful sight to see, especially as the trees on International Street begin to grow their leaves. Not only do the leaves on trees begin to grow, but so do the leaves on the shrubs that line the beautiful Royal Fountains. This all makes way for a picture perfect moment, especially once the darkness of the night rolls around later in the evening. But, before darkness rolls around, visitors should look at the prettiness of the pansies that sit in place of the Floral Canadian Flag early in the season.
New Landscaping of International Festival
As we venture off of International Street, into International Festival, a new ride known as Soaring Timbers awaits. Along with a new thrill ride, comes some very amazing and stunning landscaping. Soaring Timbers operates where the Pro Putt Mini Golf had operated for 23 years. As many park goers know, willow trees surround the area, which creates tons of shade during the hot summer months. With the removal of some of the older willow trees to make way for Soaring Timbers, new willow trees were put in place nearby. But, it’s not only the willow trees that surround Soaring Timbers. A beautiful water fall formation, along with spectacular cedar rail fences were added in front of Soaring Timbers to relate to the theme of the ride. Also, Soaring Timber’s sign is a piece of the landscape as well as it is held up by strong cedar timbers.
The Old Yet Highly Attractive Landscaping
As we venture around Wonder Mountain, more shrubs sprawl throughout International Festival. The smaller shrubs growalongside the paths nearby Klockwerks, complementing the wooden German themed fences. There are also more shrubs around Wonder Mountain to give it a ‘natural appeal’ while making the park highly attractive. The smaller shrubs truly start to grow once the temperature begins to rise as the summer season nears.
Nighttime Landscaping Spectacular
As the sun begins to set for the evening, some landscaping features come to life as they illuminate at night. This is especially true with International Street as it becomes a magical world of illumination for all visitors to see. The Royal Fountains are truly spectacular as they rise and lower in the multi-coloured light show. International Street is a magical place as the attractive lights string around many trees along the paths.
Landscaping to See at Night
But, it isn’t just International Street that is a spectacle to see when catching thrills at night. The Medieval Faire fountain located in front of Wonderland Theatre illuminates with red lights causing for an eye-catching display. When you venture to Planet Snoopy during this evening, you will notice the attractively illuminated water fountains. These are just a few of the highly attractive landscaping features which are prominently visible while spending an evening at Canada’s Wonderland.
That ends an evening of Season Pass Sneak Preview Night. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at the amazing landscaping efforts put together by Canada’s Wonderland’s landscaping crew. Visiting the park in the evening will amaze you as the landscape appears in spectacular illumination. Until next time, be sure to check out more photos of Season Pass Sneak Preview Night at Canada’s Wonderland thanks to Amusement Views.
This week here on Art of Amusement Parks, we are switching gears and looking at the beautiful springtime landscaping at Carowinds located in Charlotte, North Carolina. I would like to extend great thanks and appreciation to Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel for submitting all the photos for this week’s post!
Spring Is In the Air!
First, let us take a look at the early Springtime season at Carowinds. You know it is springtime when the place where the Carolinas come together begins to spur for the season! Not only do visitors begin to fill the park as rides begin to operate, but the park begins to beautify as a season of thrills begins. Let us take a look at these rather beautiful landscaping features that the landscaping staff at Carowinds puts together each and every season.
Picture Perfect Entrance Sign
As visitors approach the entrance to Carowinds, they are greeted by the beautiful entrance sign. The Carowinds entrance sign was constructed for the 2015 season as an upgrade to the main entrance. This upgrade also involved the addition of the Fury 325 roller coaster. Fury 325 passes underneath the walkway to the entrance as it thrills its passengers and awes onlookers. The entrance sign makes a perfect photo spot for visitors. It not only features the Carowinds logo but also features a beautiful display of miniature shrubs.
Once visitors enter Carowinds, they will immediately notice the beautiful usage of flowers throughout the park. The landscaping team at Carowinds plants hundreds of flowers each and every season. Their hard working efforts help enhance the park’s landscape from Spring through Autumn. Visitors to Carowinds are treated to beautiful arrangements of very colourful tulips that liven up even the dreariest Spring days. Now, let us take a look at more stunning flowerbeds at Carowinds.
Stunning Kaleidoscopic Tulips
Throughout many sections of the park, multi-color tulips treat visitors to a stunning display along the paths in flowerbeds. These tulips also accompany many wonderful shrubs and bushes which line the back of the flowerbeds. The shrubs greatly add emphasis to the beautiful landscaping at Carowinds. Some of the other flowerbeds throughout the parks feature tulips which are of a stunning orange. They really begin to “pop” as the sun begins to shine on them. The tulip is a simple but highly attractive flower that is easily recognizable by even those who are not seasonal horticulturalists. This is due to the distinct “cup” shape that the pedals create.
Beauty After the Spring Season
Throughout the rest of Carowinds, there are some parts of the landscaping that just begin to come alive in the late Spring. Deciduous trees dot the park’s landscape, only creating shade as the hot Carolina Summers begin to arrive. Also, the varieties of flowers found around the park change every season. The change of flowers is in accordance to the temperatures that each season brings. It is noted by park visitors that Carowinds has a stunning flower display all season long.
Excitement Yet to Come
There are some other landscaping features at Carowinds which are present throughout the whole operating season. These landscaping features typically generate excitement in the springtime as summer approaches. These landscape features include some of the park’s attractive, over-sized post cards. These over-sized post cards advertise the beauty of the Carolinas and the park itself. Another landscaping feature includes the animatronic dinosaurs which awe the youngest of park visitors. Carowinds visitors can view the dinosaurs in the Dinosaurs Alive section of the park. The final landscaping feature worth mentioning is the decorative sign which indicates the North Carolina and South Carolina border. The state border surprisingly slices through the center of the park, making it the only park located in two states!
I hope that you greatly enjoyed looking at Carowinds’ beautiful landscaping features in the springtime! I would like to thank Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel once again for submitting her wonderful photos of Carowinds. Until next time, be sure to check outJourney Through Coasters’ trip report from July 2015 which shows some of Carowinds’ landscaping during the summer months.
This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to look at a landscaping feature that often goes unrecognized. It is ever so subtle but just as important as they can keep us safe from harm and injury, or just act as a divider. The feature of discussion this week are walls and fences. Canada’s Wonderland will be the park of focus this week.
The Walls and Fences at Canada’s Wonderland
As mentioned above, walls and fences can keep us safe from injury and harm. They can also act as a simple divider, either giving us privacy or acting as just a way to keep the crowds from walking aimlessly. As you will come to discover, walls and fences are a part of the landscape and can greatly beautify it when used appropriately and effectively. This time around, we’re going to give a reverse tour of the park. So, let’s begin by starting in Planet Snoopy and Kidzville.
The Whimsical Walls and Fences of Planet Snoopy
When you arrive at Planet Snoopy, the largest children’s section of the park, you will come to notice the bridge that crosses over the stream. It isn’t just any bridge but a small bridge with an arch that has a stone walls running alongside it. The stone walls feature stones which present a vast array of pastel colours, generating excitement within the youngest of visitors as they walk under the rainbow arch. Once across the bridge, the wonderful array of pastel colours does not end there. It continues along the miniature steel rail fences that line the paths within Planet Snoopy which sport the colours of purple and red pastel colours. The miniature steel fences are highly appealing and add to the landscape by giving it a sense of energy and excitement.
Passing Through The Graveyard to Ghoster Coaster
When you venture towards Ghoster Coaster, Canada’s Wonderland’s family wooden roller coaster, the smallest of visitors experience a slight sense of terror. This is caused by the surrounding scenery and landscaping involving a graveyard, including the wooden picket fence that weaves throughout Ghoster Coaster’s queue line. The short picket fences are almost like the ones in the older horror films as one approaches an abandoned house. On an interesting note, Ghoster Coaster’s queue line originally featured a steel rod fence that was removed sometime after the 2013 season. It is presumed that it was bent out of shape due to the constant climbing of children over the years. So, a newer and just as attractive picket fence took its place.
The Nostalgia of Kidzville
When we make our way over to Kidzville, the miniature steel rod fences continue, keeping the little ones out of trouble. These fences also host the pastel colours as seen in Planet Snoopy, creating a child-friendly experience. The miniature steel rod fences also give a sense of nostalgia in combination with the cedar trees that line the paths within Kidzville nearby Planet Snoopy. As we make our way throughout the rest of Kidzville the fences become taller as we approach the White Water Canyon section of the park.
Once visitors arrive in the White Water Canyon section, they will immediately notice wooden rail fences that line the paths. The rail fences are highly effective in White Water Canyon as they reflect the days of an old logging town. The wooden rail fences also present visitors with a rustic feel and a slight sense of abandonment alongside the forested area as they approach the main water ride, White Water Canyon. White Water Canyon is also home to some tall dark-green wooden fences, nearby the washrooms in White water Canyon.
Taste of Bavaria
Now, we’re making a turn and heading up the path into International Festival. The wooden rail fences continue their way into International Festival along the path leading nearby Vortex. International Festival is quite a delight to the eyes as a couple of the rides have painted fences with beautiful notches of true Bavarian style. In front of the entrance to Thunder Run, there are some basic but effective post fences with a chain running along the posts. These post chain fences also run along the bushes that grow alongside Wonder Mountain.
Entering Action Zone
As we make our way across the bridge in front of Wonder Mountain and down the path towards the entrance, you will notice the eye-catching entrance of Action Zone. The entrance consists of white concrete pillars on both sides of the entrance with black metal decorative railings. The black metal decorative railings attach to the wooden fence that runs along behind the buildings on International Street. Connecting from the concrete pillars leading into Action Zone are white wooden fences. These wooden fences liven up the landscape at the park especially with the placement of the shrubs in front.
The Old World Charm
Action Zone was originally known as The Grande World Exposition of 1890 from 1981 until 2001. It was rejuvenated as Action Zone in 2002 as a plethora of new thrills made their way in, replacing some of the much loved attractions. Action Zone still has some fences that represent old World charm. One of these fences acts as a privacy screen for those eating on the patio at the Backlot Café. The beautiful lattice fence was rebuilt for the 2016 season, replacing the one that was well-weathered.
Decorative Fences of Action Zone
Throughout the remainder of Action Zone, you can find black metal fence railings lining the rides and queue paths. Taller black metal railing fences can be found around Kingswood Music Theatre. You can also find singular chain metal post fences that mostly serve as a decorative piece around the flowerbeds. Also, visitors waiting in line for Time Warp will notice the old, rustic looking wooden fence. The wooden fence acts as a part of the landscape and also hides the service roads behind. Now, let us make our final stop of this tour where the walls and fences are arguably the most decorative at Canada’s Wonderland.
Land of Knights
As we venture across International Street, we come to Medieval Faire. It is a section themed around the days of the medieval era. The main entrance to Medieval Faire is very decorative and livens up the landscape as it features a castle drawbridge. Convincing castle spires sit-atop the castle drawbridge entrance. Along both sides of the castle drawbridge are authentic looking castle walls that greatly compliment the castle drawbridge entrance.
Arthur’s Bay Stone Wall
Once further inside Medieval Faire, visitors can discover even more eye-appealing walls that replicate the glory medieval days. A beautiful authentic looking medieval –made wall surrounds Arthur’s Bay. The low wall surrounding Arthur’s Bay is made of stone and looks like a castle wall. It has the notches, along with chains hanging between the notches. The low stone wall also allows visitors to view the diving show without any obstructions. One of the most appealing features along the stone wall around Arthur’s Bay is a miniature lookout. This miniature lookout is located along the wall nearby The Rage. It perfectly complements the medieval theming found throughout the section.
With that, our tour of walls and fences found at Canada’s Wonderland comes to an end. I hope you enjoyed looking at the subtle, yet stunning aspect of the landscape at amusement parks. Next week’s blog post will be a surprise so, stay tuned for hints on our Facebook and Twitter accounts! In the meantime, be sure to check out 2016 photos of the beautiful landscape at Canada’s Wonderland thanks to CoasterCircuits.
Our first post looked at the natural landscaping features at Canada’s Wonderland. This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to look at the artificial landscaping features at Canada’s Wonderland.
Artificial Landscape Features at Canada’s Wonderland
As we know, landscaping comes in many forms, including ponds and streams, trees, flowers, shrubs, and even paths. But, what you may not realize is that there are many iconic and notable artificial landscaping features at amusement parks. We are going to take a tour around Canada’s Wonderland to look at some artificial landscaping features throughout the park.
The Iconic Wonder Mountain
First, let us take a look at the all-mighty iconic Wonder Mountain. Wonder Mountain situates itself at the top of International Street. Wonder Mountain is a 150 foot tall artificial concrete structure that has been an iconic feature at the park since opening year of 1981. Interestingly enough, from 1981 until 1985, visitors were able to walk up the Wonder Mountain walkway capturing a view of the park from above.
The Closure of Wonder Mountain Walkway
The Wonder Mountain walkway closed after the 1985 season to make way for Thunder Run, one of the three roller coasters that operates on Wonder Mountain. In 1991, Wonder Mountain became home to another park favourite roller coaster, known as Vortex. Vortex is a suspended coaster that was manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. Vortex drops off the West side of Wonder Mountain at a height of 90 feet. For the 2014 season, Wonder Mountain’s Guardian debuted, taking visitors on a 4D roller coaster/dark ride experience through the interior of Wonder Mountain. All three roller coasters situate themselves within the International Festival section of the park. Wonder Mountain situates itself between International Street and International Festival.
A View of The Past and Present-Day Entertainment
Another interesting feature visitors may not know about is the walkway behind Victoria Falls. This walkway was accessible for visitors and allowed them to catch a view behind the Victoria Falls of Wonder Mountain. This pathway closed after the 1988 season due to safety concerns. Speaking of Victoria Falls, visitors at the park can watch the iconic Victoria Falls High Divers descend off of Wonder Mountain into the water 60 feet below. This spectacular diving show has been a tradition since opening year. It runs daily (weather permitting) from Victoria Day weekend until Labour Day. Although Wonder Mountain is the largest artificial landscaping feature at Canada’s Wonderland, there are some other notable artificial landscape features that definitely deserve some recognition. The next landscape feature we will be looking at is just off of International Street.
The Land of Medieval Fantasy
This iconic artificial landscape feature not only serves as a decorative piece, but also acts as an entrance to one of the most themed sections of the park. The entrance in discussion is the entrance to Medieval Faire. The Medieval Faire entrance truly serves as eye-catching feature that has been a part of Canada’s Wonderland’s landscape since 1981. The Medieval Faire entrance features a large castle-like drawbridge entrance with authentic looking castle spires which adorn at the top. Throughout the majority of the season the entrance sits bare. It is only until October that the park decorates it with Halloween decorations for the annual Halloween Haunt event.
Pieces of the Past
Fascinatingly enough, the Medieval Faire entrance used to be slightly more decorative as it had ropes anchoring down from the pulleys which are seen still intact within the entrance. Despite the removal of this feature, the Medieval Faire entrance still is an attention-grabbing feature amongst the landscape at the park. Since we are at the entrance of Medieval Faire, we might as well head in and check out the rest of the artificial landscaping features found within the section.
The Life Within Medieval Faire
When you enter Medieval Faire and go past Wonderland Theatre, you will come to notice the castle towers that stand tall nearby the station of Dragon Fire. These castle towers appear to be in disrepair as they add to the medieval landscape within the Medieval Faire section of the park. But, they are actually quite stable and sound as they have been since the grand opening back in 1981. As we move further along the path, you will come to notice the entrance to Spinovator. The entrance to Spinovator truly reflects and compliments the medieval landscape situated throughout the section. It may appear to visitors as a medieval timed residence that was once occupied long ago as it has the authentic wooden shingles. Many buildings throughout Medieval Faire, as well as other sections of the park feature wooden shingles, causing the buildings to appear older than they actually are.
The World of White Water Canyon
As we move throughout Medieval Faire and head up the path through International Street, we come across White water Canyon. The section of White Water Canyon is where visitors can feel the most seclusion while at Canada’s Wonderland. White water Canyon opened in 1984, with a water ride of the same name. The White Water Canyon river rapids ride is home to some spectacular artificial landscaping features. These artificial landscaping features consist of the rocks that line the ride’s water channel, tunnel, and the waterfalls nearing the end of the ride. The waterfalls of White Water Canyon not only serve as a decorative landscape piece, but as a soaking experience for those lucky (or unlucky) passengers of White water Canyon.
The Remnants of a Saw Mill
Another humble landscape feature amongst White Water Canyon is the water pump building located across from the revolving station platform. The water pump building looks as if it is an derelict building amongst an old saw mill as it presents a worn sign, with old styled light hanging above. It truly sets the mood for an adventurous river rapids ride, in conjunction with the surrounding trees.
A Step Back in Time
As we travel along the path connecting White Water Canyon and Action Zone, with Splash Works in between, we arrive in Action Zone. Once in Action Zone, you will come to notice some interesting artificial landscape features throughout this section of the park. One of the most noticeable artificial landscaping features is viewable nearby the flying coaster, Time Warp. At the entrance of Time Warp are some rather interesting pieces of the surrounding landscape.
The Warriors of Action Zone
On display are some ancient Egyptian warriors who guard the entrance to Time Warp. Interestingly, Time Warp was previously known as Tomb Raider: The Ride, in relation to the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The ride has been known as Time Warp since the 2008 season as Canada’s Wonderland’s second owner, Paramount sold their parks to current owner, Cedar Fair in 2006. Time Warp currently presents a highly level of landscaping despite the mass reduction over the years.
A Global Standpoint
Before we end our tour, let’s take a look at a couple final artificial landscape features found within Action Zone. When visitors approach International Street from Action Zone, they will notice a couple of decorative spectacles. These spectacles are in proximity to Xtreme Sky Flyer and include the giant globe of the World and the Moroccan themed building. The giant globe has been a feature at Canada’s Wonderland since opening day on May 23rd, 1981. It originally symbolized the original theme of Action Zone, which was The Grande World Exposition of 1890. The Grande World Exposition of 1890 featured many Asian, African, European North American, and Central American culture. The giant globe was originally more neutral in colour, receiving a more vibrant paint scheme in more recent years.
Moroccan Is All The Rage
The All the Rage gift shop across the way features a Moroccan style building. It has also been a feature at the park since opening year. All the Rage gift shop was previously known as the Moroccan Bazaar, featuring gifts and trinkets of Moroccan style. The building still prominently features an extent of its heritage, only beautifying the surrounding landscaping efforts of Action Zone.
With that, comes a close to the look of artificial landscaping features at amusement parks. I hope you enjoyed looking at the artificial beauty that can be found throughout Canada’s Wonderland! Next week we are going to take a look a look at the walls and fences at amusement parks. In the meantime, be sure to check out Been Here Done That’s view of the landscape at Canada’s Wonderland.