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Kids Turn News Highlights Favourite Theme Park Rides for Summer Adventure Seekers

Theme Park Rides TORONTO --(Business Wire)-- April 27, 2006 From the Nostalgic Roller Coasters of Yesterday to the High-Tech Thrillers of Today, Names Top Attractions and What's New for Summer Excitement While eager theme park goers await the opening of Canada's amusement parks in coming weeks, editors dug deep to compile a list of reasons for adrenaline-seekers to be even more thrilled about the upcoming summer season. This collection of favorite rides across North America offers vacationers a myriad of options including coasters new and old, classic flume rides, high-tech adventures and attractions that are sure to leave riders soaking wet.

"The arrival of warmer weather and the highly-anticipated opening of Paramount Canada's Wonderland and La Ronde, in the next few weeks, has Canadian travellers thinking about summer visits to theme parks to enjoy a variety of rides, games and shows," said Brian Simpson, General Manager, "The research compiled by editors shows that theme park rides remain the top attraction, and they run the gamut, catering to everyone from families with kids to true adrenaline junkies."

From the more nostalgic rides of earlier generations to the contemporary thrill rides of today, editors suggest 10 attractions worth standing in line for when visiting theme parks this summer:

  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger who made his debut in the Disney presentation of Pixar's Toy Story, also stars in a cosmic mission that unfolds in the Magic Kingdom(R) Park at Walt Disney World(R) Resort in Orlando, Florida. This ultramodern, high-tech adventure gives riders the illusion they're travelling through another galaxy. It allows both kids and adults to become junior Space Rangers, piloting a Star Cruiser equipped with laser cannons through imaginative celestial worlds on a mission to save the toy universe. This interactive ride evokes friendly competition among the entire family, allowing riders to score points as they navigate through outer space (a version of this attraction also can be found at Disneyland(R) Park in Anaheim, California). Open year-round(a)

  • Curse of Darkastle -- Travel through an ice-bound world in a golden sleigh, experiencing eye-popping visuals and heart-stopping excitement while traversing a castle frozen in time. The impeccable visuals on the Curse of Darkastle blends perfectly with the aesthetic scenery for which Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia is known. The ride utilizes intense 3-D imagery to thrust riders into the fictional life of young King Ludwig who took over the throne and turned his castle into a terrifying, impenetrable fortress. Beware as the coaster-like sleigh makes its way through the castle, encountering wind, fire, shattering ice and a larger-than-life wolf looming throughout the palace. Open April - October(a)

  • Cyclone -- Rough around the edges and evocative of the days "back when...," Coney Island's Cyclone embodies an attitude only found in Brooklyn, New York. With decades of history under its brakes, the coaster tells stories of merry summers and troubled times. The Cyclone began making a name for itself after being built in 1927, achieving legendary status and possibly earning the title of America's most famous coaster. While the 86-foot hill and various turns may seem tame next to the mega-coasters of today, this undeniably nostalgic experience overlooking Surf Avenue is certainly worth a trip to Coney Island. Open April 15 - September 4(a)

    Theme Park Rides

  • Dueling Dragons -- With two separate coasters that intertwine with one another to create a combat-like impression, it's the world's first dueling, inverted roller coaster. Located at Orlando's Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, ride the Fire Dragon or the Ice Dragon as they narrowly pass within inches of one another on the intertwining tracks. Soar 125 feet in the air, reaching speeds of 88.5 kilometres per hour on two exceptional rides that seemingly collide midair. The ride itself is not only thrilling, but theme park junkies agree that it boasts "one of the best queues ever," winding through an intricate castle that builds the suspense. Open year-round(a)

  • Mighty Canadian Minebuster -- Classified as Canada's longest wooden roller coaster, the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, located at Paramount Canada's Wonderland, just north of Toronto, Ontario, boasts turns, camel humps and drops throughout the journey and speeds riders through a dark tunnel before coming to an end. The coaster reaches speeds of more than 90 kilometres per hour along 4,000 feet of snakelike track. Raise your arms in the air as you plunge down the 90-foot hill, or, even better, leave them up for the entire ride. Open May 7 - October 8(a)

  • Insanity -- An amusement park in itself, Las Vegas has a number of thrill rides to ponder, but none capture a view of the Las Vegas strip like Insanity, which extends 64 feet over the north edge of the Stratosphere tower. Spin up to three Gs while being pulled out in "escape-proof" seats at an angle of 70 degrees and learn why it's called Insanity. While buckled in, try to muster the courage to open your eyes for a view of the Las Vegas Strip, which lies a terrifying 900 feet below. Open year-round(a)

  • Journey to Atlantis -- Part thrill ride, part water ride and part roller coaster, this Sea World attraction combines elements of classic theme park rides with remarkable special effects to create one of the top adventure rides of its kind. Not your usual lift hill, the journey starts in a boat on an atypical elevator ride to the top of the coaster's crest. Plummet down the ride's 60-foot flume drop to get utterly soaked before facing the powers that be, where riders learn that the people of Atlantis lost their connection to the sea and are trying to regain it. This ride's drops and screams promise thrills of their own, but the real entertainment comes with each and every t-shirt soaking splash. (Found in Sea World San Diego and Sea World Orlando) Open year-round(a)

  • Le Vampire -- Let your feet hang free as you reach heights of more than 105 feet on this inverted steel roller coaster. A favourite at La Ronde theme park in Montreal, Quebec, Le Vampire sends its riders around five head-over-heels loops. Travel 80.5 kilometres per hour along a track almost 3,280 feet long, experiencing this exhilarating ride one loop, spiral and drop at a time. For an unobstructed view of what lies ahead, try to ride in the very front, where the surprise factor is thrilling even still. Open May 13 - October 29(a)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean -- So captivating and adventurous that it inspired a hit Hollywood film, Pirates of the Caribbean is perhaps one of the most well-known theme park attractions ever built. A classic indeed, Walt Disney himself had a hand in designing the ride, which first opened at Disneyland(R) Park in Anaheim, California in 1967. This lively attraction takes its crew on a hunt for pirate booty. Traverse the dark, spooky waters of the Caribbean, where an explosion of cannonballs, a village of sinister pirates and a town blazing with fire await. Currently closed to add inspirations from the movie (including Captain Jack Sparrow), climb aboard when it re-opens this summer. (This ride is also featured at the Magic Kingdom(R) Park in Orlando, Florida.) Open year-round(a)

  • Timber Mountain Log Ride -- Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California is known for firsts, including being America's first theme park and introducing the first-ever log flume ride. Experience the darkness of Timber Mountain Log Ride as this traditional mine-themed attraction twists along a 2,100-foot waterway at speeds ranging from eight to 12 feet per second. Plummet down the flume propelled by 24,000 gallons of water, and expect to be splashed. During Halloween, the ride is haunted by ghosts and goblins for extra excitement. Open every day except Christmas(a)
What's New for 2006

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom (Orlando) officially opens Expedition Everest this month. In Disney lingo, this "high-altitude, high-speed train adventure" sends riders through a Himalayan village outfitted with hairpin turns and nail-biting peaks. Open year-round(a)

  • Head to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for Dollywood's Timber Tower, a first of its kind in North America. Board a vehicle that sends riders spiralling up a 65-foot tower. After reaching the top, the tower topples from side to side, narrowly missing jets of water from below. Open year-round(a)

  • Canada's Wonderland introduces Paramount's Hollywood Stunt Spectacular, a live high-action stunt show featuring acrobatic stunt performances and characters based on a variety of Paramount movies and television shows. Open May 7 - October 8

    (a) Before visiting the park, check the website for hours and days of operation

Amusement Park Tips

  • Use the buddy system and agree on a meeting place should anyone get lost.
  • Always wear sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and clothing with zippered pockets.
  • Arrive early and stay late to take advantage of parks being less crowded.
For more rides and tips, go to

Topics | News | Summer Fun | Thrill of the Ride

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