Canada’s Wonderland welcomes its first record-breaking dive coaster this season, the Yukon Striker. The Yukon Striker is the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world. The coaster has floorless trains and is the only dive coaster with a 360-degree loop.
The dive coaster is 245 feet in height, is over 3000 feet in length and moves at 130 km/hr. “...You’ll experience three seconds of complete exhilaration as you stare directly down 245 feet at 90 degrees into an underwater tunnel,” said Norm Pirtovshek, General Manager of Canada’s Wonderland.
According to Wonderland's Director of Communications, Grace Peacock, the Yukon Striker is named after a new theme attraction area called Frontier Canada at Wonderland. It was designed in accordance to the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1980s and 1990s. The dive coaster provides its riders with unique experiences depending on where they are seated. The front row gives the rider the, “ultimate thrill of seeing the 90 degree drop, staring down into that underwater tunnel,” says Peacock. The middle row is for nervous riders because it provides a safer experience. However, the back row gives a weightlessness effect, “You've got the forces of acceleration and gravity playing against each other, so you get out of your seat a little bit more,” says Peacock. A series of pathways right underneath the coaster allows visitors to watch others riding the coaster if they do not wish to ride it themselves.
Winners of a Sick Kids Hospital charity draw had the opportunity to ride Yukon Striker on April 24 as its first-ever riders. Mackenzie Richardson, one of those riders, said it was his perfect ride. “I really liked the drop,” he said. “Obviously, the drop was one of the most amazing things but the little circle around at the end was nice. It reminded me of Dragon Fyre,” he said while talking about the 90 degree drop and the 360-degree loop. Dragon Fyre is another roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.
My fellow Go Vaughan writer, Katia Sist, and I had the opportunity to ride the Yukon Striker among the first riders. We sat in the second row. Katia loved the ride. Her stomach flipped towards the end of the ride, but she will absolutely try it again, she said. I had a similar experience. I wish it was longer, although it is good that it was not because I felt a little sick towards the end. Canada’s Wonderland opened on May 3 for this season. Mackenzie Richardson had his perfect ride and he also wants you to try it, “Get here early, get in line and get your season pass and … enjoy it, just make sure you get on it!"