Thunder Run (Canada's Wonderland)

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Thunder Run
Previously known as Blauer Enzian
Canadas Wonderland International Street viewofmountaincoaster.jpg
Canada's Wonderland
Park section International Festival
Coordinates 43°50′34″N79°32′32″W / 43.8427°N 79.5423°W / 43.8427; -79.5423 Coordinates: 43°50′34″N79°32′32″W / 43.8427°N 79.5423°W / 43.8427; -79.5423
Opening dateMay 23, 1981 as Blauer Enzian, 1986 as Thunder Run
Cost$2.7M est.
General statistics
Type Steel  Powered  Mine Train
Manufacturer Mack Rides
Height10 m (33 ft)
Length330 m (1,080 ft)
Speed64 km/h (40 mph)
Inversions 0
Height restriction102 cm (3 ft 4 in)
TrainsSingle train with 10 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 40 riders per train.
Thunder Run at RCDB
Pictures of Thunder Run at RCDB

Thunder Run is a powered roller coaster, themed after a runaway mine train, found at Canada's Wonderland, in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Rather than having a traditional chain lift hill, the train has an electric motor on board. The train (consisting of nine cars of two rows of two seats, plus an extra single row at the front of the train) flies directly into Wonder Mountain, the artificial mountain that is a trademark of the park. The coaster opened on May 23, 1981, and operated until 1985 as Blauer Enzian, but in 1986 it was relocated, extended, and incorporated into the mountain.

Canadas Wonderland amusement park in Vaughan, Canada

Canada's Wonderland is a 134-hectare (330-acre) theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, a suburb approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Downtown Toronto. Opened in 1981 by the Taft Broadcasting Company and The Great-West Life Assurance Company as the first major theme park in Canada, it remains the country's largest. The park, currently owned by Cedar Fair, has been the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America for several consecutive years. As a seasonal park, Canada's Wonderland is open daily from May to September, with weekend openings in late April, October and early November. With seventeen roller coasters, Canada's Wonderland is ranked second in the world by number of roller coasters, after Six Flags Magic Mountain and tied with Cedar Point. The 134-hectare (330-acre) park includes a 8-hectare (20-acre) water park named Splash Works. The park holds Halloween Haunt, a Halloween-themed event, each fall, as well as special events throughout the season, including various food festivals, as well as "Celebration Canada", a month-long Canada Day festival, among others. Beginning in 2019, the park will launch WinterFest, a holiday-themed event that will extend the park's operating season to late December.

Vaughan City in Ontario, Canada

Vaughan is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is located in the Regional Municipality of York, just north of Toronto. Vaughan was the fastest-growing municipality in Canada between 1996 and 2006, achieving a population growth rate of 80.2% according to Statistics Canada and having nearly doubled in population since 1991. It is the fifth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area, and the 17th-largest city in Canada.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

The ride occupies the interior of Wonder Mountain, which was initially supposed to hold a "Bavarian Market". Instead, mechanical equipment was placed inside, which was later relocated to the "roof" of the mountain to make room for the ride. The relocation of mechanical equipment also resulted in the Wonder Mountain walkway to be closed. Riders on Vortex can before the first drop still see remnants of the look-out terrace.

Vortex (Canadas Wonderland) suspended roller coaster at Canadas Wonderland

Vortex is a suspended roller coaster, which enables it to swing under the track at Canada's Wonderland. It officially opened during the 1991 season. On "Vortex" riders are taken up through the top of the mountain and dropped at high speeds. At some points in the ride, the trains swing just above a river running through the middle of the park, giving riders the illusion that the train will touch the water. It is the fastest roller coaster of its kind in the world, joint with Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain, both with top speeds of 89 kilometres per hour (55 mph). It is also the tallest currently operating suspended coaster in the world, reaching a height of 91 ft (27.8m).

Ride experience

Once the train leaves the station, riders traverse a left banked-turn, followed by an upward helix to the left inside Wonder Mountain. Part of this helix is exposed, giving riders a view of the surrounding area. Due to the nature of the ride, the train picks up speed as it ascends the helix. The train then re-enters the mountain, traversing a downward double-helix to the right in complete darkness, with included special effects. Riders enter a decorated light tunnel, followed by a downward banked curve to the left. The train passes through the station, then completes the layout a second time before returning to the station.

With a height restriction that accommodates children as small as 102 centimetres (40 in) tall, Thunder Run's design is geared towards families. While most of the ride is experienced in the dark, riders also encounter visual affects and props, most notably the Dragon (nicknamed "Herman" by Wonderland employees). Other visual effects include lighted tunnels and strobe lights.

As previously mentioned, the ride is programmed so that it completes two circuits, maximizing the capability of the coaster's rather small footprint.

In the past, during the park's Halloween Haunt event in October, Wonderland has renamed the ride to Haunted Thunder Run with additional light, sound and fog effects.

Halloween Haunt (Canadas Wonderland)

Halloween Haunt, previously known as "Fearfest", is a Halloween event at Canada's Wonderland located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. It runs after the park's regular operating hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings in October - up to, and including Halloween night. It is Canada's largest haunted theme park featuring over 300 monsters, nine walk-through "maze" attractions, six uniquely themed atmospheric scare areas, and three live shows. During its operation, the grounds are transformed via decorative props, thematic music, eerie lighting to further create its scary atmosphere.

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