Tips for Visiting Canada’s Wonderland Theme Park

Canada may not be as well known for its theme parks and roller coasters as its U.S. neighbor. But there is one place in The Great White North that thrills amusement park lovers: Canada’s Wonderland. Located north of Toronto, this beloved Canadian park has been in operation since 1981. With over 200 attractions and 75+ rides, everyone in the family will find something fun to enjoy. Check out these 11 Canada’s Wonderland tips to make to maximize fun and minimize wait times.

Peanuts characters at Canada's Wonderland
Peanuts characters at Canada’s Wonderland (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

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1. Buy tickets online.

A front gate day ticket price for adults isn’t cheap, but if you buy tickets from Wonderland’s online store, your cost drops quite a bit. If you’re a Costco member, it’s even cheaper to purchase your tickets via Kids under age 3 are free and don’t require an admission ticket.

To breeze past the lines, consider the Fast Lane or Fast Lane Plus passes for an extra charge. The Fast Lane Plus pass grants you unlimited rides on Leviathan, Behemoth and Lumberjack coasters during your visit.

Season Passes are the way to go if you live nearby and plan to visit regularly. Do purchase a season pass that includes the daily parking fee – it really adds up.

Lumberjack is the newest thrill ride at Canada's Wonderland
Lumberjack is the newest thrill ride at Canada’s Wonderland (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

2. Make a ride plan.

Map out your ride strategy before you arrive. Get to the park early and make a run (if you can) for the most popular ride on your list. Lines tend to be the longest for the most thrilling or newest rides. Alternatively, you can purchase Fast Lane and skip the lines altogether.

Would you dare take a ride on Leviathon at Canada's Wonderland, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada?
Would you dare take a ride on Leviathon, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada? (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

3. Get ready for thrills.

Roller coaster fans rejoice! From one of the world’s biggest and tallest coasters, Leviathan, to the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, Canada’s Wonderland has some of the most exciting rides in North America. With a long list of other spinning and scary rides, thrill seekers will be more than satisfied.

While I can’t vouch personally, my teenage sons attest to the “total awesomeness” of the Leviathan and the other major coasters at the park. New in 2018 is Lumberjack, a thrill ride that takes guests soaring to heights of 75 feet on two swinging axe pendulums, propelling them into a looping 360-degree experience.

Flying Canoes is new to the Canada's Wonderland for 2018
Flying Canoes is new to the amusement park for 2018 (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

4. Enjoy more mellow attractions.

If you’re like me and not so into roller coasters, then there are many fun family rides to choose from. Check out the Antique Carousel, Speed City Raceway, Spinovator (my favorite), and the wet, wild White Water Canyon.

Wonder Mountain’s Guardian is a 4-D immersive ride that mimics the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride in Orlando. As a true Harry Potter fan, Guardian’s long line and experience left me cold, but my kids loved it. New to the park, Flying Canoes is an interactive family ride that allows riders to control their journey of flight in two-person canoes.

Kids fly in Snoopy vs. Red Baron in Planet Snoopy
Kids fly in Snoopy vs. Red Baron in Planet Snoopy (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

5. Take young kids to Planet Snoopy and KidZville.

Canada’s Wonderland has two special zones built just for young children – Planet Snoopy and KidZville. While all ages are welcome to enjoy these areas, the rides and attractions are perfectly sized for youngsters and their families.

Children can fly in Snoopy vs. Red Baron, act as a conductor of their own antique train, or brave the not-too-scary Ghoster Coaster. Keep an eye out for Snoopy and other Peanuts characters wandering through this section of the park. The plethora of activities will keep kids busy and happy all day long, and ensure a quiet ride home.

Kids and adults alike dig the dinos at Dinosaurs Alive at Canada's Wonderland
Kids and adults alike dig the dinos at Dinosaurs Alive (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

6. Dig the dinosaurs.

For an additional affordable fee, you can visit Dinosaurs Alive, a 7-acre park home to more than 40 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that roar and move. The Jurassic environment features many recognizable dinosaur species in entertaining and educational exhibits.

Kids will really “dig” the interactive archaeological site. Any dino-loving child or adult would have a blast in this part of Canada’s Wonderland. Download their dinosaur activity book with all sorts of fun things to do before, during, and after your visit.

Waterslides at Splash Works Water Park at Canada's Wonderland
Cool off at Splash Works Water Park (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

7. Pack your swimsuits.

Canada’s Wonderland boasts an impressive, 20-acre Splash Works Water Park that’s included in your park admission. You can store your swimsuits and towels in a park locker until you’re ready to hit the Black Hole and other water slides, lazy river, and one of Canada’s largest wave pools.

Check out the Typhoon waterslide, with its spinning funnels and thrilling turns, as well as the Splash Station children’s water play area. You’ll find plenty of options here to stay cool during the humid heat of a Toronto summer.

In 2018, Splash Island’s children’s pool is expanding to double in size and will feature new interactive spray features. This year Splash Works is open on weekends starting May 26 and daily from June 15 to September 3.

Manchu Wok at Canada's Wonderland
Dine on Asian fare at Manchu Wok (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

8. Picnic outside the park or splurge on meals and treats.

If you’re on a budget, there is a picnic pavilion outside the front gates. You’re not allowed to bring outside food into Canada’s Wonderland. Many park attendees, however, pack a cooler and eave it in their car until lunchtime. Then they exit for a picnic lunch break. You just need to have your hand stamped before you exit the park to gain re-entry.

If you don’t want the hassle of packing your own picnic, don’t fret. Canada’s Wonderland offers many restaurants to choose from. Look for options like Subway, Starbucks, Manchu Wok, Pizza Pizza, and Coasters Burgers.

9. Prepare to walk, and walk, and walk.

Canada’s Wonderland isn’t as big as Disneyland or Universal Orlando, but it’s still big enough to make young and old feet sore from walking. Be sure everyone in the family sports comfortable travel shoes. If visiting with a baby or young child, bring or rent a stroller. Canada’s Wonderland offers single or double stroller rentals for a fee.

Canada's Wonderland entrance
A Canadian welcome at the theme park’s entrance (Photo credit: Canada’s Wonderland)

10. Download Canada’s Wonderland free mobile app.

Easily navigate Canada’s Wonderland on your mobile device with its free, GPS-enabled CW Mobile App. You can view maps, rides, attractions, show times, and height requirements on this handy app before and during your visit.

11. Know when to go to Canada’s Wonderland.

Canada’s Wonderland is open seasonally, so take that into consideration when planning your visit. The theme park opened for the year on April 29. Operating Hours are daily until Labor Day, then on weekends until Halloween.

Maid of the Mist boat at Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls on the Canada-U.S. border (Photo credit: elenathewise,

Learn more tips.

Canada’s Wonderland is only 1.5 hours from Niagara Falls on the U.S.-Canada border. Discover the best things to do at Niagara Falls with kids and teens.

It’s easy to lose sight of children in busy places like theme parks. Be sure to read our safety tips to prevent losing a child before you go.

If you like amusement parks, then you’ll love our Theme Parks Directory.

Read these fun and helpful tips for planning a Disney World vacation.

Canada's Wonderland Tips

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Do you love theme parks and roller coasters? Have you visited Canada’s Wonderland with your family? Share your comments below!

A Note from Travel Mamas: We did not receive any compensation or discounted Canada’s Wonderland tickets related to this story.

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  1. I love roller coasters, so I’d definitely want to ride them all. That Leviathan looks incredible! How tall is the drop?

  2. We are planning a road trip to Canada this summer so thanks for the tips. I bet my kids will love Canada’s Wonderland Theme Park!

    1. Scarlet – Fabulous! I hope your family has a wonderful time at Canada’s Wonderland this summer!

  3. I had no idea this place even existed. We are honestly way more of peanuts fans than disney in our family so it would be cool.

  4. I love rollercoasters! I’m always the one that wants to get on the tallest and fastest ones at amusement parks. I was looking to making a trip to Toronto in August.

    1. Ooh…Toronto in August is lovely. I hope you’ll consider adding Canada’s Wonderland to your itinerary!

  5. Wow. This place is a must visit. The rides look awesome and fun! My sister lives in Canada and I’ll tell her about this.

  6. Such an awesome and a highly recommended theme park for me. Those rides are so terrifying that any ages will totally like it.

    1. Well, maybe not ALL ages…the Peanuts rides are a better choice for wee ones! But, yes, there is definitely something for all ages at Canada’s Wonderland!

  7. We are in the States so I’ve never heard of this place. My kids would love it! Maybe we’ll get to Canada one day to check it out.

    1. If you’re ever in Toronto, Canada’s Wonderland would make a great addition to your vacation!

    1. It kind of reminds me of Valleyfair in Minnesota – which also has Peanuts-themed rides. 🙂

  8. I lived in Toronto for 2 years and Ottawa for 3 and still haven’t made it to this park! I really want to, though, because I love roller coasters!

      1. They are indeed. In fact me and some family members are going tomorrow. And it’ll surely be filled with great memories!

    1. Agreed! I don’t think you could get me to ride that thing. My daughter and husband would love it, though!

  9. We moved away from St. Clair, MI in 1978. One of our favorite destinations was Toronto. Now it would be even better with this Wonderland. Toronto is terrific.

    1. Thanks for your comment Ellen. Toronto has really grown on me over the years, even though I lived there several times in my early adulthood! And you’re right, Wonderland is a great spot.

    1. Ha! I like roller coasters but I think Leviathon might be a bit too scary for me. Maybe your husband could ride with my husband?!