At some point, roller coasters are going to have to stop getting bigger, right? There has to be some sort of limit to how tall, long and fast we can make them before they’re just too dangerous for human beings. Apparently we haven’t reached that limit yet, because Canada’s Wonderland is set to break all those records with their new Yukon Striker, set to open in 2019.
According to a press release, the Yukon Striker track is 1,105 meters (3,625 feet) long and features a “hold and dive” element “where riders will literally be hanging on the edge of their seats, on one of three wide, floorless trains, breathlessly awaiting the 90-degree, 245-foot drop.” Over the course of the dive, the coaster goes “from zero to 130 kilometres per hour straight down into an underwater tunnel before soaring up over steel track, propelling riders through four dynamic inversions and gravity-defying weightlessness.”
If you can’t possibly comprehend how wild that would be, Wonderland has conveniently provided a concept POV video, complete with blood-curdling screams for authenticity.
The coaster will break world records for the fastest coaster (at 130 kph), longest dive coaster (at 1,105 meters) and tallest dive coaster (at 75 meters). All three of those records were previously held by Cedar Point roller coaster Valravn, which debuted in 2016. With this latest addition, Canada’s Wonderland will also tie Cedar Point for third-most roller coasters at a theme park with 17.
You can probably guess that a “dive coaster” is one where the cars take one or more death-defying dives at break-neck speed, but the classification has a little more to it than that. Dive coasters are also characterized by short, wide cars to allow every seat to get a similarly terrifying experience and include a pause at the top of each dive, allowing anticipation to build (or for people to throw up out of fear) before releasing passengers into what feels like a total free-fall.
Yukon Striker is going to be an integral part of Wonderland’s new themed area, Frontier Canada, which was originally supposed to be one of five lands defined within the park at its opening in 1981. The area will be modelled after “the rugged Yukon backcountry during the Klondike Gold Rush era of the late 1890s” and include already-established rides such as Lumberjack, Flying Canoes and Mighty Canadian Minebuster.
Wonderland also announced that the 2019 season will be the first to extend past October (the park usually closes after their yearly Halloween Haunt) to include November and December. The extended season will be dubbed WinterFest and offer “an all-new immersive holiday experience” complete with twinkling lights, Christmas decor, ice skating, live entertainment, family activities, specialty food and select rides (presumably the ones that won’t give you frostbite in the back of your throat).
Looks like Wonderland is planning on flexing big time next year and we’re definitely not mad about it. They’re also introducing a new (slightly more expensive) season pass that will include admission to both Halloween Haunt and WinterFest.