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Canada's Wonderland Leviathan Roller Coaster

Preview of the New Ride Debuting in 2012 at Canada's Wonderland Near Toronto

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Canada's Wonderland Leviathan Roller Coaster

Leviathan will scale a 306-foot hill, one of the largest in the coaster world, when it opens in 2012 at Canada's Wonderland.

Cedar Fair, 2011. Used with permission.
Updated November 23, 2011
Two parks, Ohio's Cedar Point and Southern California's Six Flags Magic Mountain, have been battling it out for years to lay claim to the world's-most-number-of-coasters title (which respectively stands at 17 and 18 in 2011). Other parks that often get cited for their impressive coaster arsenals include King's Island in Ohio, which has 14 thrill machines, and Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, which boasts 13. In typically understated Canadian fashion however, Canada's Wonderland has been quietly assembling its own massive roster of coasters.

And in 2012, it will not-so-quietly unleash Leviathan, a monster of a ride that will be among the world's tallest and fastest coasters and will boost the total number of coasters at Canada's Wonderland to a sweet 16. It is among an impressive batch of roller coasters opening in 2012.

Leviathan Coaster Stats

Riders will Be Screaming and Wailing

At 306 feet, the new coaster will dominate -- and puncture -- the park's already busy skyline. To put that into perspective, it will be one foot higher than the world's fifth tallest coaster, Intimidator 305, and will likely deliver a comparable 300-foot drop (Canada's Wonderland has not released the length of the drop to date). And like other Giga-Coasters (defined as thrill machines that break the 300-foot height threshold), it will reach delirium-inducing speeds greater than 90 mph. That will earn it a prime spot among the world's top ten fastest coasters. (It easily smashes Canadian height and speed records.)

Unlike Behemoth, the park's hypercoaster, Leviathan will be more about insane height and speed than relentless airtime. That doesn't mean it won't unleash a heaping helping of human projectile-inducing negative Gs. A 183-foot camelback hill about halfway into the course should send passengers' tushes hurtling out of the seats. And a 124-foot camelback hill towards the latter part of the ride seems designed to likewise raise both stomach butterflies and derrieres. But Leviathan will mostly use its considerable force to deliver a hellbent race back to the station.

The cars will be sleek and stripped-down with four side-by-side seats. They will have a single lapbar restraint and will not have any sides, which will create a sense of vulnerability. A dragon-eyed Leviathan face will adorn the front of each eight-car train.

After scaling the 306-foot lift hill, the trains will immediately tear down about 300 feet at an unnerving 80-degree angle (ten degrees short of straight down) and rev up to 92 mph. It will then enter a swooping 164-foot barrel roll that will send it racing towards the front of the park and into a high-speed curve followed by the first camelback hill. An over-banked hammerhead turn will twist riders beyond sideways at 115 degrees and reverse the directions of the trains. The back portion of the out-and-back layout will consist of another couple of curves and the second camelback hill.

I'd imagine that Leviathan will hit the final brake run before the station still juiced up with plenty of residual momentum. I'd also imagine, because the coaster will be manufactured by the Switzerland-based ride geniuses at Bolliger and Mabillard, that it will be incredibly smooth despite the intense speed. B&M builds coasters, such as Apollo's Chariot, with the precision of Swiss timepieces and the smoothness of the silkiest Swiss chocolate. Leviathan will be the first B&M Giga-Coaster (if it can be called that; rival manufacturer Intamin coined the phrase to categorize its over-300-foot thrill machines), and I'm anxious to see what it does to corral the fury of the 92 mph demon.

One spot that would appear to require a great deal of Swiss precision is the barrel roll that will follow the first drop. I experienced a brief moment of unsettling grayout (near loss of consciousness) at the bottom of the drop on the world's first Giga-Coaster, Millennium Force at Cedar Point. And while I felt fine (and loved) my ride aboard Intimidator 305, enough other riders complained about grayout as the coaster navigated the element following its first drop that Kings Dominion modified the track after the ride's first season. I'm willing to give B&M the benefit of the doubt and anticipate a grayout-free (and joy-filled) ride.

Canada's Wonderland lists the ride time for Leviathan as 3:28. I'm guessing the looooooong climb up the lift hill will eat up a lot of that time. At 5,486 feet, there will be plenty of track to navigate; but at such ultra-high speeds, the coaster will make quick work of all that track.

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