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The Yukon Striker at Canada’s Wonderland is the quickest dive coaster on this planet, accelerating to 80 mph with its 90-degree plunge.
USA TODAY

It’s all within the anticipation.

With the sight of twisted tracks rising excessive within the sky and the sounds of screaming passengers piercing the halfway, curler coasters begin enjoying thoughts video games earlier than park guests even board them. Then, as riders slowly climb the preliminary elevate hill, ideas of “What have I gotten myself into?” race by their minds, their pulses quicken and adrenaline begins to pump.

Dive coasters, akin to the brand new Yukon Striker at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario (close to Toronto), take the aspect of anticipation to an absurd excessive. As a substitute of instantly freefalling after reaching the highest of the elevate hill, their trains lengthen simply over the sting of the primary drop and are available to a whole cease. Suspended for what looks as if eternally (however is basically only some seconds), passengers are left to hyperventilate and ponder over the insanity that’s about to take their breath away altogether.

So there I used to be, wide-eyed with anticipation, staring down 245 toes into the abyss of the world’s tallest dive coaster and questioning what the heck I had gotten myself into. The over-the-shoulder restraint stoked my anticipation much more. The newly designed vest-like gadget presents slightly give within the higher chest space. Suspended some 22 tales within the air and going through the bottom on the 90-degree drop, my torso started inching away from the again of the seat. Yikes!

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Then – lastly – the practice launched and accelerated to 80 mph (making Yukon Striker the quickest dive coaster on this planet) earlier than descending into an underground tunnel that’s constructed right into a lagoon. Feeding into the discombobulation, it seems prefer it dives into the water.

The disorientation continued with 4 train-flipping inversions, together with a full 360-degree loop. Yukon Striker is the one dive coaster to incorporate such a maneuver. It additionally presents two Immelmann inversions. Named after a WWII German flying ace, the aspect turns a practice the wrong way up, then flips it right-side up and sends it racing headlong in the wrong way. At such excessive velocity, Yukon Striker’s inversions and G-forces felt particularly intense.

With a operating time of three minutes, 25 seconds and a size of three,625 toes, the Canadian journey can be the world’s longest dive coaster. For its ultimate chapter, the practice hits a brake run, halts and descends 90 levels down a shorter second drop, and navigates round a 360-degree helix.

Along with its world data, Yukon Striker is the one coaster on the park to function 90-degree drops, and the one one with floorless trains. The additional-wide trains comprise three rows of eight riders. The passengers that sit within the two seats on both finish of the cantilevered vehicles’ rows (as I did) haven’t any observe in addition to no ground beneath them. With their legs dangling and nothing shielding them, the expertise is unnerving for riders.

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Yukon Striker is the park’s 17th coaster, which is essentially the most for any park within the nation and the second-most for any park on this planet. It joins giga coaster Leviathan and hypercoaster Behemoth because the park’s headliner thrill machines.

“This completes our trifecta of B&M coasters,” says Grace Peacock, director of communications for Canada’s Wonderland, referring to the signature rides. “B&M” stands for Bolliger & Mabillard, an attraction producer primarily based in Switzerland that’s recognized for designing and constructing extremely regarded coasters. “It’s a world-class journey. Like the 2 others, it options B&M’s attribute smoothness,” Peacock provides.

Certainly, regardless of its excessive peak and pace, Yukon Striker delivered a journey expertise freed from any bone-rattling roughness. That allowed me to give attention to the G-forces and the opposite thrill-inducing deserves of the coaster.

The journey is the point of interest of the brand new Frontier Canada land. It represents a return to the park’s roots in addition to a storied period within the nation’s historical past. “Frontier Canada was meant to be one of many unique 5 themed sections of the park. However it bought shelved,” explains Peacock. She says the park checked out outdated idea drawings and plans for inspiration. The coaster’s loading station is properly themed with mining vehicles and a retro water tower that evoke the Klondike Gold Rush in Western Canada.

The station additionally options an intriguing new system designed by Canada’s Wonderland to accommodate passengers’ free articles. Riders place their objects in bins earlier than they step into the practice. Utilizing an overhead conveyor system (similiar to these utilized by dry cleaners), the bins journey to the opposite aspect of the station and await passengers as they exit the coaster. It helps pace up the loading and unloading processes and retains the articles safe. It additionally permits passengers to maintain objects akin to cell phones with them as they wait in line as an alternative of getting to put them in lockers.

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