Wonderland 2017 Live Entertainment Round-Up and My Top 3 Picks!

Confession Time

Every season before 2017,  I really didn’t pay any attention to the live shows.

This season, I made it a mission to stop getting stuck in one area of the park or at one ride. (Last year, I probably spent at least 50% of the season on Skyhawk.) I tried really hard to go see all of the special events and live shows. Admittedly, I’m ashamed of myself for not paying more attention because it’s made my visits so much more special!

The Line-Up

This year had a mix of seasonal live shows, special “contracted” shows in International Showplace, and special events. Here’s the complete list, in order as listed in the show and event guide.

Live Shows

  • Cirque Canadien
  • Starlight Northern Reflections
  • Flying Frontenacs Stunt & Dive Show
  • Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers
  • Peanutes Party in the Plaza
  • Snoopy’s Symphony of Water
  • Victoria Falls High Divers

International Showplace Special Events

  • Ultimate Thrills Circus
  • Parkour Freestyle
  • Chinese Acrobatic Show

Special Events

  • Celebration Canada
    • West Coaster Lumberjack Show
    • Freestyle Ski Aerials
    • Earth Rangers
  • KidZfest
  • Taste of Greece
  • Taste of Italy
  • Food Truck Festival
  • Oktoberfest

I’m happy to say I’ve seen everything on this list, though, depending on my interest, ranges from multiple viewings to a single incomplete viewing.

My Top 3!

#3: Flying Frontenacs Stunt & Dive Show

Flying Frontenacs was the latest stunt and dive show to perform on Arthur’s Baye.

While the routines change slightly between seasons, this year’s renewal of the show made it feel like something completely new. The Arthur’s Baye structure was given a new red color scheme, along with a great wooden finish on the boxes that the performers do their trampoline stunts on. The performers wore Mountie costumes which blended well with the overall set. The former dive shows here used to be something I’d walk past or forget about but everything about Flying Frontenacs is so pleasant that it makes it a show I actually plan to show up for.

#2: Starlight Northern Reflections

Starlight Northern Reflections is the newest version of the former Starlight Spectacular show. The show returned with a Canadian theme, highlighting different sights and landmarks across the country. In addition to the recently added fountains and spotlights, new lasers were added on top of Wonder Mountain.

I found that the show was very well put together. Every element of the show played its part well, none of which seemed out of place or “shoe-horned” in as I felt with certain parts of previous shows. The only recycled part was some of the mountain projections toward the end of the show but they still worked in the spotlights, fountains, and lasers to make it feel completely new. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they can do!

#1: Cirque Canadien

Cirque Canadien is the newest cirque-style show to perform at Wonderland Theatre.

As with other shows this year, the Canadian theme to this cirque show made it unique. Put up against similar shows at other Cedar Fair parks, some of which follow near identical scripts at times, I really think Cirque Canadien is the most well put together. The amazing athleticism by the performers coupled with their funny antics made it a perfect show to me. I can’t wait to see it again next season!

Subscribe to the CoasterCircuits channel on YouTube as a full-length Cirque Canadien video is in the works!

Reflection

There are a few of points I want to make about this year’s entertainment overall at the park.

It feels like entertainment is at the forefront of Wonderland’s attention and the rides are the ones that are just kinda there. In past years, I would have said that the other way around. The quality of the shows and special events seem better than ever.

One thing I noticed while watching all of these shows is that none of the shows take themselves too seriously. There’s not so much mystery or over-dramatics (aside from maybe the Vic Falls High Divers introduction) as there is a feel-good awe.

There’s still more, folks!

Thanks for reading! The summer’s gone and it feels like the season is coming to an end, but there’s still more events happening like Oktoberfest, Halloween Haunt, and Camp Spooky. Stay tuned for coverage on the rest of the season’s fun!

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Celebration Canada 150 Recap!

Wonderland did it big for Canada’s 150th!

The month of July was filled with so much Canadian-themed entertainment, you couldn’t help but clap your hands for the performers and athletes, tap your feet to the sound of live bands, and stuff your face with delicious Canadian food! With Celebration Canada 150 “over”, let’s take a look back at some of the FUN.

Canadian Eats

Every week, new food items were available in Celebration Plaza. It included delicious famous foods from across the country, such as lobster rolls (pictured), bison burgers, peameal bacon sandwiches, and poutines.

A meal wouldn’t be complete without some dessert! Look at how cute this house made apple pie is!

Live Music & Local Bands

Live bands were filling Celebration Plaza with wonderful music. Some familiar local bands were invited out, including the Rolling Stronz (pictured) and Stacey Renee (both made appearances during this year’s Brew & BBQ and other previous events).

The Great Canadian Fiddle show was, well, great!

This talented band went spreading around their music, occasionally spotted on International Street, in front of Wonderland Theater, and, of course, in Celebration Plaza.

Freestyle Ski Aerials

Athletes on skis, kayaks, and mini sleds sped down a 30′ ramp set up on Arthur’s Baye and performed tricks and flips for the audience.

Earth Rangers

OK, so this picture might seem more American than anything but the Earth Rangers were a hit with guests in Celebration Plaza!

Cirque Canadien

Cirque Canadien is my favourite show at the park this season. The combination of awesome acrobatics with the silly humour of the raccoons makes it a super fun show. Lucky for us, the show runs until Labour Day.

And that’s a wrap! Well, not really.

Even though July and half of the season is past us, there’s still plenty to look forward to with the rest of the season ahead.

Celebrating Canada Continues on!

As with Cirque Canadien, other shows like Starlight Northern Reflections and the Flying Frontenacs Dive Show (pictured) also run until Labour Day.

International Showplace is still rockin’!

There’s still new shows happening at International Showplace like Parkour Freestyle (runs until Aug 15) and the Chinese Acrobatic Show (Aug 17 – Sep 4).

Get ready to eat!

Don’t forget the food festivals! We’ve got Taste of Greece (Aug 19/20) and Taste of Italy (Aug 26/27), along with the Food Truck Festival (Sep 2/3) and Oktoberfest (Sep 16-24).

Look up at the fireworks!

After the Victoria Day fireworks show got cancelled due to poor weather conditions, they have scheduled a make-up performance for this long Civic Holiday weekend on Sunday, August 6. Can’t make it then? There’s another fireworks presentation for Labour Day on Sunday, September 3. They both begin at 10pm, weather permitting.

June 24, 2017 Trip Report

Trip Notes

To me, today was the true start of the summer season at Wonderland. There was the first special event with Brew & BBQ, as well as several live entertainment shows starting for the season. With all of that, I decided to do a full open-to-close day at the park which I rarely do.

There are two new Canada 150 signs on either side of the floral flag that make for a great photo spot.

I don’t know how to feel about Soaring Timbers anymore. Every week, it’s something different. After it’s nice comeback last weekend, it’s back to the non-flipping version of itself again.

Loading is still silly sometimes. On one occasion, no one told each pre-load lane to follow one another so as soon as the attendant gestured to the first lane to come in, ALL of the lanes rushed each other onto the platform. There were people standing around confused once we were on the platform as people were mixing up their assigned rows.

After Soaring Timbers, I headed into Action Zone for some rides.

Action Zone is where Brew and BBQ was happening. It’s a lot more lax when it comes to the set up, at least compared to what I saw at the Food Truck Festival last year. There aren’t any barriers and it’s easier to get in and out of the area. It does get a bit tight when the lines for food build up though.

I like that every food item is the same price so you don’t have to go through the options first and then budget for what you want. I got the 8 tokens and beer mug and an additional 5 tokens. While waiting in line for tokens, there are staff checking ID and giving wristbands to those who are going to drink.

The line for tokens was one of those that kept blocking the path. It might have worked better if the token booth was outside of the actual event area, maybe closer to Kingswood or something.

I don’t normally drink since I’m not really a fan of beer, but I decided to go for it anyway. My first drink was the Head Stock from Nickel Brook Brewing.

My second drink was the Original Ironwood Hard Cider. This was my favorite for the day.

My last drink for the day was the Canuck from Great Lakes Brewing.

I’m still not a fan of beer after this but it was a good feeling to get into the spirit of the event!

The dive shows are back for the season with the Victoria Falls High Dive Show at WonderMountain and the Flying Frontenacs at Arthur’s Baye. I really enjoyed the theme of the Flying Frontenacs show, with improvements to the set and their Mountie costumes.

After mostly just hovering around all day, the sun was setting so lights around the park started coming on!

Soaring Timbers looks so strange at night. It definitely shows its carny side with the abundance of multi-colored LEDs. The flood lights on the base of the ride are very bright so it’s a little painful to look at at certain angles.

As I headed out from Medieval Faire to International Street to get a spot for Starlight, I noticed the fountains going off and on a couple times and doing this.

Before the show, it’s set up with a Canada flag set. In previous years, it would have a Starlight Spectacular logo.

The show was great and I’m glad I stayed for it. A few thoughts:

  • It’s obvious that they’ve stuck to the formula that everyone likes, with hints from the original 2011 show that people seemed to like the most… The similar soundtrack. The “scary” lightning scene. The mountain crumbling and building itself up. And then the blatant recycling of the finale. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. I just thought it was a bit humorous being able to see the similarities.
  • I think there’s supposed to be another laser on the other side of the mountain that didn’t go on during the show. I also spotted some fog machines (similar to what’s used during Halloween Haunt) along the Royal Fountains but they weren’t used tonight.
  • All of the elements of the show worked really well together. I thought the new fountains were awkwardly shoe-horned into the show last year but they definitely fit in with the new show.

If I were to rank the different versions of the show, I’d call it a tie with the original 2011 version. I hope to get catch the show again soon!

Lunch/Diner

At Brew and BBQ, I got the ribs and wings which came with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. The corn and potatoes were great. The coleslaw was a bit wet for my liking. The size of the ribs and wings was big, which made it a good value considering this was equivalent to $7 in tokens. They weren’t the best ribs I’ve had before, but they definitely weren’t the worst.

Later in the day, I decided to get the veggie burger again from Backlot Cafe.

I’m not too disappointed but it wasn’t as good as the first one I had. For some reason, it was dressed with lettuce, onions, pickles, and a mayo sauce, instead of garden greens and tomatoes. Quality is never really an issue at Backlot but sometimes consistency is.

The potato wedges were better though!

Trip Video