The world’s longest, tallest and fastest dive roller coaster opened today at Canada’s Wonderland. The theme park is about two hours from Buffalo and News 4’s Kelsey Anderson got one of the first rides.
The coaster is called the Yukon Striker, and features a 90-degree drop into an underground tunnel. Work on that tunnel broke ground in January of 2018, and construction began on the coaster in August. It will open to the public on May 3, when the park opens for the season.
“That 90-degree drop into that underwater tunnel is 245 feet tall, and it goes 80mph at top speed, and the entire coaster length is 3,625 feet,” Grace Peacock said, the communications director for Canada’s Wonderland.
And you might be wondering, what exactly is a dive coaster?
“It has a facedown vertical freefall,” Sophie Bolliger said, vice president and head of sales at Bolliger & Mabillard. “It has very, very wide vehicles; they’re about 15.5 feet wide, so every rotation motion is enhanced.”
Sophie Bolliger, a partner at the Swiss engineering firm that created the roller coaster, said this is the first dive coaster ever built with a full upside down loop. There are moments riders feel weightless, get air time, and more.
It’s an experience unlike any other, but as News 4’s Kelsey Anderson headed into the clouds at Canada’s Wonderland, all she could think about were the three dreaded seconds at the top, where the coaster hangs above the plunge of a lifetime.
“I’ll tell you it’s going to feel like the longest three seconds on your life,” Peacock said.
The entire ride lasts 195 seconds. It’s a rush, as you can see in the video above. It’s a rush similar to what those experience trekking in search of gold in the Yukon Territory of Northwest Canada, where the name of the coaster comes from.