Playland (Vancouver)

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Playland at the PNE
PlaylandLogo.jpg
Slogan Come and join the fun!
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates 49°16′58″N 123°02′12″W / 49.2827°N 123.0366°W / 49.2827; -123.0366Coordinates: 49°16′58″N 123°02′12″W / 49.2827°N 123.0366°W / 49.2827; -123.0366
Owner Pacific National Exhibition
Opened 1958
Operating season April – October
Rides
Total 28
Roller coasters 3
Water rides 1
Website http://www.pne.ca/playland
Entrance to Playland

Playland is an amusement park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located in Hastings Park and is the oldest amusement park in Canada.

Every year the park will replace one or two rides with new ones and the attendance of the park is always near capacity during the annual fair. For the 2009 season, the Demons of the Dark and House of the Dead haunted houses were replaced with the Haunted Mansion and the arcade was replaced with Command Headquarters (CHQ).

At the end of August, Playland and its renting partner Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) collectively host an annual fair for the local residents of Metro Vancouver. Talent shows, Animal Races, Demolition Derbies, Monster Trucks and many foods/snacks are a few of the many interesting events found at the fair. During this time, rides are brought in from West Coast Amusements nearly doubling the number of rides.

The city of Vancouver has long debated about whether the PNE and Playland will stay at or move from its current location. However, it has been decided that they would stay where they are for some time to come.

Playland's regular season operates from April to the end of September every year. The park reopens for Fright Nights from mid-October to the Halloween weekend.

The 1999 Canadian teen-drama film Rollercoaster, was shot at the park. The opening scenes of the horror film Final Destination 3 were also shot at the park, utilizing the Corkscrew roller coaster, seen in the film as "Devil's Flight". Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was filmed at Playland (Vancouver) for the boardwalk scene, where the Corkscrew roller coaster and Revelation ('Cranium Shaker' in the movie) rotating arm ride were shown along with many smaller rides.

Attractions at Playland[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Ride Name Year Opened Description
Wooden Roller Coaster 1958 Playland's signature attraction, this wooden roller coaster built in 1958 has a maximum drop height of 20 m (75 ft) and speeds of up to 76 km/h (47 mph).[1] The coaster was designed by Carl Phare. It is an ACE Coaster Classic.

The Coaster was featured in the movie Riding the Bullet and was the "Bullet". It also made a brief appearance in the teenage thriller Fear (1996).

Corkscrew 1994 A standard Vekoma-built roller coaster with a Bayerncurve and double corkscrews. Corkscrew has been in operation since 1994. This ride was relocated from Boblo Island, where it was known as Screamer.[2] This coaster was featured in the movies Final Destination 3 and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, and in the television series Smallville.
Kettle Creek Mine 2004 Built by E&F Miler Industries, this is a family coaster in the form of a figure 8 track.[3] The ride takes two trips around. It replaced the Dragon Coaster in 2004.

Main amusement rides[edit]

Ride Opened Manufacturer Description
AtmosFear July 16, 2011 Funtime Amusements This ride joined Playland in the Summer of 2011. Manufactured under the name StarFlyer (to be renamed ATMOSFEAR by Playland), the ride consists of Wave Swinger-like swings that rotate 360° at a towering height of 218 feet [66 metres] and will spin up to 70 km/h. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Funtime's operations in North America.[4][5]
Breakdance! 2005 HUSS Park Attractions A model of the Breakdance ride by HUSS. It traveled in Europe before being located to Playland.
Crazy Beach Party 2004 HUSS Park Attractions A model of the Frisbee designed by HUSS. It traveled with Funtastic Shows in Washington state before being located to Playland. Rumor has it that the ride has been sold to a European traveling show and will leave after Fright Nights 2014.
Drop Zone 2000 SkyCoaster A model of the Skycoaster. Guests attached to rip cords get pulled up a 30 m (100 ft) tower then let to free fall. There is an additional charge to go on this attraction ($23.00 for 2 people as of Sept 2013)
Enterprise 1984 HUSS Park Attractions A standard Enterprise ride. It traveled with Conklin Shows in eastern Canada before being located to Playland.
Flume 1985 Reverchon Industries A log flume water ride with two drops, with the second drop being 12 m (40 ft) tall. A picture is taken on the second drop for purchase at the booth towards the exit.
Gladiator 2005 HUSS Park Attractions Three arms with spinning air boats raise and lower while spinning.
Hellevator 2000 S&S Power A 60 m (202 ft) tall pneumatically powered vertical tower ride by S&S Power. A model of the "Combo Ride" [1] [2], it may operate in Turbo Drop mode, Space Shot mode, or irregularly, combining both. This ride is free with admission during the regular operating season.
Hell's Gate 1999 HUSS Park Attractions A Top Spin ride with water jets spraying riders at random times. The water jets were taken out from the ride for a period of time, but have been recently put back in and were in use during the summer, however the jets no longer spray the riders. It was purchased new.
Music Express pre-1987 Mack Rides A model of Music Express ride, cars on a raised and lowered circular track spin rapidly while music is played. It sat with Conklin Shows in eastern Canada before being located to Playland.
Pirate 1984 HUSS Park Attractions A swinging pirate ship ride. It was purchased new. The peak swing height of Pirate was reduced by approximately 3 m after Atmosfear was installed. It is not known if it will be increased again.
Revelation 2000 Gravity Works A 50 m (160 ft) tall Skyscraper rotating arm with cockpit seats on both ends. There is an additional charge ($23.00 as of Sept 2013) to go on this attraction. It was purchased new.They also shot Scenes of the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (film) on this ride.
Scooters pre-1990 Bumper car ride.
Scrambler 1984 Eli Bridge A Scrambler ride, three arms hold three sets of cars each, spinning rapidly and giving the feeling of collision.
Wave Swinger 1960 Zierer A Classic Bavarian Style Wave Swinger ride with a top that tilts.
Westcoast Wheel 2007 Mulligan A Mulligan Wheel bought in 2007 to replace the 80-year old Ferris wheel that used to be at Playland.

Rides at P.N.E. only (provided by Westcoast Amusements)[edit]

Note that the lineup of rides may vary every year.

Ride Name Manufacturer Years Active Description
1001 Nachts A.R.M.  ?−Present A model of the Ali Baba ride, similar to the previous permanent Playland attraction.
Berry go Round Sellner Manufacturing Until 1990(?) Where riders sit in berry shaped cars and spin the car using a turntable located inside the car.Similar to a Tea Cup ride.
Chaos Chance Rides (only one season) A ride where passengers sit in cars of to people that face out wards while the wheel spins and the boom rises so that the cars connected to the wheel flip and rock up side down.
Cliff Hanger Larson  ?−Present Hang Glider type ride
Evolution Fabbri Group (2 seasons after 2001) A ride where riders sit outwards in 4 seater carts that are connected to a centre wheel that is connected to a huge arm that rotates back and forth until going completely upside down while the centre wheel is spinning.
Fireball Larson 2010 Updated version of SuperLoops and the RingOfFire (Brought back after 15 or so year Hiatus)
FootLoose Fabbri Group  ? Similar to Skymaster.
Gravitron Wisdom  ?−Present Also Starship 2000 and Starship 3000.
Inverter Chance Rides  ?−Present A standard Inverter
Orbiter Tivoli  ?−Present Standard Orbiter
Power Surge Zamperla  ? A ride where passengers get lift high into the air while each individual car gets flipped horizontally.
Quasar A.R.M.  ? A ride that spins very fast while the centre boom tilts causing the carts to sway.
Ring Of Fire Larson  ? Superloops and Ring Of Fire. The PNE Stopped hiring the ride after an accident involving a mechanic. They rehired it for the 2010 100th anniversary but hid it away in the corner so it was not popular.
Sizzler Wisdom 2010 A faster more flashy version of the Scrambler
Skymaster A.R.M.  ?−Present Standard Skymaster
Spider Lee Eyerly 2010 Also known as the Octopus (brought back for 2010 fair)
Spin Out K.M.G.  ? Standard issue Spin Out. 2001 model.
Spring Ride Moser '00s − Present That drop ride for kids (usually referred to as Mini Hellevator).
Super Shot Larson  ?−Present Super Shot ride.
Tilt-a-wirl Sellner Manufacturing 2010 Basic Tilt-a-wirl brought back after Playland sold theirs.
Tornado Wisdom  ?−Present Where riders spin the carts while been elevated into the air.
Twin Flip Moser 2005(?)−Present It is believed to be the only Twin Flip in North America.
Vertigo A.R.M. 2010 A wave swinger type ride which climbs a large tower
Zendar Dartron (for a few years in the '90s) A ride where riders enter to large cages and ride in a standing position while being held to the wall with contrifugal force because of the two large cages faslty spinning. Similar to the Scat and Scat II.
Zero Gravity Dartron  ?−Present Dartron Zero Gravity (replaced Zendar Presumably)
Zipper Chance Rides 1980s and '90s A ride that spins on a giant boom while carts flip riders upside down.

Past amusement rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Year Closed Manufacturer Description
Calypso Schwarzkopf Retired from service after mechanical problems.
Dragon Coaster 2003 Zamperla A powered Zamperla little kids coaster.
Octopus 2004 Eyerly Similar to the Octopus.
Rainbow 1984 2000 HUSS A Rainbow ride by Huss. It was acquired from Maple Leaf Village in Ontario. Last seen traveling with shows in Poland.
Super Big Gulp 1972 1994 Schwarzkopf A Schwarzkopf Jet Star II coaster. Renamed and painted blue after sponsorship by 7-Eleven was gained. It is currently stored in trailers near New Jersey pending sponsorship to finish refurbishing. The PNE believes it was moved to Mexico, but this was recently proven to be false.
Ferris Wheel ? ? Eli Bridge Co. Large Eli Wheel.
Tilt-A-Whirl Pre-1987 2004 Sellner Standard Tilt-A-Whirl.
Wild Mouse 1958(?) 2009 Princeton Machine[6] A wild mouse roller coaster with tight turns and drops. It was the only roller coaster the company ever created. The layout was a copy of German made Wild Mouse coasters. It was reported to be manufactured in 1967 but this has not been confirmed. It was taken out of service due to high maintenance costs.
Zillerator 1996 1997 D.P.V. Rides An short-lived Italian-made coaster. Currently owned by Butler Amusements and travels around western USA.

Children's attractions[edit]

These rides are located at a section of the park called Kids Playce at Playland. All rides there have a height restriction of (90 cm/36") with the exception of Balloon Explorers, which has a minimum height of 42 inches. The maximum height is 150 cm (60 in) unless otherwise noted.

  • Balloon Explorers − Eight hot air balloons that go 42 feet in the air and move in a circular motion.
  • Dune Buggies − Dune buggy ride.
  • Flying Elephants – Circular elephant ride.
  • KC's Raceway – Motorized car ride.
  • Helicopters – Ten helicopters that move in a circular motion while the riders may control the helicopters to go up and down. No 150 cm (60") limit.
  • Honeybee Express – A miniature train ride. Minimum height: 36 inches
  • Merry-Go-Round – Classic carousel ride. No 150 cm (60 in) limit.
  • Paddle Wheelers – Boats on a small shallow circular water channel.
  • Raiders – Large themed jungle gym set themed to (unofficially) Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Stunt Cycles – Motorcycles move in a circular motion.
  • Super Slide – A three lane slide. No 150 cm (60 in) limit.
  • Teacups − Classic Teacup ride.

Other attractions[edit]

  • Haunted Mansion – A haunted house. There is an additional charge for this attraction.
  • Climbing Wall – A 10 m (35 ft) tall climbing wall with three climbing stations, two for beginners and one for experts. This attraction is free during the regular operating season, but there is an additional cost to go on it during the annual fair.
  • Glass House – A maze constructed of transparent walls. This attraction is free with admission during the regular operating season.
  • Pacific Adventure Golf – An 18 hole miniature golf course. There is an additional charge for this attraction.
  • Basketball Court – A basketball for guests to use. This attraction is free.
  • Command Headquarters (CHQ) – Video Game Arcade. (Verified As Of Dec 5, 2009)

Obsolete attractions[edit]

  • Nintendo Power Zone – A place to go play the latest video games for Nintendo and PlayStation.
  • The Maze – A maze built of covered chain link fencing. Was located approximately where the Revelation is now.

Midway Games[edit]

  • Arcade
  • Big Bang
  • BlockBuster
  • Crossbow
  • Derby Downs
  • High Striker
  • Jump Shot
  • One Ball
  • Play Quarters
  • Play to Win
  • Pop-A-Lot
  • Pop Gun
  • Ring Toss
  • Rising Waters
  • Roll-A-Ball
  • Shoot Out the Star
  • Skatter Ball
  • Tuff Guys
  • Whac-A-Mole

Annual events[edit]

Fright Nights[edit]

From the middle of October until the Halloween weekend, Playland is home to the Fright Nights Halloween event. During this time, haunted houses are brought in and setup in Playland and employed monsters are roaming the park scaring patrons. All of the parks amusement rides are in operation with the exception of the children's attractions.

Since the beginning of the event in 2003, the haunted houses have been owned and managed by ScreamWorks Inc., a Calgary based company. But starting in 2009, the PNE and Playland will be managing the whole Fright Nights event, including the haunted houses.

A 2010 episode of the TV show Psych entitled "In Plain Fright" was filmed at Playland during Fright Nights at Playland.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coaster (Playland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Corkscrew (Playland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Kettle Creek Mine (Playland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Star Flyer opens in Vancouver". Park World Magazine. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Projects". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wild Mouse (Playland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]