If you’re a true roller coaster aficionado, then the Playland Wooden Coaster in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is undoubtedly on your bucket list. Since 1958, this iconic ride has been drawing thrill-seekers from across the province, the entire country, and even the world, to experience its gritty charm and heart-pounding twists and turns. Let’s dive into the exhilarating history, unique features, and thrilling facts of the Playland Wooden Coaster, a timeless masterpiece that has recently been restored to thrill a new generation of coaster enthusiasts.
Embracing the Legend: Wooden Coaster’s History
In a world where amusement park rides come and go, only a few attain legendary status, and the Playland Wooden Coaster is undeniably among them. With a history stretching back 65 years, this coaster’s tale is steeped in adventure and defiance. In 1958, a group of engineers scoffed at the audacious idea that a roller coaster train could navigate the intricate labyrinth of dips, bends, and curves that define the Playland Coaster’s track – all powered solely by gravity. To prove them wrong, the lead builder of the coaster, Walker LeRoy, took a daring $100 bet. Strapped to an unfinished train with just a piece of rope for support, he defied expectations and navigated the entire course. This daring feat marked the beginning of the Playland Wooden Coaster’s legacy.
What You Didn’t Know About The Wooden Coaster
Dive into the facts and figures that make the Playland Wooden Coaster a true marvel:
- Construction and Opening: Built over 1957 and early 1958, the coaster opened its thrilling journey to the public in 1958.
- Design and Build: The coaster was designed by the visionary Carl Phare, while Walker LeRoy led its construction.
- Train Configuration: Each train boasts eight two-person cars, accommodating a total of 16 passengers.
- Maximum Speed: Brace yourself for a thrilling ride at speeds of up to 72 kph (45 mph).
- Height and Track Length: Reach for the skies as the coaster’s highest point (1st hill) stands at an impressive 75 feet. The track spans 5/8th of a mile.
- Ride Time and Annual Guests: Experience an adrenaline-packed 90 seconds as you navigate the twists and turns. Join the half-million annual guests who share in the excitement.
- Electric Power and Gravity: A 75 hp electric motor lifts the specially designed 16-passenger train up the first hill. From there, the coaster takes over, relying on the laws of gravity to guide its journey.
- Cost of Creation: In 1958, this marvel was brought to life with an initial construction cost of $200,000.
- Proudly Douglas Fir: Crafted from Douglas Fir, the Playland Wooden Coaster boasts natural beauty and rustic charm.
- ACE Landmark: Honored by the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) as a “Coaster Classic” and a “Landmark,” this ride holds a special place in coaster history.
- Momentum Magic: What sets this coaster apart is its momentum-driven journey after the initial hill, offering a unique and heart-pounding experience.
- Wooden Wonder: Unlike its steel counterparts, the Playland Coaster proudly retains its wooden charm, adding to its living legacy.
A Rejuvenated Legacy: The Future of Playland Wooden Coaster
After a comprehensive $2.0 million restoration completed in 2022, the Playland Wooden Coaster stands ready to welcome a new generation of thrill-seekers. With its rich history, unique features, and legendary status, this coaster promises an unforgettable experience for those willing to brave its heart-pounding twists and turns.
Not only is it known so well here in Vancouver but because of its massive film history many from all over the world know this coaster for its many cameo roles since the early 1990s! I mean just check out this long list of movies and TV shows: Psych, Happy Gilmore, The Flash, Imposters, Fringe, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Supergirl, Arrow, The L Word, MacGyver, Fear, Batwoman, Miracle, Best in Show, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Kyle XY, Are We There Yet?, Riding the Bullet, Rocky IV, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty, Galore, Alcatraz, The X Files: I Want To Believe, Final Destination 3, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball, Highlander, Bird on a Wire, Splitting Adam, Saint Sinner, Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14, Da Vinci’s Inquest, The Odyssey, Secret Agent Man, Sliders, Smallville, Intelligence, Rollercoaster, The Edge of Seventeen.
So, if you’re ready to add your name to the list of adventurers who’ve experienced the classic Playland Wooden Coaster, start planning your pilgrimage to Vancouver. Feel the wind in your hair, the thrill in your heart, and the legacy of coaster history beneath you as you ride this timeless masterpiece that has captured the imaginations of roller coaster enthusiasts for generations.