Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario

Canada's Wonderland is Canada's largest amusement park and is only a short drive north of Toronto. Wonderland has seventeen roller coasters, behind only Six Flags Magic Mountain, and tied with Cleveland's Cedar Point. There are a lot of places at Wonderland to eat. There are hot dog stands, stir-fry places, pizza shacks, and a sit-down restaurant called the Marketplace International Buffet.

Canada's Wonderland is a 330-acre amusement park 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Toronto in Vaughan, Ontario. It has the same fun vibe as the other Cedar Fair parks, and has some of the same rides and attractions, like International Street and a water park. The food offerings are similar too, but one of the best things about Wonderland is the Marketplace restaurant, because it's like all of this park's eateries in one place.

These flowers greet visitors as they enter Canada's Wonderland at the very start of International Street. Today is Thursday, June 28th, 2018, and the weather is beautiful. Canada Day is three days away and every corner of the park is decorated with red-and-white bunting. Straight ahead is Wonder Mountain.

This is Wonder Mountain, as viewed from the lovely pedestrian bridge on International Street. Wonder Mountain's Guardian ride is a 3-D fun fest, on the left side of the mountain. Riders get to wear fx-glasses and zoom through a dragon's lair, while zapping giant gold coins. (My son came in fourth in gold-zapping.) On the other side is Thunder Run. Center-stage, though, will be three cliff-divers who take the plunge every couple of hours. Amazing!

This is the fountain on International Street, facing east back toward the entrance. Also in this photo, in the back, is the Leviathan roller coaster. Leviathan is 1,672 meters (5486 feet) long with a top speed of 148 kilometers (92 miles) per hour and is the fastest coaster in Canada. This is the ninth tallest coaster worldwide, and opened in the spring of 2012.

Heading back toward Wonder Mountain, the entrance to Medieval Faire is right off of International Street on the right hand side. This is the archway, leading back toward Leviathan, Speed City Raceway, Drop Tower, and Wonderland Theatre with the Cirque Canadien show. Marketplace Buffett is also here.

The Marketplace International Buffet isn't always open to park patrons. It may be closed on certain days that Wonderland is open, as it is reserved for private groups, or it may be closed to park patrons during certain hours. It is quarter till one, and this family group did not get in, even though they said they had purchased a meal pass. (My group decided to wait a bit, and we were let in at 1 pm.)

If a visitor has a Cedar Fair platinum pass with the platinum meal plan, he or she can pay the upgrade fee of $11CAD per person and eat here. The restaurant is divided into two sections, with the food stations in-between. This was the section, with booths and tables, in which the park patrons were directed the day of our visit. The other side is a little cushier and quieter.

Marketplace has better quality and variety of food offerings than any other Cedar Fair eatery. There is a Marketplace at Cleveland's Cedar Point, but the one at Kings Island north Cincinnati was replaced with a Reds-themed place. Reds Grille has premium burgers and memorabilia, plus some big salads, but Marketplace is the best sit-down restaurant. (KI's International Street Restaurant is sometimes open to park patrons during Haunt and Winterfest, and yes, the view is amazing.)

Speaking of burgers, this is the burger station at Marketplace. The meat burgers (both adult and kid-sized), the hotdogs, and the chicken fingers are all halal. Vegan burgers are also here. The burger toppings here were all neat, abundant, fresh, and in great variety. Each food item and topping (except onion) was sampled; and all were delicious. Likewise in the previous photo of the lasagne station.

Just like Cedar Point's Marketplace, CW's Marketplace has abundant fresh fruit offerings. There are also pita pockets, naan bread, and a few varieties of hummus. This is the central food area of Marketplace. Looking out the window in the background, the wait to come in is considerable. It's about ten minutes after one pm.

The tacos from the taco station were delicious, just like everything else here. Workers were attentive to sanitation at the counters, but the floors are a little slick. If dining in the right-hand side of the restaurant, some of the tables were ill-balanced, which was solved by stuffing folded napkins under a table leg. When an extra chair was needed, a friendly staffer was able to get one.

This is a "bowl" from the taco stand, without taco shells. (Taco shells were nevertheless fresh and crisp.) The Colby-jack cheese was perfect. At Kings Island, there is Hank's Burritos with premium beef barbacoa and chicken offerings, and Cedar Point has the somewhat pedestrian walking taco, with Doritos or Frito chips. Hank's is next to a bier garden and is under a roof with a view of a small lake with fish.

The ice cream station at Marketplace is soft serve vanilla. The cups into which the ice cream is dispensed are on the left. This is probably a kid's favorite place in the restaurant. There are a variety of toppings, like choco-sauce, caramel, sprinkles and cookie crumbs. There is no one eatery at Kings Island with food, dessert and coffee under one roof.

Marketplace does dessert-by-the-bite in the case right next to the ice cream dispenser. The icing on the carrot cake was not creamy-cheesy, but was still tasty. The lemon bite had a nice citrusy "pop" to it. All desserts were delicious, and there were different varieties offered during our hour-long visit.

The beverage station was always clean and well-stocked for both soda drinkers and for coffee and tea drinkers. There are small plastic dining hall cups near the soda dispenser; it was better just to fill the 20 oz souvenir bottles and load up on ice as it was a warm day. This station was great in that coffee mugs were available in addition to the paper to-go cups with lids.

Want a double-double? Well, here it is. There are all types of sugars available and two types of dairy cream, plus non-dairy creamer product. With lunch about over, Marketplace was thinning out a little bit. When this one was down the hatch, we got a couple more double-doubles for the road. It would be a 30 minute drive back to the hotel on the other side of Vaughan, due to the heavy traffic.

What a beautiful day at Canada's Wonderland. Before heading out, we took a few minutes to stop in a candy shoppe, plus True North Gifts, to get a couple of Roots t-shirts to commemorate the visit. We also got a couple of quarter-zip pullovers and a Blue Jays trucker hat. Tomorrow, we've got a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre with the Detroit Tigers.

The Leviathan coaster is one of the last rides that people will see as they head out of Wonderland toward the parking lot. New in 2018 at Wonderland was the Lumberjack pendulum thrill ride, near Wonder Mountain. Also new this year is the Flying Canoes family ride and a pint-sized splash pool called Lakeside Lagoon. We're looking forward to coming back to try these new rides.

Return to Top

Privacy Policy