Canadian National Exhibition held at Exhibition Place in Toronto is the largest annual Community Fair in the nation. Its the place where the best new foods, the liveliest entertainment, and the most inspirational works of art and technology are displayed or ‘exhibited’. And it has been this way for over a century. Today the eighteen day spectacle occupies one hundred and ninety two acres of prime downtown Toronto real estate where it attracts one point three million visitors. The modern day circus employs five thousand young people and generates about seventy million dollars for the city.
Throughout its 136-year history, the C.N.E. has been a family tradition for million of Canadians who,. at every stage of the life, hope to be amazed by something they see or experience inside the park. They seldom leave disappointed.
Buying a bulk ride pass is the best value for thrill seekers that want to get the most out of Canada’s largest (seasonal) Midway. The All-Day Ride Pass as $48 in 2017, but the deal is different each year. One thing that never changes however is the coupon breakdown, and the Six Coupon Rides are always the biggest, fastest and most spectacular attractions in the park.
Any Guide to the Six Coupon Rides at the C.N.E. might also offer some explanations as to how and why these attractions have evolved that premium cost moniker. Why do these top twelve rides cost six tickets each (Mach 3 actually costs eight tickets)? To ride all twelve would cost 74 tickets (and any prices would date this article).
The C.N.E. has 118 Rides of attractions that cost tickets and these range from Ferris wheels to merry-go-rounds, and haunted houses and mini, medium and major roller coasters. All the big stuff is found on the main midway and costs six tickets or more to enter. There are also height restrictions, and in all cases you have be taller than 42′ to ride a six ticket attraction. Its worth noting that some of the 6 ticket rides deny entrance to tall people, exceeding 74″ inches as the torque on their bodies can exceed medical tolerances and the risk is deemed too great.
BLITZER! and Crazy Mouse are Premium Roller Coasters
BLITZER! is the second largest roller coaster at the C.N.E. behind Crazy Mouse. The ride is a blur of green track and getting seated the first car is worth the extra wait. The ride lasts two minutes and six seconds and has many slopes and sharp turns but no vertical loops. Its remarkable for its speed and the butterflies it makes in rider’s stomachs and it rises and falls offering a terrific view of the Midway.
Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster at the C.N.E.
The Wild Mouse or Crazy Mouse roller coaster is characterized by small cars that seat four people or fewer and ride on top of the track, taking tight, flat turns (without banking) at modest speeds, yet producing high lateral G-forces.
The track on this ride has many turns and bunny hops, the latter producing abrupt negative vertical G forces. When approaching a turn from a straight section the intended impression is that one will simply continue straight, and thus plunge off of the device and down onto the concrete below. Since there are no transition sections as are in a conventional high speed coaster tracks, the turn itself is obscured upon close approach. Almost all Crazy Mouse coaster designs feature switchback sections, consisting of several of these unbanked turns, separated by straight sections. Usually the turns on the switchback section are 180°, but some more permanent Crazy Mouse type coasters feature 90° turns with loops.
The C.N.E.’s Crazy Mouse roller coaster is famous. There is even a Wikipedia entry for the Wild (Crazy) Mouse roller coaster. The one at the EX can reach more than 40 feet high and zooms across 1,300 feet of twisting and dropping track at 30 mph.
Wild Mouse (the name of the original roller coaster) was invented by German designer Franz Mack. In the original wooden roller coaster (1970), the cars were so small that they could only fit two adults in close contact. While the low capacity of these rides led to long lines, the cars were small by design.
In the 1980s, the Wild Mouse type roller coaster was nearly extinct, but popularity surged again in the mid-1990s when it became clear that Crazy Mouse-style rides were cost effective portable attractions that were perfect for seasonal midways like Toronto. These rides are cheaper than larger, conventional coasters and they add to a park’s “coaster count” with minimal impact on the cost and area required to accommodate the ride.
“It takes six trucks to bring it here from the Calgary EX”, say Ryan Whitcomb seen below running the Crazy Mouse gate.
Crazy Mouse is the ride everyone remembers.
Alpine Bobs, Himalaya and Polar Express
Alpine Bobs, Himalaya and Polar Express are seat-pod-spinners with variable vertical inclines and some form of tunnel in the back. The first two rides are direct descendants of the third. The Polar Express first appeared at the C.N.E. in the early 1980s, and it caused a sensation here and everywhere it went all over North America. The ride works.
All three of these spin rides have odd arctic themes for no other reason than they are descended from Polar Express. They all combine loud music with fast cars or seat-pods in a circular spin track. This effects of the centrifugal force on the human body are amplified by loud music, and the ever-changing slope of the track against the visuals of the sides and the spinning core. The last variable is the speed which can and often does exceed fifty revolutions per minute. And all the while the announcer says, ‘Let me hear you scream if you want to go faster!”
Himalaya is the sister of Polar Express and does more with light, sound and colour, and plays different music to give a different effect.
Hurricane is a spinning spider and is in many ways the less sophisticated bridge between the Polar Express family pod-spinners and the more intricate multi-directional spinning capsule rides like Orbitor and Remix.
Orbitor and Remix
Orbitor and Remix rides are also spinners, but the seats are affixed to six spinning arms which lift up off the ground and also spin in complimentary and sometimes not so agreeable counter-directional patterns.
Remix is similar to the Orbiter, the main difference being that passengers have their own individual seats with solid shoulder bars, compared to the Orbiter’s single car that holds 2 or 3 people on a bench seat with a solid lap bar.
Some ride enthusiasts complain that the C.N.E. runs both Orbitor and Remix in-optimally, meaning the ride is not run it at full capability, with arms raised a full 90 degrees. It’s likely the Remix was created in response to the reluctance of operators to run the Orbiter at full height, thinking it might be dangerous if someone should be thrown out of the car. That would be impossible on the Remix, because of the seats and shoulder bars. Therefore the Remix is designed to run with the arms raised to slightly MORE than 90 degrees. According to ride junkies that’s how this is done all over North America except at the C.N.E. and whether this is done for safety or in accordance with … elder law?
Regarding the differences between Remix and Orbiter, one YouTube comment after a POV video of the ride states, “…In Orbitor, I can’t tell any difference in the ride effect between sitting in the outer or inner half of the car. But that’s not true for the Remix, there is a noticeable difference, and the outer seat is faster. So try to get a seat on the outer side if you can.” which is excellent advice for speed freaks and good advice for parents who may choose an inner seat accordingly.
Mach 3 is the only ride that requires eight coupons at the C.N.E, and even so it draws a massive crowd, and eager speed freaks have to slow their roll and endure long line-ups. The ride is popular because it can be seen for miles around, and it has a very limited seating capacity. The giant ride is essential one huge spinning arm with seat pod capsules on both ends. The arm is just over 100 feet long with two sets of seats mounted at each end, back to back. Each four-seat assembly can swing 360 degrees. The arm rotates at up to 13 revolutions per minute, producing an acceleration of 3.5 Gs on the riders. Highlights of this experience would include seeing the park and the city beyond at the top of the arc, and then experiencing what it would be like to slam into the concrete, only to be whisked away and up to experience that same action again and again and again.
Mega Drop is a 130 foot tall Fabbri tower that is owned and operated by North American Midway Entertainment.
This ride is the only attraction at The EX that simulates a real ‘free fall’ in zero gravity, and in absolutely safe conditions thanks to Fabbri’s signature P.M.B. or Permanent Magnetic Brakes technology developed in the 1980s. For this reason it is still a very popular and successful ride today.
Scary Drop was the original ride’s name, and the earliest versions accommodated ten riders. The Mega Drop modern incarnation holds a dozen riders who are all seated around the column. When the ride begins, the group is lifted one hundred and thirty feet in the air (approx 20 meters) in 52 seconds, then the group is made to wait at the top for about four seconds (and an odd-clanking sound is sometimes heard coming from the stem). Then with a brief flash of the lights, the passengers are ‘let go’, and they begin their free fall experience which lasts just under three seconds. This provides a great leg-dangling sensation for riders and a great spectacle for everyone watching below.
Niagara Falls Flume Ride
The Niagara Falls theme flume ride is a remarkable engineering achievement come to life as a thrilling carnival ride. This portable attraction is also made by Fabbri in Italy and owned by the American Midway Entertainment Corporation which brings it to the exhibition each year. The ride is and in 48 meters long and 19 meters high. There is 187 meters of track.
This is the only water ride at the CNE, passengers experience a unique sensation, descending from hills and splashing in the pool.
After having left the station the trunk will make an ascend followed by a panoramic curve and exciting drop at 1,2m/s to obtain a water splash. Vehicles are built to allow up to 4 passengers all seated in a row, the whole ride is controlled by a Programmable Logic Controller which is an industrial grade computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices.
According to customer’s need it will be possible to design a special lay-out providing a different hourly capacity with special effects as geysers or water falls, height and number of descent on request. Additional elements such as wood and stones enrich the flume ride theme but in the case of the C.N.E. the ride is usually parked right up against the backside of the BMO Field and hence the view is considerably diminished
Ring of Fire ride at C.N.E.
The Swing Tower
is specially made for young couples to test their hand-holding skills as the spin around through the air and at great heights above the C.N.E. It’s also a great bonding ingredient for strained father daughter relationships and helps bridge the gap between old and young with every ride.
The Six Ticket Rides at the C.N.E.
Name of Ride #tickets Height Minimums.
|Alpine Bob’s||6||48″ to ride|
|BLITZËR Roller Coaster||6||42″ – 48″ w/ Adult Max 74″|
|Himalaya||6||48″ to 52″ w/Adult|
|Hurricane||6||42″ with Adult / 46″ Alone|
|Mach 3||8||55″ to Ride – 75″ Max|
|Mega Drop||6||54″ To ride 82″ Max|
|Niagara Falls Flume||6||42″ to 48″ with adult|
|Orbitor||6||48″ to ride|
|Polar Express||6||50″ to Ride|
|Ring of Fire||6||48″ to Ride|
|Starship||6||42″ to ride|
|Swing Tower||6||48″ to ride|
More information about ninety seven other Midway Rides at the CNE can be found at,