American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) recognizes Playland Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.
Designed by Carl Phare, who once worked for roller coaster design pioneer La Marcus Thompson, Playland Wooden Roller Coaster is the last existing example of Phare’s work that is still operating today. It is also Canada’s oldest operating roller coaster. Built in 1958 by Walker LeRoy as part of the construction of Playland Amusement Park at the PNE fairgrounds, it instantly became the landmark attraction for both the park and the PNE. It features a classic wooden coaster design which includes a 23-meter (75-foot) first drop with a top speed of 72 kph (45 mph), numerous airtime-producing hills, strong lateral G-force turns, and a classic fan curve along its 866-meter (2,840-foot) course. The coaster’s three trains, also designed by Phare, utilize eight open-front, single-bench, flange-wheeled cars that make the ride unique among today’s wooden coasters.
Playland Wooden Roller Coaster continues to operate today as well as it did when it first opened in 1958. ACE salutes Playland at the PNE, which does an excellent job maintaining this Canadian treasure in the manner that offers classic wooden roller coaster thrills for all to enjoy.
Presented by American Coaster Enthusiasts
July 11, 2009