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Spring is in the air — and so is the smell of mini doughnuts

You'll find over 35 thrill rides, including the wooden roller coaster that's celebrating a big anniversary this year, when Playland opens on May 5.

Playland opens May 5, with more than thirty-five thrilling rides, including one of the world’s fastest — the Revelation, the heart-stopping Hellevator and the Beast’s fantastic five g-forces of fun.

 The iconic wooden roller coaster at Playland at the PNE turns 60 this year. Photo Dan ToulgoetThe iconic wooden roller coaster at Playland at the PNE turns 60 this year. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Also returning are family attractions such as the glass house and B.C.’s largest midway. And when it comes to fun food, Triple-O’s, What the Fudge and Cheese Please, FunDunkers Donut Stand and Beaver Tails will be open to provide tasty snacks to guests.

King of the midway turns 60

This year marks the 60th birthday of arguably Canada’s most famous historic ride — the iconic Playland wooden roller coaster. Since 1958, thrill seekers from across B.C. and around the globe have made the pilgrimage to pay homage to one of the greatest amusement rides ever constructed.

There is no doubt the world’s amusement park industry has had several legendary rides during its iconic, and often storied, history — rides that are held in special esteem, including the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens and Cedar Points’ Millennium Force. But, few roller coasters have achieved the legendary status among true ride aficionados than the classic Playland wooden coaster.

Hobbyists and fans who’ve braved the coaster are familiar with the dramatic and unsuspected jerk of motion as the sixteen-passenger train is locked into position on the uptake chain at the base of the first hill.

 The beast is back at Playland May 5. Photo Dan ToulgoetThe beast is back at Playland May 5. Photo Dan Toulgoet

The clicking sound that follows is as universally known by coaster fans as the stomach-churning first hill plunge and the camel-hop drops that are as signature to the ride as the picture of its iconic, skeletal frame set against the Vancouver skyline.

PlayPasses, available online, give families and thrill seekers unlimited access to more than 35 rides, attractions and games including Pacific Adventure Golf, which is now included free with admission. Playland at the PNE opens at 10 a.m. May 5. Playland is located at 2901 East Hastings St.

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