Niagara Falls has the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world: a staggering 168, 000 cubic metres a minute. That’s a lot of water. The Falls was formed at the end of the last Ice Age when large glaciers melted and released a ton of rushing water, creating what is now the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. When the water reached the Niagara Escarpment, the only place for it to go was careening downwards: thus, we have Niagara Falls. The original location of the Falls was in the Queenston/Lewiston area, but as the rocks eroded from the sheer force of the water, the Falls moved further and further back until it settled at its present-day location. Nowadays, the rock is still eroding, but at a much slower pace than in the past; it erodes approximately one foot per year. This is due to the fact that the water pressure is not quite as great as it was in years past, as much of the water is diverted in order to power the hydroelectric plant. Niagara Falls is quite a wonder of nature.
One of Niagara Falls newest attractions allows you to experience a recreation of the formation of the Falls, in a 4D, Universal Studios-type attraction. Niagara’s Fury is located at Table Rock, a newly renovated building and viewing centre on the Niagara Parkway that offers an unprecedented view of the Falls.
This is an attraction that will drop you right into the midst of the action. It begins with a short animated movie created by Blur Studios which explains the formation of Niagara Falls, and will take you back in time to the end of the last Ice Age. After the movie, you are escorted into the 4D theatre, and wait to immerse yourself in the creation of the Falls. Suddenly, the temperature drops by 20 degrees, the wind blasts, water splashes in every direction, and the ground tilts, rumbles, and shakes as you relive the formation of the world’s most formidable waterfall.
Niagara’s Fury is an impressive achievement: the attraction uses 170,343,540 litres of water, and 40 tons of aluminum was used in construction. 102 people can fit in the Fury at one time, and 600 people can experience it in an hour. The platform inside the theatre is 33 feet wide, and there is a 360-degree seamless screen inside as well. The technology used to create this attraction was previously only used in satellite and medical imaging.
As you step out of Niagara’s Fury and back out onto the observation deck at Table Rock, you will be greeted again with the sound of the thundering waters. And after experiencing Niagara’s Fury, you will probably be gazing upon the waterfall with a new sense of appreciation and awe.
Niagara’s Fury is open year-round, with the exception of December 25. Shows take place daily every 30 minutes, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The hours are expanded on the weekend and holidays. Admission to Niagara’s Fury is $13.50 for adults, $8.80 for children ages 6 to 12, and kids under 5 are admitted for free.
Niagara Parks offers numerous other attractions that will also allow you to experience the beauty of the Falls, while still providing an educational experience. Close by to Niagara’s Fury is Journey Behind the Falls, a really cool attraction (the only attraction in fact) that allows you to explore behind and below the Falls. The Maid of the Mist will take you as close to the Falls as you’ll probably ever get, and The White Water Walk allows you to take a stroll along a boardwalk and witness one of the world’s most tumultuous stretches of raging white water. To save some money and allow you to make the most of your time in Niagara Falls, check out the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass, which will give you admission to all the aforementioned top attractions in Niagara Falls, plus transportation for two days on the WeGo buses. In addition, you will also receive over $30 in discount coupons for other Niagara Parks attractions. Information on all the different attractions can be found at www.niagaraparks.com
**Photo credit: Niagara Parks Commission.