average.coaster.fan wrote:Wow, World Waterpark seems like a really nice indoor waterpark, and it looks enormous. I would definitely love to visit Edmonton Mall at some point in the near future!
The wave pool occupies a majority of the park, but the main slide tower is approaching 90-100 feet tall.
Kw6sTheatee wrote:I think I might’ve gone to World Waterpark as a young child... I might be going back to Edmonton to visit family this summer and that means an excuse for me to ride my #5 coaster and visit this amazing looking waterpark.
Enjoy! The mall really is awesome.
Canobie Coaster wrote: It literally looks like the train is about to fall off. That's how abrupt the twists are.
That's not where I was trying to go with that, but probably not my best choice of words considering the ride's history.
I was super anticipating this report on the World Waterpark and I'm very glad you posted it. Edmonton Mindbender is the #1 coaster on my bucket list, but I would be so devastated to buy a $400 cross country flight to a random mall in Canada and find it closed. I feel like I could definitely justify tacking this on to a Portland OR trip (when seeing my sister) though if the awesome waterpark was also involved.
I remember visiting the WEM as a young child, it must have been around the time the first Wayne's World movie came out because I remember seeing it with my parents at one of the theaters in the mall. Mindbender is one of those amazing coasters that really seems like it shouldn't exist but I'm super thankful that it does. I'm just hoping that it manages to last until whenever I can make a return trip, because being able to get another ride (or dozen) on Mindbender is right now probably my #1 bucket list item.
Couldn't help but notice in that second-to-last picture of yours from the waterpark... are they still doing bungee jumps over the wave pool from that platform?
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Skyrush. Kiddo's faves: Banshee. Top Thrill Dragster. Valravn. Apollo's Chariot. Twisted Timbers.
BlahBlahson wrote:I was super anticipating this report on the World Waterpark and I'm very glad you posted it. Edmonton Mindbender is the #1 coaster on my bucket list, but I would be so devastated to buy a $400 cross country flight to a random mall in Canada and find it closed. I feel like I could definitely justify tacking this on to a Portland OR trip (when seeing my sister) though if the awesome waterpark was also involved.
Thanks! Galaxyland has their maintenance schedule for several months out posted online. I don't recall seeing Mindbender on it and I'm guessing all the inspections may help with that.
coneyislandchris wrote:I remember visiting the WEM as a young child, it must have been around the time the first Wayne's World movie came out because I remember seeing it with my parents at one of the theaters in the mall. Mindbender is one of those amazing coasters that really seems like it shouldn't exist but I'm super thankful that it does. I'm just hoping that it manages to last until whenever I can make a return trip, because being able to get another ride (or dozen) on Mindbender is right now probably my #1 bucket list item.
Couldn't help but notice in that second-to-last picture of yours from the waterpark... are they still doing bungee jumps over the wave pool from that platform?
That's cool that they used to have bungee jumping. They have since turned that platform into a zipline that runs over the pool. I didn't see anyone doing it so I don't know if it was closed or just too expensive.
The West Edmonton Mall is the crown jewel of consumerism. They basically have any store imaginable- clothing stores, gaming stores, pharmacies, religious stores, pot stores, British stores, etc. If it’s a type of store, the West Edmonton Mall probably has it.
If you can name another mall where you can go from a chapel to a pot shop to a British store, please enlighten me.
Rather than shopping til’ I dropped, I spent the entirety of my visit exploring the entertainment options at the mall. In fact, I don’t think I bought a single item. I was there for 20 consecutive hours from 6 am to 2 am and could have easily spent more time. Massive doesn’t begin to describe this mall.
For hotels, I openly admit that I’m a cheapskate. I do have standards (a minimum of a 7 star guest rating on Hotels.com), but I tend to gravitate towards the Econo Lodges and Motel 6’s of the world. Usually my definition of splurging is a Holiday Inn. But I will make an exception if the hotel offers something I cannot get otherwise (ex. Resort guest ERT). The Fantasyland Hotel did that.
The Fantasyland Hotel is located inside the mall. Since I didn’t rent a car, the convenience was a major draw. In addition, I was able to get a discounted combo ticket for the mall’s attractions. Last but not least, each room had a unique theme. I was eying the space room, but the staff told me that room is usually booked a year out! So I selected the Roman themed room as a consolation.
This sure beats the Quality Inn I originally booked.
The hotel included all the attractions, but you received a separate wristband for each. So it became quite confusing to keep track of them. You think they'd color code it or something.
One of the weirdest things about the mall is that it’s seemingly open 24/7. The stores have the usual hours and some of the attractions and restaurants stay open late. But even absolutely nothing is open at 6 am, you’re free to stroll the mall. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to appreciate the architecture. For others, it was the perfect place to go for a jog since Edmonton is a dark freezer.
Some people came early to ice skate.
Others came early to clip their toe nails.
We’re used to themed areas at amusement parks. I’m not used to themed areas in a mall, but that’s exactly what the West Edmonton Mall has. Their themed areas include France, Chinatown, Bourbon Street, and an aquatic area. Even the non-themed areas were gorgeous and often lined with fountains.
Bourbon Street was still rocking at 2 am, but not at 8 am when I took this.
Yes this is still a mall.
I wish my local mall looked half this nice.
Instead my local mall looks something like this. That's probably why it closed a month later.
One of the most well-known attractions at the mall is the Sea Life Caverns aquarium. In terms of the animal exhibits, they were top-notch. And by luck, my visit coincided with the feeding hour for the penguins, so it was definitely a treat seeing those awkward birds scarf down fish.
The one thing that shocked me was just how small the aquarium was. I’m not even exaggerating, but I’m pretty sure you could walk from one end to the other in about 30 seconds. That being said, what they have is well worth seeing and the price point seemed fair.
But the main attraction of Sea Life is the sea lion show. It occurs 2-3 times per day. Your aquarium ticket gives you a seat in the arena, but you can also see the show unobstructed from the mall’s second story balcony. I think locals were privy to this as they started lining up a few minutes before the show. It lacked the comedy of Clyde and Seamore, but the sea lion did plenty of tricks.
What better way to enter an aquarium than to be eaten by a fish?
These penguins probably wish they were outside in Edmonton's negative degree weather.
Rocket is in the doghouse.
What few exhibits they had were pretty big.
In some ways, the view from outside the aquarium is better for the Sea Lion Show.
Almost everything about the mall was perfect, but there was one black mark- Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf. I love mini golf courses with obstacles- windmills, loop-the-loops, statues, etc. So I was really excited when I saw the whimsical theming. However, none of that is on the course itself.
It’s an absolute waste if you ask me to put in all these castles, blimps, and trees around the course, but not include them in any hole. All of the holes were pretty much straightaways. There weren’t even rocks blocking the holes. I was so disappointed that I quit after the 7th or 8th hole. I’ve never done that with a mini golf course.
Doesn't it look awesome? Too bad none of those figures actually interact with the holes. Very disappointing.
These things looked like they were more fun.
The mall also had at least 3-4 different arcades. I popped into a few of them. For the most part, the games were identical to what you’d find in the US, but I did find one little nugget for theme park fans. One of the games included a Chance Chaos on the backdrop.
Look, it's one of the last remaining Chance Chaos rides.
In the evening, I used my included movie ticket to see Into the Spiderverse. The movie was good, albeit overhyped, but I was most impressed with the lobby of the theater. They had giant freaking statues of Yoda and Batman suspended from the ceiling.
Canada gets Yoda and Batman in their theater's lobby. All we get are the local druggies.
Arguably the wildest ride of the weekend was the trip back to the US. I had an early flight back to the US at 5:30 am (hence why I pulled an all-nighter in the mall). My plane wasn’t your usual Boeing 747. Rather it was something called a Bombardier Dash 8. It was a 10 row plane powered by two little propellers on the side and I was seated face to face with 2 other passengers.
And of course it was snowing with 30-40 mph winds. I mean, why wouldn’t it in Canada? I was skeptical the plane would even take off, but by god the pilot did it. Airtran once flew us down to Orlando in the midst of a tropical storm, but at least that was in a full-size aircraft.
This was the most extreme turbulence I have ever experienced. I’d equate most turbulence to a B&M rattle; it’s there but it doesn’t bother me. This was like riding the Great American Scream Machine in a wheel seat. There was airtime (plenty of it!) but it wasn’t the least bit smooth. But eventually we did land to a rousing applause from the entire cabin.
My chariot that miraculously landed in the middle of this windy sleet storm.
I think they only way they could make this baggage claim more Canadian would be to add a Tom Horton's logo.
I don’t know the next time I’ll make it out to the West Edmonton Mall, but I do plan to visit the Mall of America and American Dream Mall (assuming it opens) later this year. If they’re even half of the West Edmonton Mall, I know I’ll have a good time. This is what a mall should be.
^HA! We also had a terrifying flight out of Edmonton! Just like you, typical Edmonton Winter Storming...captain announces we're going to pull out of the gate and get de-iced on the way to the runway. We pass the first de-icing station, we pass another, I look out at the wing and see a decent amount of snow and ice on it!!!! We pass another and turn onto the runway and the engines start roaring. At this point I'm thinking...do I try and alert someone that he forget to get de-iced!?!? Do I just assume the crash position!?! It takes a long time down the runway, but we finally take off at the very end and the captain later comes on explaining that they decided during taxiing that they didn't need to de-ice. Would have been nice to announce to your passengers a bit sooner!!!
Glad to see the mall is still surviving. I think it does better than US Malls in part due to the terrible weather half the year!
^ I don't even know if we were de-iced. All I know is that Canadian pilots seem way more ambitious than US ones. There's no way that flight would have taken off on time in the US.
I imagine Mall of America would have the same benefit of bad weather considering it's in Minnesota? I'm just waiting to see how that American Dream mall does. On one hand, New York has bad weather. On the other hand, that county can't open retail stores on Sunday and has football games at the stadium to contend with during the cruddy winter months.
Great trip report! Happy to see that you enjoyed WEM. I'm from the Edmonton area, and it's always cool to see trip reports from the mall. I have a few facts/trivia that relate to some of your pictures/comments.
Quirks in the Works is definitely the most unique dark ride I've been on. There was some talk going on several years back that the park was looking at doing a complete reno on the ride. Same theme, but totally re-done. New ride vehicles, new props, animations, video, lighting, everything. I don't know how true these reports were but haven't heard much since. I think it would benefit very well from a reno, it's a fun attraction.
For World Waterpark, I don't know if when you were there, the Zip Lines were in use. Prior to them being installed, the water park featured the worlds tallest indoor bungee jump tower. It was a cool thing to have at the mall, and while it was somewhat popular, I don't think it was popular enough to keep it open. Since the zip lines were installed, every time, I've been at the mall, they've been regularly in use.
A couple of slides that used to be in the park include a raft racer one, which had 3 slides. This was removed to make room for the Flowrider. There was also a lazy river, which was cool. There were two paths you could take. Both paths started and ended at the same points, but you could choose a slower, more relaxed way, or a faster one that featured drops and tunnels. As far as I know, the "river" is still there but hasn't been used for a number of years. I don't know the exact reasoning as to why it was closed.
All in all, I think the water park holds up well for being 33 years old. They seem to keep up with the times and bring in new attractions to keep the park fresh.
The mini golf course you checked out actually originally opened as a mini-golf version of Pebble Beach (trees, water features, sand traps). It was in the mid/late 90's that it was re-themed to its current theme. I think the original theme fit much better, especially with "Europa Blvd" above.
Up until 2010 or 2011, there also used to be a giant animatronic dragon that breathed fire every 30 minutes and had a light show to go along with it. It was removed due to maintenance issues/costs.
There was an attraction in the mall called "Lazer Maze". I'd best describe it as a "target shooting dark ride" but on foot. It had large animatronic characters and other animated props and various targets that you had to shoot during your walk thru. It closed in the late 1980's. Legendary Walt Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump was recruited for the development of the attraction.
Again, happy to see that you had a great trip, and survived the Edmonton winter, haha! Though I'm not really a fan of "extreme" coasters, every time I go to the mall, make a trip into Galaxyland and watch Mindbender for a couple runs.
I was at the mall the last weekend of January. The ziplines were clearly there, but I just didn't see anyone using them. Maybe they were closed the day I visited?
Along with the wonky theme, I think the ride system really works for Quirks in the Works. Considering how small that ride building is, I'm not sure another system would work much better without cutting down the ride time.
Canobie Coaster wrote:Along with the wonky theme, I think the ride system really works for Quirks in the Works. Considering how small that ride building is, I'm not sure another system would work much better without cutting down the ride time.
Perhaps, you could go trackless with spinning vehicles ala Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld Orlando? Just a thought. I still love Quirks in the Works as it is though, it’s crammed in really creatively.
1. The Voyage 2. Intimidator 305 3. Maverick 4. Skyrush 5. Mindbender (Galaxyland) 6. Fury 325 7. Kumba 8. Goliath (Georgia) 9. The Beast 10. Phoenix I’ve ridden 139 Coasters, and have been a coaster enthusiast since 2013.
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