Sunday, June 7, 2009

West Edmonton Mall, Alberta Canada

Well, our friends the Drinkwaters were right, this mall is like no other mall you have ever been to. You could call it the Disney Land of Canada. The statistics add to the unreality of the facility. It is as large as 48 city blocks, 40 - 747 airplanes could fit inside and there is an entrance to the hotel lobby at one end of the mall.

When we entered the building our first impression came from the multitude of fountains. They were placed everywhere, all sizes, shapes, and placements. One in the food court actually sprayed an arch of water over the walkways where people walked between tables. There must be enough water in here to supply New York City.

Then there was the water park. It is listed as the largest in door water park. We stood in the viewing room for at least half an hour watching the waves topple kids on tubes, families lounging on beach chairs, or sitting on the “beach”, kids climbing the towers up to the water slides. The 10 or so slides are labeled by color, for beginner, intermediate, expert, and even extreme. I wanted to fly my grand children out here at once, so I could have an excuse to stay and play.

Tower ramps to the top of the slides

Not sure what this is called, but it looked like a blast.

At one end of the sprawling complex, the entire center is water. Here you can take a submarine ride, crash around in water bumper cars, check out a replica of Columbus' ship, or watch a sea lion show that occurs twice a day.

The ship is in "dry dock". The water has been drained for maintenance. No Sub rides either

That is a huge sea lion leaning on the rail next to the girl

the sea lion dove into the water from the tower

Pirates hanging out around the ship

This pedestrian bridge spans the center water way

Several side "streets" have a central theme. This was a European street

Chinese Dragons guard the entry to China Town

The Ice Palace is an NHL size ice rink where you can rent skates, take lessons, or skate arm and arm with your sweetheart.

More jaw dropping when we got to the amusement park. Not only are there 24 full sized rides, the circus decor, statuary, and music set the atmosphere for a fun filled experience. The triple loop roller coaster was hard to capture on film, but we spent lots of time trying. Couldn't get Marlin to take a ride with me. Where are those kids when I need them.

Things we did not see include two miniature golf courses, Sea Life caverns, an aquarium you can walk through; Ed's Rec Room, not sure what is there, and we never went in any of the 800 stores, on two levels, that surround the entertainment available here. Oh, I did not mention the restaurants. In addition to a very large fast food court, there was a "Bourbon Street" with at least 10 or more, full service restaurants and/or bars.
Families do come here for vacation. There are tickets you can purchase for 3 months, 6 months, or a year. They can be bought for individuals or a family of four. You can even purchase a pre-paid visa card to use or give for admission or what ever.
The mall was built in four phases. The first phase opened in 1981, finishing up with phase 4 in 1989. This was an "experience". If ever in Alberta, Canada, it is worth a trip just to be amazed.

This scene was shortly after we entered British Columbia and passed from the praire lands, through the foot hills, into the Rocky Mountains.

Outside Prince George, BC we stopped to view Mt. Robson, the highest peak in BC

Just for scale.
We have two more days of travel before reaching Prince Rupert. Canada is a vast country to drive across. There were many things we would normally have stopped to investigate, but we were not sure how long it would take us to reach the coast and we have a reservation for the ferry on the 11th of June. We will make it with a couple of extra days to see what Prince Rupert has to offer.

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