Wednesday, August 12

West Edmonton Mall Click for more info

I guess one of Edmonton's many claims to fame is the shopping mall situated in the west of the city. According to Wikipedia, it was the largest in the world until 2004, now sitting at number five. To be honest it never did actually seem that big on my previous visits, most likely due to how I mentally discounted both the water and amusement parks enclosed on-site.

Yes, that's right: WEM has, amongst other things, a 20,000 m2 water park and a 20+ ride amusement park attached to it. Other attractions include an ice skating rink, and indoor lake (with wildlife and submarines) and the more "regular" mini-golf and cinemas. It's actually quite amazing when I think about it, and that's before we even look at the shops.

Although I've only ever previously been to the mall to shop (and check out a Britney Spears mini-concert), having young kids in the group meant we got to check out some of the attractions this time around. We spent a stint in Galaxyland, riding on the Mindbender roller-coaster (which seemed to be more literal than figurative) but spent most of our time in the World Waterpark, riding the wave pool and checking out the slides - the 78m straight drop of the Sky Screamer offering me the best thrills.

It not often that I can say how quickly six hours in a shopping mall have flown by, and that's with not even touching an actual shop. But then I guess that's what makes WEM such an impressive place. I guess it takes a place like Edmonton - big enough to host such a mall but too small to have all these places housed separately - for WEM to exist, but whatever the reason for its existence it's definitely a place to check out if you're ever in the area.

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