Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enjoy Summer at Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park

Canada's Wonderland Logo

Growing up, the first signs of summer were shorts and the purchase of Canada’s Wonderland seasons passes. We could hardly wait for school to end and days of riding rollercoasters to begin. Our parents looked forward to us staying safe and out of trouble. Well, safe.This year, we continued the tradition by introducing The Kids to the magic of…

Canada’s Premier Amusement Park: Canada’s Wonderland!

Canada’s Wonderland is a 330-acre theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, a suburb directly north of Toronto. It was opened in 1981 and is the first major theme park in Canada and remains the country’s largest. The park hosts more than three million guests annually and employs over 4,000 seasonal employees and 160 year-round employees.The last time Ed, Andrew and I were at the park was 2007. We didn’t have to worry about parking, bad weather, line-ups, sweets for lunch or keeping two three-year olds amused for a day.Seeing as we had The Kids this time, we opted for priority parking. For an extra $5, we parked within spitting distance of the front gates. Well worth the money when you have three adults, two kids and everything but the kitchen sink.Fortunately, the weather was perfect and while the park was packed, as it is every day during the summer, attractions were run so efficiently that it didn’t impact us at all.

Canada's Wonderland PerformancesVictoria Falls, Charlie Brown and Samurai Live Performances

Seeing as the wild card was the kids, we decided to focus on events for them and headed straight for Kidzville. On our way, we happened upon a scheduled performance of divers off of Victoria Falls. It was incredible to see and one of many performances that we watched throughout the day.Fortunately, The Kids met the height requirements for most of the kid rides. There were so many that we didn’t ride any of the twice and didn’t even get to ride all of them. Their favourites were the Taxi Jam coaster, train and cars.

Canada's Wonderland Kids RidesSome of the kids rides we enjoyed.

Even though there was signage, the one thing I found confusing was that some rides required one adult per child and some only allowed one adult for every two children. So if a family of four wanted to go on the ride together, they couldn’t. Not a major inconvenience as I’m sure it was safety related and it gave each of us a chance to experience some adult rides. By the time we looked at our watches, it was 2:30pm and time for a culinary feast at…

The Marketplace International Buffet.

By 2:30pm, there weren’t a lot of people eating, however, the food was still hot, freshly made and plentiful. The variety was really impressive from drinks to soups, salads and mains. Something for all ages and taste buds. Favourites included; roast beef, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, Andrews favourite, pasta (anything) and the brownies. Oh the brownies. They even let Max take an ice cream to go which was a special treat.

Canada's Wonderland Market Place Restaurant
Beware of the Brownies!

While it wasn’t a scorcher outside, it was nice having a spacious, air conditioned place to eat and watch some performances. The restaurant and washrooms were clean and there was a lot of staff members around to help out when we asked for a booster seat and/or high chair (which they had). I don’t normally eat at buffets because I feel like I have to eat more then I want to and still don’t feel that I got my money’s worth, however, I’d worked up an appetite and at $20 for an adult we definitely ate our weight… in brownies.

And then there was the Water Park. While The Kids have been around a lot of water, they’ve never had lessons and I didn’t bring their lifejackets. Not an issue because there were plenty of life jackets available (in designated spots) and Life Guards everywhere. With all the hundreds of people around (maybe thousands), I normally would have been nervous, very nervous. However, it was obvious from the moment we enter the park that they took their roles and responsibility very seriously. I was so impressed with their protocols that I felt 100% safe with The Kids around the water. Not that we let down our guard but still. This was something that I’ve never felt before.

Canada's Wonderland Water Park
Fortunately, all the water activities were free because Artemis must have gone down the water slides at least 20 times. The bonus was that a life guard was at the bottom of each slide to catch her. We spent over an hour in the park and the only reason why we left was because Artemis had turned purple.

While most of the events and rides were included in the price of the park admission, some were extra such as bungee swinging, pictures, fair-like games (with prizes), and specialty products such as pictures, paintings and make your own [insert almost anything, including lip gloss flavour!].

Speaking of costs, I like to get the most for my money and expect a lot for it. Taking a family of four out for a day of fun at an amusement park can be very expensive. However, my calculations show that it cost us just over $5 an hour. Given all the costs with running the park such as; staff, lifeguards, property taxes, running and purchasing rides and the liability, I think that it was well worth the price.


Artemis dancing in the Street

Additional Notes. If you’re coming on the Highway 400, take Canada’s Wonderland Drive not Major MacKenzie. Or, you can ditch your car altogether and take the Go Bus for $9 return from Toronto. We brought our own stroller, however, they were available for rent. Travelling with your pet? No problem, Pet Kennel services are available. Note that we went on Tuesday, July 30.

In conclusion, our visit exceeded all my expectations for 10 hours of fun with two three-year olds! We will definitely be adding Canada’s Wonderland to our Annual Family Vacation to do list.

Enjoy Summer at Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park!


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134 thoughts on “Enjoy Summer at Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park

  1. Tammy

    Since it has been so long since I have been there I would need to walk around first, but I know once my daughter sees the water park, we will be there for the rest of the day.

    Reply
  2. Dayna

    Oh man, how I LOVE Canada’s Wonderland. Just like you, as a teen I would purchase my season pass via phone (I grew up in Dunnville, a hefty 2 hr drive, with no TO traffic) but it was still the highlight of my May every year. As soon as I got my licence there was nothing stopping me!
    Thank you for sharing! I love your video of the Dancing Queen 🙂

    Reply
  3. julie g

    I would love to just go see the fun and joy my kids would have going on all the rides. I like the water canyon ride, and of course, one can't go to Wonderland without indulging in a funnel cake or beaver tails.

    Reply
  4. Andrea L

    Our day would be all for our 5 yr old, hanging out in KidZville, Planet Snoopy, Splash Works, and some of the ‘Family Rides’ that hubby could go on with her (due to health reasons, I can’t do rides anymore). She would have a ball!!

    Reply
  5. Megan Barnecutt

    At the age of 7, I had my first visit to Canada’s Wonderland. It was a dull & rainy day, but we made the trek out there anyways, hoping the weather would shift in our favour and it did. I’ll never forget the first ride we went on – the Ghoster Coaster – or the look on my parent’s faces as they silently “argued” over who would accompany me on the ride. My dad “lost”, and off we went. At the first drop on the coaster, my 6 foot 5 father’s face went pale and his knuckles turned white – I on the other hand began screaming and squealing in delight and excitement. We went on another 5 or 6 rides, ate gooey pizza and lemon ices, watched the figure skating show, and had our photo taken at the entrance for a souvenir “viewfinder”. I had the best time that day (and eventually, so did my parents!) and I still have that viewfinder on my keychain today. I’d love to make memories like that with my young family, because I know we’d create memories that would last a lifetime, just as that first visit did for me.

    Reply
  6. Carey Hurst

    Planet Snoopy here we come.. The big ones will take off to the big rides, so in order to give my little guy fun we would hang out with the kiddy friendly rides all day . Def have to go through the dinos 🙂 .. I know my little guy is fearless and can’t wait for him to ride everything , he is able to …

    Reply
  7. maplemousemama.com

    Wow, so much to do at Canada’s Wonderland!! As my kids are six years apart in age I think as a family we would get the most out of Splash Works, the area where the Pump House splash pad, Wave Pool and giant Black Hole water slide are. I can hear the kid squealing now!

    Suz

    Reply
  8. hbrunet72

    Rollercoasters!!! It's been years since I've been on a roller coaster, because I've been too big … now that I've lost over 100lbs, I can finally get on a roller coaster and enjoy myself!!

    Reply
  9. Michelle Gray

    My family would love this, my son has never been to Wonderland, but it would cost me to much to take them. We would go on the ride and can't forget about the water park yay. Oh and the waffle cake yummy

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    My son would the water park. Have to sign in anonymous because it will not take anything else…name Theresa M.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Rollercoasters are a HUGE hit with our family! We'd head straight for Leviathon first and enjoy the buffet at the marketplace.

    Reply
  12. cherzstuff

    My daughetr is a roller coater enthusiast….I could hold the bags….lol I do love the log ride adn the white water canyon and a few of the other rides including Nightmares and to end the day a funnel cake for sure!

    Reply
  13. chrissy

    I have a young daughter and a nephew and neice that are older, I would definitley be going for whatever the kiddos want to do

    Reply
  14. Laurie P

    Haven’t been here in years. Love that they still have some of the same attractions from when I was a kid. I remember being there when I was super young, in the pouring rain, but we were NOT leaving.
    Maybe next summer will be our year. Must get on the White Water Canyon!!

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    we went here once for my youngest daughter’s 11th birthday (she’s now 21!) and all the children (I had 3 with me) had a fantastic time. I’ll bet it’s even better now than it was way back then. A wonderful place to take children.

    Reply

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