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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received compensation that enabled us to complete this review.
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