Everywhere you turn, people are talking about Back to School. All this chatter confirms my theory that people don’t know what day it is because last time I checked, it wasn’t September 2. And I’m fine with that. Summers in Canada are so short that I want to get the most out of the nice weather and time spent as a Family.
With that in mind, this year we took an extra week of vacation and spent it touring the sites and attractions of Toronto. Since last year’s visit to Canada’s Premier Amusement Park — Canada’s Wonderland was so popular and The Kids were only 3.5 years old, we knew that this year would be even more fun. And we were right!
So much so that I’ve thrown all my enthusiasm into a “Top Ten” post and even added a GIVEAWAY at the end. Doesn’t get much better then that.
Top Ten Reasons to Visit Canada’s Wonderland
- Something for Everyone. Live presentations, rides, roller coasters, mini-putt, movies, food, waterpark, games, professional photos and more. The highlight of Artemis’ day was getting to hug Lucy (Charlie Brown’s Friend) and ride the Carousell. Max’s was the cars and #10. When I say something for everyone, I mean e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.. They even have dog kennels so if you have your animals with you, they too can take a little vacation. The only thing that this amusement park doesn’t have is a dragon. Oh wait a minute…
- Roller Coasters. If you like roller coasters then this amusement park is for you. Just when you think that they can’t come up with anything better, they do. Last year it was Leviathan and this year it’s their 4D ride, Wonder Mountain’s Guardian. While I didn’t go on it this year, it was quite the sight to see with people strapped around their torsos, facing forwards and backwards, wearing 3D glasses and carrying lasers.
- Discounts. If you’re a seasons pass holder, you can bring a friend any day for $26.99. If you go to the park for the day and decide that you want a seasons pass, you can put what you paid towards your day pass to a seasons pass. If you buy a ticket online after 4pm, you pay $29.99. If you purchase your ticket online at least three days before your visit, you can save again. You can also save on drinks with free pop refills and Pizza’s after 3pm. The list goes on and Canada’s Wonderland wants to help you save money.
- Marketplace Restaurant. With young kids, I sometimes worry that we’ll be eating out somewhere and there won’t be anything for them to eat or, I’ll pay the “All You Can Eat” fee (in this case $16.99) and they won’t eat a thing. I worry for nothing. For two years running, the kids (and adults) have filled ourselves full of fresh, tasty and healthy options. The Kids loved the tacos and fresh peel ‘n eat shrimp and I liked the pizza and salads. Then, when we couldn’t eat any more, we sat back and enjoyed the air conditioning and one of the Live Water Shows to make room for dessert. Speaking of which, the Brownies alone are worth it.
- Privilege parking. Pay the extra $5. You’ll appreciate having your car parked right at the front gate if you have to come back out to it for any reason or when you’re carrying your sleeping or over tired kid home at night.
- Waterpark. The Kids started swimming lessons this year because it was time. Not only for their safety but for my nerves. The waterpark is one of the few places (with water) where I can actually enjoy my time with The Kids. It’s obvious from the procedures in place and watching the lifeguards that they are well trained and understand the seriousness of their jobs. While lifejackets are not required, they are readily available for you to borrow. Before coming into the waterpark area, I suggest you use the washrooms at another facility because the change rooms were so busy. The Kids were tall enough this year that they could participate in the raft ride and I have to admit that I enjoyed it too.
- Fast Lane. While we didn’t personally pay for this service, and it is expensive ($55+), we saw people that did and they bypassed all the line-ups. If this is your one day off and you want to experience every single ride (some more than once) and the popular ones, this is something you should seriously consider.
- Concerts and Special Ticket Events. While these are special ticket events not covered by regular Canada’s Wonderland admission or a Canada’s Wonderland Season Pass, they are definitely something to consider. As a teen, I have fond memories of going to concerts like The Steve Miller Band and you can get extra scared this October with their Halloween Haunts.
- Kids Zone. Just when you think that you’ve done every ride for kids, you turn a corner and there are 15 more and just when you’re positive that has to be it, you walk over a ridge and there are another 15. Since they had grown so much this year and measured (just) over 40″, they were able to enjoy a lot more rides. I thought that The Kids were party animals for making it past 8pm last year but this year they closed the park at 9pm. We sure got our money’s worth.
- Ghoster Coaster. The Kids were finally tall enough to go on their first real roller coaster. If I had actually seen what it was all about, I wouldn’t have let them go on it. I think it’s a bit big for a four year old but it was Max’s favourite part of the day. So much so that he went on it twice. Artemis tried it the second time and after she got her colour back and we peeled her off the seats, she was fine. Max has even patented his “I was a bit terrified” face.
And a few tips to make your day more enjoyable.
1. Be prepared to wait in line at the front gate and go through security. If you have a stroller (like we did), you have to wait in a separate line. While it went fairly quickly, you will be required to open all bags and any food or drink not deemed a requirement for a special diet will be confiscated (per the Parks policy). Leave anything not allowed in your car (parked in priviledge parking) and just run out for it.
2. Get your kid measured for a wrist band near at the “Height Check” booth (near the front gate). It took at extra 10 minutes but saved us a lot of headaches because then we knew which rides The Kids could and couldn’t go on. If you’re child is bothered by theirs (Artemis was), you can go to Customer Service and have it replaced.
3. If you’re bringing a stroller, pack a lock. You can’t bring strollers on any of the rides and even the theatres make you leave them outside. If you’re not bringing your own, you can rent one at the front gates. Regardless, a lock comes in handy.
Ten Reasons to Take Your Family to Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park!
Note that this is the fifth of five attractions in our “What To Do with your Family This Summer in Toronto”.
|Prize:||Family Pack of Tickets for the 2014 Season ending November 1, 2014. Approximate prize value is no more than $170CDN.|
|Eligibility:||Canada Only (excluding Quebec). Age 18+|
|Duration:||The contest will run from Sunday, August 17 until Sunday, August 31, 2014, inclusive.|
|Shipping:||Included in the prize.|
|Entry Method:||Giveaway Tools Form.|
|Disclosure:||Journeys of The Zoo received a copy of this product(s) that enabled us to complete this honest review.|
The giveaway associated with this post has ended. Check the Winners Page for details.