Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vacation day 4: World Waterpark

On our first day at the West Edmonton Mall we went to the giant indoor World Waterpark.

I was excited about the waterpark, having spent many blissful hours in them in Majorca and Portugal as a kid. Jamie has been to some aquatic centres with wave pools and slides but nothing on this scale, so I was looking forward to his reaction too. In my research about the mall before the vacation I read that there may be a line up just to get in, and then lines on all the popular slides. So I bought tickets in the hotel on the way at a decent discount (they sell a ticket at a fixed price which you can use at the water park or as an unlimited ride ticket at Galaxyland), and we made sure we got there just before 10am when the pool opens.

As it turned out the line up was about 20 minutes if you don't have tickets, and only a minute or two if you did. There was plenty of family changing rooms, and it wasn't long before we'd put our belongings in the lockers (which are about $8 on top of admission). Shortly after that Jamie and I were heading to the very top of the park up a maze of staircases. Jamie and I came down a ride marked 'Extreme' first, which was a long and fast ride with lots of turns that whapped you into the side.

After that we went on all the slides, except I didn't let Jamie go on the big red ones that plummet straight down, almost vertically. I went on them and it was amazingly fast. My shorts were around my armpits as I plopped into the pool at the end, which was surprisingly deep. All the slides were fun, and in the morning there were no waits at all. As it got nearer to lunchtime the lines got a bit longer, and by the afternoon there was a 15-20 minute wait at the popular slides.

The wave pool is brilliant fun, with 5-6 foot waves coming in groups of 3 or 4. Each one would bring dozens of people on big yellow tubes (that you can rent) coasting right over our heads, and after each wave we'd try to find Jamie, who always managed to paddle off on his own just as the big wave was about to hit. None of us got hurt, but it's pretty wild with feet and legs flying everywhere as the waves roll by.

Also worth doing is a slide where you sit on a plastic float and then shoot down a 60 foot water slide and then skip along on top of the water at the bottom for another 60 feet. There's also a giant blue bowl which you slide into, then spin around before dropping through a hole in the bottom in the pool below.

For lunch we had hot dogs and chips at one of the cute little cafes dotted around the pool, and were quickly back in the water. We watched someone do a bungee jump, which is done over the end of the wave pool. Looked pretty wild, and I would have done it too, but my shoulder is not quite in one piece again yet since breaking it in a bike riding accident.

Although there's not much to write, it was the most fun day of the holiday. We were in the water park for from about 10am to 4pm in the afternoon. Once we were thoroughly exhausted from all the sliding, we went back to get changed. I vaguely remembered hanging my shirt up in the change room, but not putting it in my bag, so it turned out I'd lost it. It wasn't in the lost and found, so someday I may go back to Edmonton and see someone wearing the free shirt they got that day. Slipping back into my towel we slipped out the back door and went back to the hotel to get another one.

We returned the mall for further exploration, in particular the restaurant section which had a reasonable selection of different style restaurants. We decided on Mr Mikes, since Jamie and I were both in the mood for steak.

Feeling pretty tired after that we went back to the hotel and bought a movie on the hotel TV (Furry Vengeance).

West Edmonton World Waterpark

(The pictures from are from this Flickr stream, as we didn't want to take cameras in with us.)

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