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From the edge of the wave pool in West Edmonton Mall’s World Waterpark, the Center of Gravity bungee jump platform doesn’t look very intimidating. In a moment of weakness, I told my teenage boys that I could easily jump from that height. Naturally, they wanted proof.
Things were going well until I actually climbed to the top of the bungee platform and looked down. The pamphlet at the Center of Gravity booth claims that vertical challenges are “a way to balance the core of your being and find out what you are capable of.” Other useful information might have been: “never look down from the platform of the world’s highest indoor bungee jump.”
Can adults still be affected by peer pressure? I think so. Knowing that my kids would never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t actually jump, I leaned backward off the edge of the platform and took the plunge. Let’s just say, I am glad that is off my bucket list.
Planning a WEM VacationThe idea of a family vacation at a shopping mall may seem a little odd, but the West Edmonton Mall (WEM) is no ordinary mall. At 5.3 million square feet, WEM is the size of a small city and contains 10 world-class attractions, 800 retail shops and 100 dining venues. Average annual visitation is approximately 30.8 million, making WEM the number-one tourist attraction in the province of Alberta.
WEM has much to offer and a trip to this world-class shopping, dining and entertainment complex may be suitable for individuals, families, groups or corporate clients.
Here are some of the details you need to know in order to plan a successful WEM vacation.
West Edmonton Mall/West Edmonton Mall Innwww.wem.ca
Getting ThereEdmonton International Airport (code YEG) was recently updated and expanded with new facilities, art displays, dining and shopping venues. Daily flights are available from numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada.
From the airport, there are several ways for clients to get to WEM. The least costly is to catch the new EIA express bus (starting April 29) directly to the Century Park Transit Centre for $5 each way. From there, visitors can purchase a $3 bus ticket to get to WEM.
A Skyshuttle will cost $30 per adult and $17 per child. A taxi will cost $57 one way.
Car rentals are also available inside the airport terminal.
Where to StayIf the focus of the trip is WEM, booking the client as close to the mall as possible is essential. There are two hotels that are associated with the mall — the Fantasyland Hotel, which is located right inside the mall, and the West Edmonton Mall Inn, located directly across from the mall. The Fantasyland Hotel has many different types of rooms as well as fantasy theme rooms in 13 different styles, including Hollywood, African and Igloo themes. Guests can reserve either the West Edmonton Mall Inn or the Fantasyland Hotel at commissionable rates online or by phone. Both hotels offer packages that include meals, attraction passes and accommodations. These packages often represent a substantial savings for clients.
What to DoIn addition to 800 retail stores and more than 100 dining venues, there are 10 major attractions at WEM.
Galaxyland:The world’s largest indoor amusement park has more than 24 rides and a play area.
World Waterpark:This waterpark boasts the world’s largest indoor wave pool, the world’s tallest indoor permanent bungee tower and more than 17 unique waterslides and play features.
Sea Life Caverns:WEM is a licensed zoo, and the Sea Life Caverns features an underground aquarium that is home to more than 100 species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, penguins, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. There are also four California sea lions that perform daily. At Sea Life Caverns, clients can also enjoy special experiences, such as a sea lion encounter or learning to be a trainer for a day.
Ice Palace:Recreational skating (including rental equipment) and special events are held at this National Hockey League-sized ice rink.
Santa Maria:Inside WEM, clients can climb aboard an exact replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship for his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. The Santa Maria can also be rented for themed birthday parties, wedding receptions and more. Full catering services are available.
Ropes Quest:This exciting and challenging three-level ropes course is great for individuals or for corporate team-building events.
Ed’s Rec Room:Clients will find 10-pin bowling, billiards and more than 40 arcade-style games at this venue.
Putt ‘n’ Glow:This glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course is a fun test of putting ability.
Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf:This 18-hole miniature golf course is fun for all ages.
Deep Sea Derby:Clients can drive a bumper boat on the world’s largest indoor lake at this attraction.