West Edmonton Mall has a lot to see. My family lives in Calgary and we are about a 3 hour drive from Edmonton so a couple of weeks back we took a trip down to Edmonton just for the opportunity to go to West Edmonton Mall.
West Edmonton Mall is the biggest shopping mall in the world and is definitely a destination weekend trip and we had a good time, with a couple of exceptions.
West Edmonton Mall Highlights
So when you go to a shopping mall you are supposed to shop. And shop we did for about 3 hours. Actually West Edmonton mall is huge and there are even multiples of the same stores in the mall. The mall was originally built in 1981 and it is really starting to look dated although there is always a turnover of stores to keep things fresh.
On this trip the new Victoria Secret store had just opened and unbelievably there were lineups to go in and buy lingerie (strange to me). The stores are a real mix with upscale and downscale as there is a lot of stores, about 800, in the mall.
There are a few big attractions in West Edmonton Mall. There is an indoor amusement park, the worlds biggest indoor waterpark, a seal and fish exhibit, a big pirate ship, indoor mini gold, and a public ice rink.
Because of all the secondary attractions a trip to West Edmonton mall can be expensive. I can only speak for my family but we had to choose on the Saturday between going to the amusement park ($32.95/person) or the Indoor Waterpark (also 32.95/person). We shose the waterpark and had a fantastic day riding down all the waterslides and playing in the wave pool.
We also spent some time in the middle of the day in the Marine Life Park, which was $26 for the family and saw not only the sea lion show but also the feeding of the sharks and a touch and feel tank that the kids got to feel stingrays and sea cucumbers and stuff.
Accommodations and Food at West Edmonton Mall
This was a real falling down for us. Both the food and the hotel itself.
We stayed in a regular room in the Fantasyland Hotel. The Fantasyland Hotel is attached to the mall and was built at the same time as the mall. The themed rooms are neat looking but kind of small.
Our plain old regular room was still $235 a night and did not even include free wifi, the rooms were dated and it was just a regular hotel to us. Fantasyland did have a package though that included 2 free tickets to the waterpark so we did take advantage of that.
I was very disappointed with the hotel overall though for the cost. You can stay within a block for less than or around $100 per night which is a much better deal for any family.
The West Edmonton Mall has a huge food area but it is the same only greasy expensive food that you find in the food fait at any mall in any city and that is where we ended up eating. In retrospect there are many much better choices.
One of the ideas built into the mall are themed areas. There is a New Orleans Bourbon Street type area, a European street and there is a nice mix of restaurants instead of crappy fast food that you can eat instead.
With the kids it is always so hit and miss though that it drives me crazy trying to find good food that they will eat at a decent price.
Overall our trip to West Edmonton Mall although fun was expensive compared to most weekends. My wife who controls our money groused about the cost of “just a weekend” but it was really nice to get out of town and check it out.
You can learn more about West Edmonton Mall at the Mall website.