A Guide to West Edmonton Mall

November 11, 2018 2:54 am3 commentsViews: 378

It was once the largest shopping centre in the world, and remains the biggest in North America nearly 30 years since its grand opening. West Edmonton Mall is one of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s biggest tourist attractions and between its hundreds of stores, indoor amusement park, casino, movie theatre, shooting range and massive indoor waterpark, it has enough going on within its many phases to keep visitors busy for days on end.

History of West Edmonton Mall

West Edmonton Mall was built by the Ghermezian family and opened officially in 1981. Today, it spans 49 hectares for a total area of 493 000 square meters. The mall was constructed phase by phase; its oldest section, Phase 1, was followed in 1983 by Phase 2 and its Galaxyland Amusement Park and NHL-sized skating rink, the Ice Palace. 1985’s Phase 3 was the grandest of all, featuring a replica Santa Maria ship, submarines, dolphin pool (presently a sea lion lagoon), themed streets including New Orleans-style Bourbon Street and continental treat Europa Boulevard, and the huge indoor World Waterpark. In 1998 Phase 4 came along, bringing in an IMAX theatre and the Wild West Shooting Centre. And in recent years, a space formerly occupied by a Canadian Tire store was converted into a miniature Chinatown.

West Edmonton Mall Shops and Services

According to its official website, West Edmonton Mall boasts over 800 stores and services. These include the first Sephora store in Edmonton, the first Victoria’s Secret store in Canada, and many high-end fashion retailers including Lacoste, Coach, Hugo Boss, BCBGMAXAZRIA and Michael Kors. Also find specialty retailers like the British Import Shop, Comic King, Ghossein Rocks and Fossils, and Swarovski. Services within the mall are as varied as Segway of Edmonton, Rucallen Shoe Repair, Newcap Radio and the Marketplace Chapel.

Attractions in West Edmonton Mall

There’s more to WEM than shopping. Galaxyland Amusement Park’s longtime star is the Mindbender Rollercoaster, and there are plenty of old favourite games, like Whac-A-Mole and skee-ball to keep even big kids amused.

If you’d prefer to make a big splash, check out the West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark. Wallow in the huge wave pool, meander down the tube ride, or get some thrills on the waterslides – the practically vertical Sky Screamer has long been the park’s most daring slide.

In addition to these two key attractions, West Edmonton Mall also offers ice skating at its Ice Palace, mini golf at Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf, animal watching at the Sea Life Caverns, gambling at the Palace Casino, and many, many more activities.

Restaurants in West Edmonton Mall

With over 100 places to buy food and drink, it’s not easy to choose a West Edmonton Mall restaurant. Most of the options are located down Bourbon Street; chains like Hooters, Boston Pizza, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club have outposts here. Some of the newest options include the L2 Grill and the Cactus Club Cafe. And in the two giant food courts, Crepe Works is a can’t-miss option.

West Edmonton Mall’s Fantasyland Hotel

Opened in 1986, the Fantasyland Hotel contains 354 rooms, 118 of which have themes including Igloo, Polynesian, Roman, African, and Hollywood. Some of these – particularly the Sports and Truck themes – have to be seen to be believed.

Getting to West Edmonton Mall

West Edmonton Mall is located on Edmonton’s west end at 8882-170th Street. If you’re taking public transportation, the 100 is a good express option from downtown. From the University area, take the 4. Make sure to consult ETS for bus times.

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