West Edmonton Mall has it allSep 12, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line West Edmonton Mall is a fun place for shopping and for entertainment.
I live in Edmonton, Alberta, the home of West Edmonton Mall, which is the biggest shopping mall in the world. It's like a little city without sky or weather.
This weekend, my husband and I spent 2 nights at the Fantasyland Hotel in West Edmonton Mall, an anniversary gift from my mom. It was quite the experience, and so different from just visiting the Mall for shopping or a movie.
The Fantasyland Hotel is attached to West Edmonton Mall, and is known for the theme rooms, including Roman rooms, Hollywood rooms and Polynesian rooms. These feature incredibly tacky but fun decor and big jaccuzzis. We choose the Bridal Suite, at the incredibly cheap price of $139 per night. This was a huge and beautifully decorated room with a king sized bed, a living room and dining room, and a huge jaccuzzi surrounded by mirrors. A breakfast buffet was included in the price.
From our hotel room, we were able to easily access the attractions of the mall. The Mall is divided into four phases, each built at a different time. I'm old enough to remember the original Phase One.
West Edmonton Mall is first and foremost a shopping mall. If they don't have it, you likely don't need it, and won't find it anywhere in Edmonton. Department stores include Sears, the Bay and Zellers, all in Phase One of the Mall. Phase One also includes many high quality men's and women's clothing stores.
There is several huge music stores, many clothing and shoe stores, sports shops, gifts and card shops, electronics stores, pet shops, drug stores, furniture stores, jewelery stores and much much more. The Mall has the biggest Chapters bookstore I've ever seen, complete with a Starbuck's coffee shop. Most of the shops are chain stores, since the rent is a bit high for independent retailers.
But, West Edmonton Mall is a lot more than just shopping. There are attractions to suit just about anyone.
West Edmonton Mall has 3 movies theatres, and an IMAX theatre, making in total 29 movies playing at any given time. We like the Silver City Cinema best, and go there often. Hanging from the ceiling of the lobby is a huge dragon which comes to life once an hour to breathe long streams of fire from it's mouth. The seating in the cinemas is steeply tiered, so the view is always clear. We like to go to the movies during the daytime, and Silver City shows a complete selection of matinees. This weekend we saw Rat Race, not the best choice.
Ice Skating Rink
In the middle of the Mall, sits a full sized skating rink, with a variety of activities. We watched a skating session for seniors, and admired the skill of many of the older skaters. Clearly, they had been skating for a long time, and saw no reason to stop just because they were getting on in years. Elite figure skaters train on this rink, as do the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. Beginners of any age can take lessons.
Imagine an indoor beach complete with lounge chairs, and surrounded by water slides. A huge wave pool awaits the swimmers. It's like a mini-vacation in the wintertime.
Galaxyland Amusement Park
This park is the world's largest indoor amusement park, and features 25 rides including a triple loop roller coaster. The kid's park is space-themed, and is four stories high. It includes the moonwalk, several ball crawls, and other rides and attractions for toddlers and youngsters. This park used to be called Fantasyland, but the park was legally forced by Disney to change it's name.
Professor Wem's Adventure Golf provides a respite from shopping, with the course winding thorough a corridor lined with stores.
Sealife Caverns and Dolphin Lagoon
In the middle of Phase Three, is an amazing site. A huge indoor lake, holding a dolphin lagoon, and a full sized replica of one of Columbus' ships. The dolphins and their handlers present shows several times a day, and the ship is a popular place for photographs. There are four real submarines which tour this lake, underwater, and provide a fascinating view.
Like to gamble? Head for West Edmonton Mall, and the Palace Casino which offers black jack, roulette and slots. Other attractions include Playdium, bungy jumping, spas and beauty parlors, and full conference and party facilities.
There are about 110 eating places in West Edmonton Mall. Bourban Street is devoted entirely to restaurants which keep extended hours. We had dinner at Julio's Barrio, which serves excellent Mexican food. We observed Vietnamese, Cajun, Italian Restaurants, and a restaurant devoted to desserts called Death by Chocolate.
Several establishments offer both food service and nightlife. Jubilation's Dinner Theatre provides choice of dinner and then a live theatre presentation.
There are 2 food courts in the mall. These courts include every possible kind of fast food, from hamburgers and wraps, to smoothies and muffins.
It's impossible to go hungry at West Edmonton Mall, although your health might suffer a bit if you eat there consistantly.
I like the variety of offering at the mall, and I usually can find everything that I'm shopping for. We like to go to the movies, and to hang out at the bookstores.
I do have a few reservations about the mall. The noise level is extremely high, even when it's not crowded. There are many fountains and other water works that make a lot of annoying noise. Also, I don't feel very safe at night after the stores close. I was a bit uncomfortable walking from Bourban Street back to the hotel. Providing security to such a large area with so many places to hide seems to be quite a challenge. Also, many times I prefer independent stores rather than chain stores for many of my purchases.
But, all in all, it's a great place to spend a day or a weekend. There is lots of do, and lots of see, and many things of interest to people of all ages. I don't have children, but I think that they would enjoy the attractions very much.
We will be back to the Fantasyland Hotel. We got full value for the price we paid for the hotel room, and enjoyed our weekend in the twilight zone.
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