If you're coming here solely to shop, just skip it. It's the same stores owned by the same corporations across the globe. La Senza, Hollister, the Disney Store, Sketchers, The Body Shop...yep.
Unique Suggestions: The attractions are worth wandering around. Galaxyland is a pretty-cool themed amusement park. Get a day pass and go on a few rides so it's worth the cost, and individual tickets are expensive and don't get you on many rides. The Sea Life Caverns are really cool too, but admittedly cringe-worthy because of the cramped spaces the animals are in. If you go there, there's stingrays, African penguins, and giant tortoises. They have a shark feeding and sea lion show. If you like water, go to the waterpark. The Fantasyland Hotel is expensive, but I think it's worth it if you want to stay at a fancy place in Edmonton.
Fun Alternatives: For shopping, go on Whyte Ave. Yes, there's plenty of chains (who can escape them?), but there's many more independent shops to see, and it's in a historical area that preserves some of the architecture disguised under funky paint jobs.
Don't go to this mall if you are not from Edmonton. It is overpriced, and is, after all, just another mall.
The water park smells like feces and is ridiculously overcrowded.
Fun Alternatives: If you feel that you must go to WEM 'just to see it' i suggest that you spend half a day there only shopping. Then leave and find another water park or amusement park elsewhere.
As we all know, this is the biggest mall in the ENTIRE world. As someone who has lived here my whole life and his been to this mall countless times, I don't realy understand the draw. I go there if there is something specific I need from a store that is only in this mall. Sometimes, once or twice a year, I will go here for a clothes shopping spree. Other than that, it is usually way too crowded unless you go during the day on a weekday. There are duplicates of may stores, which I don't understand.
Unique Suggestions: The mall does have lots of good activities for families. There is the water park, an amusement park, 2 mini-golf courses, ice skating, arcades, etc.... There are also countless restaurants and bars, and a casino. If you plan on actually shopping around, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes! And bring a small purse, because you won't want to be carrying around a heavy purse all day with all those shopping bags! They do have lots of good clothing stores that aren't found anywhere else in the city, or sometime anywhere else in Alberta, but if you are coming from any major American city they probably won't be anything new to you.
I know I should wait until I quit my job, but...
Everything here is overpriced, it's always crowded, it barely kept me amused when I first went there, and you'd best bring some good walking shoes if you're going there. Believe me, you'll need 'em.
Unique Suggestions: Basically, in the amusment parks, follow any posted rules and regulations, don't argue with us, BRING SOCKS, and you might just enjoy the trip. For all the specific details, try this page I put together from duct tape:
Also, like I said, bring good shoes. And like everyone else said, don't bring too much money with you.
And don't wander off into the rest of the website yet. It's not done yet.
Fun Alternatives: The muttart conservatory's great for everyone of all ages. I know I enjoyed it :) In case you don't know where that is, it's the glass pyramids by the river.
Another great thing to try is the Street Performers Festival at Churchill Square between July 7-16th. For parking, just park by the Health Sciences LRT station, or by the next station they're building. It's not like anyone's going there anyways ;) Haha, just kidding. But really, parking is a bit of a nightmare downtown. It's better to take the bus or the LRT there. Bring sunscreen, waterbottles, and it's the best entertainment you can get, whatever you decide to pay.
And while you're there for the festival, why not do some swimming while your there? Across the street from Churchill Square, there's a really great pool/fountain there (by the clock towers). Normally, people do wear swimsuits when swimming there, but if you're ok with wet clothes... :)
Anyways, I'm quite tired now, so I'll probably post more later. Good night, and I hope that helped.
West Edmonton Mall is known around the world as this super huge mall where there is anything and everything. Well..take it from a local. There may be thousands of stores, but prices are higher as store rents are higher. Expect to wait in long lines, have lots of people walk into you without apologizing, and not recieve much help. Locals that go to the mall generally end up grumpy from walking so much. Dont ask them for direction, go to the information booth (located right by the Ice Palace--> the ice rink) Galaxyland and the World Waterpark are worth your time, but beware in the waterpark: there are cockroaches in the cabanas!
Unique Suggestions: First thing to do: Grab a map! Decide where to start in the mall, what stores are neccisary, and make sure you give yourself at least a day. Eat before you go, and stick to the restaurants on Bourbon Street if you plan to eat there. Wear comfy shoes, the mall is HUGE. its alot of walking. Consider getting a family pass to the waterpark or galaxyland if you go there, but they can only be bought at Guest Services (located right by Kidtropolos on the lower level, below the Palace Casino)
Fun Alternatives: Southgate and Kingsway Garden Malls have pretty much the same stores, but with less crowds and walking
Although it is a good tourist attraction, there is so muchmore the city has to offer than just this mall. A day here is probaly more than enough, but if you really want to spend the day in the mall, thereis alot of things to do to keep yourself busy...just be prepared to spend money!
Unique Suggestions: there are many other malls around the city that offer a great shopping experience without all the hussle and bussle of west edmonton mall...southgate centre is a great alternative!
Okay, really, do NOT expect for every fantasy in the world to be in this mall. True, it is the largest mall in the world, and yes it is the most oversized hunk of brick and plastic ever invented, but if you buy anything, you've just lost out on a lot of money. Everything in every store is over priced, and there's doubles of stores. Weirdest part of all is, one of the doubles might be having a clearance but the other two aren't. So basically...you'll probably get screwed over. All of the "extra features" in the mall come at a cost, so don't expect that you still aren't going to an amusement park and can just go and shop or eat and return to the wave pool. The dolphin show is very hard to see, due to the large amounts of people taking advantage of the only free aquatic show. Who can blame them though? The best thing to do, especially if you're on a budget, is to just avoid the mall all together, there are plenty of better stores and malls out there, so try and go to the other ones.
Unique Suggestions: If you happen to have someone with you who absoloutely must go see the giant rip off only take a certain amount of money. There are a couple of good stores, such as the Build a Bear Workshop for children. It's every childs dream world. Even I, in my 16 year old self was forced to make a stuffed toy monkey, and it's easy enough that a one year old can make a perfect one. You can buy clothes and accessories for your animal. Be warned, it does come at a cost. If you have more then one child it could be an expensive venture. The bear alone is 28-60 dollars, depending on which type you pick, then clothes, shoes, and other accessories are 8-36 dollars each. Just set up a budget ahead of time, if you see something that you really think you want as a souvenir, but it seems pricey...just go back to the hotel or wherever you're staying, wait a day or two, then if you still really want it go back, with just enough money to go get it. If you're going into the water park or the amusement park go there when you know you won't be hungry for a while and can stay in the area for a good portion of the day.
Fun Alternatives: Some good alternatives for shopping are SouthGate Mall, which is located near Whitemud Drive. It has just as many good stores, but the prices are much more reasonable and it isn't as crowded. Also there's a street full of wonderful shops with everything you would ever need that is unique and at a very fair price. This street is Whyte Avenue, and it is absolutely packed with great clothing stores and souvenir shops. It has many trinket shops, and everything is at a reasonable price. The only trouble is parking.
While it's a must-see attraction, it's also a tourist trap. That, of course, is the West Edmonton Mall. Especially created to be the largest mall in the world at the time (the time being the 1980's), and created to bring tourists to the capital city of Alberta known as Edmonton. Okay, this huge mall can be fun for a day, but it definitely isn't the only thing to see in Edmonton. Unfortunately a lot of people believe it is.
That (Godforsaken) Mall!! Sorry, I know some people love West Edmonton Mall. But I just can't see why people fly thousands of miles to go to a mall in the suburbs of Edmonton. Go to West Ed. and you will find a big shopping mall. That's it.
NOTE, the photo is of the dolphin pool in the mall. The dolphin in the background died about a week after this shot was taken. Depressing, eh?
The West Edmonton Mall is a big tourist trap. Ok, go see it, but please don't spend a whole day in the mall. You can get lost, because it is over 10 blocks long. But it is over priced and there is so much more to do in Edmonton!
They have an alley just for bars in the mall, Bourbon Street. There is a lot in the mall: Galaxyland, World Waterpark, Ice Palace, Golf, Deep Sea Adventure, Dolphins, Submarines, Hotels... But don't spend too much time there.
To see their Web Site: http://www.westedmontonmall.com/indexflash2.asp
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