West Edmonton Mall

July 28, 2007 at 11:19 pm 25 comments

After Banff, our next stop was Edmonton.  We wanted to visit the famous West Edmonton Mall (WEM), the largest shopping mall in North America and third largest in the world.

We left Banff at 4:49 p.m. that Sunday, after our breathtaking trip on top of Sulphur Mountain and exciting ride on the gondolas.  We arrrived in Edmonton at 9:03 p.m and by 9:22, we were checked in at Comfort Inn.  That’s Comfort Inn, my dear folks, not to be confused with comfort room, as we call the washrooms in the Philippines. 

comfort inn   free internet access

We were all excited when we saw the banner that said, free hi speed internet access.  We thought that there would be computers in the rooms or someplace in the building.  But BIL later on explained to us, that it only means that you can hook up your laptop, if you have one, and avail of free internet access.  We’ve only been gone away from home for two days and we were already missing the internet. He he he.

There was a Superstore just a stone’s throw away from the hotel.  So that was a good thing.  We packed rice and canned goods with us, but I had wanted to buy milk and some fresh food since there was no fridge in the hotel rooms.  This Superstore also has hot freshly baked pizzas so it was good to have something like that.  We wanted to avoid eating out as much as possible because the bills could really add up. 

The next morning, we headed to WEM.  It was only a six-minute drive from the hotel. I didn’t even realize that we were already there after a few minutes.  I was expecting a huge sign or huge globe or something like the one I see in the pictures of SM Mall of Asia, but there was none of that.  Well, there was this sign, but I just thought it was pointing in the direction of the hotel, which I learned later on was inside the mall.  That is not my picture on the link.  But we had this one taken on the rooftop of the mall.  You’ll see the WEM sign in the background.

WEM rooftop

Well, what can I say?  The mall is really huge. 

According to Wikipedia:  (WEM) covers a gross area of 570,000 m² (5.3 million ft²) and cost C$1.2 billion to build. There are over 800 stores and services and parking for more than 20,000 vehicles. More than 23,000 people are employed at the property. The mall receives 33.5 million visitors per year and between 60,000 and 150,000 shoppers daily depending on the day and season. The mall is currently valued at $926 million.

Here are just some of the major attractions of WEM:

santa maria Deep Sea Adventure.  There is this huge replica of Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria.  The theme is Pirates of the Mall, obviously inspired by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.  The Sea Lions’ Rock is also in this area.  We spent a good amount of time here on our first day at the mall because the kids loved watching the sea lions perform their tricks.

europa blvd Europa Boulevard.  Located on the second floor.  This part of the mall has a themed street inspired by the art and architecture of Europe’s oldest and best-loved cities.  There is a huge Christmas tree right in the centre of Europa Boulevard.  Apparently, the movie Christmas in Wonderland, which will come out later this year, was shot here.  We took pictures by the Christmas tree.  We got our Christmas card pictures early this year.🙂

Bourbon Street. Located on level one, this part of the mall has a theme of New Orleans – dazzling colour and delectable treats.

 world waterpark World Waterpark.  This is the main reason why my sister and her family wanted to go to WEM – to go swimming at this indoor wave pool.  (As for me, I wanted to check out the shops in the mall.)  This is North America’s largest indoor waterpark with a size of over two hectares.  They planned to go swimming the following day but when they found out that the fee was $39.00 per head, they backed out.  There were nine of them.  Nine times $39.00 was just way too much.

Galaxyland Amusement Park.  We just mostly looked at the rides, games and amusements.  The kids knew that we parents weren’t willing to pay for the rides.  But sis and I put in two dollar coins in this dance thingy where we have to follow the arrows on the floor to dance along to the tune.🙂

Chinatown.  Another themed street on the second floor.  There was a huge long dragon hanging from the ceiling.  There’s also an Asian grocery store.

ice palace Ice Palace.  There is a huge skating rink at the centre of the mall and a skylight right on top.  My husband says that there is also a skating rink like this in SM Mall of Asia.  Is that right folks back there in Manila?  A skating rink in hot Manila?  And there are people there who skate?

Some of the stores:

There are the major department stores, such as Sears, The Bay and Zellers, which I didn’t see until our second day there when we all went on our separate ways.  Ryland stayed with me.  Yes, my baby still wants his mommy.

This HMV is on two floors.  It took me two days to browse through their movie racks and also Reggie who browsed through their CDs.  I got myself my very own copy of Brokeback Mountain.  I just watched it the other night and I got to experience the breathtaking views of the mountains of Alberta once again.

We were looking at the Santa Maria when my oldest son, Reggie, pointed out this shoe store to me.  “Isn’t that a Filipino word?” he asked me.  Of course it is, Sapatos.  Although it’s derived from the Spanish word, zapatos, which means shoes. 

 HMV  sapatos

There are also stores for the small children, like B Sweet, which sells an assortment of candies; the Disney Store, which sells everything Disney; Build-A-Bear Workshop, where you can create your own personalized stuffed Teddy bear.

Play Me My boys went inside this game store called Play Me.  My middle son, Ryan, checked out the games but he said they were a lot more expensive as compared to Winnipeg.  That’s what we parents also noticed.  Even without the 6% GST (goods and services tax) in Alberta, the items sold at Edmonton Mall are still pricey.  Well, what can you expect?  It is after all a tourist spot.  When Ryland and I went back to this store the next day, he also checked out the games.  He pointed out to a game that was on sale.  It doesn’t have its original box and he thought he’d get it for the discounted price.  But I asked him first, “Do you really want it, or you just want to buy something here? Because you could save your money and buy something you really want in Winnipeg.”  In the end, he decided not to buy it.

And of course, I had to visit the bookstores.  We first went to Coles.  They had a poster of the new Harry Potter book that was to be released in three day’s time.  I saw this magazine where Daniel Radcliffe was on the cover and I read part of his interview.  Ryland got tired of waiting for me to finish reading.  But he’s been patient.

So I promised to buy him ice cream once we get to an ice cream store.  We went downstairs to Baskin Robbins and we both had a cup of delicious ice cream, Pink Bubblegum for him and Mango Tango for me.

Then we went to Chapters where they had a Harry Potter theme. There were paper candles hanging from the ceiling, just like there are candles floating at the Great Hall of Hogwarts.  They were going to have a book reading event and/or party on the midnight of July 20, the release date of the book.

chapters  Rocky Mountain Soap Co. 

Are you finding my shopping trip boring yet?  You see, I’m not really big on shopping because I don’t have a lot to spend on things.  I’m quite content with just browsing the stores.  But if I do find something that I really like, I buy it.  And I tell you this.  The most valuable purchase I made was from this store called the Rocky Mountain Soap Co.  One of my boys has stubborn eczema that won’t go away even with prescription cream.  I went to this store hoping to find soap that he could use.  And sure enough, I spotted this Pumpkin Patch soap for dry/eczema skin, made with natural ingredients.  I bought three bars.  And I also bought this body butter, which he could apply on the rough patches of his skin instead of lotion.  He used the soap and body butter right away once we got back home and it’s working.  So I just have to find a distributor of these products here in Winnipeg since Rocky Mountain Soap Co. doesn’t have a branch here.  Or I could always order on-line.

You can view my West Edmonton Mall album here.   

More of Edmonton next time.

Entry filed under: Alberta, Vacation. Tags: .

Road trip to Alberta More of Edmonton, Alberta

25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Toe  |  July 29, 2007 at 10:58 am

    That mall is huge! It’s almost like going to an amusement park for free with all the activities going on there. I like your family picture. 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. JO  |  July 29, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    wow! ang sarap naman ng road trip niyo!

    so, where’s your next stop? Jasper? I believe Jasper is just 3 hours away from Edmonton.

    Reply
  • 3. ladybug  |  July 29, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Hey….I like shopping stories! The only thing I like better than shopping stories is actual shopping. Hahaha😀 Anyway, looks like you had a nice time shopping and sightseeing. I have relatives from Edmonton who’re with us right now. Mas masarap pa yata kung ako na lang bumisita sa kanila diyan.😀

    Reply
  • 4. Kyels  |  July 29, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    I enjoyed reading about your trip; it’s fun!

    Did you go anywhere else after Edmonton?
    😉

    Reply
  • 5. Daphne  |  July 29, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Gosh that’s one huge mall indeed. Like you I always visit the bookstores even if I don’t buy anything, I just love to browse through rows and rows of books🙂

    Reply
  • 6. pining  |  July 30, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Love your blow by blow account niceheart, made me want to go there hehe..
    thanks for sharing once again🙂

    Reply
  • 7. rhodora  |  July 31, 2007 at 9:44 am

    Naku, hindi ko kayang libutin ang mall na yan sa loob ng isang araw. Bibigay ang mga tuhod ko. hehehe.

    Amusing how Reggie recognized sapatos as a Tagalog word. I think the boys should be learning more Filipino, Irene.🙂

    Reply
  • 8. annamanila  |  July 31, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Wow. Everything is huge … the pool, the skating rink, the theme exhibits. I suppose the book and other stores too. How do you go from one part to another? Oh my, already I am tired in my imagination. hahaha

    I can understand your being shopping-jaded. I was such a shopping freak before but I guess I have reached that level that I don’t want new acquisitions anymore. Unless its pottery baskets. 🙂

    Thanks …. you all look super in the photo.

    Reply
  • 9. annamanila  |  July 31, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I meant pottery and baskets.

    Reply
  • 10. zingtrial  |  August 1, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Hi, looks like you are having a good time He!He!He!.
    Great pic’s you guys look cool🙂
    Wish you well

    Reply
  • 11. verns  |  August 1, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    that is HUGE! Imagine employing 23,000 people? wow =)

    Yep Megamall (and I think Mall of Asia too) has a skating rink and people, mostly, kids skate there everyday🙂 cool right?

    I think the game you mentioned is called Dance Revolution, was made popular in the late 90’s…it’s a good exercise tool if you like dancing🙂

    Well looks like you had fun…=)

    Reply
  • 12. Tin  |  August 2, 2007 at 5:08 am

    Yes ate, Sm Megamall and Mall Of Asia has a skating rink too. But I think that one is bigger than here. Even though there’s no snow here in the Philippines, I still know how to skates!🙂

    Is the owner of that Sapatos store is a Filipino?

    Im glad you had fun!🙂

    Reply
  • 13. Gypsy  |  August 2, 2007 at 11:23 am

    I hope Henry Sy or one of the Gokongweis will bump into your site and read this post–THIS is the kind of mall that rocks!! SM Mall of Asia is like all other malls, only bigger, pero shops, restos and more shops..period…ang Manila sunset view lang ang pinaka-nakakdraw sa akin..Hay!

    Reply
  • 14. Haze  |  August 2, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    I miss malling😦 ! In France they don’t have enormous mall as you have there in Canada or we have in the Philippines. Wow I like the shop of Sapatos, siguro Pinoy ang owner nyan🙂 ! I smell fun, fun ,fun ! Great family photos Niceheart !

    Reply
  • 15. Belle  |  August 2, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    wow, that is one huge mall, niceheart, and with an indoor waterpark pa. galing! bait naman ng mga anak ang pamangkin mo for being so understanding but at least they got to tour the third largest mall in the world.

    Reply
  • 16. kathy  |  August 3, 2007 at 10:16 am

    I’ve not visited the SM Mall of Asia yet, but I heard it’s huge. But I don’t think it’s that big to house an indoor swimming pool like WEM, hehe.
    Looks like you had lots of fun at the mall. Great to see you in your family photos!

    Reply
  • 17. ipanema  |  August 4, 2007 at 11:48 am

    It looks like you had grand time! A lot of places you’d visited!

    Happy weekend!🙂

    Reply
  • 18. More of Edmonton, Alberta « Journey to Honeyville  |  August 5, 2007 at 12:14 am

    […] mentioned last time, my sister and her family planned to go swimming at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall (WEM). But after learning about the exorbitant fees, they decided not to go.  We could easily go […]

    Reply
  • 19. Rowena  |  August 6, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Hi Niceheart, you got a wonderful site. And that’s a huge mall. Have Filipino guests also last week from Edmonton, accompanied them to watch Wowowee. I didn’t know there’s that big mall in Canada. I’ve only been to Toronto and Montreal area. And yes, there’s also a big skating rink at the Mall of Asia. My daughter is taking her figure skating lessons there. Thanks for sharing your mall trip.

    Reply
  • 20. Rach (Heart of Rachel)  |  August 7, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Wow, that’s really a large mall. I like the idea of having themed streets. It must be like visiting another place whenever you take another route in the mall. How interesting! Thanks for sharing those lovely photos. Thanks for the virtual tour.

    Reply
  • 21. betty  |  August 11, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Nice photos and it seems the kids enjoyed the trip

    Reply
  • 22. Drumheller, the dinosaur town « Journey to Honeyville  |  August 12, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    […] This is what the museum looks like outside.  It is huge.  11,200 square meters.  It is after all Canada’s largest dinosaur museum.  My sister was told that it might take us four hours to cover the entire place.  So we decided to eat lunch in the car and I changed to my flat shoes before we went in.  I learned my lesson after our first shopping trip to West Edmonton Mall. […]

    Reply
  • 23. Mikemc  |  December 18, 2007 at 5:08 am

    “Play Me” is SO over expensive, what a joke! When Grand Theft Auto 3 came out they wanted $110 for it! I got it for the actual then-price of $75 after mentioning 3 other places to get it for $80. This year I hear they’re charging $900 for Nintendo Wii’s!

    – Mike

    Reply
  • 24. Mall of America « n i c e h e a r t  |  August 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    […] mall (MOA) is huge and is four-storeys high. But according to Wikipedia, it’s not as huge as the West Edmonton Mall, which I visited two summers ago. I probably shouldn’t say this because I’m from Canada, but […]

    Reply
  • 25. mariam  |  April 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    wow you guys never been in west edmonton mall? everyday i am there (with my friends and boyfriend i am in junior high)
    in fact i’ve been in every store in a mall and you are right it is huge 🙂

    Reply

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