Ride the Mindbender at West Edmonton Mall

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Monday, October 25, 2010

For hockey fans, Edmonton will always be synonymous with Wayne Gretzky who signed with the Edmonton Oilers in 1978/79 when he was just a 17-year-old rookie. The "Great One" led the team to four Stanley Cup victories in a five-year period.

                The city of Edmonton was officially incorporated in 1904 and a year later it was chosen as Alberta's capital city. Edmonton's river valley is the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America and is 22 times larger than Central Park.  In 1947, oil was found near Leduc and Edmonton was crowned the "Oil Capital of Canada".

                The city’s largest tourist attraction is the West Edmonton Mall with over 800 stores and services.  It was the largest mall in the world until 2004 but lost that honor to the South China Mall in Dongguan China in 2005.  It is now listed as the 4th largest mall in the world.  Popular attractions include a water park, an ice rink and an amusement park.

Water Park

        I remember my first time visiting the water park.  After spending some time in the world’s largest indoor wave pool riding the waves and watching people bungee jump, I headed for the waterslides which ranged from kiddy and intermediate slides to “scare the crap out of you” slides.

I once made the mistake of letting a friend coax me into riding the scariest slide. First I climbed the stairs to the very top of the complex and looked down this ridiculously steep slide that just went straight down thinking “This is a ride?”   A ride is supposed to be fun and this did not look like fun.  But I could not back down and have my friend think I was chicken so I grudgingly positioned my body at the top of this half tube of doom and prepared for the worst.

                A combination of water and gravity whipped my body towards the bottom.  At one point my body lifted from the slide giving me that “I am about to die” feeling in the pit of my stomach.

When I finally arrived at the bottom I faced the challenge of pulling the super-wedgy out of my butt before getting out of the water.  As I stepped out of the wading pool and joined my friend who went first, she asked what I thought of it and I replied, “Boring…didn’t do a thing for me!”

Skating Rink

                I love checking out the action at the ice rink whenever I  visit the mall.  Quite often I can catch the four to six years olds playing a game of hockey or figure skaters practicing their spins and jumps.  On occasion you can watch exhibition games or see the Edmonton Oilers practice.  For those who love to skate, they have public skate times and skate rentals.

Galaxy Land

        Galaxy Land is a space themed park offering beginner, intermediate and advanced rides. They also have midway games where people can win stuffed animals and other completely useless amusement park items.    The main attraction in this indoor amusement park is the Mindbender rollercoaster. The world's tallest, longest and fastest indoor triple loop roller coaster gained international fame in 1986 when it malfunctioned and killed three people leaving a fourth paralyzed – a tragedy that only increased the popularity of the thrill ride.

I can’t believe I actually let my friend talk me into riding this vomit-maker.  The tracks are barely visible from the car giving you that feeling of dropping off a cliff and if that doesn’t do it, there are places where you are lifted out of your seat giving you that dropping from the sky sensation. 

After letting the Mindbender scramble my brains there was no chance in hell my friend could get me on the Space Shot, a horrifying ride that brings people straight up then straight down.  Yikes! No thanks!

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