If you’re planning a trip to Canada’s Wonderland during COVID19 this summer, this article will give you everything you’ll need to know to get the best out of your day.
I recently took the plunge and took my family of 5 to Canada’s largest amusement part. Canada’s Wonderland has been closed for the last 2 years due to the COVID19 pandemic. Our kids were so excited to finally get the opportunity to go, and we were excited to get back to a little normal again.
We purchased 5 regular passes for Wonderland as well as 2 drink passes and 2 all-day food passes. We knew that the kids would be too excited to eat a lot, so the 2 drinks and food passes seemed to be a good idea. The total price for Wonderland for our family was about $400 for the day, which is quite a lot of money. Was it worth the price? Keep reading and you’ll soon find out.
The park opened at 10 am and closed earlier than normal, at about 8 pm. According to Canada’s Wonderland Website, they opened on July 7, 2021, and were able to open with limited capacity. Several requirements were put in place to keep everyone safe:
- You have to reserve your place for the day using their online reservation system.
- They required health checks and temperature checks for staff and visitors.
- You have to wear a mask throughout the park unless you’re under 2 years old or you can be 2-metres apart.
- Physical distancing markers are placed throughout the park.
- Lots of anti-bacterial around the park, before and after rides
- Capacity management throughout the park
- You can either go to the water park or the amusement park, but you cannot do both. When you purchase your tickets, they will be for the waterpark or the main park.
This article is my experience with Wonderland during our visit and some tips and tricks to help you be more prepared when you visit the park during COVID19.
I also want to answer the question, is it worth going to Wonderland during COVID19, and should you wait for next year.
Alright, let’s get into the details.
We arrived at the park at about 10:15 am on Monday morning, and the sight was something to behold.
I knew that Wonderland had limited capacity ( I was expecting fewer people), but the number of people lined up was incredible.
I am not sure if the large line was because of the social-distancing factor or if there were just a lot of people. Wonderland has been closed for 2 years, so there were a lot of people itching to get there.
We had to wait in line for about 40 minutes before we could get to the gate. There were really 2 lines: one line was the main line that ended up going all the way down the laneway, and the second line was a separate line in front of the main gate. They would filter people from the first line into the gate line (only allowing a certain number of people in the second line), which slowed down the process.
Do yourself a favour and aim to be there at about 9:30 am or even before, so that you can get inside the park right away. Most of the people were slightly late (like us), so the largest lines were about 10:15-10:30 am.
We had printed off our tickets, so we were ready to go. I had forgotten my sunglasses, so I had to run all the way back to the car. This is a terrible idea! You’re parked so far away from the front gate that it takes a while to get to your vehicle and then get back to the line. Make sure that you have all your items with you before you head to the admission line.
You could even make a list of everything that you’re bringing with you before you leave the car and check it off before heading to the gate.
Oh yeah! Remember where you’re parked. I downloaded the Wonderland app which marked my parking spot.
There are a few helpful items to bring with you during the day at Wonderland.
- Water bottle
- Sun block
- Snacks for small children (They will take food, so be careful what you bring with you).
Only bring what you absolutely need, it’s a long day and a lot of walking.
The park experience was good. It did have a lot of COVID19 differences.
Though there was limited capacity, the park did seem extremely busy, and lineups were as long as normal (at least that’s what it seemed like).
It was an easy 70 minute or more wait for the most popular rides, and the food lines were also long and sometimes unbearable.
We purchased a couple of the all-day drink refill pass (because it was super hot that day), and the line was crazy long for a refill. The cups were tiny, and I found a couple of gulps, and it was empty (I had to wait 15 mins to refill it again).
However, we did go through a lot during the day, which saved us money, considering they cost about $5 each.
We also purchased a couple of the all-day food passes, which worked well for us. The first meal I got was at about 11:30 am, and the meal would have normally cost $22, so seeing the meal pass only costs about $30 – it was a good deal. The lines were also very long for food, I am guessing easily a 45 min wait. You have to wait 90 minutes between meals, so you have to be strategic to get the best value.
They did have a few shows during the day, which my kids enjoyed watching. The divers were back, which was really nice to see and Snoopy and all the pals from Peanuts had a “party” with music and dancing.
Overall, my experience with Wonderland was semi-normal to the pre-COVID experience. Of course, wearing a mask around the park and on the rides was at times difficult with all of the heat.
If you think that the limited capacity means fewer lines and more rides, then you’re wrong. We were in Wonderland for about 10 hours, and they probably got between 15-20 rides. The Kidsville was just as busy, and the lines were just as long.
Just be prepared to wait about 45 minutes for each ride.
What I Didn’t Like
Of course, I didn’t like the long lines, but this is normal at Canada’s Wonderland. I guess when you hear “limited capacity” you think that you’ll have fewer lines, but it isn’t the case.
I didn’t like that I had to choose between the park and the water park. You couldn’t go back and forth, which was a disappointment. I know why they set it up that way, but it would have been nice to cool off during the day.
The park closed at 8 pm, which I didn’t like. I always found that people cleared out of the park at around 9 pm, which meant you enjoy fewer lines during the last hour. With the park closing at 8 pm, everyone stays to the last moment, which meant long lines to the very end. Also, It would have been nice to squeeze in another 2 hours of rides.
What I Liked
I liked getting back to normal again (even if it was a different version of normal). It was nice to get back to an amusement park and watch the kids go on rides.
I liked that the park was super clean and that everyone was doing their part to be safe. There were lots of places to disinfect throughout the park, and I never felt unsafe being there.
I loved the food, even though you had to wait for a while to get it.
Overall, it was a great atmosphere.
Congrats, Wonderland on a safe return.
It was great to enjoy the rides again, and I would definitely go back and do it all over again.
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Wonderland but don’t know if it’s worth it. Take it from me, it’s worth the experience even though it’s not completely the same as the pre-COVID experience.
It’s a lot of money, but it’s a great time for the entire family.