Last weekend we visited Canada’s Wonderland. I’ve never been in the fall before, and I was excited to check out the Camp Spooky kids Halloween themed event. Each Saturday and Sunday in October the “Planet Snoopy” kids area in Canada’s Wonderland is transformed into Camp Spooky. My seven year old was half excited, half anxious. Would there be scary things and spooky guys there? Suddenly, new this year, Halloween decorations terrify her. I can talk about make believe and harmless plastic until I turn blue one face, she’s not really listening.
I warned her that the park would be decorated but I assured her that we were going to a kid friendly cutie Halloween celebration, and she was pretty eager to go. However, when we walked into the front gate there was a huge “spooky” Halloween display; nothing too over the top, and pretty much exactly what I was expecting the park to look like, but it sent my girl into a tizz, she wanted to close her eyes and get the heck out if there. She agreed to let me take a photo of her standing in front of the display, but only if I would hold her hand and let her walk up to it backwards.
|My mom and the girls, having a giggling good time at the front gates.|
After that, we headed right for the Wonder Mountain’s Guardian ride. My seven year old scaredy cat really digs coasters, and I was sure she’d love this new ride which just opened this year. But she wasn’t so sure. She was worried they might have changed it for Halloween. Were there spooky Halloween decorations in there? I assured her it was the same ride she had wanted to go on so badly last time (it wasn’t open yet when we last visited in May). We got into line, but after moving up a bit she noticed the line-up lead into a dark cave mouth. Nope. No way in heck. Not happening. “Mom, I’m scared of the dark.” Since when? “Since Right Now! Get me out of here.”
With a dozen excuse mes we worked our way backwards through the line, as she begged to just go straight to the Camp Spooky area. She was in a real mood. The plastic skeletons and “spooky” flags peppered throughout the park were really getting her worked up. The four year old was happy, the seven year old, not so much. So we made our way directly to Camp Spooky, where, just as I had promised her, everything was bright and fun and friendly.
|Snuggle-and-Greet with some Peanuts characters in Planet Snoopy.|
When you walk under the giant rainbow and enter Planet Snoopy the swan boats are just off to your right, the first ride you see. It’s the one ride I’ve shaken my head dismissively at on every previous visit, why the heck would we ride the swan boats?
|My mom riding on the swan boats with my little one.|
However, on this trip we took my sixty-year old mom to Canada’s Wonderland. It was her first visit and I laughed at her as she insisted on taking the kids on those swan boats. It was the first ride we went on. I stood on the sidelines watching and taking photos as my sister rode in one boat with the big kid, and my mom rode with the little one in another. I watched as they smiled and talked with my girls. When they got off, grinning and giggling, with both kids asking to go back on a second time, I just knew that despite the cold grey weather and the so-so start through the gates, that this was going to be a fantastic day. Then my seven year old came up and slid her hand into mine and told me, as we walked along to the next ride, that the swan rides were “just super relaxing”. She smiled and gave me a hug and said “Thanks for bringing us Mom!”. Yep, fantastic day.
|The big kid, relaxing on the Swan Boat Ride.|
There was a special Trick-or-Treat Treasure Hunt set up for the kids. There was a table set up where each child claimed their treasure map and trick or treat bag, then we made our way around Camp Spooky, visiting each of the four special treat stations, with plenty of getting side tracked by ride after ride. I’ve never spent so much time in the Planet Snoopy / Kidzville area, nor had quite so much fun. We went on almost every kiddie ride. The kids were having such a fantastic time, their happiness radiated off of them, it was contagious. My mom, sister and I couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves.
The entire area was decked out for Halloween. There were pumpkins everywhere, many of which were sporting some seriously talented paint jobs. It was fun just walking around trying to spot all of the various painted pumpkins. Many of the younger guests to the park were in costume. And there were dressed up park employees walking around, interacting with the kids. We spotted a very friendly bright green witch, a pair of clowns, Mother Nature, a cowboy, a fairy and two princesses. Each one did a fantastic job of making us feel welcome. I was seriously impressed. They would spot the kids staring at them, smile and head over to interact with us. They knelt down to talk to the kids, asked what rides they’d been on, doled out hugs and high fives, and generally made the kids feel like rock stars. The girls just ate this up.
|One of the many cool painted pumpkins we spotted in Camp Spooky.|
I liked that there were only four treat stations, it was enough to excite the kids without overwhelming, and with only four little packets of treats, I didn’t have to worry about sugar overload. Alongside the edibles, they also received a very cool little pirate bandana and, the final reward at the end of the treasure hunt, a few plastic “gold” coins.
|Doing the Monster Mash during Charlie Brown’s Trick-or-Treat Show.|
|Prying open her eyes to check out the not-so-spooky front room in the Vampire Maze.|
|The kitchen in the Vampire Castle, complete with coffin shaped fridge and “blood sausage” set out for dinner.|
|The first room of the Camp Spooky Pirate Maze. Welcome to the tropics.|
We road on the Ghoster Coaster, one of the big kid’s favourite rides. We were happy to discover that the four year old was now tall enough to go on it. She loved her first “real’ roller coaster ride, so on our way out of the park, we hit Thunder Run. This ended up being the four year old’s favourite ride of the day, she proclaimed it “a tiny bit scary but so good, good, GOOD”.
|Autumn leaves make a colourful display at Canada’s Wonderland.|
My sister and I both agreed that we preferred this Fall-time visit versus the one where we baked in the hot summer sun. The weather was chilly and it drizzled on us a few times, but the line-ups were short, almost non-existent. My only regret was that the summer time shows were no longer running, having been replaced by Halloween themed evening only events. I would have liked to have seen Dimensions: A Cirque Experience, I hope it runs again next year (and I still really want to ride on Wonder Mountain’s Guardian!!). Overall, we had such a great time at Canada’s Wonderland, I can’t imagine not returning next year.
Disclosure: We received complimentary entry to Canada’s Wonderland as part of a special Bloggers Day event. As always my words and opinions are my own.