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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enjoy Summer at Canada's Wonderland Amusement Park [#Giveaway], CAN, 9/3

Growing up, the first signs of summer were shorts and the purchase of Canada's Wonderland seasons passes. We could hardly wait for school to end and days of riding rollercoasters to begin. Our parents looked forward to us staying safe and out of trouble. Well, safe.

This year, we continued the tradition by introducing The Kids to the magic of...

Canada's Wonderland Logo

Canada's Premier Amusement Park:
Canada's Wonderland!

Canada's Wonderland is a 330-acre theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, a suburb directly north of Toronto. It was opened in 1981 and is the first major theme park in Canada and remains the country's largest. The park hosts more than three million guests annually and employs over 4,000 seasonal employees and 160 year-round employees.

The last time Ed, Andrew and I were at the park was 2007. We didn't have to worry about parking, bad weather, line-ups, sweets for lunch or keeping two three-year olds amused for a day.

Seeing as we had The Kids this time, we opted for priority parking. For an extra $5, we parked within spitting distance of the front gates. Well worth the money when you have three adults, two kids and everything but the kitchen sink.

Fortunately, the weather was perfect and while the park was packed, as it is every day during the summer, attractions were run so efficiently that it didn't impact us at all.

Canada's Wonderland Performances Victoria Falls, Charlie Brown and Samurai Live Performances

Seeing as the wild card was the kids, we decided to focus on events for them and headed straight for Kidzville. On our way, we happened upon a scheduled performance of divers off of Victoria Falls. It was incredible to see and one of many performances that we watched throughout the day.

Fortunately, The Kids met the height requirements for most of the kid rides. There were so many that we didn't ride any of the twice and didn't even get to ride all of them. Their favourites were the Taxi Jam coaster, train and cars.

Canada's Wonderland Kids Rides

Some of the kids rides we enjoyed.

Even though there was signage, the one thing I found confusing was that some rides required one adult per child and some only allowed one adult for every two children. So if a family of four wanted to go on the ride together, they couldn't. Not a major inconvenience as I'm sure it was safety related and it gave each of us a chance to experience some adult rides. By the time we looked at our watches, it was 2:30pm and time for a culinary feast at...

The Marketplace International Buffet.

By 2:30pm, there weren't a lot of people eating, however, the food was still hot, freshly made and plentiful. The variety was really impressive from drinks to soups, salads and mains. Something for all ages and taste buds. Favourites included; roast beef, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, Andrews favourite, pasta (anything) and the brownies. Oh the brownies. They even let Max take an ice cream to go which was a special treat.

Canada's Wonderland Market Place Restaurant

Beware of the Brownies!

While it wasn't a scorcher outside, it was nice having a spacious, air conditioned place to eat and watch some performances. The restaurant and washrooms were clean and there was a lot of staff members around to help out when we asked for a booster seat and/or high chair (which they had). I don't normally eat at buffets because I feel like I have to eat more then I want to and still don't feel that I got my money's worth, however, I'd worked up an appetite and at $20 for an adult we definitely ate our weight... in brownies.

And then there was the Water Park. While The Kids have been around a lot of water, they've never had lessons and I didn't bring their lifejackets. Not an issue because there were plenty of life jackets available (in designated spots) and Life Guards everywhere. With all the hundreds of people around (maybe thousands), I normally would have been nervous, very nervous. However, it was obvious from the moment we enter the park that they took their roles and responsibility very seriously. I was so impressed with their protocols that I felt 100% safe with The Kids around the water. Not that we let down our guard but still. This was something that I've never felt before.

Canada's Wonderland Water Park

Fortunately, all the water activities were free because Artemis must have gone down the water slides at least 20 times. The bonus was that a life guard was at the bottom of each slide to catch her. We spent over an hour in the park and the only reason why we left was because Artemis had turned purple.

While most of the events and rides were included in the price of the park admission, some were extra such as bungee swinging, pictures, fair-like games (with prizes), and specialty products such as pictures, paintings and make your own [insert almost anything, including lip gloss flavour!].

Speaking of costs, I like to get the most for my money and expect a lot for it. Taking a family of four out for a day of fun at an amusement park can be very expensive. However, my calculations show that it cost us just over $5 an hour. Given all the costs with running the park such as; staff, lifeguards, property taxes, running and purchasing rides and the liability, I think that it was well worth the price.

Artemis dancing in the Street

Additional Notes. If you're coming on the Highway 400, take Canada's Wonderland Drive not Major MacKenzie. Or, you can ditch your car altogether and take the Go Bus for $9 return from Toronto. We brought our own stroller, however, they were available for rent. Travelling with your pet? No problem, Pet Kennel services are available. Note that we went on Tuesday, July 30.

In conclusion, our visit exceeded all my expectations for 10 hours of fun with two three-year olds! We will definitely be adding Canada's Wonderland to our Annual Family Vacation to do list. And this year, you can too by entering below to...

Win a Family Four Pack to
Canada's Wonderland!

Connect with Canada's Wonderland via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

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CONTEST DETAILS
Prize: Win a Family Pack (up to 6 people) to Canada's Wonderland. Approximate prize value depends on the family number. Two adults and 2 kids is valued at ~$165CDN.
Eligibility: Canada Only (excluding Quebec). Age 18+
Duration: The contest will run from Tuesday, August 20 until Tuesday, September 3, 2013, inclusive.
Shipping: Included in the prize.
Entry Method: Rafflecopter Form.
Notes: Valid for 2013 Only. Best for residents of Ontario.
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received a voucher for; park tickets, parking and food that enabled us to complete this review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was posted to Blog Giveaways, Contest Canada, I Love Giveaways, Linkies Contest Linkies and Strictly Canadian Coupons & Contests.

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132 comments:

  1. My kids would love The Pump House! I think it's great that they have kennel services too - we might just use those!

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  2. My kids would love Planet Snoopy and the splashworks! Havnt been there since I was young. Lori Jackson

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  3. We'd be riding the White Water Canyon for sure.
    My rafflecopter name is Julie G.

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  4. Since it has been so long since I have been there I would need to walk around first, but I know once my daughter sees the water park, we will be there for the rest of the day.

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  5. We love the water rides and roller coasters! Love Canada's Wonderland!

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  6. We would go to the Water Park area and visit Planet Snoopy!

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  7. we would ride the roller coasters

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  8. I haven't been in 8 years - would love to go with my fiancé!

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  9. I would take my boys (2 and 1) through the kids park!

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  10. We'd be off to Planet Snoopy then DH to Leviathan

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  11. We would definitely go for the rides and food:)

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  12. Love the video of Artemis and her moves!!
    My family would definitely hit the rollercoasters!!!

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  13. I would plan on going on some rides and watch the Charlie Brown's Jungle Journey.

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  14. Go on some rides... maybe top gun nothing too intense.

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  15. I want to do it all... are you kidding? I have three kids that are ready to ride all the big rides... crossing my fingers...

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  16. Oh man, how I LOVE Canada's Wonderland. Just like you, as a teen I would purchase my season pass via phone (I grew up in Dunnville, a hefty 2 hr drive, with no TO traffic) but it was still the highlight of my May every year. As soon as I got my licence there was nothing stopping me!
    Thank you for sharing! I love your video of the Dancing Queen :)

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  17. Um Funnel Cakes...does that count???

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  18. No doubt we'll be hittin the waterpark area

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  19. I would love to go on the White water canyon run.

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  20. Definitely all of the roller coasters! And the windseeker...that looks fun!

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  21. Definitely all of the roller coasters! And the windseeker...that looks fun!

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  22. michelle tremblettAugust 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    White Water Canyon for sure :) looks awesome !

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  23. I think the kids would like the Taxi chase, the Blast Off and the Jumpin Jet. abrennan09@hotmail.com

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  24. I would love to meet the Peanuts characters and if the weather is good, the Splash Park.

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  25. definetely hit up splash works waterpark and have some funnelcake

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  26. We'd love to see Dinosaurs Alive! My niece saw it and it fascinated her completely!

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  27. definitely take my boys on the fly and the ghoster coaster

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  28. the behemoth!! :)
    shaneps@hotmail.com

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  29. Dinosaurs Alive would be our first stop!

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  30. We would visit the drop zone!

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  31. all the little kid things ;)

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  32. I would love to just go see the fun and joy my kids would have going on all the rides. I like the water canyon ride, and of course, one can't go to Wonderland without indulging in a funnel cake or beaver tails.

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  33. We would ride the Ghoster Coaster.

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  34. I would definitely try the funnel cake and go on leviathan!

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  35. Buy food and go on every ride possible.

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  36. The splashworks! Love the water lol and Planet Snoopy!

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  37. we would go on all the rides in the kids section.

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  38. I'd love to visit the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit!

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  39. Our day would be all for our 5 yr old, hanging out in KidZville, Planet Snoopy, Splash Works, and some of the 'Family Rides' that hubby could go on with her (due to health reasons, I can't do rides anymore). She would have a ball!!

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  40. Definitely hit a lot of rides, visit Splash Works and have 1 or2 funnel cakes!!

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  41. Funnel cake and Leviathan are on the list! Probably the dinos too.

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  42. At the age of 7, I had my first visit to Canada's Wonderland. It was a dull & rainy day, but we made the trek out there anyways, hoping the weather would shift in our favour and it did. I'll never forget the first ride we went on - the Ghoster Coaster - or the look on my parent's faces as they silently "argued" over who would accompany me on the ride. My dad "lost", and off we went. At the first drop on the coaster, my 6 foot 5 father's face went pale and his knuckles turned white - I on the other hand began screaming and squealing in delight and excitement. We went on another 5 or 6 rides, ate gooey pizza and lemon ices, watched the figure skating show, and had our photo taken at the entrance for a souvenir "viewfinder". I had the best time that day (and eventually, so did my parents!) and I still have that viewfinder on my keychain today. I'd love to make memories like that with my young family, because I know we'd create memories that would last a lifetime, just as that first visit did for me.

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  43. We'll be riding the roller coasters all day long!

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  44. We would go on rides.

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  45. Planet Snoopy here we come.. The big ones will take off to the big rides, so in order to give my little guy fun we would hang out with the kiddy friendly rides all day . Def have to go through the dinos :) .. I know my little guy is fearless and can't wait for him to ride everything , he is able to ...

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  46. We'd love to see the Dinos exhibit and go on kiddie rides

    Carmen Q

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  47. i would take my kids through the entire park especially to the shows

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  48. We all love the waterpark. We could spend all summer there!

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  49. Rides! Performances! Waterpark! Funnell Cakes

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  50. My boys would love to ride the Barracuda Blaster!

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  51. Wow, so much to do at Canada's Wonderland!! As my kids are six years apart in age I think as a family we would get the most out of Splash Works, the area where the Pump House splash pad, Wave Pool and giant Black Hole water slide are. I can hear the kid squealing now!

    Suz

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  52. The kids love the smaller rollercoasters like Ghoster Coaster! If its a really nice day the water rides are great as well!

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  53. we would love Splash Works Waterpark

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  54. I've never taken my nieces to Canada's Wonderland and would love to see them enjoying the rides, food, entertainment, and water park!

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  55. We'd spend most of the day at the Splash Works Water Park.

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  56. Dinosaurs alive! My daughter is crazy about dinosaurs right now

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  57. Rollercoasters!!! It's been years since I've been on a roller coaster, because I've been too big ... now that I've lost over 100lbs, I can finally get on a roller coaster and enjoy myself!!

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  58. we would go and see the Dinosaurs alive i'm curious just as well as the kids are about them

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  59. We would go to the water park for sure!

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  60. My family would love this, my son has never been to Wonderland, but it would cost me to much to take them. We would go on the ride and can't forget about the water park yay. Oh and the waffle cake yummy

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  61. My son would the water park. Have to sign in anonymous because it will not take anything else...name Theresa M.

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  62. My family would love splasworks!

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  63. Rollercoasters are a HUGE hit with our family! We'd head straight for Leviathon first and enjoy the buffet at the marketplace.

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  64. OH there is so much to do, I would try to do Everything!!!!!! What a great Prize =) Thank you

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  65. My daughetr is a roller coater enthusiast....I could hold the bags....lol I do love the log ride adn the white water canyon and a few of the other rides including Nightmares and to end the day a funnel cake for sure!

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  66. Go to the waterpark - The Pump House

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  67. hit the smallest roller coaster there

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  68. we'd go to the kids rides and spend a lot of time there. then maybe check out the dinosaurs.

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  69. love roller coasters....they are the best.

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  70. Splashworks waterpark would be a hit with everyone :)

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  71. All the roller coasters.

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  72. Splash Works for the kids would be our number 1 pick!

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  73. would love to try White Water Canyon

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  74. Go on all the rollercoasters

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  75. My kids would want to take us on on the rollercoasters..only to have a good laugh at their mom screaming her head off and their dad coming off the ride looking for a bucket!

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  76. My 12 yr old son loves all water rides and so do I

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  77. take the kids to the water park and the kiddy rides

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  78. Can't wait to visit the kiddie land also ride the wild water canyon

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  79. We would def be checking out the water park & the kid zone to ride the antique cars!

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  80. I love the to watch the kids go on all the rides! and take pics of expressions on their faces!

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    1. Sorry specifically the rollarcoasters

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  81. I would just love to take the kids to the water park in there and all the kiddie rides!

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  82. We love Roller Coaster so the Roller Coaster for sure.

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  83. The roller coasters! We love them!

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  84. My daughter REALLY wants to go on a "real" roller coaster!!!

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  85. I would ride all the roller coasters with my brother until one of us puked. Hopefully him ;)

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  86. I have loved Behemoth since it opened!

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  87. Haven't been since I was a teen. Love from Michigan!

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  88. i have never gone with my kids. I think they would love going on the rides. Would be a great family day out.

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  89. My family would definitely go between the water park and the rollercoasters

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  90. i would take my son on the bat hes finally tall enough, then ice cream and mini golf while i beg for forgiveness

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  91. I would take them on all the rides including the fly which used to be my favorite when I was a teenager.

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  92. We really really want to see the dinosaurs :D thats where we would be all day, maybe get some rides in, but my son is all about Dinosaurs.

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  93. We would go on all the new rides and of course check out the dinosaurs!

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  94. My kids would love the rides (and kiddie rides), waterpark, live shows, and food vendors.

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  95. My kids would love the rides (and kiddie rides), waterpark, live shows, and food vendors.

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  96. The Dinosaurs Alive attraction is the first place we would visit

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  97. Take everyone on topgun! haha

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  98. we would love to go on a lot of rides and meet snoopy and the gang.

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  99. We would spend all of our time on the rides.

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  100. I think we would explore the Dinosaur section.

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  101. i would spend all day riding the rides

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  102. I would probably spend more time in Splash Works...completely missed it last time!

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  103. We'd be riding the White Water Canyon

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  104. Rides, shows and the Dino Alive show. That looks amazing! This is what we would do at Wonderland!

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  105. I would love to take my son on the swans, and the train and the old fashion cars
    Judy we_know@hotmail.com

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  106. We would hit all the rides we could!!

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  107. We haven't taken the kids yet. I would love to explore the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit! Thanks for the chance to win this amazing prize!

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  108. we would do everything!!! then top it off with a funnel cake!!!

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  109. I have a young daughter and a nephew and neice that are older, I would definitley be going for whatever the kiddos want to do

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  110. Would love to take kids

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  111. If the weather was still hot, we would do the water park

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  112. White Water Canyon is a must, and bumper cars are awesome!

    SueSueper Sue

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  113. I would love to take my nephew to see the Snoopy rides and the dinosaurs.

    Adina H.

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  114. Seek out the funnel cakes...my husband has never had one!

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