Up here in Canada, springtime is a magical time. It means that the few amusement and theme parks we have here will be opening soon, and we can ride rollercoasters again! As we do have a cold climate for half the year, there are a few indoor attractions that operate year round to appease our appetite for amusement. One hidden gem that many people aren’t aware of is the Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Centre in Etobicoke, ON.
This is a small amusement park inside a mall, with a bit of themeing. It’s not as thrilling as Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America or Galaxyland at Wast Edmonton Mall, but it has a certain charm. They have the standard ferris wheel (which is super cool because it’s bolted to the middle of the floor, so it goes up and down through the two floors), carousel, bumper cars and a few others. It’s not that exciting as an adult, but as a kid this place was so magical. An amusement park in a mall, what a concept.
Here’s some details from their site:
Fantasy Fair is Toronto’s largest indoor amusement park and has served over seven million guests since first opening in 1985. Located inside Woodbine Shopping Centre, Fantasy Fair offers birthday parties, educational fun & group visits year-round. In addition to 9 full size family rides, a 3-level play village, midway games and arcade, Fantasy Fair regularly offers FREE novelty shows (puppet/magic).
9 Full Size Rides
- 1911 Antique Loof Carousel
- Crystal Kaleidoscope – indoor Ferris Wheel (50ft.)
- Doer’s Bumper Boats
- Ships Ahoy – spinning tea cups
- Smash ‘n Dash – bumper cars
- Fantasy Flight – A 32′ Balloon Tower Ride
- Fantasy Fair Express Train (JRB Special)
- Professor “Magination’s Airforce (plane ride)
- Spinner – a Family Himalaya ride
- 7 Birthday Rooms
- Dreamers’ Play Village- 5500 sq. ft & 3 stories high children’s soft
- Midway Games
- Fantasy Station – a family arcade
- Face Painting on weekends & holidays
- Clik Clik Photography on-site Saturday & Sunday
- Hurricane Simulator
A few movies have also filmed at the park. The soon to be released Silent Hill: Revalations movie did a bit of filming here last spring, it should be interesting to see how creepy they make this place. Police Acadamy 4: Citizens on Patrol and The Freshman with Marlon Brando & Matthew Broderick also filmed scenes here in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
I remember my dad taking me here when I was a kid. They had a McDonald’s (which we all know I love) and it just seemed larger than life at the time. Now visiting this place is a little sad. They’ve changed some of the attractions (the parachute drop is gone) and a lot of the stores have closed or been replaced. The magic and excitement are gone as an adult, but it’s still a great place to take the kids.