Galaxyland

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Galaxyland
Mindbender rollercoaster and decommissioned UFO maze

Mindbender rollercoaster and UFO maze
Location West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Coordinates 53°31′25″N 113°37′15″W / 53.52361°N 113.62083°W / 53.52361; -113.62083Coordinates: 53°31′25″N 113°37′15″W / 53.52361°N 113.62083°W / 53.52361; -113.62083
Owner West Edmonton Mall Properties Inc.
Opened 1985
Previous names Fantasyland
Operating season all year
Area 400,000 sq. ft.
(37,160 m²)
Rides
Total 23
Roller coasters 4
Website WEM-Galaxyland

Galaxyland, previously known as Fantasyland, is the world's second largest indoor amusement park, situated in the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is home to the world's tallest (14 stories), and longest indoor roller coaster, the Mindbender. It is also home to the Space Shot, the world's tallest indoor tower ride (12 stories). It was surpassed by Ferrari World as the largest indoor amusement park in November 2010, but still claims to be the largest.

Rides[edit]

New rides[edit]

The rides "Galaxy Twister" and "Sonic Storm" have been removed to make way for two new rides. The ride replacing Galaxy Twister is called Sonic Twister which was completed and is currently in operation as of February 22, 2010 at a cost of 6 tickets per ride.[citation needed] Another new ride, Cosmic Revolution, opened March 2011.

Beginner rides[edit]

Balloon Race. Also visible are a statue of Cosmo (in the foreground), a small portion of the Autosled (near the three highest balloons) and Cosmic Bounce (to the right of Balloon Race)
Ride Tickets Required Description
Motojump 2 tickets Miniature dirt bikes and ATV's that move in a circular forward motion.
Carousel 3 tickets Merry-go-around horses that move in an up and down, circular motion.
Kiddie Convoy 2 tickets A variety of vehicles that move on a pad in a circular forward motion.
35th Aero Squadron 2 tickets World War II planes that move up and down (controlled by riders) in a forward circular motion.
Space Bump 2 tickets Children's cars that drive and collide with each other.
Galaxyland Raceway 4 tickets Slow moving electric go-karts driven through an "Indy" style racetrack.
Balloon Race 3 tickets A ferris wheel with cars shaped like balloons.
Galaxy Kids Playpark 4 tickets (Ages 1–3)

6 tickets (Ages 4–12)

A large play area with slides, caves and ball crawl. A socks-only environment where children must be accompanied by an adult.

Intermediate rides[edit]

Flying Galleon. Also visible is the Galaxykids Playpark in the background
Ride Tickets Required Description
Cosmic Spinner 5 tickets This ideal family ride takes 32 adventurers on an extraordinary whirling orbit. A space version of the funfair classic Tilt-A-Whirl ride, riders hop into one of 4 individually spinning UFO's to experience the numerous thrills and jolts that would please even the hardiest space voyager.
Galaxyland Express 3 tickets A train ride through Galaxyland. Although the ride's target group is small children, it is very popular among all ages because of the slow, leisurely pace and the fact that there are no height restrictions. Galaxyland Express survived the park's extensive renovation period that saw most of the original rides removed, albeit the station and ride vehicles were extensively remodelled into a rocket theme.
Cosmic Bounce 3 tickets 10 seated family ride full of bounces guaranteed to shake you up. Essentially a pint-sized and gentler version of the Space Shot that is run mainly by cables and winches (as opposed to the caisson and weight system of the Space Shot).
Flying Galleon 4 tickets A Spanish motif style boat that swings back and forth. One of the park's original rides, and one of the few that has not been remodelled into a space-age theme.
TurboRide Theatre 5 tickets A 3D movie theatre with full motion seats, DTS sound and a 3-story screen. The theatre sits in a large cement cube within the Mindbender's enclosure.
Autosled 3 tickets A small roller coaster with a series of sharp turns and high speeds. Ideal for those who are too big for the Dragon Wagon, but not quite ready to try out the Mindbender or the Galaxy Orbiter.
Quirks in the Works 4 tickets A crashed spaceship has been taken over by Quirks and you have to save the world by zapping as many quirks as you can in the dark. The ride's site was formerly occupied by the second part of the Drop of Doom.
Cosmic Revolution 5 tickets 12 two-passenger cars are connected on an undulating circular track with bumps. The cars travel back and forth at high speeds, the speed often determined by the music and DJ-operator, who interacts with riders throughout their experience on the ride. The height requirement is 48 inches.

Advanced rides[edit]

"Space Shot"
Ride Tickets Required Description
Galaxy Orbiter 6 tickets Canada's first spinning roller coaster. Installed in 2007, Galaxy Orbiter is the park's second longest roller coaster (behind the Mindbender), and is a good step up for those who have outgrown the Autosled but are not ready to try the Mindbender yet. Construction of the ride forced the permanent removal of Rockin' Rocket and the UFO Maze as well as the temporary closure of Autosled and Galaxyland Raceway. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.[1][2]
Space Shot 6 tickets 12 person ride launches passengers nearly 120 feet (37 m) skyward then thrusts them back to earth. It should be noted that, while the ride is called "Space Shot" (and features the usual S&S Space Shot signage on the ride vehicle), it operates in the same style (and may have been converted to) a Double Shot.
Solar Flare 6 tickets Experience an intense ground-rush as you circle the blazing sun, flipping and spinning in all directions as you control your flips and spins. A Hoppla manufactured by Moser. This ride was formerly occupied by a swinging inverter ship called the Perilous Pendulum.
Swing of the Century 5 tickets A giant swing set with individual swings that moves in a circular, swinging motion. A Wave Swinger manufactured by Zierer. Along with the Mindbender, Flying Galleon, and most of the rides in the kid's zone, Swing of the Century is one of the park's few attractions that has not been modelled over and/or replaced to keep in conformity with Galaxyland's space theme.
Cosmo's Space Derby 4 tickets 2-seated bumper cars built for adults. One of the original attractions, the enclosure area in which the cars bang and bash was extensively remodelled during Galaxyland's renovation period, with the mirrors surrounding the enclosure wall replaced by space-themed murals. However, the original bumper cars are still used today.
Mindbender 7 tickets The "world's largest indoor triple loop roller coaster." A mirror image and modified "Drier Looping" designed by Schwarzkopf. Mindbender was recently modified with new fail safe magnetic brakes.
Sonic Twister 6 tickets A Sidewinder 12 model from Moser Rides. Spins in circles as it swings back and forth up to a 120-degree angle on each side.

Decommissioned Rides[edit]

Ride Tickets Required Description
Kiddie Bumper Boats 1 ticket Battery operated boats in a shallow pool for children to drive around, unknown manufacturer, closed 1988, Located on a former pond where the birthday rooms are now (beside the train station). Pond itself was removed after a collapse occurred into the movie theatres below.
Kiddie Karavan 2 tickets Miniature Carousel for small children with no horses. Riders would ride in either 1 of 2 fish, a deer, a duck or a carriage. Originally known as a mini-wave swinger, the characters the childer were seated on were secured together, and the speed of the ride slowed so that seats did not swing outwards.
Paddle Boats Unknown Paddle boats for larger children and adults, originally borrowed Pelican brand boats from Hawrelak Park, later Sun Dolphin brand boats. Galaxyland Raceway is located in its former location. The "islands" of the lake and staining from water exposure are still visible, especially on the "island" that supports the Dragon Wagon. Additionally, the exit/entrance stairs from the ride are also visible beneath the base of the Cosmic Spinner, and are best seen from riding the Galaxyland Express.
Mini-Enterprise 2 tickets Known also as a Mini-Enterprise, it was a scaled down version, with six cars of similar proportions to its larger namesake. Ride moved in a circular motion, and tilted up to approximately 30 degrees while rotating, but the revolutions per minute did not allow the cars to swing outward like a full size Enterprise ride, they merely hung. Located between the Mindbender control booth and the balloon race ride.
Zipper 5 tickets The Zipper was located near the operating booth of the Mindbender where the entrance to the "Haunted Castle" now resides. It was removed due to numerous breakdowns in one spot. The mechanics could stop the constant breakdowns by modifying the ride to run differently but it would not be as much fun to ride. Also to constant breakdowns were because that the Zipper in Galaxyland was the only park model zipper known. It ran all year round in end put excessive wear on the ride causing constant breakdowns. Manufactured by Chance Amusements.
Orbitron 4 Tickets A ride with a center that rises about 12', and crank arms at the ends of the sweeps. Each crank arm has two tubs on it, and as the center rotates, the crank arms rotate to bounce the tubs up and down. Manufactured by Zierer and known as a Hexentanz or Fireball. Upon the Orbitron's removal, the cement pad underneath it supported the "UFO Maze". This maze stood for a number of years before it was removed due to the construction of the Galaxy Orbiter. The pad currently supports a "finale" section of the Galaxy Orbiter. Despite its removal, the ride's operating booth (complete with a height-restriction notice) and the queue lines can still be seen, and are best viewed when riding the Mindbender or Galaxy Orbiter.
Disco Dynamo 5 tickets Spinning ride, capable of rotating forward and backwards on an undulating path in a circle. Generally the ride only ran backwards but was capable of forward motion. Manufactured by Mack Rides as a park model of their "Disco Star" or "Super Disco Star" The Sonic Storm is located in this ride's former location. Ride sold and operates indoors as the Disco Star, at Fun Zone in New York State.
Perilous Pendulum 5 tickets Upside down boat. Manufactured by Intamin as Looping Starship. The Solar Flare is located in this rides former location. The ride was the world's first indoor Looping Starship. The main riding area (the boat) was located in the parking lot just north of Galaxylands entrance 10 wrapped in tarps until its removal in 2004.
Drop of Doom 5 tickets A first generation free fall tower ride. Manufactured by Intamin. Riders were transported up a high gantry in a cage similar to an elevator car before being dropped down 120 feet (37 m) into an exiting area. Despite the arguable fact that it was the park's second greatest attraction (behind the Mindbender), it was removed in 2002. The tall, cylindrical space where the gantry stood is currently occupied by the "Space Shot" tower ride (albeit it operates similar to a Double Shot). The entrance/exit area sat unoccupied for a short time before housing Quirks in the Works, an interactive laser ride. Despite many first generation freefall rides having been scrapped, the Drop of Doom was re-assembled, painted a dark red/burgundy color, as opened in 2006 as the Hollywood Tower in Movie Land Park, Italy.
Rockin' Rocket 4 tickets A rocket shaped vehicle would move back and forth on a curved metal base while spinning. A rocket version of the Zamperla Rockin' Tug ride. The Galaxy Orbiter's loading and unloading station is located in its former location. The rocket itself sat outside of Galaxyland wrapped in tarps, until its removal.
Sonic Storm 6 tickets A ride for the daring! 32 passengers are propelled backward in a circular bouncing motion. A Techno Jump manufactured by Sartori. This ride is in the former location of the Disco Dynamo. The ride is to be replaced by the Cosmic Revolution in March 2011. It has been removed as of January 2010.
Autocars 2 tickets Small themed antique cars on a "L" Shaped circular track for younger children. Formerly located opposite the Autosled, later replaced by the Laser Maze and a coin operated remote control car attraction
Kiddie Parachute Ride 3 tickets A tall parachute style drop ride for children, Originally located on the site of the SR2 ride, which was later replaced by the kiddie dragon coaster. Suffered low ridership due to the height (children were taken to the ceiling before being dropped), which frightened many. Also difficult to load/unload children without adult assistance.
SR2 Motion Simulator Cash Ride, Later 4 Tickets Originally a leased ride, not covered by the Fantasyland ticket system. Replaced the Kiddie Parachute Drop. A motion simulator ride with a 16 mm film projector simulating various other amusement rides, such as "The Beast" roller coaster at kings island. Initially problematic due to insufficient cooling of hydraulics, failure of the film mechanism, and subject of numerous customer complaints due to not accepting ride coupons. Later replaced by the Kiddie Dragon coaster. Manufactured by Doron
Astro Base Alpha 4 tickets A motion ride with arcade features. Located originally in the footprint of the Mindbender Rollercaster in a dome structure. Ride was enclosed in the dark and used a modified Tilt-a-Whirl platform, with riders seated in molded chairs, each with a "laser gun" As the ride undulated and spun, the riders were to shoot at light sensitive targets located in the upper dome, and scores were recorded on the internal computer system. Delayed in opening due to the Mindbender accident, it ran for only a couple of years. Completely demolished and replaced by the current theatre within the Mindbender footprint. Manufactured by Sellner.
Space Probe 3 tickets Rides were seated in a sphere which was in turn located in a formed clear plastic tube. Ride consisted of 3 powered fans lifting the sphere within the tube, and "bouncing" the sphere multiple times. Thrill derived from the feeling the sphere would be propelled from the open end of the tube, though this was physically impossible due to the loss of air pressure once the sphere reached the top. Original concept called for several units which would have "battles" between them with shooting and lasers, but only one was ever purchased, and modified to bounce riders. Originally located behind the Mindbender operators booth, later relocated closer to the Orbitron Ride Entrance. Eventually scrapped due to low ridership, and repeated mechanical failures. Manufactured by Saker One Corp.
Harbour Cruisers 2 tickets A boat ride located in the lake formerly located where the Galaxyland Raceway and the Spinning Coaster are now located. Consisted of 12 barge looking boats with canopies, four seats each. Every boat was affixed to a square nylon cord which was pulled through the bottom of the lake on a submerged track structure. Never a popular ride due to the lack of theming and scenery on the lake, the ride was constantly breaking due to the high friction force on the nylon cord which caused it to snap often, stranding riders. Lake also did not have a filtration system and resulted in algae blooms and constant draining and cleaning. Replaced on an interim basis by paddle boats, until the lake was finally drained and discontinued. Boats were sold in the local "bargain finder" paper.
Laser Maze Cash Ride, later 3 Tickets. A walk through dark ride, which replaced the Autocars. As players walked through the maze, robots, targets and the like were illuminated, and the object was to shoot the targets on them. Each player was issued a rifle looking gun which sent out a light beam to record a hit on the targets. Scores were recorded on an IBM XT computer, and displayed on screens around the attraction. Originally located in a leased retail bay of the mall, later relocated to within Fantasyland, and operated as a separate entity which did not take ride tickets. Later, due to numerous complaints, ride tickets were eventually accepted.
Haunted Dark Ride Never Completed - Likely 4 A haunted dark ride was scheduled to be built in an area located where the operations office and wall games are in phase two. Never completed due to schedule issues during the opening of phase two of the amusement park, the cars and equipment were ordered, and sat in the basement of Phase three of the mall until 1989 when they were sold. Ride would have operated on two levels, on a spiral oval track, and went into its own basement, before re-emerging on the main floor. Basement was hastily converted to a warehouse for games inventory, and today the only sign of its existence is a change in concrete floor texture over the basement, near the office.
Galaxy Twister 6 tickets A fast speed 36-seated ride that moves and twists forward and backward with sharp drops and flipping motions. A Crazy Flip (Super Loop on Top) manufactured by Soriani & Moser. Removed in 2009 to make way for Sonic Twister.

Controversy[edit]

Galaxyland was originally known as Fantasyland. However, the name Fantasyland was already used for one of the theme lands existing in Disneyland and other theme parks owned by the Walt Disney Company. A lawsuit eventually forced the mall's owners to change the park's name, though they were allowed to continue using the name "Fantasyland Hotel" for a hotel in the mall. Fantasyland became Galaxyland officially on July 1, 1995. This was celebrated with a new "space age" theme, and the arrival of the park's new mascot "Cosmo".

In June 1986, a wheel sheared off the last car on the train of the Mindbender and the train crashed at high speed into a concrete pillar killing three of the rides occupants.[3] Since then the ride has had several safety improvements including more routine maintenance checks and three emergency brake sections added to the track.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gerstlauer busy in 2011". Park World Magazine. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Projects". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Three killed in roller coaster accident at Edmonton mall". Star Tribune. 16 Jun 1986. Retrieved 2 Jun 2010. 

External links[edit]