Playland kicks off 2018 season on Saturday, May 5

Vancouver’s favourite amusement park reopens this weekend. Playland has announced that it will officially kick off the 2018 season on May 5.

That means you can ride the Wooden Roller Coaster, which taunts Vancouver residents with its promise of a wild and rickety good time all winter long, as early as this Saturday. 

And you definitely should. TheWooden Roller Coaster, the oldest of its kind in Canada, turns 60 years old this year.

It’s not the only PNE attraction celebrating a milestone birthday this year, either. The Pacific Coliseum celebrated its 50th birthday this past January, and the party will run all summer long. Per a release, prior to and during this year’s Fair, the PNE will be asking guests to submit their favourite Pacific Coliseum memories.

Guests ride the Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland in 2013. Jason Payne / 00023452A SUN

The fair itself won’t open until later in the summer, mind you. And even Playland will only be open on the weekends for the first month — the amusement park will be open on Saturdays and Sundays until June 15, at which point it opens for daily operation.

But if you want to beat those summer crowds, your best bet is to get out to Playland during these May dress rehearsals. In addition to the roller coaster, Playland boasts more than 35 other rides, including the Hellevator, the Corkscrew roller coaster (famed for its appearance in Final Destination 3), and The Beast, which swings riders at speeds of up to 90 km per hour.

Plus: Pacific Adventure Mini Golf is now included free with admission, so you can work on your swing on the Pirate Ship ride, and then immediately go to work on your short game.

Other attractions at Playland include the arcade, the 35-foot climbing wall and the haunted mansion, which may or may not have real ghosts this year. The PNE is over 100 years old, after all — that’s more than old enough to pick up a few ghosts.

Don’t forget about all the food options, either. For some people, the real reason to visit Playland is for the mini donuts at Fundunkers Donut Shop. And if you aren’t a donut person, there’s the fudge at What the Fudge, the pizza at Pizza Pizza, or the grilled cheese at Cheese Please.  

One-day admission passes for Playland start at $26 and season passes start at $56 online. 

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