Playland at the PNE is Vancouver’s amusement park with all kinds of rides including roller coasters, a flume log chute, bumper cars and fun kiddy rides.
In December of 2020 the Pacific National Exhibition is hosting PNE WinterLights which is a drive-thru event where guests get to explore magical lands and see all kinds of beautiful light displays from the comfort and safety of their cars. For details see the official PNE.ca website
This article contains the following information:
Click any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about Vancouver’s Playland amusement park. Or, for PNE events and activities at various times of the year, click Pacific National Exhibition (from late August until early September) or Halloween Fright Nights (in October). For descriptions of individual rides, see our article about Vancouver’s Playland Rides.
Playland at the PNE
Playland is Vancouver’s amusement park. It usually runs on weekends in the late spring and early fall, and daily in the summer, except for the last three weeks leading up to the September Long Weekend when the place turns into the Pacific National Exhibition, or PNE.
In 2020 the season was supposed to open on May 2nd and run until September 13th. However, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, that opening was postponed until July 10th. The attraction was then open on all Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays until September 26th. In the month of October rides also operated during the PNE’s Halloween-themed Slayland event.
Playland is a great place for kids. It has all kinds of rides including two roller coasters, with one being a 50+ year-old wooden antique.
At Playland there is also the Flume (log chute), AtmosFear and Drop Zone (the last of which is kind of like bungee-jumping, except that they shoot you up through the air). There are also all kinds of rides for tiny folk.
Playland is a great place – it’s not modern and fancy like Disneyland, but still tons of fun.
Think of Playland kind of like a large fancy midway carnival that comes to your town once a year and sets up in a parking lot – with the usual Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler and Ferris Wheel. Playland has some fancier rides too though, like the giant Wave Swinger, the Beast and Hellevator. It’s impressive and kids love the place!
For descriptions of the attraction’s various rides see our article about Playland’s Rides.
Playland Hours and Admission
To give an idea of what to expect for future years, the original 2020 Playland schedule is listed below. Before it was postponed by the spread of the coronavirus, the PNE was going to open for the season on May 2nd and continue until September 13th according to the following schedule. Note: Actual 2020 dates, times and other details changed.
- May 2nd to June 7th, 2020: Saturdays, Sundays and Monday May 18th (Victoria Day) from 11 am to 6 pm.
- June 13th to 28th, 2020: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm and weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
- June 29th to July 31st, 2020: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11 am to 7 pm and weekdays from 11 am to 6 pm.
- August 1st to 21st, 2020: daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
- August 22nd to September 7th, 2020: The Fair at the PNE runs every day during this period except for the first two Mondays when it’s closed. (Note: Playland passes don’t apply during this time.)
- September 7th to 13th, 2020: Saturdays & Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.
A One-Day PlayPass at Playland in 2020 cost $39.50 for people over 48 inches tall and $29.50 for people under 48 inches and over 3 years of age. Children under 4 years of age were free.
Below are a couple of tips to keep in mind for 2021 (when Playland will hopefully be operating as it usually does).
TICKET TIP #1: Buy your tickets in advance online or at 7-11, Safeway, Save-on-Foods or Urban Fare and save between $2 and $5. (2021 details to be confirmed.)
TICKET TIP #2: Admission is often half-price for full fare (i.e., 48″+ tickets) on Tuesdays between early July and mid-August. To qualify you needed to arrive between 2 pm and 6 pm. (2021 details are to be confirmed.)
Tips and Advice
Below is a list with additional information and suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at Playland in a typical year.
TIP #1: Take a sun hat and sunscreen on hot sunny days as there isn’t a lot of shade. Also take a water bottle.
TIP #2: Try to arrive early on weekends and days with good weather to avoid the afternoon crowds and accompanying ride lineups.
TIP #3: The Flume (water log chute ride) is especially popular on hot days. Also, do the roller coasters and Flume early in the day before the crowds form, or at the end of the day if it’s not hot weather. You don’t want to be cold for the rest of the day after getting soaked on the Flume!
TIP #4: Members of the Kidsworld Program sometimes have access to a promo code discount of about $5 for Playland admission. In addition to this, the program allows participating children and an accompanying adult access to dozens of attractions for FREE! And membership costs just $50! (This program may or may not be running in 2021. Details are to be confirmed.)
TIP #5: If you plan to leave and return later, don’t forget to get a re-entry stamp on your way out so you can get back in.
TIP #6: Most years members of the BC Automobile Association (BCAA) get around 30% off admission and ride passes at the Pacific National Exhibition (i.e., when Playland becomes the PNE from the third week of August until the first weekend in September). The discount is for the PNE, not Playland.
TIP #7: Some people love the old wooden and rickety roller coaster, and some people don’t. It’s a “classic” (i.e., antique), so don’t say you haven’t been warned!
For more information on Playland in the summer, see the official PNE/Playland website.
For details about the PNE in late August and early September, see the Pacific National Exhibition.
For information about Playland in October in the lead up to Halloween, click Halloween Fright Nights.
For a description of the attractions at the amusement park, see our article about Playland Rides.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Best Places for Children
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver on a Budget