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 2020, Playland took place on weekends until September 26th.
In October of 2020, for the first time in many years, the PNE is not hosting its annual Fright Nights event. That’s right, there will be no haunted houses at the PNE this year. Instead of Fright Nights, however, a new completely outdoor event is taking place. Slayland: A Night of a Thousand Screams runs from October 9th until Halloween.
See the official PNE.ca website to learn about Halloween at Playland in 2020.
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 (August 22 to September 7) 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. As of August, the attraction is open on all Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays until the Labour Day Weekend. (i.e., September 7th).
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 2 and continue until September 13 according to the following schedule. Note: Actual 2020 dates, times and other details have changed.
- May 2 to June 7, 2020: Saturdays, Sundays and Monday May 18th (Victoria Day) from 11 am to 6 pm.
- June 13 to 28, 2020: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm and weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
- June 29 to July 31, 2020: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11 am to 7 pm and weekdays from 11 am to 6 pm.
- August 1 to 21, 2020: daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
- August 22 to September 7, 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 7 to 13, 2020: Saturdays & Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.
A One-Day PlayPass at Playland in 2020 costs $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 are 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. (Details to be confirmed.)
TICKET TIP #2: Admission is half-price for full fare (i.e., 48″+ tickets) on Tuesdays between July 2 and August 13. To qualify you needed to arrive between 2 pm and 6 pm. (Details 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.
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 #3: Except for when the PNE is happening during the last three weeks of the summer, there isn’t a lot of choice for refreshments at Playland (other than hamburgers, hot dogs and junk food like cotton candy). If you’re on a tight budget and forget to pack your own lunch, there is a McDonald’s a 10-minute walk down the road to the east, at the corner of the Trans-Canada Highway and East Hastings Street. Or, even better, White Spot’s Triple O’s is on site and they serve some of the best hamburgers in the Lower Mainland. Remember to get your hand stamped before leaving the site to ensure your re-entry.
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!
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