Playland is Vancouver’s amusement park with all kinds of rides including roller coasters, a flume log chute, bumper cars and various fun kiddy rides.
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 17 to September 2) or Halloween Fright Nights (in October).
Playland at the PNE
Playland is Vancouver’s amusement park. It 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 2019 the season opened on May 4th and ran until September 15th. In 2020 it will likely occur around the same time.
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!
Playland Hours and Admission
In 2019 Playland opened for the season on May 4 and continued until September 15 according to the following schedule. Dates and times are to be confirmed for 2020 but may be similar.
- May 4 to June 9, 2019: Saturdays, Sundays and Monday May 20th (Victoria Day) from 11 am to 6 pm.
- June 15 to 27, 2019: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm and weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm.
- June 28 to July 31, 2019: Every day from 11 am to 6 pm.
- August 1 to 16, 2019: daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
- August 17 to September 2, 2019: 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 15, 2019: Saturdays & Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.
A One-Day PlayPass at Playland in 2019 costed $38 at the gate for folk over 48 inches tall and $28 for people under 48 inches and over 3 years of age. These prices are a couple of dollars more than they were in the last couple of years. The prices for 2020 have not been released yet. Children under 4 years of age are free.
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.
TICKET TIP #2: New last year, admission was half-price for full fare (i.e., 48″+ tickets) on Tuesdays between early July and the middle of August. To qualify you needed to arrive between 2 pm and 6 pm. Hopefully in 2020 it will be the same.
Tips and Advice
Below is a list with additional information and suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at Playland.
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 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. Click BCAA at the PNE for details.
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 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.
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