PlayLand opens for the season this Saturday

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fair at the pne playland coaster

PlayLand at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver opens this Saturday morning with one enormous thrill ride addition that is visually impossible to miss.

The Beast, a newly built pendulum swinging ride, is amongst the tallest rides in the park, reaching an ultimate height of 125 feet at full swing. A single pendulum shaft swings up to 20 passengers, seated in inward and outward positions, at speeds of as high as 90 kilometres per hour while spinning 360 degrees.

Thrill seekers will feel a force of over 5Gs, equivalent to the acceleration felt in a Formula One car or while luging at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Clearly, the green giant sitting in the middle of the park is anything but a gentle ride; the stomach-churning ride is not for everyone.

PNE officials have branded The Beast, designed and built by Holland’s KMG International, as the first of its kind in the continent and one of the tallest and largest pendulum rides in Canada. Rides on the new attraction are free as it is part of the gate admission price.

Watch footage of the ride experience on The Beast.

More new rides will be added to PlayLand in the years to come as part of an $80-million plan to shake off the amusement park’s stale and tired public perception. PlayLand’s area will expand from 15 to 22 acres and the grounds will receive a public realm beautification with greenery, fixtures and furniture, and improved pathways.

The budget also includes $50 million for new and replacement rides, with aims to add a new ride every season for the foreseeable future. Long-term site plans approved by the City of Vancouver suggest the addition of new roller coaster rides on the north end of the park where the expansion will occur.

PlayLand consists of over 30 rides and attractions, such as longtime favourites the Wooden Roller Coaster, Pirate and Hell’s Gate. Every year outside of The Fair at the PNE period, about 300,000 guests pass through PlayLand’s gates.

PlayLand 2015

  • Dates and Times:
    • May 16 to June 21 on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
    • June 12 to 24 from Monday to Friday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
    • June 26 to July 31 from Monday to Friday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
    • August 1 to 21 daily (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
    • August 22 to September 7 (Fair at the PNE)
    • September 12 to 20 on Saturdays and Sundays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Tickets:
    • One-Day PlayPass over 48″ tall – $35.50
    • Junior One-Day PlayPass for under 48″ tall – $24.75
    • PlayLand Season PlayPass over 48″ tall – $99.50
    • PlayLand Junior Season PlayPass – $56.75
    • Tickets and passes may also be purchased at participating retailers or online.

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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