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A Question for Cindermom

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canada
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A Question for Cindermom

I noticed on another thread that you took your family to TO a few years back. We were considering driving there this summer, as we've never been on a family driving trip. I have an aunt who lives @ niagara on the Lake. Was thinking skipping TO, I hate that kind of craziness. maybe do the falls, but what else? My kids are used to the kind of fun of Orlando & such. Since you now know about both, what's your opinion? How does the stuff over there compare to orlando? We'll skip canadas wonderland, because I can tell already it will be lame compared to Disney. Maybe we should just forget it all together, & just go back to Florida some time. Any thoughts, opinions etc. are appreciated. Thanks!

Ontario, Canada
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1. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Hi Potato

I hope you don't mind me replying to your question. I have been to Orlando 3 times (2 x as a child and once 3 years ago) and in the process of planning another trip. I also live within 150 km of both Niagara Falls (NF) and Toronto.

For starters - I don't like Toronto and avoid going there whenever possible but there is a lot to do there. Wonderland is actually located in Vaughn which is north of Toronto and is absolutely great!!! It's possible to spend at least 2 - 3 days there to get everything in. Comparing it to Disney is like comparing apples and oranges. I remember from a previous post that you have kids but I can't remember their ages so I will summarize all there is to do. Wonderland has a huge "kiddie land" in Nick and Nick Jr theme complete with shows and last year they had quite an elaborate parade as well. There is a waterpark complete with water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. And of course rides, rides, and more rides. I'm not a fan of rides but I still love going there. There are a few shows to catch as well. Last but not least - the food. Wonderland is known for it's delicious food especially the funnel cakes ;-)

Vaughn has grown rapidly over the past couple years. There is a huge mall (outlet?) adjacent to Wonderland called Vaughn Mills and is home to Bass Pro Shops as well as NASCAR Speedpark ( I remember another Canadian likes NASCAR as well but I can't remember who)

You could easily spend 3 -4 days in Niagara Falls as well. NF is home to Marineland which is an extremely pathetic attempt to duplicate Sea World. If you have been to Sea World you will be very disappointed. NF also has 2 different tours that take you to all the points of interest as well. Clifton Hill is the "strip" with family type attraction after attraction. Way too much to do to list here but I can provide more info if your interested.

As for something else? There are several tourist type towns along the Great Lakes to visit with nice beaches. My favourite is Wasaga Beach which is about 100 km north of Toronto and in the Georgian Bay region (Lake Simcoe). There are lots of things going on during the summer and always a ton to do. I don't know which province you live in but it is very possible that you will be driving right past it. Algonquin Park is further north and great if your into camping (I'm not but it seems to be the "place" to go)

A couple warnings about summer in Southern Ontario - this area is driven by the auto industry and the summer shutdown is the first 2 weeks in July so everything will be busy. The second half is July is our "nasty" hot and humid weather. Last summer we averaged 40 - 45 C highs with the humidex factored in.

Last but not least - I've noticed the Canadians are posting their "qualifications" so here are mine ;-) I'm a Canadian mom with 2 kids ages 7 and 5. Been with hubby 12 years (married for 9) and were going to Orlando to celebrated our 10 th anniversary - with the kids of course!!!

2. Re: A Question for Cindermom

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Northeast PA
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3. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Yes, but is the water safe.

Regina, Canada
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4. Re: A Question for Cindermom

T, my friend, good day!!

Safe to swim or safe to drink?

As long as it wasn't near Toronto, swimming in the water is lovely. Too polluted near the big city! Drinking safe, but tastes horrible!

toronto
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5. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Really??? I live in Toronto and I don't find that our water here tastes terrible... it is very safe to drink.....

canada
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6. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Thanks Barbie & Cindermom! I'm thankful for anybody's help. My kids are 13, 10, 8. Coming from the Wpg. area, it's actually faster for us to drive into the States, under the lakes, & back into Canada. Cindermom, I know what you mean about tha landscape. My parents have a cottage in Lake of the Woods, ON, so we spend a large part of our Summers there. We've been Orlando a few times, as well as Disney & SW California. As far as beaches, we get a lot of time at the lake, & took the kids to Maui & Waikiki. (Very lucky kids). We are also thrill seekers when it comes to rides. Roller coasters are what we like most.

Barbie, you confirmed my suspicions about Marineland, so we won't go. I read the reviews for ROM & the Science Centre, & they aren't very good. I think we will avoid TO all together. I notice there's some forts from history, Uncle Tom's cabin in Dresden stuff like that, but maybe we've become spoiled from going to Orlando. I don't want to drive all that way, & be disappointed. I think I'll check also for things to do & see on the US side.

Regina, Canada
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7. Re: A Question for Cindermom

I don't know if you've ever stopped in Thunder Bay, but there is an amazing fort there. I think it's Fort William, and it's a fur trading fort. When you go there it's like going back in time. They act and speak like it the 1700's or thereabouts. It's really interesting.

The science centre in Sudbury is amazing. So much better than the Science centre in Toronto. They also have tours of the nickel mines there.

The ROM is a museum. There is some interesting things there, but it's a museum.

You can also mine for amyseth (don't know if I spelled that right) in Thunder Bay.

Canada's Wonderland is okay. I can't compare it to anything else, I've haven't been to Disney yet. There's also Ontario Place. That's a neat place for kids. The CN Tower is cool but NOT CHEAP!!

Northeast PA
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8. Re: A Question for Cindermom

NOT CHEAP, is it as much as Disney

Regina, Canada
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9. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Well no, but... I think that Disney is probably a bigger "bang for your buck". If you like REALLY tall buildings, then the CN Tower is worth it. It does have a glass floor. If you have a problem with heights, I would pass!

canada
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10. Re: A Question for Cindermom

Cindermom-thanks! Thunderbay is out of the way, as I mentioned it would be closer to head south through the US. Sudbury sounds good-I'll check it out. One review I read said the CN tower was $25 a person! $125 for a family! Forget it! I think after Disney, Busch, Knotts berry, Canadas wonderland will be a disappointment. The other thing that has spoiled us for Orlando is the hotel prices. When I look at the price for a single 2 or 3 star hotel in TO & other places, for the same price I can get a condo in Orlando. Florida really spoils you for choices & prices. After that everything else starts to look like a bad idea. That must be why so many people just keep going back to Florida year after year. Even Disney California has really poor hotel choices, which brings people back to Orlando again. You'll see Cindermom- after your trip, not only will you be bit by the travel bug, but you'll feel like a pickle-you can never go back to being a cucumber!