Breaking news! I traveled somewhere other than the Walt Disney Resort. It’s true! And while it would’ve been awesome to take a week-long trip to Disney this past August, I expanded my horizons and made a trip up north – specifically to New Hampshire, Canada and Vermont. While it ended up being a welcome and refreshing change, I still was able to enjoy some Disney-like elements specifically while visiting Montreal.
On our second day exploring the city, we happened upon the Barbie Expo. It is the largest permanent display of Barbies in the world, and it did not disappoint. It is free and open to the public and so freakin’ cool! Even my husband enjoyed it – going into it he wasn’t exactly sure he would. It was like It’s a Small World, only with Barbies – lots and lots of Barbies, and you walk around at your own leisure rather than riding in a boat. So many of the outfits on the Barbies gave off the Disney Princess vibe as well.
That same day we visited La Ronde, which is a theme park located on a small island adjacent to the city. On this island, a World’s Fair-like event took place called Expo ’67 which ran for 6 months with 62 nations contributing. The whole history behind Expo ’67 has always been fascinating to us here at Second Star Sisters, simply because we love anything retro and theme park related. The cool thing about La Ronde is that many of the original attractions still exist and operate today. Unfortunately, the spiral was down that day and a many of the original attractions you have to have a child with you under 12 (everyone spoke French or we would have recruited someone so we could ride). BUT we vow to come back one day with a child so we can ride them, because they looked so cool and cute!
The good news is we were able to ride the one attraction that I REALLY wanted to go on – the “minirail“. It was originally 3 different tracks for the Expo and the one located at La Ronde is the only one that still exists today. Now it may seem really simple, but it was just so cool and relaxing! They also did not make you disembark (there were 2 different stations), so we stayed on and did 2 full loops. We could have seriously ridden the minirail all day and been content – we feel the same about the TTA/People Mover in Disney World.
There was a section that gave tribute to Expo 67 as well. It had many historical pictures and information, not to mention it was beautifully situated on the water. It was a very peaceful area that we took time to really take a look around. The area pays tribute to La Pitoune (log flume) which was loved by many visitors for over 49 years. It was one of the original attractions at Expo 67 and it was cool to see part of it still set up.
Right next door to La Ronde sits the Biosphere which is a museum that focuses on the environment. Unfortunately we were not able to fit it into our trip, but it’s definitely on the list for next time. It’s Montreal’s own Spaceship Earth which I absolutely loved seeing the outside of!
The next day on our adventure we hit up Olympic Park – or shall I say Parc Olympique? It was the home of the 1976 Summer Olympic games and it still feels like 1976 when wandering around the property. There’s a whole futuristic-retro vibe which instantly transported me back to Epcot and gave me the Disney fix to keep me fully engaged (I kid, well only sort of). There’s so much to do at Parc Olympique. We decided to take an official tour of the premises as well as ride the cable car to the observatory up top. We had a great time and will definitely be returning here as well to do the Biodome (imagine the Living with the Land ride that you can actually walk through and MUCH bigger!).
As you can see I most likely will be returning to Montreal to revisit some favorites and take on some things we didn’t get to do on this trip. At least I know once I do come back, they’ll just be enough “Disney Everywhere I Go” to psych me up!