Keeping perfect pace with the previous expansion, Phase 3 of West Edmonton Mall opened to the public in 1985. Once again exactly two years after the launch of Phase 2. However, many of the attractions included in this phase were not completed and opened until the following year.
The Phase 3 expansion was the largest expansion that the mall has seen to date. While the first expansion saw a growth of 8 hectares (18 acres), this expansion added a whopping 16 hectares (40 acres) to the mall's footprint.
The most impressive growth was not in footprint, but in square footage. After the launch of Phase 2, the mall was roughtly 2.3 million sq. ft. (213,000 sq. meters). However, the Phase 3 expansion more than doubled the area, to a mind blowing 5.2 million sq. ft. - that's nearly half a million square meters.
Phase 3 also saw the largest addition of attractions and shops to date:
Though not officially part of the Phase 3 expansion, the Fantasyland Hotel opened the following year. Featuring theme rooms and a 12 storey tower, visitors could now come to the Mall and never have to step outside until their date of departure.
The Phase 3 expansion was the largest and most impactful of all updates before and of any since. Only four years before this expansion, West Edmonton Mall was nothing more than a very large shopping center. Now, the mall, and city, was truly a world wide destination.
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