Currently Active: No (Temporarily Closed Since 2020)
Opening Year: 1985
The Mindbender is the pinnacle thrill ride in Galaxyland. Built for the parks expansion in 1986, it was open for only a few months before it suffered a tragic accident, which resulted in the deaths of three people. The coasters’ safety record has been near-flawless ever since.
The coaster was built by Schwarzkopf in the final years before its bankruptcy. The ride is is 44.1 meters (145 ft.) tall. It features three loop-the-loops, and a staggering 38.7 meter (127 ft.) drop. It currently has three trains, each with a capacity of 12 people. The trains can reach speeds of nearly 100 kph (~60 mph).
It is the world’s largest indoor triple loop roller-coaster, and has been in use ever since the park’s opening in 1983
Recent Closure & Removal Rumors
In 2020, after the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, Galaxyland reopened after its forced 6-month closure (due to goverment regulations affecting all businesses).
In the following months, the Mindbender reopened for a brief period. However, it abruptly closed for maintenance. Since this closure, the coaster has not opened nor operated – and no official news about the coaster’s state coming from WEM other than “Closed for Maintenance”
This extended period of non-operation, paired with the lack of specifics from the mall, has resulted in many rumors about the fate of western Canada’s most iconic coaster. Many of which claim that the ride is to be removed and replaced. However, the sources for said rumors are questionable, and not from official on-record representatives.
The Mindbenders coaster track was built during the amusement parks second phase construction – and even before the ceiling above it was completed. Today, any effort to remove and replace the coaster would be an undertaking of immense scope.
While acknowledging that the Mindbenders removal isn’t impossible, the idea that a complete replacement coaster is more cost and operationally effective than even the most extensive engineering and machining of parts and repairs… is, just not logical. The now 35+ year old coaster has operated with a flawless record since 1987, with WEM’s strict standard of maintenance keeping it running at a very high level.
Best Edmonton Mall has been inundated with requests for comment about the Mindbender closure. In an effort to address these questions, here is an official statement from an unofficial WEM mega-fan:
It is Best Edmonton Mall’s expectation, based solely on personal opinion, that the Mindbender will reopen at some point, rather than being removed. The idea that a tear-down and replacement is in any way an easier “solution” to whatever the maintenance issues are at the moment simply does not make logical sense – unless I’m missing something significant (which is possible!).