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Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

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Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

I just booked some hotels for next week for our family of 2ad/2kids. 2 nights at Travelodge Hotel by the Falls for $80/nt to see NF sights, then 1 night splurge at Great Wolf for our son who's been begging for a waterpark trip this summer (if you consider cost of a waterpark daytrip, the hotel rate becomes reasonable). The last night will be Friday and I am thinking of one more splurge for a fireworks/fallsview before we head home on Sat. (or not).


1. I noticed some hotels say only Horseshoe fallsview or only American falls? Are the fireworks visible either way? I know they are only a few minutes, but it would be a big disappointment to not see it if we think we will.

2. Can you definitely park for free at the Casino and walk back to Sheraton on the Falls easily? I noticed some contradicting posts maybe because people mistake Sheraton FV for On the Falls.

3. If we don't go for a fallsview hotel on Fri. night, any recommendations for decent hotel in easy walking distance to a good outdoor view of the fireworks? We won't really have time to use much of other amenities since we plan to use the GW waterpark (as long as we can stand it ) for most of Friday. Should we go back to the Travelodge hotel by the falls?

4. Is it true that GST will not be refunded on hotel rooms if booked online? Or will it be ok if booked through the actual hotel website in CAD dollars?

5. Some recommend the NY side for Maid of Mists, and other activities. Is there a US pass? I guess it's not the Adventure Pass?

6. How much time would you need to drive to Toronto on Saturday (labor day wkend) to see CN Tower and maybe have a quick meal? We love finding authentic, inexpensive ethnic foods - any recommendations? Is that do-able before heading back for 8 hour drive or too rushed? I don't know if Toronto is like NYC - you need extra time, patience to deal with traffic, parking, crowds, etc.

Thanks for any advice. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions! Tripadvisor is invaluable.

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1. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

4. If your hotel receipt has an entry for GST, you can claim a refund. I think the confusion is for those booked from deep discount websites like hotwire.

Chatham, Ontario
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2. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

I can't reply to all of your questions, I agree with bibimbob about #4 : In order to get a refund of GST you must have a receipt that shows the amount of GST and the vendor's GST number. So, when you check out just make sure your receipt has that info. If you pre-paid by internet, see if the hotel will give you a duplicate receipt with that info on it.

Also, about #5 - if you buy Maid of the Mist tickets in Niagara Falls NY, you'll pay $11.50 U.S. for adults (over 12), $6.75 for children 6-12, and youngsters are free with parent. If you buy the tickets in Canada, you will pay Canadian $14 for adults, children $8.60, youngsters still free. Same trip - I think whoever told you the U.S. was "better" meant with current exchange rates, the Canadian prices are a bit more. Exact exchange would make the "right" ticket prices C$13.60 and $7.40. However, your toll to get across and the time you spend will more than eat up that small difference. Cyberblood is sometimes spilled in this forum over the merits of the US versus Canadian side, but none of the other activities you mention require a visit to the US side.

Finally, about timing for #6 - if you leave your hotel after breakfast at 9 a.m. the Niagara/Toronto drive normally would put you downtown around 11a.m. With holiday traffic it's more likely someone's accident will cause a delay or backup, but let's say you're lucky, and by 11:30 you're looking for a parking place. There are a number within a 5 minute walk, so you might get to the CN tower a few minutes before before noon. Then (assuming your kids don't want to do the movie or the motion simulator ride - and you're not taking the second leg up to the skypod) line up to buy your tickets, line up for an elevator, look around, head down - minimum 1:00 p.m. No matter where you eat, you're hardly going to be able to walk there, have lunch, walk back, and get on the road before 2:30. You've now got at minimum a 10 (8+2 to backtrack to Niagara) hour drive home, plus whatever delay you face at the border. Are you content to arrive in your driveway no sooner than 1 a.m., and possibly at 3 or 4 a.m. if there have been hold-ups?

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3. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

Thanks for the advice!

Re: NY side - I read that Cave of the Winds is very good, but I don't remember what else as I lost track through all the threads after awhile... I found this Pass from NY State that I'll consider: www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/masterpass.html

And re: arriving home at 4am: NO! I don't want to. So thanks for the insight on a trip to Toronto on our last day. We will figure something else out. We'll skip it or maybe squeeze it in during the week - we really just want to see the falls a couple of ways -- Maid of the Mists, maybe Cave of the Winds, and do the waterpark, but not too much else of the other distractions like Clifton Hill, casino, etc. so maybe we'll have time.

By the way, Fannish, cute cat! We might be detouring to Albany on the way home where my aunt wants to give away a cat. My kids are begging for one!

Niagara falls,Canada
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4. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

Fireworks are fired from the gorge near the Horseshoe Falls, so you want a room that faces that way.

Or; simply park in the Fallsview Casino garage, enter their mall on the casino level and take the escalator down to the outdoor park that overlooks the falls behind the casino.

Great spot to watch the fireworks and then exit the garage free with a players advantage card which takes about 5 minutes to get inside the casino.

toms river, new...
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5. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

just got back from nf, daughter and family stayed at embassy suites, beautiful view. also, we all ate at the keg there, again, great view and good food too. husband and i stayed at courtyard by marriott. we had booked a room with 2 queens. upon checkin, we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to "honeymoon suite", king bed, jacuzzi and fireplace. we declined but were given it anyway for no extra charge. guess the 2 queen beds suit families with children better. parked overnight at our hotel and then at casino instead of valet at embassy suites to pick up the rest of the family. worked out very well. fireworks sunday night were beautiful. we did go to the ny side for maid of the mist only because we wanted to do cave of the winds, which we all LOVED-ages 6-63! a don't miss. stopped yesterday morning at the duty-free shop to get our gst $ back.

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6. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

We just returned from the falls. We bought the US pass. Maid of the Mist was a priority and had heard the lines were much shorter on US side. Cave of the winds and the 3 sisters islands were good. I also enjoyed the trolley ride around the park. We also used some of the coupons for other attractions. We used the pass before and after we went to Canada.

I wouldn't get a fallsview hotel just for the fireworks- they are short. You can easily find a place to watch on the street and then go back to your hotel room. There was a band playing on Sunday night before the fireworks which added to the festive atmosphere.

7. Re: Next week - fallsview, parking, GST, NY pass, Toronto too?

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