Making the best use of an Adventure Pass

Tunnels behind the Horseshoe Falls
Tunnels behind the Horseshoe Falls
There really was a railing there
There really was a railing there
First selfie of the day!
First selfie of the day!
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls
The Maid of the Mist
The Maid of the Mist
Collapsed tunnel
Collapsed tunnel
Hornblower Cruise Staging Area
Hornblower Cruise Staging Area
Water level view of the falls
Water level view of the falls
American Falls
American Falls
About to enter the Basin, tuck away the camera
About to enter the Basin, tuck away the camera
Old Power Station
Old Power Station
The view heading back
The view heading back
View from the Hornblower Cafe
View from the Hornblower Cafe
Poutine FTW!
Poutine FTW!
Whitewater Walk
Whitewater Walk
Why not take another selfie?
Why not take another selfie?
More Rapids
More Rapids
It really is a rough stretch of river
It really is a rough stretch of river
Nice built boardwalk
Nice built boardwalk
Tunnel to the Whitewater Walk
Tunnel to the Whitewater Walk
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Ten Thousand Buddha Temple
Gardens and Fountains near Clifton Hill
Gardens and Fountains near Clifton Hill
Took a nap, woke up to a Rainbow
Took a nap, woke up to a Rainbow
Falls View Casino, the house always wins...
Falls View Casino, the house always wins...

Friday morning found us well rested from the adventures and travels of Thursday. We gawked at the falls before showering and heading out to find some breakfast. I remembered passing the Country Chalet on our way in, advertising a breakfast buffet for only $6.99. Knowing nothing is without a catch, they fail to mention the $4 cup of coffee :-) The breakfast itself was fine, although certainly not memorable, and the coffee was somewhat awful, at least for the price. Having acquired some fuel for adventuring, we headed back down to the Table Rock welcome center to get our Adventure Passes. I had purchased them ahead of time on the Internet, but there is not really a savings in doing this versus just buying them at the Welcome Center. The Classic Pass would get us into the Hornblower Cruise, Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara's Fury 4D experience, Whitewater Walk, and more importantly, the WeGo Bus system 48 hour pass. The buses are incredibly well organized and heavily tailored to getting tourists to and from the attractions. This allowed us to leave the car parked all weekend, which was a nice change of pace from our normal vacation practices. Being the start of "off-season" and early in the morning, we opted to see the Journey Behind the Falls first since there was no waiting. I vaguely remember doing this as a kid decades ago, but it was a fun experience. The tunnels were cool, although the water flow is so intense it is really hard to make anything out beyond the wall of water. The outside viewing area is probably more interesting as this gets you very close to the base of the falls and is truly amazing to witness. After a while we headed back up the elevator to the welcome center to take in the Niagara's Fury 4D experience. First, this is clearly designed with kids in mind, second, there were zero kids in the audience, third, standing near the middle will keep you the driest. Was it a little hokey? Sure! But we were on a touristy vacation and it was a stupid amount of fun. We finished the movie and found the main bus terminal for a quick trip up to the Hornblower Cruise area. The cruise was a lot of fun, especially early in the day when the crowds are lean. The boat takes a nice leisurely cruise past the bridal falls and ultimately into the basin of the horseshoe falls. They don't hang out there long, but the time spent is a lot of fun. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the local cafe (ProTip: every attraction at Niagara Falls will have a Cafe and Gift Shop) while listening to an Elvis impersonator, and taking in a very nice view of the falls. I would recommend the Cafe at the Hornblower Cruise for the view, the food is decent (although the Poutine was exceptional). We hopped the next bus and headed north to the Whitewater River Walk Experience. This is a nice leisurely paced stroll along very impressive rapids. The end of the trail has a nice viewing area and a mesmerizing torrent of water as it seems to boil up. After a lovely walk, we hopped the next series of buses back to our Hotel for a nap and to clean up a bit for dinner. We decided to try recommendation from a travel guide and have dinner at the Falls View Casino Grand Buffet. The whole Casino experience is new to me, I am not a gambler and the overwhelming lights and sounds were a bit unnerving, as well as the zombie like trance most of the players seemed to be in. But aside from that, we had a nice meal, although not as memorable as the Copa Cabana, and found a nice bottle of wine to take back to the room to watch the Friday night fireworks. Yes, Friday night fireworks over the gorge. These were easily view-able from our room, so the wine was opened and we relaxed in the comfort of our hotel to a wonderful display. It really was an adventure packed day!