Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge


Long time blog readers will recall our 2007 trip to GWL. (Also, my husband took the kids in January of this year -- a day trip. I didn't go because I was pregnant and unable to use the water slides.)

Everyone had fun, except for me. I think the highlight for me was getting a People Magazine and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I am not joking. Remind me to NEVER plan an overnight again until the baby is at least 1 year old. Trying to share a room with 4 kids and a sleeping infant was not easy. The baby is used to sleeping in his own room, in his crib. It was not a good night's sleep for anyone for all of us to be in the same room.

Would you believe that there is not a diaper changing station ANYWHERE, at all, in the ENTIRE facility?! This is, afterall, a family resort. Babies are part of the family.

Secondly, you had to take the elevator if you were pushing a stroller. No ramps to get from place to place. The elevators were REALLY slow and crowded and it seems that no one took the stairs. Why people would choose to wait 3-5 minutes for an elevator when they could take the stairs in about 30 seconds is beyond me. So I was stuck trying to maneuver the stroller on/off a crowded elevator. Continually.

It's not like I can take a baby into the waterpark. I mean, I COULD. But why? So I didn't even get into my bathing suit. I spent the whole time either in the room OR (once we had checked out) trying to find a place to sit to feed him and change his diaper. Which brings me to my next point. They charge you an arm and a leg to get into the place. If you stay for one night, you get a 48 hour waterpark pass. This means that you can use the waterpark the day you arrive as well as the day you check out. SOUNDS like a good idea. But this means that for most of the day, people are sitting around the lobby either waiting for their room to be ready OR they check-out and sit around waiting for their kids to finish at the waterpark so they can go home. As a result, there is no where to sit because people literally sit in the same seat for HOURS. I know this because I had to try and find a seat to feed the baby. After circling like a vulture, I finally swooped down onto the couch in front of the fireplace. Only to lose my spot when I went in search of a diaper changing station (which was non-existent). After that, I had another 3 hours to kill so I ended up sitting on the hearth of the stone fireplace because it was the ONLY seat in the whole place. (And later I lost my hearth seat when I got my cup of coffee.) There are a gazillion rooms at GWL but not much common space and nothing else if you're not using the waterpark.

Back to the price goughing. $2.50 for ONE doughnut? Come on. $80 for dinner? You MUST be kidding. We learned our lesson the first time. (Our first trip was in 2006, before I was blogging. Of the four times we've been, it was our best trip. Minus the price gouging, of course.) Not to mention that all the food available is fattening and highly processed. (Unless you spend $20 on a salad for dinner.) Starbucks oatmeal was the healthiest thing available in all of GWL.

They ran out of towels. On a Tuesday afternoon. SURELY they are busier on weekends and should have the laundry-thing figured out by now.

You get the idea. I could keep going but I think that's enough negativity for one day. I'm going to file memories of this trip in the Note To Self part of my brain to remind myself:
a) Not to travel with an infant again. Ever.
b) Not to return to GWL unless they are giving away rooms.


S. Braun said...

There is a starbucks at GWL?? That just made my day. We're going in December, but have never been there (the kids don't know yet). We're looking forward to it, but I can imagine how different the experience would be with a baby in tow... looking forward to hearing you vent some more!! :-)

Anonymous said...

We LOVE Splash Lagoon in Erie... I guess that would be really, really far for you to go. It is so nice and family friendly and we always leave the waterpark to eat since it is right in Erie so tons of restaurants. Also, we usually try to go on New Year's Day because they offer really good deals. I guess no one wants to get up and drive after being out drinking all night! :) Except since I don't drink, it doesn't matter. Wanna come with us? Miss you! Jen