Ever since Kyle and I got together in 2011 we’ve always done a yearly road trip vacation. Last year we chose to skip that tradition, honestly we were not ready for that. When Kyle brought up a vacation for James’ birthday I was on bored right away! It was way over due. This year we decided on the water park, Great Wolf Lodge. I’ve never been to a water park and James being the fishy he is a water park seemed the best bet. While there was a few bumps in the road this vacation was well worth the wait!
Booking the room months in advance definitely saved us a few dollars. We stayed in a standard queen sized room. While the room was pretty basic it was very spacious. It had a wet bar with a mini fridge and microwave. There was a table that sat four and also a pull out couch. The best part was the balcony. All tree of us spent a good portion out on the balcony. We were three stories up and had a great view.
With out room Kyle also got James a “pup pass” as a birthday treat. With the pup pass James was able to get a scoop of ice cream and a 8oz cup of candy from the Bear Paw Sweets and Eats. Included in the pup past was 20 paw points at the Northern Lights Arcade. Luckily dad was smart and upgraded by doubling our points for only 5 extra dollars (Kyle knew he would want to play as well lol). James was also able to experience build a bear for the first time making his birthday extra special. The last thing included in the pup pass was his tattoo. Having all this already paid for really made it easy for us. We didn’t have to worry about any extra cost.
The only bad part of our stay was the whole check in experience. Kyle was able to receive information on our stay through emails and the app. Which to me could be a little confusing especially when the information does not match. My biggest concern was although the water park opened at ten a.m. we were not allowed to enter the park until one p.m. I find this a little ridiculous. We were already paying for our stay and tickets for two days we should have been able to enjoy the whole day. However arriving so early we were able to explore Sandusky a little more.
My experience with Sandusky up until this point was little. My family and I used to take yearly trips to Cedar point but we never stopped downtown. This time I got to explore downtown Sandusky and it was beautiful. We were able to walk along battery park and look out into the lake. They had a playground there too that James thoroughly enjoyed. After that we visited the library. Its old town charm had me sold. James was so happy playing he did not want to leave. While I was a little annoyed at first I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
Once we were finally able to enter the water park our room was not available. Again I was a little annoyed. To me a check in time of one p.m meant my room would be ready by then. Well our room wasn’t ready until 4 p.m. To be fair Great Wolf Lodge does inform you it could take 3 to 4 hours after check in for your room to be available. I just think there could be a better and faster way to do things. In my opinion this is a little ridiculous. While we were having fun at the water park in the back of my mind I kept worrying about our luggage. Since we were staying over night we brought extra clothes and food not to mention James’ pack and play. Hopefully Great Wolf Lodge can do a little better to speed up their process.
After all that time we were finally in the water park and the fun really started. Soak’n Oak Springs (kiddie pool) was one of the first things you see when you walk in. James’ loved going down the little water slide and playing with the mini fountains. Once he was comfortable enough Kyle and I let him explore the bigger water slides, Whooping Hollow. Ill admit, I was very hesitant because James does not know how to swim but the fact that parents were allowed to catch the babies helped me get over the fears. James absolutely loved it. He would have went down those slides all night if we let him!
I think its safe to say Kyle’s favorite part was the Alberta Falls. This part of the water park housed the big water slides. I have not seen him have so much fun in a while! My favorite part of the water park was Fort Mackenzie. Being new to water slides and water parks I was afraid. There was something about falling down a four story slide without being strapped in that made me worrisome. Fort Mackenzie two slides were the perfect size for me. Also on the fort are interactive water guns and tons of different water buckets. While James was too little to go down the slides at the fort he did have fun climbing up the fort and avoiding the different buckets.
Overall our experience at Great Wolf was a positive one. The water park and hotel were both clean. The employees were all very friendly. We would definitely visit the water park again but the check in time for the hotel and late entrance in the water park, we might just skip the over night stay and make it a day trip instead!