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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

We stayed one night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. (Brandi has more pictures posted over at her blog.) The Great Wolf Lodge is a theme hotel with a water park inside. Our room was perfect; we had a Kids Cabin, so the kids had their own little area with bunk beds and TV.

The water park was ideal for Ella and Emilia; Ella could ride water slides while Emilia played in the zero entry baby pool. The kids had a blast. Kenzie drove over in the snow to play at the water park, which was great, because it gave us one more person to chase the kids around. I thought the water park was fun, but I thought the air temperature could have been a little warmer. They say it's in the 80s, but I got a little chilly sometimes. The fitness room, on the other hand, was far too warm. I wound up taking off my shirt and jogging on the treadmill in my sports front of a wall of mirrors...not a pretty sight.

Staying at the GWL is more expensive than a regular hotel (we shared a room, and our total was about $500, or $250 per family, for one night.) I still think this is cheaper than a comparable hotel room plus water park tickets though. In other words, I think it's cheaper to stay at the GWL than to stay at a hotel and go to a separate water park. And at the GWL, you get a lot more time to play than you would at a water park. Our rooms would have been cheaper had it not been Spring Break (in fact, we'd originally scheduled two nights back in February but got snowed out), but Spring Break certainly is convenient. (For everyone...we heard there were 1200 guests in the hotel that weekend. Even though there were a lot of people, we didn't really have to wait in long lines for anything.)

I don't think I'd want to stay longer than one night because it would be easy to spend a lot of money. In addition to the water park, the GWL has two spas (kid and adult), two gift shops (including one with Vera Bradley), a coffee shop, a restaurant, an arcade, fake tattoos, and MagiQuest, an interactive game that sends you on various challenges. We managed to resist most of this, but if we'd been there longer, it would have been harder to say no.

I do have to say that the food prices were reasonable. The restaurant prices were good (although the service wasn't great), and the coffee shop prices were actually pretty cheap ($1.75 for a tall Starbucks latte).

It was fun, and I would go there again. We're planning to stay at the Radisson in Albuquerque this summer, which just added a water park. The hotel doesn't appear to have all the singing animals found at the GWL, but the prices are much, much cheaper, so I'll be interested to see how it compares.

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