Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Visit to the Great Escape Logde and Indoor Water Park

My niece is on a swim team and today they had their end of season banquet and party. The banquet was a pizza party followed by some awards. Since no one will come to the Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park on a pizza quest, no one will be overly disappointed by the pizza. The highlight of the banquet was when my niece was singled out for an award. Way to go, Abby!

Perhaps this review will be too jaded because I am in my 40s and there wasn't any shock and awe at the sight of the indoor water park. Two of the 3 kids with us thought it was "awesome" and one, over-tired, cranky, passing-out-on-the-ride-home kid said it was "boring." Strangely, she never looked bored while she was there. Look at this. This is kid heaven when it is below 30 degrees outside and it is summer inside.

Other than the banquet, we spent most of our time in the lazy river....

and waiting to spend 40 seconds going down the Avalanche slide. The Avalanche is among the worst run lines I have ever seen in an amusement park setting. You've got big tubes that seat up to 4 people going down a water slide. Not too big a deal. However, the people getting onto the ride don't start getting into the raft until the previous people have left the ride. They should be seated and ready to go ASAP. There's an overly complicated machine to bring the rafts to the top and it goes slowly. In the afternoon, they only had two rafts going. An automatic gate and a few more rafts would cut the line time in half. As an engineer, it was painful to watch how slowly it was going. Especially since the same stairwell is used for another slide. Not an exaggeration: the people behind us in line left one person to hold their place in line while the other two went down the adjacent slide 4 times before they got onto the Avalanche ride. They rotated and didn't abandon 1 person in line. Although the father never waited in the line - lesson learned for the future. Here we are at the top. Just about 20 more minutes before we get on the ride.

There are also the standard amusement park "fees." Locker rentals, over priced refillable soda cups, that kind of stuff. The weirdest thing there is the life guards. The few I talked to were extremely nice. But besides their red shorts and white shirts making me think of this song, they are trained to do a strange walk. They have their area that must be patrolled.  They walk back and forth scanning their area. At each end of their 10 to 15 foot walk, they stop and do a weak version of ZZ Top arm wave and then head back in the other direction. Again and again and again. I hope they get paid well.

I don't want to beat the place up too badly. We had a good time. From the kid's point of view the place was great, from an adults perspective - eh. We also paid a $35 per ticket group rate to get in that included our lunch. Not cheap, but much less than the room rate. I just checked their website and to do this with a room next Saturday night is $320 for 4 people. That's not including the meals you are going to have to have to buy. So a night here can easily cost a family of four $500 to $600. That's half a membership for the family to the Ciccotti Center. For the price of two nights you have a scaled down water park and gym membership for a year. The hotel/water park rates go down if it isn't a Saturday, but is still isn't cheap. Unless the swim team heads back, I think this might be a one shot deal for us. 


  1. I think of that song whenever I see a lifeguard.

  2. Great post! water parks are great place to bring the kids. Last time we visited Niagara falls we stayed at Niagara Falls Resorts and had a blast. Definitely the highlight of the trip.