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wiggles
06-28-2011, 02:57 PM
Is it worth it to stay 2 nights? We plan on checking in at 1:00 to start the water park. My thought was we can swim as much as we want the next day and then check into a cheaper hotel for the next night because we want to go to an aquarium that is nearby also. I am finding that I am only saving around $40 because the other hotels I'm looking at are $$ too(this is for a holiday inn express) Would you just stay and have the convenience? I guess it's just killing me to pay almost $500 for two nights. Have you been to Great Wolf in Mason Ohio? Did you love it? Help me decide...Please!

smitch425
06-28-2011, 03:08 PM
Is it worth it to stay 2 nights? We plan on checking in at 1:00 to start the water park. My thought was we can swim as much as we want the next day and then check into a cheaper hotel for the next night because we want to go to an aquarium that is nearby also. I am finding that I am only saving around $40 because the other hotels I'm looking at are $$ too(this is for a holiday inn express) Would you just stay and have the convenience? I guess it's just killing me to pay almost $500 for two nights. Have you been to Great Wolf in Mason Ohio? Did you love it? Help me decide...Please!

I have some friends that love GWL and often spend 2 nights there, but if you want to go to a cheaper hotel (and depending on your party size), Kings Island has a great water park plus they have the rides and Planet Snoopy for the little ones. Are you referring to the Newport Aquarium? It is a very small aquarium and doesn't take much more than 90 mins to 2 hours to do. If you are interested in a longer experience, I recommend the Cincy Zoo. It is a FANTASTIC zoo. So much to do around the Mason/Cincy area...it's a great place to visit!:thumbsup2

Disney Dork in DFW
06-28-2011, 03:10 PM
I would say to go with Great Wolf all the way. I live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and I am a high school teacher. My students and their younger siblings who live literally blocks away from Great Wolf in Grapevine, TX will go there and stay for multiple nights. Indeed, I imagine that other Great Wolf Lodges are equally as worthwhile!

wiggles
06-28-2011, 03:21 PM
Yes, Newport. Wow only 2 hrs to go through it! I hate to pay $81 for two hours. My kids are older...13 and 10. I may have to check out the zoo. Who doesn't love going to the zoo! If you have any other suggestions would love to hear them.

smitch425
06-28-2011, 03:28 PM
Yes, Newport. Wow only 2 hrs to go through it! I hate to pay $81 for two hours. My kids are older...13 and 10. I may have to check out the zoo. Who doesn't love going to the zoo! If you have any other suggestions would love to hear them.

Yep...sadly, it's kind of a dud. I think your kids would be bored at that age. Again, King's Island would be a great place, but it can be pricey. I think you can get cheaper tickets if you buy them online and print them. The Cincy Zoo can be an all day thing, but it doesn't have to be. We have annual passes to both KI and the Zoo. I don't think we've ever been to the zoo and seen everything in one trip. Same with KI, but my kids are only 6 and 8 so they don't do the big rides. KI has some fantastic stage shows, as well. If you can afford KI, I would go there, but the zoo is pretty cheap and well worth the cost of admission.

bits-n-pieces
06-28-2011, 03:51 PM
Yes, Newport. Wow only 2 hrs to go through it! I hate to pay $81 for two hours. My kids are older...13 and 10. I may have to check out the zoo. Who doesn't love going to the zoo! If you have any other suggestions would love to hear them.

I would really do the cincy zoo before I would do the aquarium. 2 hours tops and a lot of $$$. Heading to same GWL in July for one night and thinking that will be enough for us since we are visiting King's Island as well.

My3kiddos
06-28-2011, 03:53 PM
I would skip the aquarium and go either to the zoo or Kings Island. Or you could do the aquarium and the children's museum. We love the Cincy Zoo. If you decided to do either of those instead of the aquarium, I'm sure you could find a room alot cheaper somewhere along the interstate.

beachcomber
06-28-2011, 04:15 PM
We live close by, and our kids can easily do two full days at GWL. They also love the aquarium, KI, The Beach Waterpark, the zoo (when it's not hot out), The Children's Museum, The Reds, and on and on.....

I don't want to offer any opinions on the plans you've already made, but for $40, I'd just stay at GWL an extra night. Their restaurants are "okay" but there are plenty of others close by (the mexican restaurant is great-Viva Tequila), the room sizes are awesome...why move? The other hotels close by are decent, but you are getting a lot more for just $40 by staying put. (Including a starbucks right inside the gift shop! Score!!!!)

ceecee
06-28-2011, 05:00 PM
I've done it all with my GS troop. We stayed at GW and went to the Aquarium early. It only takes a few hours since it's small. We also went on the B&B Riverboat and then to GW for 2 nights. When we went to King's Island we drove down for the day since it's only an hour drive. You can stay at GW until 4:00 so that's another day almost. Last time, we did Riverboat at 11:00, Aquarium next then drove to GW checked in around 4:30 and stayed two nights. We left at 3:00 on our last day. We couldn't have stayed at another hotel because I had no mom that volunteered to go... so it was me and six girls. We stayed in the two bedroom and I had a private room. The girls had two double beds and the pull out sofa in the living area.

wiggles
06-28-2011, 09:31 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Can anyone tell me any of the restaurants that are close by? I'm thinking the restaurants there on site will be way over priced!
Thanks for the suggestion of the mexican one.

beachcomber
06-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesdays, Viva Tequila, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Jimmy Johns, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Bob Evans, Skyline, Perkins, Big Boy

ETA: Dairy Queen and Chipotle are opening soon. Depending when you come...they may be open then!

wiggles
06-28-2011, 09:40 PM
Thanks:goodvibes

mcraft17
06-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Not sure where in Kentucky you live but in the Jefferson county area Kroger's have Kings Island tickets for $24. We have stayed at that GWL and loved it. We could have just spent the whole day there. There is a Magic Quest that the kids and even some adults can do. It does cost extra but my dd spent hours going through the hotel doing the game. (It is like an electronical scavenger hunt). And as for the Cincy zoo it is really nice too. If you have a zoo membership to another zoo you can get in for half price if it is on their recipricole zoo list.

beachcomber
06-28-2011, 09:52 PM
Thanks:goodvibes

You're welcome! Don't rule out the GWL locations, tho. They do have a Pizza Hut express inside, and a Starbucks. The buffet type restaurant is good for breakfast, and there are donuts in the little cafe place outside (also where Pizza Hut Express is) of the water park entrance. I think all of the rooms have mini fridges, too. When we go, I take lots of snacks from home, drinks, cookies, etc.

You'll have so much fun. I bet your kids won't want to leave to go do any other activities. :cool2:

smitch425
06-28-2011, 10:27 PM
Not sure where in Kentucky you live but in the Jefferson county area Kroger's have Kings Island tickets for $24.

Thanks for the tip about Kroger. My mom works in Louisville (I grew up 10 minutes from there, on the Indiana side) and is planning to come up sometime over the summer to go with us to KI. I'll have to let her know about the cheap tickets.:thumbsup2

pantherlj
06-29-2011, 06:20 AM
I guess it's just killing me to pay almost $500 for two nights. Have you been to Great Wolf in Mason Ohio? Did you love it? Help me decide...Please!

Keep in mind you aren't paying $500 for a hotel - it's $500 for a hotel and 3 days admission to a water park. Around here, a water park is $30 per person per day. For a family of four, that is $360 plus $7 a day parking. Makes the hotel part cheap when you calculate it that way. Helps me mentally pay extra for GWL anyway :rotfl:

Bibbidi
06-29-2011, 07:38 AM
Is it worth it to stay 2 nights? We plan on checking in at 1:00 to start the water park. My thought was we can swim as much as we want the next day and then check into a cheaper hotel for the next night because we want to go to an aquarium that is nearby also. I am finding that I am only saving around $40 because the other hotels I'm looking at are $$ too(this is for a holiday inn express) Would you just stay and have the convenience? I guess it's just killing me to pay almost $500 for two nights. Have you been to Great Wolf in Mason Ohio? Did you love it? Help me decide...Please!

We were actually just there (in Mason) on June 18th-19th. We live locally so it was only about a 25 minute drive from our home. We checked in around 10 am that Saturday and bought one wand for our kids to try MagiQuest while we waited to enter the water park at 1 pm. Our room was ready when we checked in a 10. I honestly don't know how they determine who is allowed to enter the water park before 1 and who should enter after 1 on any given day, as no lifeguards stopped to check our wristbands at 1 pm when we entered on Saturday--seems like we could have gone in earlier if we had wanted, and no one would have cared.

Our room was on the 4th floor so we had vaulted ceilings which made it seem very large. The bathroom was awkward--one of those where you have to walk all the way in and then close the door, otherwise the toilet is in the way of closing the door. Otherwise our room was very nice, clean and beds were quite comfy. It was a much larger room than I would have expected--and we only booked the cheapest room we could get--no bunk beds or anything.

We swam that first night for about 4 hours, then had dinner and cleaned up for bed. The next morning we were up early at 6 am (we are early risers). There was absolutely nothing you could do at the hotel that early. Arcade wasn't opening until 9 am, waterpark until 10 am. We actually drove home to check on our cats, had some breakfast and then drove back at 10 to use the waterpark again. They wanted $10 to rent a locker for the second days' storage of our things after checkout--so we just went to the water park in coverups and swimsuits, had a bag with a change of clothes in our car, and 5 hours later, changed into clothes in the lobby restroom. After spending over $260 for one night there, I didn't feel the need to spend another $10 to have a locker.

Overall, I would not stay there again unless I could get the room for more like $150. We certainly enjoyed ourselves, but there would have been nothing for us to do for 3 hours on Sunday, if we hadn't driven home to kill some time. I don't understand why Magiquest or the arcade weren't open earlier in the morning, we could have at least done that. We did not eat food on property other than at the Bear Claw Cafe and Pizza Hut Express. The food at those locations was fresh and tasty--and reasonably priced for where we were.

I am a bit of a Disney snob, so I couldn't help but compare the GWL to WL at Disney. There is no comparison. I'd say that if you plan to use the water park a lot, it might be worth your while to stay there two nights. If you're not coming from too far away, you might do all your waterpark stuff on your first day, then check out and head to your next destination in the morning, and drive home from there if you can.

Hope that helps some.

vickalamode
06-29-2011, 07:48 AM
Not sure where in Kentucky you live but in the Jefferson county area Kroger's have Kings Island tickets for $24. .

Hey thanks for that tip...I'm not the OP but I am driving down to Cincy with DBF from Boston on Friday for the week and we're going to King's Island and the zoo on the days we aren't spending with his family. We'll have to check out the Kroger's around the county they live in (Clermont I think? It's so strange how everyone out that way actually refers to where they live as a county...I know the name of their county but not the one I live in LOL)

Man I can't wait to go to Cincy and binge on DBF's fast food childhood memories HAHAHA. I seriously think we eat fast food every day and then he takes home a whole cooler full of frozen Skyline Chili...he say's the mix from the packets just isn't the same and neither is the canned lol

Does anyone know where one can get discounted zoo tickets? OP sorry if I'm hijacking your thread :P

rszdtrvl
06-29-2011, 09:18 AM
We were just at the Grand Mound GWL last week. It was our second trip there, as we also went there last summer.

The reason the Magiquest, Arcade, etc. are not open early is so people have a chance to sleep. That is the same reason they shut down 9p-10p, with the exception of the Gr8Space.

I had 2-14 year old boys and they had a blast! They didn't Magiquest, but loved the waterpark and the teen room. I activated their wristbands for snacks and meals (they had lunch when they were hungry) and I was very proud of them for not abusing it.

At night, they went to the teen room (Gr8Space) and when that closed, they hung out in the lobby with other kids from the teen room until 1am.

We purposely requested 2nd floor, which is a lot busier, because it has the arcade, teen room, snacks, and has the entrance the waterpark. I was more comfortable having 2 teens with minimal supervision on that floor, knowing that there was a good chance all I had to do was walk down the hallway at 10pm and find them. The bad thing is that there is a lot of activity on that floor - kids running around doing Magiquest.

I highly recommend it! We paid $422 after fees and coupon for 2 nights. Considering there were 4 of us, that works out to be a good deal for room/waterpark. We just got the basic room. It was large enough for all of us, easily.

Unless kids really want to do other things in town, I think GWL will have plenty for them to do.

mcraft17
06-29-2011, 09:35 AM
Hey thanks for that tip...I'm not the OP but I am driving down to Cincy with DBF from Boston on Friday for the week and we're going to King's Island and the zoo on the days we aren't spending with his family. We'll have to check out the Kroger's around the county they live in (Clermont I think? It's so strange how everyone out that way actually refers to where they live as a county...I know the name of their county but not the one I live in LOL)

Man I can't wait to go to Cincy and binge on DBF's fast food childhood memories HAHAHA. I seriously think we eat fast food every day and then he takes home a whole cooler full of frozen Skyline Chili...he say's the mix from the packets just isn't the same and neither is the canned lol

Does anyone know where one can get discounted zoo tickets? OP sorry if I'm hijacking your thread :P

Not sure where you can get the discount tickets to the zoo other than if you are a zoo member somewhere else. One of the reasons I say the county it is in is because I don't think that the tickets at Kroger are limited to Louisville. But I agree alot of people say they live in ______ county here. My husband loves Skyline Chili too, he was glad when we moved back up north so he could get it. Hope you have a great trip!

KrysiaG
06-29-2011, 09:41 AM
I live 10 minutes from GWL and Kings Island.

I would DEFINITELy skip the Newport Aquarium and do Kings Island instead. You can buy tickets ONLINE for $35 without any discounts, and like someone previously posted - Krogers always has coupons and discounts (check into buying tickets there). You can also do the waterpark at Kings island, which is amazing.

$35 adult tickets online:
http://www.visitkingsisland.com/public/admission/index.cfm

I have WANTED to do GWL for so long now, but like you said, $500 for us for a night (since we have at least a party of 6, 8 if my parents came) - is just ridiculous.

Have you looked into Coco Key? They don't make you stay the night and you can enjoy their hotel water park by paying an admission as well. Looks like a day pass is $19.99:
https://tickets.cocokeycincinnati.com/mainstore.asp

Still, the best option is Kings Island - even at the $35 price. It's a HUGE theme park with a waterpark addition and you definitely won't be able to do everything in one day there.

KrysiaG
06-29-2011, 09:46 AM
Hey thanks for that tip...I'm not the OP but I am driving down to Cincy with DBF from Boston on Friday for the week and we're going to King's Island and the zoo on the days we aren't spending with his family. We'll have to check out the Kroger's around the county they live in (Clermont I think? It's so strange how everyone out that way actually refers to where they live as a county...I know the name of their county but not the one I live in LOL)

Man I can't wait to go to Cincy and binge on DBF's fast food childhood memories HAHAHA. I seriously think we eat fast food every day and then he takes home a whole cooler full of frozen Skyline Chili...he say's the mix from the packets just isn't the same and neither is the canned lol

Does anyone know where one can get discounted zoo tickets? OP sorry if I'm hijacking your thread :P

definitely look into getting tickets for the Zoo or Kings Island outside the Cincinnati area. I have friends who have told me that they were able to purchase greatly discounted Kings Island tickets in Indianapolis and Columbus. I guess incentive to make the drive to Cincinnati. I haven't seen discounts as cheap as that around here, although Krogers routinely does offer $5 off (and sometimes LaRosa pizza boxes have Kings Island coupons on them too).

vickalamode
06-29-2011, 10:14 AM
definitely look into getting tickets for the Zoo or Kings Island outside the Cincinnati area. I have friends who have told me that they were able to purchase greatly discounted Kings Island tickets in Indianapolis and Columbus. I guess incentive to make the drive to Cincinnati. I haven't seen discounts as cheap as that around here, although Krogers routinely does offer $5 off (and sometimes LaRosa pizza boxes have Kings Island coupons on them too).

Thanks for the tip. We're going to drive through almost literally the whole length of Ohio coming from Boston so I'll make sure that we stop at one a few hours north of Cincinnati.

Also oh man, LaRosas. Thanks for reminding me about more junk food I am doomed to eat the entire week LOL. Skyline, White Castle, Chick fil a, Steak n Shake, LaRosas, Graeters...yeah every time we visit DBF makes us eat at all his childhood fast food memory places hahaha.

beachcomber
06-29-2011, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the tip. We're going to drive through almost literally the whole length of Ohio coming from Boston so I'll make sure that we stop at one a few hours north of Cincinnati.

Also oh man, LaRosas. Thanks for reminding me about more junk food I am doomed to eat the entire week LOL. Skyline, White Castle, Chick fil a, Steak n Shake, LaRosas, Graeters...yeah every time we visit DBF makes us eat at all his childhood fast food memory places hahaha.

I'm so sorry that he likes White Castle....sigh....... They are building a new one at exit 28 off i-71. Looks like it may be "classier" with stone AND white brick. Pretty sure it'll still be the same old same old gut busting sliders!:rotfl: