We were there over our Spring Break (Easter Weekend). This is a great place for kids (our 8 and 10 year olds have loved it for years). This year, we stayed at the Stone Hill Lodge for the first time, and the wait for a shuttle was never that long. If it is not frigid outside, then stay at this separate building and save a few dollars. Also, Stone Hill has its own little outdoor water park, which you would not bother checking out if you were staying at the same building as the indoor water park. Our kids went to all the water park/pool locations, and this kept them busy for two days. We rode the Storm Chaser at the indoor park for the first time - this was pretty intense for our 8-year-old (and for me!) - it's like being on a roller coaster, but without the safety restraints or going upside down (that would be bad!). Teens will love this slide/ride.
Lifeguards seem to be very watchful, front desk staff are overwhelmed at times (be kind to them - they have a tough job!).
The new, indoor "Adventure Park" is like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids, and while you can get an all-day pass to do many of the activities (rock climbing, etc), what will really catch the kids' eyes are the large, colorful video games (which cost money). You can spend $10 in here in about 3min. My kids did really like the laser maze, which was part of the "all day pass" package you can purchase.
We've stayed at Wilderness 3-4 times over the past 4 years. The food is very expensive - I suggest you go to the nearby Kroger and get some groceries, because there aren't many dining options close by. That said, the nearby Golden Corral was pretty good for a hungry family, but not cheap either. They do have that "Chocolate Waterfall" thing for dessert, and that was a hit. I tried not to think about it being a "bacteria waterfall," but no one seemed to be keeling over from ptomaine poisoning while we were there. The food is also very slow to arrive at the snack bars, so you get the experience of waiting 15min for a burger that costs $6.99.
The place is fairly noisy - little feet running down the halls, big voices telling them to stop that, etc. Try to get a room away from an elevator, perhaps down the (long, long) halls.
If you can swing it, go for one of the suite options - this last time, we stayed in a room that had a separate bedroom with a king bed for us, and two pull-down Murphy beds in the living room for the kids. They were side by side, but no complaints of "He's taking all the covers!" Each room had a TV, and weary parents could unwind and relax after the kids were conked out from swimming all day. The room also had a sink, microwave, and mini-fridge, which were perfect for microwaved popcorn snacks, cereal in the morning, storing lunch mean, etc.
The room was clean enough (I saw some dust, but no more than what's at my house :)). I'm not one to do the white-glove test at a hotel, so the place would have to be bad for me to notice. Everything worked, once we figured out the TVs. Housekeeping staff was friendly and having to dodge running, excited children in the halls.
The faux wood decor cracks me up, considering you are a stone's throw away from a beautiful national park, but this is not a boutique hotel. Something new for us here - they give you a "towel card," which looks like a hotel card key, and you can exchange it for two pool towels. They give the card back when you return the towels. I always take an extra beach towel, one that I'm not very attached to, in case it goes missing.
Overall, we go because the kids love it, and we've had a pretty consistent experience over the years. It's not cheap, and if you can keep your kids in the water and out of the arcade and snack bars, you'll save a few dollars. You'll save your sanity if you can afford a room with a separate space for grown-ups.
Stay away from rooms near elevators.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC