I'm reviewing the waterpark only as we are locals who bought waterpark passes (a quick and easy process); we did not use a hotel room.
Please note that this waterpark is not open everyday. The schedule varies quite a bit. It's best to check the hotel's website for days and hours.
Yes, the waterpark is open to non-hotel guests. The price varies depending on whether you're there for the full day or just the evening. On the day that we visited, two buses of kids from St. Cloud arrived about the same time that we did.
Despite arriving mid-morning and getting into the waterpark area ahead of the bus kids, finding a table was not an easy thing to do. I'd estimate that 80-90% of the tables were already gone. The hotel could improve the situation by adding a couple more tables to the far side of the park area, and by opening up tables that are in an area roped off for birthday parties, when there are no parties scheduled. To ensure that the tables are available for party guests, they would need only tape a sign to the table stating that the table would need to be vacated by a certain time, say an hour before party time. Because of the lack of tables and chairs, I witnessed a number of families having to put their things on the wet floor.
There is a bathroom/locker area adjoining the waterpark down a short hallway. There are several toilet stalls, a curtained-off shower area with several showerheads and a small, closet- like area with lockers - no benches, just lockers. If you want to use a locker, bring your own lock, or trust in the honor system. They do not have the pay-style lockers.
In regard to safety, the rusty poles mentioned in a February 2010 review are still there. There are flakes of rust from the poles laying on the pool deck. It does not look like there has been any attempt to fix them. Tetanus anyone? Also, the pool decking just below the entrance area seems quite slippery when wet. Even when I walked slowly, it was slipperly. Parents hang onto your little ones! I'm guessing that this area has seen a bit more wear and that's why it's so slippery.
In regard to food, they have standard choices: hamburger, hotdog, nachos, pizza, lots of candy and sugary items. Prices on some items seem reasonable, some very high. A hotdog or nachos (cheese and chips) will run you about $4 each, hamburger close to $10, one small icy $1.50, onion rings almost $8, nachos with meat $10. The food we had was about what you would get a school function, nothing to get excited about. And, didn't see anything that struck me as being healthy.
The waterpark itself has a kiddie area with less than a foot of water, a river loop, three rides, and a very large hot tub. Despite adding tubes, there was still a shortage when we were there. You'd have to wait some time and be quick to grab an open tube. Should you stand for any period of time with a tube in your hand, a parade of people would ask you for it. The process of obtaining a tube was enough of a pain, that it made you reluctant to give one up if you got one. Valleyfair it isn't.
Unlike hot tubs in other facitilies this one is big and kids were welcome. However, the chemicals used to keep it clean were very strong-smelling, to the point that we noticed a number of children coughing very hard when in it. My husband witnessed one kid coughing very hard just prior to puking in the hot tub. Don't know if it was the coughing or something else, but seemed suspicious.
Don't know if it was our bad luck or just another day at the waterpark, but we witnessesd a second kid puke in the river ride. Each time someone puked, that activity area was closed for 40 to 45 minutes, and then reopened. We opted not to push our luck any further and left.
It was decent enough that we will probably go back at some time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Holiday Inn & Wild Woods Waterpark Hotel. Home of one of the largest Indoor Water parks in Minnesota! Our full-service hotel is a new facility located minutes from Graco, Great River Energy, Albertville Premium Outlets, Lowes, Cabelas, Cargill, Siemens, Sci-med and Ramsey Industrial Park. Our guest rooms are well-outfitted for the traveling executive, including a spacious and well-lit work area, and Corporate QUIET Floor. Our on site lounge and restaurant, the Mississippi Valley Grill and Bar, is a great place to relax and enjoy dinner in a Northwoods atmosphere. In-room dining is available 7 days a week. The waterpark takes you back to the River Town of old. With three water slides, a lazy river, basketball water court and a child's play area, there is fun and variety for all ages. The waterpark is open daily in SUMMER. WATER PARK HOURS: SEPTEMBER through MAY: Mon. Closed, Tues. Closed, Wed. Closed, Thursday 4pm-9pm, Fri. 4pm-10pm, Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm. Call for availability we are open for some school vacations! The conference/ meeting area features 7 breakout rooms with multiple room combinations and up to 120 people for general sessions, parties and/ or receptions. Our constant caring team is empowered and dedicated to providing you with a memorable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Minneapolis Nw-Elk River Hotel Elk River
- Holiday Inn Otsego Mn
- Otsego Water Park