Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Howl of the Great Wolf Part II (Kansas City, KS)

The Great Wolf Lodge water parks are a nationwide chain - in Kansas City, Kansas, I visited my second Great Wolf (the first being in Charlotte, NC) - it was small, but had very exciting rides and was an indoor park, which is great for a rainy day, and you can easily walk in and out of the park as you wish. Great Wolf requires that each customer stay at the hotel to use the facility - which cuts the crowds, but makes the park more expensive. This can be a little tricky, as if you're flying, a taxi from the airport can cost up to $60 each way, so a trip here can be rather pricey.

That being said, it's certainly worth it - not only do you have access to another waterpark (Schlitterbahn) and other things in Kansas City, Kansas, but the indoor water park Great Wolf offers is very fun.

The rides:

Triple Twist - one of my absolute favorite rides ever. The rider sits on a raft and is thrashed around in three funnels, for a very thrilling experience.

Alberta Falls - A tube slide, moves fast and dumps water on the rider.

Howling Wolf - a 1-3 person raft ride, which moves into the dark.

Totem Towers - two exciting body slides. You have to navigate a kiddie playground to access them, but are great body slides - best of all, they don't empty into a pool where water gets up your nose. One of them felt similar to the Maui Wowie ride in Erie, PA.

Food: Great Wolf offers lots of food - there is a place for burgers and the like inside the park, but as it is easy to walk in and out, you can go out to some restaurants near the hotel such as Famous Dave's or Lone Star, and the hotel offers it's own restaurant as well as a fudge shop.

Transportation: If you're staying at the hotel, and coming from the airport, a taxi is your best bet - it's $60 each way. Fly into the Kansas City, MO airport (MCI).

Overall: Small, but exciting, and has plenty to do nearby.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It's Transportainment!

Schlitterbahn has a number of waterparks in Texas and one in Kansas City, Kansas - I went to the Kansas park. The water park was unique in many ways.

"Transportainment" refers to the unique layout of the park - many rides can be accessed from the lazy river. In fact, the Storm Blaster ride has a line that is right in the water. This is very neat, especially on a hot day where the line might be long. There are also a number of "rapids" rides.

There's a new ride called the "Verruckt", which is supposed to be the tallest water slide in the United States - riders will ride in a raft, and it is a water-coaster type of ride. It was not open yet when I went.

Other rides include:

Bahnzai Pipeline / Black Knight / Wolfpack - tube slides, from enclosed to open - all were good tube slides.

Storm Blaster - the line is in the water, and is a "water coaster" ride - while fun, it was disappointing, as it was considerably shorter than other water coasters.

Whirlwind - another exciting tube slide ride.

Mighty Mo - this is one of the more unique rides I have found in a water park - you sit on a tube in a river, and rapids push you in one direction, creating the experience of floating down river rapids. However, large portions of the river just involved floating, meaning there's quite a bit of waiting before the exciting parts - but still a great concept.

Food: There is your typical water park food place, with burgers, hot dogs, and fries. There is also a sweet shop with ice cream and cookies.

Transportation: It is located in Kansas City, Kansas - if you're flying, the airport is in Kansas City, Missouri. I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Village West (so I got two water parks for one trip!) which is very close to the park. To get to the water park without driving, take the #101 Bus - very short trip. There's no way to walk to the park from the Village West area.

Overall: A fun water park, but could be better. It may be because it was a cool day, but it wasn't that crowded even in June. The crowds increased as the day warmed up and the sun came out, so crowds may be relative.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars