Sunday, July 14, 2013

Schlitterbahn, OUR FAMILY Experience!!!



I am having some photo issues.  I can't seem to get my photos from this week at Schlitterbahn to upload to Blogger.  I will keep trying.  Hopefully this post will have pictures in it for you, but we will see!  I'll use the pictures from the website, but not sure if my personal pictures will make it up or not.  I wanted to blog real quick though before I forgot all the details!  I'll start from the beginning!

We decided to leave at 7am Thursday morning as Kansas City is about a 3 hour drive and Schitterbahn opens at 10.  Our goal was to open the park!  Well...it was one thing after another at my house that morning, so we actually didn't leave until 7:30, and that was after getting a couple miles away and realizing I forgot sunscreen, so we had to go back....I didn't want to have to buy it at Schlitterbahn...I knew it would be expensive.

So...we are on the road, having a great time, when EVERYONE in the van decides it was too early to be awake, so they all konk out, leaving me struggling to stay awake.  Normally three hours wouldn't bother me, but I didn't sleep much the night before, so I was pooped.  We get 30 minutes outside of Kansas City, when I stop at a rest area.  My 12 year old says, "I wonder what new things they've put in since we were there last."  We were there two years ago when they JUST opened and there really wasn't much there at that time.  My tickets had come with a brochure, so I thought to myself, I'll get the brochure out and show him....which is when my heart SUNK.  I FORGOT THE TICKETS!!!!!!  I honestly thought I would be sick!  We just drove 2.5 hours!  Turning around wasn't an option!  I quickly gathered my wits about myself and looked up their number on my iPad.  I called....frantic!  They transferred me to Lane.  Lane was my lifesaver!  My kids were literally about to strangle me....but Lane saved the day.  He said he would take care of us, if I would just send the tickets back to them when I got home (which I already did today!).  Phew....dodged THAT bullet!  So, everyone is breathing a huge sigh of relief as I continue to beat myself up for even forgetting them!  I have NEVER been so absentminded!  Anyway, we got there, no harm, no fowl.  They got us right in.

They have this fantastic system there where you can add money onto your wrist band.  Each wrist band has a barcode.  They load it with money for you so you don't have to keep going back to the lockers for money, or carry your money around.  I loaded it with $100.  If you don't use it all, they reimburse you, so I figured what is the harm.  I knew things could be expensive at any type of park.  First we had to get a locker.  Unfortunately, we hadn't been to our hotel yet as it wasn't time to check in, so we had quite a bit of stuff.  We left the luggage in the car, but we had to take our backpacks with our electronics in because we didn't want to run the risk of them getting stolen.  Speaking of parking though, it was free...that was nice.  The tubes in the park are free too....and you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks as long as they aren't glass containers.  So we did.  We found a nice table....put our shoes, our food, cooler, and towels at it.  No one bothered them the whole day.  The lockers we filled with our electronics and my purse.  So off to the lockers.  We felt that we needed to get two...which was a good idea....but they cost $10 each!!!  At the end of the day, you do get a choice of a souvenir cup or $2 back in cash.  But, then they are STILL $8 per locker!  That seemed outrageous to me!  They are making a killing on lockers alone!  So we paid $20 off of my armband for lockers.  Oh well....we went and changed, filled our lockers and went back to the table to apply our sun screen to all 6 of us!

Next, the two big boys took off in their own direction....Major and Jeff went to the Torrent River, Major's FAVORITE.  He spent MOST of his day there.  I do have to say it is really neat.  It is MORE than just a lazy river, it is a lazy river with a big wave that comes through every 15 seconds or so.  Lots of fun, but also can be very relaxing!

MaKenna and I took off to the first tall tower of 3 different slides.  The Black Knight, Wolf Pack, and Bonzhai.  She is fearless, so I enjoy riding with her!  We really enjoyed those!!  Our favorite in that set of rides was The Black Knight!  The lines weren't too bad as it was still before noon.  We went into the Torrent River after to find the boys.

We found them....and everyone was hungry, so we went to find some food.  They have a couple places to choose from, but the park is SO spread out, it is just easier to stay at the same place there in the middle by the Torrent River and KinderHaven.  The meals were about $10 per person.  We had also purchased a souvenir cup for $10 that was very nice to have because you got an additional wrist band that told the employees you could have free refills for the whole day.  AND we got to keep the cup...not that we really needed another one.  So we shared drinks all day through that one cup....but our meals were still around $10 a person.  That put me at around $60 taken off of my wrist band....for lunch!  I thought that was also a bit excessive given that the tickets to get in are around $30-$40 a person.  I know that ALL parks will increase their food prices, but goodness....we are on an enormously strict budget, it is EASY to drop $300 at just Schlitterbahn ALONE in one day....more if you have a family that is my size.  The tickets alone if I hadn't gotten 4 free tickets, would have cost me around $240!  Anyway, once I got over the shock of a $10 hotdog and french fries with a drink, I started relaxing and enjoying the weather, which by the way was perfect!

After lunch we all went back to our table and reapplied lotion.  Major and I, Jeff and Jake went off to the Storm Blaster, while MaKenna and Cam went off to the other tower on the far side of the park with three other sets of slides.  The Storm Blaster is a water roller coaster.

Tons of fun.  The idea that Schlitterbahn has is that you should never have to get out of the water.  So they have made all of these "canals" that are rivers with rapids, rivers without rapids, etc.  The Storm blaster is connected to the Torrent River, in that you go off into a little canal that take you to the ride without ever leaving the water.  Then it takes you up a conveyor belt and shoots you down like a roller coaster and through the tubes!  Then it comes out into a lazy little river....from there you stay in the river and it takes you to yet another conveyor belt that takes you to King Kaw which is a River with major rapids.  It isn't the Colorado River, but it sure is fun!  From there it kicks you out to another lazy river....then there is Blitz Falls that is another conveyor belt that takes you back to the Torrent River.  Once the park is completely done, the guest should never have to leave the water except to stand in line at one of the towers for the bigger slides.

The Kansas City attraction is only a couple years old.  In fact they are building the worlds HIGHEST Water Rollercoaster right now!  It is VERY intimidating, but it looks like it will be OH SO FUN!  Can't wait!  They said it should be done in August...so I will be back if not in August, then next year!

We all met up again and went back to Torrent River, Major's favorite.  We hung out there a little bit....then went and reapplied lotion.  You can never do that enough.  Then we got more to drink, ate some snacks, and off we went again!  This time Cam and I went over to the other tower.  The other tower has three slides, The Twister, The Cyclone and The Whirlwind.  The Twister and the Cyclone are slides that you go down on a mat, head first.  Those are GREAT!  My favorite is the Twister.  I didn't like the water splashing in my face, but it almost made it more fun because I had to close my eyes and I couldn't see the next turn!  LOVED it!
Before I go on...two years ago, one of the main reasons I chose to take my family to Schlitterbahn was because I wanted to go on the Boogie Bahn.
I am from the west coast...I LOVE anything boogie board, body surfing, surfing....JUST LOVE IT.  Well...two years ago, it wasn't opened yet.  That was in June.  So we went back in August because they said it would be open then.  NOPE!  Not in August either.....and these aren't cheap tickets.  Well....I KNEW I would get to go on it this year because I KNEW it was done.  Guess what.  I went over there, only to find a sign that said, "Boogie Bahn is closed today, sorry for the inconvenience."  I was HEARTBROKEN!  I had also hyped the kids up about it so much that they were heartbroken!  So...I guess it will have to wait ONE MORE YEAR!  Ugh!

Major also enjoyed KinderHaven.  It was a nice little getaway for the kiddos.


Then there is this pirate ship in the hot tub area.  There is also a swim up bar in the hot tub, along with a mushroom for the kids to play in and under.  This is all supposed to be a hot tub though.  The water MAY be a couple degrees warmer, but I really couldn't tell a big difference in temperature.  I wouldn't call it a hot tub.  But still fun for the kids, and fun for people if they like to drink alcohol.  We don't.

We had a great time though...other than the concrete burning our feet (not Schlitterbahns fault), everything being too expensive...and Boogie Bahn being closed!  :-)  It takes a lot more than that thought to make me unhappy.  I will say though, they had a new attraction, it is a Zipline.  You get in a two seater contraption and it zips you up a line backwards and then drops you.  My complaint about that is that is costs an ADDITIONAL $10 (they had a special for the week I guess that was $7), but STILL!!!!  I honestly feel like I paid enough to get in and on all of that other stuff that to pay that much for a quick little ride, just didn't sit well with me.

So...at 8pm when the park closed, we got dressed, got our $2 back per locker (in gold dollars of all things, I gave them to my kids), then we went to the counter to get my money back off of my wrist band.  I did forget to tell you, we did several more of the rivers, rapids, etc, and then stopped and got ice cream which was roughly $4 a person for a scoop.  So...when they scanned my wrist band....out of $100, I got $7 back!  So, if you have a family of 6, plan on spending around $100 extra inside the park.  I mean, there are ways around that.  If we had lived closer we would have brought a picnic lunch which would have saved us food money, but plan on spending some...especially with kids.

All in all, a great place to take kids.....or even just the adults!  Lots of fun.  But...like any other park, for those of us living pay check to pay check, it is over priced....but they have to make money too, and I don't assume it is cheap to have everything they have.

Don't forget:

Nebraska Hockey Mom readers get a SPECIAL offer to Schlitterbahn - Kansas City!!!  $5 off per ticket!
Tickets must be purchased online only through this link using the below promo codes.  
I also have TWO FREE Schlitterbahn - Kansas City tickets to give away!!!  Who wants to go????

        How to enter, each gets one entry:

1.  First you MUST like Nebraska Hockey Mom on facebook.  And tell me in a post that you did.
2.  Follow my blog on google connect on the side bar, and tell me that you did.
3.  Subscribe to my posts on the side bar, and tell me that you did.
4.  Repost this giveaway on your blog, e-mail, twitter, and/or facebook...and tell me that you did.
5.  Tell me where your favorite Waterpark is.
6.  Tell me your favorite Waterpark memory.
   
*I was given no money for this post, only 4 free tickets to go and review their park and give my honest opinion*

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