Great Escape

So, the Children’s Museum at Saratoga sent me an email about discounted Great Escape tickets, and it linked to this groovy promotion for nonprofits: buy tickets for $19.99 for one of the specified days–tickets are usually $40.99 + tax.  For each ticket bought, $5 goes back to the nonprofit that promotes it. If you want to purchase through the Children’s Museum, you can call them at 518-584-5540. Really, this is an excellent mutually beneficial arrangement:  the nonprofits get an easy fundraiser, the parents get a price break, and Great Escape folks get great advertising and people in the park early so that kids will spend the rest of the summer asking when they can go again.  Yeah, we know that’s why they’re doing it.  I’m okay with being manipulated like that.  We haven’t ever been to Great Escape.  So, now that my kids are 5 and 7, can we handle it? Is it worth the money?  Do I need to buy these tickets?

Pondering the splendor of Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom reminded me that there was another email going around about White Water Bay, the indoor water park at Great Escape Lodge, explaining that sometimes day passes are available, with the cheapest at $25 for a half day.  So I thought that I’d supplement today’s post with information about that.   Well first, if you follow the links, it appears that you can buy them online.  But click it, and, for me at least, it always said “Not available at this time”.  Huh.   So I called the phone number that they told me to call.  Actually, they gave two phone numbers.  I started out by calling the more general number, 518-824-6000.  I waited on hold for nine minutes (because my phone times each call, a helpful feature).  Then a lady answered and told me that I had to call the hotel directly, which was the other number, 518-824-6060.  Okay, my bad.  Of course that’s going to be a better number.

So I tried the second number, pressed various numbers which put me into different voice mailboxes, was briefly distracted by a kid dispute over a balloon, and then got cut off a couple of times.  Finally I called and wasn’t cut off, and after over 5 minutes, another lady answered.  When I told her that I was interested in purchasing day passes, she told me to call the 824-6060 number directly.  I told her that I had, and then she explained that if you’re on hold too long at the hotel, it bounces back to the main line, where they can’t help you, so you just have to call again. No, I’m serious:  I thought that I misunderstood, so I repeated it all, and that’s what happens.  Okay. . . .

I was feeling a little bit bad for all of those phone-answering folks–because I’ve been there, man.  So I just tried again as I was typing in the last paragraph, and I only had to wait on hold for 3 1/2  minutes.  The lady seemed quite surprised that the online feature wasn’t working (although I remember feigning that sort of surprise, myself, back when I worked customer service), and she told me that the day passes are basically always available.  Hmmm.    Maybe it took so long earlier today because all of the parents had finally gotten their kids back to school, and then they said, “That February break went on forever.  For the love of all that is good and holy, I’d better plan something immediately so that I don’t completely lose my sanity during April break.” Perhaps it was just bad timing on my part.

So anyway, I was grousing about this to my friends over lunch, and one of them knew someone who’d gone to the indoor water park and loved it, and one of them had a friend who’d arrived to find out that the whole place was shut down due to an “accident”, and they waited some ungodly amount of time for them to clean and sanitize the place, and then just as everyone was allowed back in, “it” happened again.  I wonder if there’s a Poop Guarantee of some sort?  I can’t bring myself to call back and ask.

Anybody have endorsements or warnings to share on this one?  What age is the “right” age for going?

One Comment

  1. Kelly

    We did an overnight in February two years ago with 2 year old twins and a 4 year old, and it was fantastic. The twins couldn’t go on a few of the bigger slides, but overall, an incredibly positive experience. On the plus side, we went *right* after the big norwalk virus scandal, so we literally had the place to ourselves.

    As far as the best age – I’d say 4 and up. But even ages 2 and 3 were fun.

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