It's comical to my husband and I how we used to say our most favorite vacation was Jamaica. Then, we had our first child and had breakfast with Elmo. After seeing our son's little face with that furry, red, monster we agreed that that vacation was now our favorite. My, my, how times change.
This year, we took a spring vacation to Sevierville,Tennessee. The Wyndam Great Smokies Resort was a kids dream. The resort was made up of 4 buildings, two owned by Wilderness Lodge and two Wyndham. Our building was 108 steps away from where all the fun was (My 8 year old decided to count it out). The cost of our resort included 10, week long passes to their indoor water park. The water park had something for everyone. Of course there was a bar up front for dad (although a can Yuengling was $5.50) so he was content with hundreds of munchkins running around all weekend. There were four slides, (2 were family slides that would seat 4). The crowds were at a minimum during the weekdays and we found ourselves running up the 105 steps, sliding down and repeating about 10 times before the big guy and I encouraged the kids to pick another activity. Usually, this included he and I sitting at the table, me reading a book, him drinking a beer and the kids playing in the play area that dumped thousands of gallons of water onto the kids every 10 mins. They LOVED it!
Another crowd favorite was the wave pool. Again, on the weekends, everyone was bumping into everyone else but during the week, it was very relaxing. The best was that the resort had life vest for the kids (although they are first come first serve). There was a 3.5 foot pool too that houses a giant floating snake for people to climb on and 3 basket ball hoops. The infant play area was set off to the side, not to be disturbed by the kids (and adult children) but we had no need to venture there. We hit the water area every day, even if it was for just a few hours. There was also a snack bar and restaurant, although we ate in at the condo almost every meal. Its cheaper and easier to do with kiddoes.
The resort also had this AMAZING arcade area. The best part was that you could purchase a reasonably priced (about 25.00 an adult) ticket for your entire stay. This ticket included: Mini Golf, Duck Pin Bowling, A Climbing Tree, Harness Park, Laser Maze, Rock Climbing Wall, and one of those rides that drops you really fast. The harness park was a big hit. You were strapped into a harness and got to climb an obstacle course above the arcade. I was so proud of my babies and how brave they were!
There were other perks to the resort as well. There was a pottery store that you could paint your own items to be fired the next day. The kids loved it! The ice cream/candy store was also a big hit...maybe to big for some of us. Banana splits, dipped cones, soups, candies...mmmm. The employees were so personable and friendly. We were given a photo scavenger hunt that included things like: get a photo of an employee doing the chicken dance, a maintenance worker showing off his/her muscles, a housekeeper riding a broom; the kids had a blast with that scavenger hunt. We received a coupon for Shutterfly to upload all of our photos and make a book for free!
I think that my biggest gripe was that there was no Disney channel. I know, I know, we are on vacation, why do you need TV. After a day of going strong, the kids wanted to go to bed a little early and watch some cartoons before they feel asleep. The only "kid" like channel was Cartoon Network and we aren't a big fan of that channel in our house. In my opinion, with such a kid friendly resort, not having the Disney channel was a downer.
We will most definitely be heading back there for a summer/fall vacation. The resort also had an outdoor water park and golf courses that were closed at the time we went. The weather wasn't the greatest, but was warmer than Pittsburgh was that week. Had to laugh that schools were cancelled TWO days that week because of possible ice in the late afternoon. It was 39 degrees. We are Pittsburghers so we had no problem playing in the cool weather and mud. We ventured off property for a few days so stay tuned to fun things to do with kids in the Gatlinburg area.