Monday, July 2, 2012

The Great Escape

The entrance to the park - Niall, Aidan, Maddie, Ava, Conal, and Dean
We took the kids to the Great Escape on Sunday. We went with the Graziano and Devine families. It was quite an adventure - and we managed to do it without spending a boatload of money.
Let me start by saying that both Brian and I haven't been to the Great Escape in years. I mean, I am not even sure the last time I was there. It must have been at least 20 years. A lot has changed since then. First off, did you know the price to get in is about $50 per person? Yup. I kid you not.

Luckily, Janis had season passes, and when you buy season passes, you get a really cool coupon booklet that has all sorts of freebies. So we all managed to get in with my family only paying for one ticket, and Felice's family paying for one ticket. Plus - we had a coupon for $13 off each ticket. So, in the end, we only paid $40 for the ticket. Not bad.

The thing that was bad was the parking price. They charge $18 to park your car. Really???  You are going to charge me $18 to park my car? And if you want to park in the VIP lot, then it is $20. We politely declined. They weren't getting my extra $2. We forked over our $18 and parked.

We entered the park had headed towards the kiddie section. The kids had some fun.
Aidan and Niall in the car

Ava, Maddie and Dean on a ride
It was a hot day. Very hot. I was dripping sweat within the first hour. Luckily, there was a lot of shade. Around 12:15, we decided it was time for lunch. We had all packed a lunch in the cooler, and we headed back to the car so we could eat. (They don't let you bring any food or coolers into the park - so we had to go back to the car to eat). It actually worked out well. We found some shade under a tree and spread our blankets out. We ate our chips, sandwiches and drinks and it was nice to take a break from the park and regroup. I think we saved quite a bit of money by not eating the overpriced food in the park.

Despite the rule about not bringing any snacks in, I managed to smuggle some in my backpack. They never even checked  my bag at the gate. So - we had snacks throughout the day and we didn't have to spend any money on the overpriced food.

After lunch, we headed back for more fun and ended up in the water section. That part was very cool. There was lots of kid-friendly water stuff and it was so nice to take a break and be in the refreshing water. We even went on the lazy river and floated for a while.  The drawback to this section was that it was very crowded. Lots and lots of people.
Ava, Maddie and Aidan on the slide
We spent some time in the water park, and then all of a sudden that whole section closed down because of thunderstorm threats. We headed back into the main section of the park and went on a few more rides.

Maddie even went on her first roller coaster ride! She loved it. Brian, Chet, and Owen also went on a roller coaster.

After that we were getting tired and it was time to call it a day. Good thing, because the park ended up closing down due to the severe thunderstorm threat.

All, in all, it was a fun day. Maddie said that it was the best day of her life.

Brian, Chet, and Owen on the Boomerang Coaster

Riding the Ferris Wheel

Zonked out on the car ride home

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