Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge

This is what it means to be an indulgent parent of an American kid turning twelve years old in the first decade of the 21st century: you pile her, three friends, and your spouse into a borrowed SUV and drive about a hundred miles from home to an oversized hotel/waterpark in the middle of nowhere, basically, and spend the equivalent of a weekend for two in Paris, France, so the kid can have a birthday slumber party and stay up all night before dragging herself and her buddies out the door right at 8:55AM to be the first ones down the big tubular waterslide when the park opens at 9:00.

Woo-hoo, I guess.

The good news is the place isn’t quite as scary as one might fear and the drinks in the bar are surprisingly strong; I’m hoping that this experience is a once-in-a-lifetime fad, but if the youngster really wanted to reprise the event next year, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to it.

The other upside is that our four young charges are too big to be into the Disney-influenced theme park going on in the hotel that requires children to figure out some kind of mock-adventure using plastic tree-branch wands that they wave at plastic injection-molded treasure chests and the like; the hallways are filled with young parents shepherding their toddlers around with that look of exhaustion and dyspepsia characteristic of doing something with your pre-schooler that’s been designed to maximize his or her likelihood of nagging you to buy some mass-produced fantasy knick-knack.

I fear, naturally, the consumerist indoctrination that’s going on here all around us; this is the type of place that trains youngsters to grow up to find the sights and sounds of Las Vegas attractive; once you develop a taste for themed hotels and animatronic singing animals, they’ve got you.

So I suppose that means indulgent parents will be footing the bill for a soiree at the Mirage in nine years.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

We have a couple of those indoor water parks in WI, too; even a Great Wolf. The big attraction, for WI anyways, seems to be in winter; cure for cabin fever - kids can play in the water and parents can sit in the bar. I've been to professional conferences at them, too - that's really weird - people in business casual vs. people in beach bum casual, and all those glazed looking parents being dragged around by their toddlers.

12:35 PM  

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