When my wife made the reservation for Jellystone Park - Canyon Lake, I immediately searched for reviews on the net. After reading the reviews, I tried to get my wife the cancel the reservation. I was certain we were headed for a weekend of rude staff members, overcrowding, and a site that charges for everything my kid wanted to do. It was the complete opposite.
Cost - Our room had two full size beds, a sofa bed, and a kitchenette. It was $90/night, which is a little much for what it is, but comparable to similar rooms in the river/lake area. There are attractions that cost money (laser tag, pedal cars, etc.), but the big attractions are all free - indoor/outdoor pool, jumping pillow, hay rides, movie screening, crafts, games. The additional things that cost money are relatively inexpensive (bingo was $1, pedal cars were $5). The only thing that struck me as too pricey for what you get was the gem mining. It was $7.50 per kid and my son ended up with one piece of fools gold and a few colorful stones. There is a general store there with things to buy (toiletries, drinks, mementos, etc) at a convenience store-like markup.
Attractions/Activities - This park was heaven for our four year-old and the other kids who were with us (ages 3-13). The kids loved the jumping pillow. I was expecting a bouncer like you see at birthday parties, but it was much larger and cooler than that. The pools were a little crowded and the water was cold, but then again, we were there in early March and the kids didn't seem to mind. The night-time hay ride was fun, with a cart full of kids wearing glow sticks and yelling "Hey Boo Boo!". When you arrive, you get a schedule of activities for the days you will be there. There are things for the kids to do all day long. They have a flag raising with Yogi Bear to start the day, hay rides, crafts, bingo, movies screened in the activity center, contests, and games scheduled throughout the day. The have things like the root beer chugging contest, which are free and fun for the kids.
Site - The site is well-maintained, with plenty of areas for kids to hike, ride bikes, and play. There are a few playgrounds at the site and areas with tables and BBQ pits. There is a 5 m.p.h. speed limit enforced throughout and when you see all of the kids, you'll understand why. There is security in the front screening the cars that come in. The whole park is kid-friendly and I felt very comfortable with our son being/playing there. The site is not large, but we were there on Spring Break (sold out) and overcrowding was not an issue, except at the indoor pool.
Staff - The staff was very friendly. They are strict on enforcing the rules at the site (they said no when I ask if I could use the fire pit outside the room for making S'mores), but with so many kids running around the area , it was something I understood and appreciated. The staff also hosts the games and other activities. They were very kid-friendly.
Room - We stayed in a cabin. The room was very basic, but had air conditioning, cable tv, and a kitchenette. My wife is not the type who will not stay in a camper or rv, but she was fine with the room. Again, it wasn't anything grand, but you're hardly in the room while you're there.
Overall - I wasn't looking forward to this trip. Our family doesn't camp and the idea of staying at a campsite didn't appeal to me. After reading the reviews, I was even more convinced that the weekend would be a bust. I couldn't have been more wrong. The room wasn't great, but the room isn't the reason you're there. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Some activities cost money (the ones you'd expect), but the majority of them are free. The site is not too large, but has enough areas for the kids to play and for adults to do things like BBQ. The entire place is very family oriented. Most importantly, the kids loved it. The attractions/activities were great and the kids enjoyed them all. I recommend the place and we will definitely return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.