First, I must start off by stating I was blown away by my previous two stays at GWL. I was impressed by their efficiency, cleanliness, staff, food options, etc. Even though this is obviously a trip for the kids, GWL did everything to keep the parents stress free/happy. My most recent 3rd trip was NOT the same experience:
-Water was VERY cold. Look GWL, most parents don't find it enjoyable to spend hours on end in a kid filled pool. Previous trips the water temperature was quite pleasant. It was unbearable this past weekend. Kids don't care, the parents who are footing the tab, they do!
-I didn't bring towels as GWL claims to provide them. Towels were NOT available. I mean nowhere to be found. And when they did finally wheel out 1 bin of towels, parents swarmed, grabbed more than needed, as who knew when the next batch would show up? I heard a customer politely ask an attendant where to find a towel for her shivering child, and she wasn't even nice about - you'll just have to wait.
-On the info I received at check-in, restaurants are advertised to be open until 11 pm on Saturdays. I tried eating at the Bar and Grill at 8 pm, and we were shooed away along with three other families. Closed? We were told they don't have hours?
-Ventured upstairs for pizza, this is no longer a Pizza Hut. Sadly, I would have welcomed a Pizza Hut. GWL Pizza place was completely out of Caesar salads. Ordered a cheese pizza for my famished family. 15 minutes later, my pizza was ready, albeit completely burnt. We ate it, as it was either burnt pizza or an overpriced buffet.
-Hot tub broken? OK, maybe it just broke that day, I gave GWL the benefit of the doubt. Surely maintenance would have it up and running by morning. What I later found out from a staff member is the hot tub has been shut down for weeks. What?!
-Wave pool was open, but basically no waves. Just a big, icy cold pool, with a gentle sway in the water. Huge disappointment as the kids love this thing. Also found out from same staff member that the wave pool hasn't been producing waves for weeks and no one can figure out why?!
-Island Snack Shop doesn't have Dippin Dots. After waiting in line for 15 minutes, the one staff worker seemed annoyed we weren't immediately ready to order after finding out the advertised menu item we waited for wasn't even available. How hard would it be to put up a sign?
-One elevator broken the entire trip, always a line to go up and down. Also, during prime check out time, staff members were taking up elevator space with large green bins. We literally had to wait 15 minutes for an elevator with space to get our bags to the car.
-Not properly staffed. Tube water slide had one attendant for both water slides; employee had to jump between the two slides. Island snack shop had one cashier, line was always long. Restaurants closing early. No one washing towels. One person in the Kid Store didn't seem like enough for the demand.
-Breakfast Buffet was cold. I am not a big buffet person to begin with, but breakfast is kind of hard to screw up. I don't mean lukewarm or not hot. I mean they were serving cold scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, waffles... Apparently they weren't utilizing food warmers? And since when is coffee not included in a buffet? Also, customers should not have to flag down a waitress for a warm up or refill.
-One of the Quest games was also not functioning. This didn't impact me, but I heard some other parents asking about it and getting a refund. Staff member claimed power surges from the rain were interfering with the game.
I am not clear if this was a fluke or if GWL has recently gone through some budget cuts and are cutting corners? I will definitely be reading recent reviews prior to considering booking another trip at GWL Grand Mound, WA. It is expensive, and I think some basic expectations were not met, along with a whole slew of other issues. Having two water attractions down for weeks on end and apparent staffing issues is troubling. It appears they may be having difficulties funding basic operations.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.