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“Family friendly zones not so family friendly”
Review of Calypso Water Park

Calypso Water Park
Ranked #233 of 4,118 things to do in Ontario
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: About 22 miles / 35 km east of Ottawa Ontario.
Reviewed August 4, 2010

I have 3.5 year old and 20 month old. Upon arrival, I was very impressed with the selection of rides for the younger kids, until I realized the parents are not allowed to ride with the kids. This pretty much crossed off almost all of the rides for me, since I am not going to let my 3.5 year old or 20 month old out of my sight. The pirate ship is especially dangerous because if you let your child go up, then leave them there, they can decide to come out of any slide and it takes you so long to get to the bottom, that they would already be down to the bottom of the slide or chosen a different slide. I am amazed they do not have more lost or drowned kids. Isn't it rule # 1 to keep your kids at arms length when in water? Are we parents told from day #1 to never let your child out of sight in a public place? It is virtually impossible to keep your kids in sight unless you have two parents for each kid, or two kids who want to ride the same slides, and possible a two way radio so the parent at the top can alert the parent at the bottom which slide to watch.

One slide in the Zoo Lagoon had a lifeguard who would hold your kid at the top until the parent got to the bottom. The rest had no lifeguard at the top so the kids were just pushing their way through and not waiting until the bottom was clear. There was one lifeguard watch at the bottom, to ensure the parents did not use the slides. That was the only thing they seemed to pick on. I never saw a kid get reprimanded for going two at a time, skipping the line, riding on their stomache (all of which are forbidden on the same sign that forbids parents from riding the slides), but all day long I heard the whistle blow accompanied by "You are too tall to ride the slides!" Why do they only pick on the parents who are trying to keep the kids safe.

My kids did have a great time, but I for one was frazzled and frustrated the entire day trying to find ways for my kids to ride and still be safely in my view. I also did not get to ride a single slide, since I was with my 20 month old most of the day, and I am not allowed to ride the slides in the family section, even though they advertise that it is fun for all ages. I believe parents want to actually play WITH their kids. I however spent the day running. Running up the ramp, dropping the kid at the top, running down the twisty winding ramp, trying desparately to watch my kid while I run to make sure they don't start to slide, pushing throught crowds of people in a hopeless attempt to reach the bottom before they do. I saw several kids fall because they were climbing out of the bottom of the slide before their parents made it to the bottom. I also had one child slide into mine since I didn't make it to the bottom in time to lift her out. I certainly got a workout, although it was not exactly fun. I will not be taking my kids back until they are older.

The dump of water from the pirate ship is also so strong it swept my kids off a staircase. I would not say it is safe for all ages.

8  Thank Supermom921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 31, 2010

Pros:
-A lot of rides, more than I expected, could not finish half of them in a day (which to me is a good thing because it means I can go again and not go on the same rides)

-Line ups were long but honestly I've waited longer. Also depends on if you go on the more popular rides.

-Has many washrooms so you don't have to wait too long in line for that

-Cheap $5 parking

Cons:
-Extremely busy with people, unline some waterparks there was no place you could just lounge around with a bit of peace and quiet (would be nice if they had a regular non-wave pool or jacuzzi). This is the reason I left early, I was so exhausted from all the noise and screaming and kicking in the water, etc)

-Food is terrible, there is no nice way to say it. It is also very expensive which would be worth the money if it were good. They basically have a cafeteria with food that's prepared in advance and is dry. Their bistro (which I was excited about) is just some advanced prepared sandwiches sitting in a fridge wrapped in plastic wrap-no thank you. Bring your own lunch in a cooler, thankfully you can do that.

-It's funny to say but the staff look like they're being tortured to work there. I've never seen so many discouraged and depressed looking employees. No one looks happy to be there. They need to increase staff morale. Also getting more staff would probably help, they are way understaffed and if things ever got out of control there, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have the manpower to deal with it.

-Parking is VERY disorganized, I hope that it's a work in progress and they don't keep it the way it is. 4-5 lanes merging into one with no lines on the road-not a good thing. Long wait and accidents waiting to happen.

-Even though there is plenty of space to sit and eat, there still wasn't any place left to sit and eat. The problem is that people go there early, put their coolers at a table and leave it there while they go on rides. That's very unfair to other people and the staff should enforce this not happening and create a spot where coolers and stuff should go because the lockers are not large enough to hold it.

5  Thank sendithere17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2010

The same people that complain that they have to wait in traffic to go to Senators games are the same people that complain that they have to wait in a line up to go on a ride. Wake up and realize that these types of attractions are great for our city. $5 for parking is nothing considering most theme parks are $20. We should be thankful that they built the park so close to Ottawa. My family and I are season pass holders and it has been one of the best summers we've ever had. I would really recommend for those who find it expensive to buy a pass for next year. We bought are pass for $99 last September and have gone about 20 times what a blast!

5  Thank passholder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2010

this is the worst experience we ever had in a water park.
the advertisements says '' bigest water park in Canada'' this is totaly wrong.
Had to wait an hour stand by to get a locker to put our things because they were all rent.
then we found that our locker was also rent to somebody else
they had the same key number as ours??????

we've waited 1.5 hr at each of the two rides we did.
this is rediculous for a 45 sec. ride
it was so crowdy that we could't go into the wave pool,i should say wave soup.
I don't know what they use to keep the water clean but
it burned my wife's and daughter's brand new swim ware in only two rides.
(brand new O'neil bikini)??????

Also had to wait in line more than 15 minutes for rest room.

in two words, verrrrrry bad

13  Thank freewillys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2010

I attended Calypso with my ten year old son on July 27th. The waiting began the minute we pulled off the highway. There were cars lined up on the exit ramp from Highway 417. Things cleared up once we got past the stop sign at the end of the off ramp, but a traffic light is definitely needed. Parking was a reasonable $5. Once out of the parking lot, we were greeted by a pretty big line of people waiting to buy tickets. Fortunately, we had purchased ours online before leaving, and were able to head straight in.

The waterpark itself is pretty nicely laid out and has a decent collection of slides and play areas. The water is heated to a comfortable temperature, and was pretty enjoyable. The slides for the most part were pretty fun, and definitely not for the faint of heart. The kids play area was pretty cool too. Unfortunately, the wait to get on most of the slides was another story. We waited about 40 minutes per slide on average, in the blazing sun. The owners really need to put some shade coverings over the queue areas.

The wave pool caused me some concern. It was overcrowded and there is no way the lifeguards could properly supervise that many people at once. Definitely keep your kids within sight. The lazy river is a similar story - way too many people and not enough lifeguards. The current is pretty strong for a lazy river. Also, the painted cement surfaces are slippery. I almost cracked my head a few times while walking near the lazy river and the wave pool.

I was further disappointed with the food. To be fair, I expect crappy over priced fast food at these types of places, but is it too much to ask for a few condiments? No relish, mayo, onions, pickles etc. for the burgers and hot dogs. Just ketchup and mustard. C'mon, that's just plain cheap. The food's bad enough as it is, at least give us proper condiments to hide the taste.

I'm sure the place will be much better in a year or two when the novelty of the "new" park wears off and the crowds lessen. Hopefully by then they'll have worked out some of the problems they seem to be having this year. The place has great potential, but has some work to do.

1  Thank Jason_Chenier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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