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“Safari Joes at $109 for a Saturday night”

Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Water Park
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Attraction details
Owner description: Splash to your hearts' content with 18,000 square feet of indoor water park fun at Surfari Joe's in SW Michigan. Twirl and whirl on two extreme slides that funnel outside of the park landing you back inside with a big splash. Enjoy a relaxing ride with family and friends around the Zambezi River Run or swim in Lino's Lagoon activity pool. Our Pygmy Pond Play Place is just right for the kiddos featuring an adventurous playland with slides, the Surfari Joe dumping bucket and more. Too much water fun, then take a break and play in the radical Rip Curl Arcade with over thirty games keeping everyone busy for hours. Located on the upper deck of Surfari Joe's, the Water Hole Grill and Bar features a variety of drinks, pizzas, combo baskets and more! Birthday party or special event need planning? Surfari Joe's is the ideal hosting place. Escape to Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Waterpark conveniently located off I-94 in Watervliet, Michigan adjoining the new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel! Escape theme park packages available online. The hotel features complimentary WiFi, fitness center, complimentary hot breakfast and more.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Level Contributor
152 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Safari Joes at $109 for a Saturday night”
Reviewed November 11, 2009

We decided to stay at the Ramada/ Safari Joes November 7th for a girls weekend with my 9yr old. The check in was quick, not outgoing or friendly but quick.

Our room was on the 2nd floor which was nice to have the upper water park viewing area at the end of the hall. It was clear our room was not vacuumed before our arrival. There was blue candy on the floor in several spots. The rooms were large enough, the beds comfortable, the tv small. (DD said your tv at home should never be bigger than your tv in the hotel room.)

The water park was fun for DD. Older kids will likely be bored. There was a long wait for doubles tubes to use on the water slide and the lazy river is too narrow for me. You can barely fit a tube down it! The lifeguards constantly whistle at the kids but don't tell them what they are doing wrong. That got irritating after 4 hours. Some fun music in the pool area would help the atmosphere alot!

The downsides are the arcade didn't open until 9am on Sunday, then the token machines didn't work so DD didn't get to play. The pool didn't open until later so DD was bored until we left. Breakfast was a joke, cereal and some doughnuts, juice and milk.

I guess we might be back eventually but its not top of our list for the $....

2 Thank budbrlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
south bend
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't waste your money”
Reviewed November 11, 2009

The staff was rude. They didn't have the room I reserved. Nobody told us when we made the reservation that they were having a church group of 200 people, which were very rude. The water park closed 2 hours early because someone said there was vomit in the pool, which was a big lie. The only nice thing about this place was the clean room. Save your money and find somewhere else to go!!!!!

2 Thank momma821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, MI
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A little small for the price”
Reviewed November 8, 2009

We live in Kalamazoo, just half an hour a way, but we thought it would be fun to spend the night in the hotel anyway. Their $109 Friday night stay and play package seemed pretty reasonable compared to other water parks we'd be in. It comes with four passes to the park.

Overall, the kids enjoyed themselves, which is really what matters, but there are definitely some improvements that could be made.
1) There needs to be more attractions. They only have two big slides for the older guests.
2) There needs to be more attractions for the under 48" kids. My four year old was too short to ride the big slides, but the kiddie area was a bit of a disappointment to him. There should be some medium slides for the pre-school age kids to small to go on the big slides.
3) There needs to be more double rafts! This seems obvious, but I saw families waiting 15 minutes and more to get a double raft. This wasn't even a busy day. If they are going to have a limited number of double rafts, then they need to have a rule where you give up your raft to someone waiting for one.
4) All rules need to be posted. My kids kept getting whistled at by the surly teenage lifeguards for rules not listed anywhere. We had to keep adding these unwritten rules to our memories.

Overall, it is a decent experience if you don't want to make the drive to a real waterpark, but there are quite a few improvements that need to be made before I go again.

2 Thank tabannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Geneva, WI
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I didn't see that on the website”
Reviewed August 7, 2009

First of all the water park was an extra fee - unless you got a waterpark package, but we went for a wedding and didn't see that on the website. Also we went up on Thur night and knew we wheren't going to get to go to the waterpark that night but was planning a full day of fun on Fri and even told the front desk that when checking in. Only to notice the next morning it doesn't open til 4pm - It's a small town around the hotel so there isn't much to do. Then when we finally did get into the water park it was good for little kids ages 3 - 7 but after that they got bored of going on the same water slide over and over. And the lifegaurds where all young and where NOT paying attention to what they should have been, they were more interested in talking with other people. My son thought the dead animals all over the lobby where cool, but it was very sad for me to see all the animal heads with the picture of where they where killed and with what time of weapon. The rooms where clean and if you understand all the other stuff going in then it would have been a great place to stop on the way to somewhere better.

2 Thank Bertmk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gull Lake, MI
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Don't do it!”
Reviewed April 6, 2009

What a let down - When we first arrived , a patron was leaving and sent out a warning to us as we walk by "not to do it.' Obviously we didnt know what that meant and disregarded it; however as our stay continued we knew what she was talking about. Lets start with the rude staff, including mgmt; friendly these folks are NOT! So many inconsistancy - no one seemed to know what was going on. I called the front desk to find out what time the park closed; 10:00pm the attendant responded. As we headed down to the park, we were disappointed to find that the park shut down 2 hours before it should have with the excuse that "they ran out of food and due to the lack of supervision in the food area; would also have to shut the pool down. (Makes sense - right?) Another staff member said that it was because someone threw-up in the pool (sure!) And yet another staff said that the pool actually closes at 8:00 p.m. No swimming - so off to the arcade we go - what a joke! Token exchange was BROKE, (with a crowd hovering for at least 15 minutes - clerk asked a patron to go to the front desk and report that she needed more tokens , of course no one came) Ok - after we finally got tokens and played the games they WERE working, went to exchange the tickets - guess what that machine was also BROKE. When the kids finally got the reciept, off they went to stake claim on thier prizes - seriously folks - a pencil and blow bubbles! Kids had a great time playing in the bath tub to kill the rest of the night- at a $160.00, what a deal! I have been to numerous waterparks and really like to support local business unfortuantly this is one that I will not! Pay the extra and go to Great Wolf Lodge - you'll be glad you did! P.S. If for some reason you don't heed my warning - skip the free "wait for an hour" continental breakfast and go to Waffle House of America (it's less that a 1/4mile away) - food was fantastic!(Highlight of the trip)

4 Thank triedandtrue_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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