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“Expected Much Better”

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Glacier Canyon Lodge
Ranked #16 of 75 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Reviewed January 30, 2010

I poured over reviews before I decided to rent a 2 bedroom presidental condo for our first trip to the dells with our 5 year old and 4 month old. I have to say, I was expecting so much more.

Check In: Check in took a long time because there were only two people working the desk. But once I got to the desk, I checked in fairly fast. I did think that it was pretty dumb that you had to go into the timeshare services to get your parking pass. But they gave me my pass without any hassle and I was on my way.

The Room: After finally finding a parking spot my husband had to drag all of our luggage and belongings up to our room. What, no bell services? I have to admit, we are member of Disney Vacation Club so that is what I compare against. I have NEVER taken my own luggage up to my room at Disney. I cannot believe that such a large and spread out complex does not have bell services. The room was beautiful and clean (with the exception of an M&M I found under my chair at the table). I showed very little signs of wear and was well outfitted with most anything you would need.

The Complex: Glacier Canyon is really nice looking and the hallways really nice, clean and wide. However, this is the loudest place I have ever stayed in. Not only can you hear every single person walk past your door, you can walk down the hallways and hear what is going on in everyone's room. At first I thought it was because they had their doors proped open but they were tightly shut. The first night I had to call down to the front desk because at 3 in the morning there were a bunch of really drunk guys screaming and yelling in the hallway. They were really drunk and I have to admit that I was a little scared. The second night (tonight), I am sitting here at 9:30 at night and I hear this really loud noise. I look out my door and this giant carpet cleaner is going up and down the hallways cleaning the floor. While I appreciate they keep it clean, do you really need to do this at 9:30 at night?

The Waterparks: We have only gone to the Wild Waterdome because we rented a cabana there. I could not have done it without the cabana. It was so crowded that there were no seats to be found. My 5 year old LOVED the wave pool and spent the entire day in it so he did not even ask to go to the other waterparks. The waterparks are way to spread out and the only way to get from one to the other is by going through the hotel and it is a pretty long walk between the parks. The skyways are really nice but take you though hallways of the actual hotel. Man, I would have to have a room on that floor! With renting a cabana it is not like my family can easily go to another water park and come back to the cabana to rest. The cabana was nicely set up with a nice couch, two chairs, a couple of tables, an island with stools to sit at, a flat screen tv, air conditioning, and a fridge. It was really dirty though, the menu they had in there I needed to wipe off with a wetnap because it was all sticky and gross. It also was showing lots of wear and tear as the furniture was stained and the fridge had really large scrapes on it. Even with all that, it is still worth the money to have it.

We are still here for two more days so hopefully it is a little quieter on Sunday and Monday. If I were to ever come back to the dells, I would choose another place to stay. This complex is just way to spread out and hard to navigate. This coming from someone who is used to walking a lot, and staying at spead out hotels at Disney. This hotel was just not very guest friendly.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Hammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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742 - 748 of 880 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2010

Just got home from an overnight at glacier canyon lodge at the wilderness hotel. Our group has stayed at this hotel for the last 5 years.(all of them a good).Our group size has grown from 6 to as many as 14.With kids 6and7 teenagers 14 and 16 as well as adults all from 3 family groups.We have stayed in the 2 bedroom delux,the 3br dlx,and the 3 bdr premier.

First the difference from the delux and premier is the size of the overall space and the configuration of the rooms. the dx has more living room space and 2 of the rooms are connected by a full bath that they share. the premier has more space and detail to the rooms . they all have there own door,bath,tv, and beds. this is much more suited for a group with extended family or friends as it gives you more of your own room. the kitchen in the pre has larger appliences as well. For those with simply a large group the del will do just fine we found them all clean,has everything you need to do your own cooking. plenty of space to spread out tv has a dvd player thet we used. coffie maker (Would recomend you bring your own coffie!) dishwasher, we used to clean up.full size fridge,stove,micro,and we did see iron/board (never used).

Check in----- our plan with this trip always has the same start. before checking in, we take the whole group out for pizza and fill up before going to water park. This is a big help as the kids dont want food or snacks when your at the pool. We call the resort ahead of time to see if the room is ready to check in from where we are eating. sometime the room is available before the stated check in time. then over to lodge to check in. we only have 2 of us go to the counter and the rest wait in the car. never had more than a 5 min wait.

The hotel-----The larger the room you check into,the farther away from the waterpark you will be. That said,this is a big place (you will do alot of walking} Everything is indoors including a catwalk from the hotel to the park In some areas it can be a little chilly (next to doors) a robe or towel should help in this case.Everything is connected through hallways (no need to go outside) This can be a little confusing as we went passed where we wanted to go a few times. just have to be more attentive.The common areas here are well done throughout the resort. You will find all 4 indoor waterparks,the dry play areas,lazer tag,gift shops,bars,places to eat,and a whole lot more.Be prepared to pay for all the extras here!!

The waterparks---- All 4 of them are in the complex however you cant go from one to the other without walking through the hallways. This can be a good thing for it does tend to seperate the crowd. the first park has the big wave pool that can produce 6 ft waves. Not a good idea to bring little ones in the deep end. lifeguards do watch out for you but cant do much about a wave sending 10 people crashing into you. Not that anyone got hurt just be carefull.They do have 2 raft rides here but the attraction is the wave pool.

The next park is our (fav) it has the best speed ride this place has to offer. the huricane 4 person tube slide. Note ( this does have a weight restriction on it) they may make you split your group up. also this restiction is not always enforced. The park also has other tube slides body slides a good kid play area a hot tub and water fountians .
(the down side) Hot-tubs almost always overcrowded (here we would like see improvement) or at least have them enforce a limit. The kids take over this and run in and out constantly. The main tub has an outdoor area that has cold wind blowing into the indoor doorway of the tub. (can be chilly). The tables and chairs when crowded can be hard to come by. so putting your stuff somewhere can be a chore at times.

The 3rd park has a good family raft ride,a couple good speed slides and a real cool dark raft ride (the black hole) This one can form long lines because its a single tube and person slide . Do this one first. This is also the best kid play area in the park for 5 and up.it has multiple levels and lots of things that spray water..There is a small area here where they have bumper boats (for 4.00 per person more) We passed on this.Tables here are more available here as they have some upstairs as well. Towels are available at all the parks and they had plenty of them,they are small however so you may want to bring your own.Would recommend you walk with shirt and shoes in hallways than get a table to put your stuff on. Never had any problems with steeling even left a camera with out stuff.

The last park is a kiddie play park We did not use

As with routine for our group at close we go back to the room snack,watch dvds and off to bed.
at checkout we use the dry play areas that can be addicting even for mom and dad. Its common to see mom putting all these play balls in a bag and toss them at dad. Then the kids get in on the game.

The arcade---perhaps the scam that gets us all just like a carnival you play games to get tickets to get a prize. the only thing new here is the tickets have been replaced by a prepaid card. that tracks your spending and how much you won.

Overview---------- This is arguably the best value hotel of the top 4 in the dells. For the price and what you get at glacier lodge condos (not the regular room) this is hard to beat. nice room,good parks,always look forward to this............

Tips--------- Eat before you go to the park-This will give you more time at the pool and less time chasing food.
Pack your snacks,b-fast to cook will save you lost of money.
if you get cold easily- bring a robe or beach towel .
purchase glow sticks before you come (useful on dark rides)
if park is crowded, leave it for another one may not be as bad and you can always return later.


Warning---- All rooms have video games that cost to use and dont have any lock out so kids can use and parents can pay for easily when checking into your room watch that your kids dont rack up a bill for you to pay...................

  • Stayed: January 2010
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4  Thank mountiamsandcanyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2010

We were 2 families - 4 adults, 2 teens, and 4 children looking for a fun weekend at The Wilderness waterpark. Due to the size of our group, we opted for more room in a 3 bedroom premier at Glacier Canyon. Check in was quick and easy - room was not ready at noon when we arrived, but we were able to get into the waterparks anytime after 11 a.m. We used a house phone and called every hour and at 2 p.m. we were told we could pick up our keys at any lobby desk.

Glacier Canyon is located at the far back of the property, but is connected by heated sky-walks. It is true that there is a lot of walking, but a 15 to 20 minute walk will get you to the action. It was actually kinda nice being removed a bit - it was much quieter and more relaxing than being located on a hallway interconnecting the waterparks. The 3 bedroom condo was great - nicely furnished with a woodsy theme, it was clean and comfortable and easily accommodated our group of 10. The men especially loved watching the NFC championship game in front of the fireplace on comfortable furniture - as opposed to having to sit on a bed in a regular hotel room.

The kitchen had everything we needed to make dinner and breakfast - full-sized fridge, microwave, toaster, pots and pans, a coffee maker, dishwasher, etc. Also plates, glasses and silverware for about 20 people. There was a counter bar that seats 4 and a table seating another 4 people.

Each bedroom had a private bath (nice tile throughout), plus another 1/2 bath off the kitchen. 2 of the bedrooms had 2 queen-sized beds, plus a pull out couch, the other had a king-sized bed. There was also a pull-out full bed in the living room with a privacy curtain that separated the living room from the kitchen. The unit actually can sleep up to 16 people, so our 10 was very comfortable.

Everything was clean and well maintained. Never had to go through an inspection either pre- or post-. The Wyndam timeshare people were cordial and never pressured us into any presentations. We have already planned to return next year!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SandyToesMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2010

I really wish I could give a primarily positive review about our stay over MLK weekend - but I just can't. Let me begin by saying that several of our challenges this weekend could very well have been due to the sheer volume of people who stayed at Wildnerness on a holiday weekend. And a lot of my issues were with the people staying there and not the resort itself.

We stayed in a 2 br in Glacier Canyon Lodge. Kids ran up and down the hallways at all hours. Once inside your unit, it was not too loud thankfully. And maybe the kids were running because it was such a long walk to get from the room to any place - be it any of the water parks, or the arcade, or a restaurant. The layout of the place is so spread out that I can't imagine traveling with little ones without bringing a stroller. My 7 year old, who is an active child, just lost her patience from having to walk 10-15 minutes to get anywhere. The signage is pretty bad, too. All weekend we passed people in the hallways who were lost. Many families or groups of kids took luggage carts and pushed each other down the hallways. I rarely encountered staff patrolling the hallways in any way so I can imagine that they will be dealing with lots of broken carts and scratched walls very soon.

The kitchen in the room was well supplied. The flat screen tv had a great picture. The furniture in the rooms was in good shape. Bring your own food or you'll pay top dollar at any of the food and drink spots.

Being there on a holiday weekend, we did not get the cut rates you can get at this resort. So I did not appreciate the two sales pitches we received during our stay for a Wyndham time share. Sending you to a desk to get a parking pass (without which, your car will get a ticket - we watched police ticket one morning) only to be subjected to a sales pitch - is cheesy.

You get an info sheet at check-in that shows the open and close times for the water parks, arcades, and restaurants, etc. One night we made the 15 minute walk to the arcade only to find it closed when we got there. Next night we made the 15 minute walk from our room to the "restaurant" listed as being open the latest. When we got there, the bartender told us food was not served there - it was a bar. When we went to the front desk, the staff told me, "well they have pizza and sandwiches there, so I guess that isn't dinner." I got tired of the back and forth and went off property for dinner.

My biggest problem was with the water parks. Being at maximum capacity, there was not one pool chair or place to put your cover up and shoes at the two water parks we went to. If you're going to build such a giant complex, there should be some thought given to accomodating that many guests in the pool areas. I mean what else are all your guests going to do in January in Wisconsin?

My 7 year old loved the tidal wave pool but the water was cold, and I had to literally push people away from her who were not watching where their rafts were going as crashed into her. Maybe they need to recommend that you must use a raft to to this activity. The hot tub was loaded with bodies - almost always half full of kids who were swimming in it and frequently kids playing tag and being rowdy in the hot tub. It got downright dangerous and there was no staff or lifeguard anywhere near the location to flag. It was not relaxing in the slightest and I kept stepping on I don't want to know what at the bottom of the tub. The water rides seemed to be either extreme - either very basic for toddlers or rides in dark tubes which could be scary. My 7 year old was a bit too young for the raft rides and body tubes and too old for the play park stuff. there were just too many kids running around without any parental supervision.

Had we not spent a day skiing at Devil's Head, I would have been more negative about the weekend. I was really looking forward to this weekend - I may go back again but would not spend over $150 a night again. I can lower my expectations at that rate.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank joCChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2010

We just returned from our annual trip to Wisconsin Dells. Second time at the Glacier Canyon.

We rented three, two bedroom condo's. Perfect for the group that was traveling with us. Seven children under the age of 10, so we designated two condo's to them and used the third for just adult's that did not have children. Played board games in the evenings, so it did get a bit loud for anyone that may have been sleeping in your condo.
They were very gracious at making sure that all the condo's were right next to each other. Just ask upon check in if you have other reservations to put them close by.

The resort is beautiful, it was a bit of a walk to get to the waterparks which I really do not mind, strollers should be brought for the little ones as it does get to be a long stretch for them and carrying them is a bit tiring.

The only drawback that I had with the waterpark is that the chlorine is extremely high. I felt that it was hard to handle it for any length of time. Maybe I am just sensitve, but the others in our group thought that it was a bit extreme as well.

All in all I would recommend this resort for a long weekend and well spent time with the family. The condo's are very well laid out and has everything you need, less the food you want to bring along. Eating out there is quite expensive.

If you are going, have a great time.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Daveann11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2010

We had five two bedroom units for the week before Christmas. The check in Manager when we checked in on Friday the 18th needs to go back to "Customer Service School". You'd think with five units the check in would be smooth.
We traded through RCI and when I tried to leave feedback through RCI (owned by Wyndham too) ...can you believe it...they never published it! I guess it might have cut into sales of the overpriced resort.

All that aside, it was a great facility. Figure alot of walking. Figure it will be a hassle at check in too and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank TimCrystalLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2009

This hotel was excellent! The rooms were huge, wam, and inviting.The service was great, and the location was O.K.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank travelcat62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glacier Canyon Lodge

Address: 45 Hillman Road, P.O. Box 830, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: $129 - $495 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 460
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Glacier Canyon Wisconsin Dells

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