Saturday, August 10, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge vs. Gaylord Texan

By the time August rolls around our family is in desperate need of a get-away. Church work is not for the faint of heart, and by the end of the summer church has just flat taken its toll on all of us. So these mini-vacations are a perfect and necessary thing for our family.

This year, for our annual back to school family retreat we decided to go to the Gaylord Texan Resort. It's right across the street from our other favorite, Great Wolf Lodge, and after visiting both here is my take:

The Gaylord Texan is pretty. Like, really pretty. It has a four acre atrium that is full of tropical foliage. Me likee.
Great Wolf certainly isn't an eye sore, but it is geared towards kids and its decor reflects that. Which is fine.
Gaylord is just prettier. There is no way around it.
Gaylord has three different pools: an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a mini-waterpark  with a lazy river, one water slide, and a zip-line. An important piece of information that would have been nice for us to know beforehand: You have to be 48 inches to go down the slide and 72 inches to do the zip-line. So basically we had a very disappointed little boy on our hands who could really only do the lazy river in the water park area. Also, you can't bring any snacks into this area.

Great Wolf has plenty of things for kids of all heights. Their water-park makes Gaylord's water-park look like a joke.

Gaylord's outdoor pool does stay open until mid-night so my kids were still thrilled. 
And look how pretty:
What you will not see at the Gaylord Texan: herds of wet, barefooted, wild banshee children running around and squealing with delight.
What you will not see at Great Wolf Lodge: appropriately clothed, dry people who are relaxed, calm, and quiet.
The dining options at Gaylord Texan are numerous and nice. We opted to go eat in the surrounding Grapevine area at dinner time because the restaurants at the resort were more "kid tolerant" than "kid friendly."

Great Wolf Lodge has a Pizza Hut Express and a bakery that sells things covered in neon colored icing. Need I say more?
The Gaylord Texan is not cheap. At first glance it appears to be quite a bit less than Great Wolf but there are numerous extra, required charges that add up pretty fast. Parking is about $20 per night, there is an extra "resort fee," and you have to pay for internet.

Dear Gaylord Texan,

Get over yourself.


Normal People

Great Wolf is not cheap but there are not really any surprises.
The Gaylord Texan was not the least bit crowded. It's quite a bit bigger than Great Wolf so maybe that was part of it or it could have been the time of year, but it felt like we had the pool areas almost to ourselves.

Great Wolf sounds like a herd of wild, rabid hyenas at all times.
Your family pics at Gaylord will still be awkward, but you will not be dripping wet and your swimsuit will be nowhere in sight.

You family pics at Great Wolf will be deleted from your camera as soon as you see yourself.
Andy and the kids like Great Wolf better.
Summer likes Gaylord Texan better.
Summer will never get to go to the Gaylord Texan again.
(I have several pictures of Great Wolf here, here, and here.)

Overall, we had a wonderful time. Now I am gearing up for my annual back-to-school meltdown complete with stress-eating, staring longingly at baby pictures while simultaneously bawling, and multiple Target trips.

Bring it.


Michelle said...

If you go to Great Wolf Lodge in May, before TX schools let out it's not crowded! I've thought about booking a night at the Gaylord Texan, but the $20 parking really ruined it for me.....

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Yes, you got some great pictures. Sorry you won't be going back there anytime soon!

Amy in Edmond said...

I had no idea how expensive the parking really was! I was there for a conference this summer and we only got charged $8 per day.