Great Escape Lodge

We took Madaghan and little cousin Ryan(and his parents) to the Great Escape Lodge on Sunday. Click HERE to read all about that adventure. We figured the Great Wolf Lodge was awesome, so this place should be too, right? Nope. I mean, let me be clear it was not horrible. It was just…there. Let me try to explain. I’ll start with the positives so this post does not like a rant.


  • Slow Season, not crowded
  • Clean rooms, bathrooms, hallways.-everything really
  • Comfortable beds
  • Johnny Rockets eatery

Ryan and Madaghan really liked Johnny Rockets. Not only is the food good, but they give out free paper hats:

Madaghan teaches Ryan how to be a Hippie.

Madaghan’s first time at the top of the water slide was an absolute horror scene. She was screaming “No, I don’t want to!!” so much that the veins in her little pumpkin head were popping out. We were trying not to give in as we believe she needs to get over her fears even if that means a little coercion from her parental units. It did not work. One can only argue with a 6 year old girl in hysterics before it goes from “cute” to… “come on, you are holding up the line”. It was just getting to that point when the nice man on the line for another slide let us cut him and his family. (Thank you again Sir!) The slide he was waiting fir was one of those that have a 3-4 person tube and everyone can go down together. Maddie screamed all the way down. But, she loved it. She liked that slide so much that she rode in the giant tube with her cousin Ryan and his parents Dave and T:

Madddie rides the blue-tube with her cousin Ryan and his Mom and Dad

I wonder if Maddie is having fun?

After Madaghan’s scene and a few rides down the blue raft slide, we made our way to the spot our friends Mickey and Maritza save for us. (Thanks!!) Here is the view from our spot:

Get blown in the lazy river

We sat down and enjoyed a beverage or two and then headed out to the lazy river. Mickey stayed at our spot and snapped a pic:

Being lazy in the Lazy River

Sometime on that lazy river, Maddie decided she was ready for the big girl slide. Truth be told Laurie basicly ordered Madaghan onto the slide. When she got to the top she was a little scared but stuck with it. I went down first. Maddie followed. As I waited for her at the bottom, I heard her screaming all the way down. She loved it! She went on three of four more times. By this time, the Day Pass cheapskates had left to go home so the line was very short. I wish they would not allow Day Passes. I paid alot of money for a room and I think the waterpark should be for hotel guests only. I know that probably would not make a whole of economic sense, but who cares I can wish what I want on my blog.

To the right of our seats was an indoor surfing thing. Never in a million years would I have thought that Madaghan would try it. I was wrong:


Ryan got in on the act:

And Maritza…

and T….

and Maritza’s two sons…

Everyone was having a good time. But it was close to dinner time. So, we packed up and headed back to our rooms to change for dinner.

We decided to eat on site because none of us felt like driving, some of us had wet heads and it was freeezing out. We settled on the bar & grill called: Tall Tales. Big mistake.

For starters, the place was empty. Which, in hindsite, should have been a signal. We just chalked it up to us being a bit early and it was a Sunday. We stood in the entry way and waited to be seated. From behind the bar, the bartender told us to sit anywhere without asking how many were in our party.I took the intiative and put three tables together because the wait staff was too lazy or too inept to do so. We sat down and the waitress took our drink / appetizer orders. My nephew, Ryan, has a dairy allergy. Not just break out in hives kind, but the vomit-have-to-go-to-the-hospital kind. T, Ryan’s mom asked our nice enough 20 something waitress if there was a menu for food allergies, or some sort of sheet (Like Johnny Rockets did). Most restaurants are fully aware of dairy allergies and have a seperate menu (or a sheet) for dishes made without dairy products. It is more common then one might think. But, apparently this food allergy thingy is new to Tall Tales at The Great Escape. When asked about choices without dairy the waitress’ response was…..sigh…..I can’t even type it without wondering where the chef got his training….. “The chef is not sure what is in each dish” That, my friends….is a quote. To me, that means they do not cook anything at the Tall Tales. They just order food, freeze it, then microwave it, then serve it. She finally came back and said that the chicken cutlet had no dairy. We were not confident and had the Benadryl at the ready.

Great Escape is built with kids in mind yet the restaurant on site has no idea about dairy allergies.

Unsolicted advice to the manager of Tall Tales:

  • Walk down the hallway to Johnny Rockets and take a look at their dairy allergy menu.
  • Visit any restaurant and ask to see their dairy menu
  • Train your staff in dealing with food allergies- cheaper then paying a very large lawsuit loss
  • Take a page from Disney. Have the chef come out from the kitchen and talk to the child / parent.

I am under the impression the chef on duty had no idea what he/ she was doing. That was quite evident in our dishes we recieved. I ordered the chicken marsala. How do you screw that up? Tall Tales managed to. It was rubbery (Microwaved?), dry, and white. I have never been served chicken marsala with white sauce, it is always brown. The white sauce in the chicken marsala tasted remarkably close to the white sauce served on the Salmon my wife ordered. My brother in law’s French Onion soup was sludge, most likely Saturday night’s left overs. No wonder the chef has no idea what is in his dishes, he does not know how to cook.

T and I went to the front desk to complain. We were offered a free breakfast at Johnny Rockets.

We left the restaurant and headed to the arcade. If they were going for an old-fashioned arcade, they nailed it. Every single game revolved around getting tickets and the handing them in for cheap prizes. But, kids usually love those kind of games and judging by all the kids having a good time in the Arcade, Great Escape got it right. On a side note, my brother in law, Dave won an Nintendo DS from one of the games. Ryan went beserk! He deserved from almost having been fed poison by Tall Tales.

Exhausted, we all retired to our rooms and climbed into bed. Another thing they got right was the quality of the beds. Extrememly comfortable! Fell right to sleep. Only to be woken up at 4am with a FIRE DRILL!!

Some jack-ass pulled the fire alarm on the stairwell. I know this is not Great Escape’s fault, and can not be held against them but dammit man!! We walked out the back door and along with all the other guests, walked right out to our cars. It was freezing out! We sat in Dave’s car and just as the car was getting warm, the fire trucks arrived. Shortly after their arrival, we were allowed back in. Not a big deal.

Our free breakfast at Johnny Rockets went pretty smooth. Aside from them screwing up my omelette when we were the only ones in the place (wanted sausage not ham) everything went OK. I wondered if I complained would they have offered a free meal at Tall Tales. I did not bother to find out. We handed our complimentry cards in left a tip and scattaled.

When checking out, not one mention for the false fire alarm. I was half expecting a complimentry night stay or even extended check out time or free day pass. Something.

Judging by how much fun Madaghan had, The Great Ecape Lodge got alot of things right. The problem is, they got just as many things wrong. We will not be going back.


2 Comments on “Great Escape Lodge”

  1. stacy says:

    BIG HUMONGOUS CONGRATS to Madaghan for the courage. What a winner!!
    YIKES on the Tall Tales? just like the name suggests!! 😦


  2. stacy says:

    oops! Madaghan!!


A good bartender always listens....

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