I've wanted to visit Dutch Wonderland since i was a child, so when the opportunity came to go and review i was more excited than the children. babe was excited but a little less so since he knew this meant he was driving (its 2 hours away) but once he heard there was a water park attached he was all for it.
as soon as we pulled up child1.0 was bouncing with excitement. toddler2.0 was excited just to get out of the car. unfortunately he hadnt napped the whole way there, so i knew this was possibly going to be a rough day for him. there is the vip parking lot immediately as you pull in which is $10 or there is a larger one, still very close, for free. we opted for the free one and had a little picnic lunch outside the car, under a tree.
the first few rides child1.0 excitedly got on. i did one (and realized why pregnant people shouldnt do moving closed in rides) and babe did two. child1.0 was having the time of his life, toddler2.0 was not amused at all. i cant really blame him since he was stuck watching the big kid have fun. soon enough we found a ride we all could go on, and toddler2.0 was in much better spirits after. i wasnt sure how he would react ot the rapidly spinning turtles but he was screaming and laughing with glee the whole time.
everyone was having fun and happy from there on out. the rides were color coded by height for who could and couldnt ride, who needed an adult, and who was fine alone. i saw very few child1.0 was unable to get on, and surprisingly toddler2.0 was able to go on most as well. after his earlier fright with the sea dragon, child1.0 wasnt feeling adventurous, so the rides he chose were also ones his brother could go on. it was a win-win.
the park itself is huge. there wasnt much shade or seating to relax between going on rides (my swelling feet were getting lazy toward the end) but there were reasonably priced snacks and drinks peppered every few rides. there are also a few smoking gazebos for smokers which made me gag since its been a few years now i quit. im just used to new jersey where not only is everything non smoking, but there are laws against smoking within so many feet of a building at all.
after a few hours and umpteen rides there was a debate over whether or not we were doing the water park. i was tired, it wasnt hot nor humid, but the boys insisted. they went off and put on their suits while i found a chair for our stuff and to relax. there were a TON of chairs practically surrounding the perimeter of the water park, and most were taken. i lucked out and was walking by as someone was taking their things off a chair. there are lockers for ersonal items outside the dressing rooms, but obviously nobody wanted to pay the dollar to use them. i would have if i was getting in water, but i just needed to sit.
the water park had to have been toddler2.0′s favorite part other than the spinning turtles. he LOVES water. a running sink can amuse him all day. he didnt care that it wasnt hot out, or even that his little lips were turning blue at one point. he wanted to play. child1.0 was having fun with the water slides and other props, and i had fun watching from my chair. of course going all day with no nap did not make for a fun experience trying to leave the water park, but we lived.
we even managed to get out of the gift shop without too much damage…child1.0 got a big lollipop with a dragon toy attached, and toddler2.0 gleefully got a giant snake (tss tss he calls it) with “dutch wonderland across the belly. the boys are already looking forward to going again next year. there are hotels right across the street for belly3.0 (who will be baby3.0 by then) and i, and a campground next to the park for the rest of them. what could be better than camping and amusement park in one weekend?