I should probably begin this post by saying that I am really not a big fan of swimming pools, water parks or beaches. Vacationing near or because of water is not high on my list of things to do. But my girls love pools, so when the opportunity to stay at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington- which is attached to the Waterpark of America- presented itself, we went.
The hotel is located quite near the Mall of America and IKEA. (Which means you can go shopping and leave the kids (and husband/babysitter, chaperone) at the waterpark. Of course the kids could have a great time at Nickelodeon Universe at the mall, too.
The hotel itself is easy to find- just look for the waterslides curving their way around the outside of the building.
The lobby is spacious and looks into the waterpark. You’ll want to unload your baggage when you check in as this is the only official hotel entrance- and there is no parking near this door. Our check in was quick and courteous; elevators are easy to find and plentiful so you won’t have to wait long.
I booked a deluxe room, described as this on the website: Deluxe Mall of America hotel rooms are ideal for families on the road and feature one king bed, sleeper sofa, two bunk beds with privacy curtain, activity table and chairs and all standard amenities. The room was quite a bit larger than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. Lots of room. The girls were quite excited about the bunk beds.
We also had a balcony overlooking the waterpark (if this is not specified in your room description I would make sure to request it).
The girls were content to sit and watch the excitement below as we unpacked and found everything we would need for our splashy-time fun.
Notes on the hotel:
- Room rates are available with or without waterpark passes. If you plan to use the waterpark while you are there make sure you purchase them with your room. Staying at the hotel does not give you automatic waterpark access.
- Rooms have wireless internet access at no extra charge.
- The Deluxe Room included a small refrigerator and microwave.
- Breakfast is not included in the room rate. The Split Rock Grille has a breakfast buffet: $11.95 ages 12 and up, $6.95 ages 4 to 12 and free for ages 3 and under. Room service is also available.
- Radisson is a Carlson property. Be sure you get the best price: learn about their online rate guarantee.
Waterpark of America
The Waterpark of America is open to both hotel guests and the general public so it can get busy. An all day pass is $24.95 and a half day pass is $14.95. (If you are staying in the hotel and need additional passes or didn’t get them with your room you get a 20% discount. You can also save 20% by booking your passes online 48 hours or more in advance.)
This is Minnesota’s largest indoor waterpark and features:
- A Flow Rider Surf Simulator
- The Lake Superior wave pool
- America’s longest indoor family raft ride, which is ten stories tall and over a mile long (which is fast and a bit scary for those of us who don’t like waterslides or roller coasters. My girls (ages 4 & 2) enjoyed it. As did my husband.)
- Several body & tube slides (single and double tubes available)
- Activity pools with hoops, nets and balancing logs
- Fort Snelling play area for smaller children featuring numerous places to climb, slide, and have fun; including a large bucket dumping 500 gallons of water every two and a half minutes
- A lovely “lazy river”. I could have just lounged on this for hours. (The only thing that would have made it nicer is a frozen beverage in a coconut shell.)
Locker rooms are located directly inside the entrance and locker rental is available for $3. The waterpark provides towels but they are very small. I would recommend bringing your own from home (don’t take them down from your room). And don’t forget a cover up, it is necessary if you pass through the lobby area.
If you don’t want to leave the waterpark to eat your meals Camp Many Point is right there in the waterpark. It features kid friendly items like corn dogs, burgers & fries, pizza, sandwiches and salads. The food is good but a bit expensive (too be expected in an amusement setting, though.)
The Waterpark of America is open exclusively to hotel guests from 9-10 am, one hour before the general public.
Would We Go Again?
Definitely. My girls had a great time which means I had a great time. They continue to talk about our time there and can’t wait to go back.