Looking for something fun to do in nearby Ohio? In the spirit of Great Wolf Lodge, Columbus, Ohio’s new Fort Rapids Resort and Indoor Water park is a destination in itself. A converted Holiday Inn, at 4560 Hilton Corporate Drive, turned Disney style resort, this water park is a blast.
My family and I decided to stay at the water park last week for four nights, while in the city for a conference. After a good deal of research which turned up a great variety of truly lacklustre motels, we happened on this one and took our chances booking on the Internet.
Prices at Fort Rapids were only slightly higher than those at motels like the Hyatt and the Red Roof Inn – we paid about $200 a night – and the bunk beds alone (see lower picture) were enough to win my girls over. Also included in the price of our stay was unlimited use of the water attractions. While the room was not without some problems, staff at the resort were incredibly friendly and helpful. Fruit flies were present in the first room we checked into and the room itself was hastily cleaned at best. So when the plumbing in the bathroom was an issue, we complained and were quickly moved to another room on the same floor. The complaint was effectively resolved and the manager was understanding.
The on site Gold Mine Arcade was a lot of fun for my kids. My husband and I enjoyed it too. The water park area itself is 60,000 square feet of adrenaline-inducing thrilling fun.
There’s absolutely something for everyone and the activity pool (slightly warmer than other areas) was a big draw for my five-year-old who swims like a fish and loved the basketball nets on the side. Blackout pass was one of the fiercest waterslides I’ve ever seen and while my husband tried it a couple of times, it was much too daring for me. Height restrictions were in place that prevented either one of my daughters (5 and 8) from riding this particular slide, but the rest of the slides were fair game.
The children’s area Kiddie Corral had several pint-sized waterslides and the park itself was well supervised and clean. Tubes and mats are available and included in the cost of the water park. We stayed in a Cisco Kid bunkroom with children’s bunk beds that were sort of separate from the main room and well worth the money. Our package for $200 a night included unrestricted access every day to the water actvities. A particular hit was the gigantic bucket that periodically tipped over soaking everyone underneath.
This is the Kiddie Corral – as you can see Ainsley loved it. If I had one complaint about Fort Rapids it would be that the food itself was not great. The pub on site had burgers and fries and children’s meals, but meals were slow and the menu was unappealing. There are however, dozens of restaurants nearby. Big Boy, Olive Garden and Red Lobster were all within a five minute drive.
The Cisco Kid Bunk room. This property was previously a Holiday Inn renovated about 1 1/2 years ago. Rooms aren’t brand new or super fancy, but fun and family friendly nonetheless.
Fort Rapids Resort Rating
I give Fort Rapids Resort and Waterpark $$$$ out of $$$$$. Well worth the money.
Check in time at 4 p.m. and hours of operation most days are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for water park.