My husband and I want to take a winter vacation up to a water park resort. I know that Wisconsin is not in Lake County, but we all need to get away at some point! This will be our first water park vacation since the celiac disease diagnosis. I thought it would be easy to look up online which properties can best serve our dietary limits. But I only found one GF reference to a Wisconsin water park resort!! I found no information on resort websites nor on any blogs. So, I spent 5+ hours researching options. And I now want to share what I learned to save everyone some time. I was looking for a hotel/indoor water park property in Wisconsin with a pool suitable for young children. And because my kids like french fries, I asked specifically about their availability. Here's what I learned:
Timber Ridge (Lake Geneva)- no gf menu, very willing to accommodate but only offer naturally gf foods, can serve safe french fries, aware of safe cooking practices.
**UPDATED 2/28/10** Timber Ridge now offers a breakfast, lunch, & dinner GF menu at Smokey's restaurant (http://www.timberridgeresort.com/dining/smokeys-barbque/index.asp)
Blue Harbor (Sheboygan)- no gf menu, very accommodating, offered to cook us items that I bring like pancakes/pasta, no gf ice cream options, can serve french fries.
Chula Vista (WI Dells)- no gf menu, offered to be very accommodating but can only provide oven-cooked items. No fries, no ice cream. At breakfast there is only a buffet with no option for cook-to-order food.
The Wilderness (WI Dells)- no gf menu, very UNaccommodating, told me that they will bend their rules and allow me to bring my own food into their water park and restaurants. I actually think that Jay who returned my call did not work in food & beverage and was probably not the best person to respond to me.
Kalahari (WI Dells)-they have 2 gf menus, aware of safe cooking practices, no french fries, only serve naturally gf food. For example, menu lists BLT sandwich (hold the bread/hold the fries) and a panini (hold the bread/hold the fries)-- can you picture what is left?!?. Only safe starches are mashed/baked potatoes. Possibly an OK option for an older child/adult. http://www.kalahariresorts.com/wi/
Great Wolf Lodge (WI Dells)- they have a gf menu, VERY accommodating, they prepare gf pizza, gf pasta, gf pancakes, gf sandwich wraps, gf brownies/baked goods. John Williams is the food & beverage manager- everything gf they make to order from scratch (including pizza dough) so it takes longer to sanitize cooking area and cook from scratch. Baked gf goodies ARE available in their sweet shop but kept in a separate area. And yes, they have safe french fries. Reportedly there is a website re-design coming soon that will include this wonderful GF information.
So, come February, off we go to the Great Wolf Lodge! I will report back upon our return.