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Friday, September 7, 2012

A Behind The Scenes Look At KeyLime Cove {review}

I've been to visit KeyLime Cove in Gurnee, IL in the past and had such an incredible time with my family there. If you'd like to see my first review, just click the link.

KeyLime Cove has started offering something new that really sets them apart from other water park resorts so they invited me back to check it out. They now give a behind the scenes tour to show their visitors exactly what goes into running the water park. Isn't that exciting? I couldn't wait to go on the tour, let alone take my family back to Keylime Cove. {Psst...I also have a great, money saving tip to share!! Keep reading!}

Are you ever concerned about the air quality and cleanliness of a water park when you visit with your kiddos? I know I am. I can't stand that *BAM* chlorine smell that smacks me in the face when I enter a water park. And I'm not going to lie, I have often worried about what happens if a child pees in a pool. I don't want my little ones swimming in filth but I also don't want their lungs to burn from the level of chlorine they inhale trying to keep that water clean.

Visitors who take the behind the scenes tour can have these concerns answered as well as many others. The staff at KeyLime wants you to see how they handle every aspect of their water park so that you and your family will feel more comfortable knowing that even the smallest detail is handled at 110% effort {that's my opinion speaking...not the tour guide. lol}
I took Alex with me on the tour of the water park and we were both pretty excited for it.  One of the first things we were shown was the top left picture in the collage above. The Climate Center signs are posted at every area of the water park as an effort to be completely transparent with visitors. At these signs, visitors can view the water temperature, the air temperature & humidity, and the time. As a prior visitor and a mom, I was even more happy with this resort after seeing the efforts they've taken to SHOW visitors why they've been given the awards and accolades they've received.
So what are some of the water park facts I learned on the tour? 
  • 420,120 gallons of water flow throughout the water park
  • The Lazy river is 560 feet of winding paths, passing by each area of the water park for a relaxing ride 
  • The tube slides are 45 feet high and 350 feet long
  • Hurricane’s Vortex is 45 feet high and 140 feet long
  • The pineapple splash bucket is 10 feet tall and holds 250 gallons of water, dumping every few minutes
  • The Maximum occupancy of the waterpark is 1,476 guests

And what is there to learn in the water park's pump room? 
  • The pump room is maintained by 5 full time technicians, who hand test water samples every 2 hours {The state of Illinois requires 2 checks per day}
  • The pump room has 18 pumps, 176 valves, and 42 gauges
  • The water is filtered through tanks of gravel and sand before it is treated with chemicals and ozone
  • Sand withing the tanks is cleaned by backwashing
  • A master computer system controls all underwater lighting, temperature, ozone, chemicals, valves and pressure
  • The system makes pure ozone, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency {EPA}as an antimicrobial disinfectant
When I was talking with Mitch, {who gave us the tour} he was telling me about the chlorine they use in the water park. If ozone is such a clean and safe way to treat water, then why use chlorine at all? Well, Keylime Cove is required to use a certain amount of chlorine in the water park for coding is every other water park resort. What's different at Keylime Cove though, is that they use the very minimum amount required and if that requirement weren't in place, they could operate solely on the ozone system.
Alex's favorite part of the tour was seeing the pump and pipes that control the wave pool. He was so intrigued by it all. The set-up can make any pattern of waves and could make waves so large the water would reach out to the wall of the water park. My favorite part was hearing about the traps where all the goodies are filtered out of the water. You know, things like credit cards, jewelry, money, and the likes are caught into these traps and then the traps are emptied out periodically. Our guide told me the biggest ticket item to be found was a diamond ring. 
Here's a sneak peak at the behind the scenes tour!

OK. I told you I would share with you a fun, money saving tip. As I was using the elevator to get up to our room from the lobby, I saw a sign on the wall that caught my eye. I made sure to take the hubster back to the same elevator so he could see it too since I thought it was such a great deal. He agreed and we headed down to the front desk to pick up our....Sunsational Savings Pass. For only $49, we were given a pass that gave us a lot more than $49 worth of swag.

The picture below is the sign I saw and is also what is on the back of this savings pass. You simply bring your pass to the place you want to use it and they put a hole punch in the activity you're claiming. 

This deal worked out perfectly for my family. Alex and the hubster used the arcade credits and claimed the airbrush tattoo while I took Eliana to the SPA!!! She was so excited and insisted that she wanted them to paint her toenails for her. {Yes, my nearly 3 year old wanted a pedicure.}

I took Eliana to The Enchanted Lagoon and claimed her spa service and "make your own product". As you can see, this spa is so perfect for young girls. It's bright and colorful with glitter everywhere and the cutest little girly touches to make it look just so. Eliana picked out her nail polish and had a seat, placing her little feet in the tub. When they were done soaking and scrubbing her feet, they put glitter lotion on her legs and feet and asked if she wanted some pink glitter to go over her pink nail polish. Eliana beamed at the thought. {lol}

Once her nails were dry, she walked over to the lip gloss stand where she made 2 little containers. She chose 2 scents and 2 different colors for them. Then, the girls at the salon helped her mix up her color and add in some glitter. Eliana was just beside herself when she saw the finished product. She said to me "Now I have my own lips, mommy".

For the record, let me just share a few things about this service and the $49 savings pass. The pedicure Eliana received is priced at $25 and the lip gloss set is $12.95. Quick math tells us that the total for that ONE punch in the savings pass was $37.95. So even if Alex only did the arcade and we used nothing else on the card, we would have saved some cash. But we still were given a free souvenir mug {it's huge} with unlimited refills, Alex got his airbrush tattoo, we used every credit we were given in the arcade and both of the kiddos got a small prize, we used our discount on dinner, and we would have cashed in that ice cream to split between the hubster and I but the night we planned on doing that, I wasn't feeling well at all and we were heading home the next morning. Still, we saved money and our family had a full experience at KeyLime Cove.

We also stayed in a different room this time than the first review I posted. This time, our room was the Mangrove Suite. It's a one bedroom suite with 2 queen beds and a fold out couch. It has a TV in the bedroom and on in the living room. There is a dining table with 4 chairs, a balcony with chairs, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a safe in the dresser drawer. 

We were quite cozy with plenty of room to move around without being on top of each other. We even found a little space where Mikayla's pack'n play fit just perfectly out of the way but still in the bedroom with the rest of us.

I know at this point I'm just gushing but I just want to throw out one more idea for you. I saw this cute, decorated door as I was heading down to the water park and did a little research. It turns out, Keylime Cove hosts birthday parties too! If you're looking for a fun idea, you may want to check into this option. Especially for a winter baby. This would make them feel like they're getting a party on the beach.

Alright, I'll let you go so you can make your reservations and plan to take your own behind the scenes tour. :)

** Thanks to Keylime Cove and it's PR firm, who gave us a complimentary 2 night's stay in exchange for an honest post. I received no other compensation and paid for food and extras during my stay out of pocket. My opinion is mine and mind alone. Others may not have the same experience or agree with my opinion. **



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