Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: CoCo Key

I don’t get out of town much.

It’s safe to say I rarely leave my county.

But getting out and about with family is important and when we heard that Orlando was getting a brand new water park just in time for the sweltering hot season to kick in, I knew I had found my chance to leave the farm.

So we packed up the car (and lets just say it was stuffed full of people, suitcases and enough stuff to keep any baby happy for a night) and headed down to tourist town to check out CoCo Key.

If you’re not familiar with CoCo Key it’s a hotel and water park combo that is packed with tropical decorations, tons of slides and kids running everywhere.

We knew Roo would have a blast.

Their official press packet says: “a fun and affordable option for families eager to experience the magic and wizardy of Orlando’s theme parks without breaking the bank.”

Checking in to CoCo Key took a little time even though the lobby was empty, but the service behind the counter was friendly.

The rooms are all freshly redone, complete with bright colors and big flat screen televisions. The beds, while soft, were high up off the ground making me nervous that Roo would roll right off of one in the middle of the night (thankfully she didn’t).

After we dumped our stuff in our room we made a beeline for the water park.

And we were happy we did.

Not your typical water park, CoCo Key is ¾ covered with a pavilion making those hot summer rays unnoticeable. The hugely tubed Parrots Perch is out in the sun, but there’s so much water gushing around that you stay too cool to notice.

Roo loved the slides as did my husband. He got the chance to actually relax and have fun. He tested out all the slides that I couldn’t manage with a newborn and gave them all a thumbs up.

Besides Parrot Perch, we spent most of our time at the Minnow Lagoon. It has a zero entry pool with water cannons and fountains for kids of all heights to frolic in.

CoCo Key has height restriction and offers lifejackets for kids that aren’t top notch swimmers. A great thing about the water park: tons of lifeguards. Seriously, tons. They are everywhere making even the most paranoid mamas feel safe.

Speaking of employees, the employees we encountered were split right down the middle and what I mean by that is half were great and the other half… not so great. The ones that worked in the pool (lifeguards) and those that worked inside the hotel (the lobby) were fabulous and super nice. The other half you had the hourly employees (food service) that really could care less about their jobs and made it known to the customers. I asked one of them a question and they told me “I don’t make the rules” and put a halt to our conversation.

Besides a few rude employees, we enjoyed ourselves. They had a great arcade where Roo delighted in throwing plastic balls all over the place.

Unfortunately, CoCo Key did have downside in being that the next morning, the water park didn’t open until 1:00pm! I had a sad toddler on my hands when I told her we couldn’t hang around until 1:00pm for the doors to open. Sure they had a regular pool you could visit, but after all the fun of the day before a standard pool doesn’t cut it.

CoCo Key’s standard room rates start at $99 and go up to $149. Water park passes must be purchased for hotel guests for $19 per room, per day for guests. Access to the water park is available for non-hotel staying guest for $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for Florida residents.

CoCo Key also offers free transportation for guests wanting to hit the local theme parks. Also note that CoCo Key is a cashless place where you wear wristbands that you can load with money so you don’t have to tote around your wallet in your swimming trunks.

Overall a great spot to spend the day and night, CoCo Key has something for everyone in the family.

CoCo Key is located at 7400 International Drive, Orlando Florida and reservations can be made by calling 877-875-4681 or online at CoCo Key’s website.

I received a free nights stay at CoCo Key in Orlando in exchange for a review with my honest opinion. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.


Erika said...

That sounds cool. A great vacation without going too far.

Erika said...

Also, I noted that starting in June, they go from 10-9, so those hours are a bit better for families.