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We just returned from a fabulous staycation weekend at Splash Lagoon located a whole 45 minutes away in Erie, Pennsylvania! That’s right!!! It doesn’t get anymore staycation than that!!!
Our Splash Lagoon getaway was actually the very first time we have “traveled” anywhere since our last Disney Trip in February due to covid travel restrictions. We were itching for a getaway, but with pretty much every state on the New York travel ban list, our kid-friendly options were pretty slim.
Did we feel safe with all of the rules and regulations?!? What were the rules enforced?!? These were the questions I was flooded with on the gram so I figured I would write EVERYTHING out in one spot for y’all!!!!
I think it’s safe to say we all have a love/hate relationship with the damn things! Splash Lagoon is located in Pennsylvania, so they follow the Pennsylvania mask guidelines. You must wear a mask to enter the park. They actually have a mask check at the door.
Forgot you mask? No problem! They have a box of paper masks at the door and the attendant will give you one if you are in need.
Once inside, you can remove your mask when in the actual water park. You do not need wear the mask on any slides. You do however need your mask if you plan on ordering food. Playing any arcade games or decide to do any shopping.
Basically if you’re not in the water or walking around the actual waterpark between attractions or chasing kids, you need that mask on.
Splash Lagoon is running at half capacity That number still sounds large until you actually show up to the park. We arrived on a Saturday. A hotel is sold out Saturday so no day passes available and I was shocked at how little people half compacity actually was. It was literally a theme park dream come true. Shortest lines ever!!!!
When we arrived at 11am (opening) there was a line out the door (above). I was like omg! What did we get ourselves into!!?! But then quickly realized that the line was simply a mask check! Once inside, the waterpark was not crowded at all.
Each attraction has a limit. The wave pool was 103 guests. Basketball hoops, 34 guests. The lifeguards were keeping track too. While the wave pool never neared 103 people while we were there, the basketball hoops did later in the afternoon and they were turning kids away.
Security is also present. I spotted several guards asking lifeguards how many guests were in each pool. I overheard this happen several times at different spots around the waterpark. The security guards also walk around the arcade and lobby area making sure guests are wearing masks.
If your still not comfy with crowds after viewing the photos above, I would recommend showing up at opening. After waiting in the mask check line, there was literally no one at the park! We literally walked onto every slide. As it got closer to 4pm, hotel checkin time, the park did get a tad bit more people-y until people started leaving the park for dinner.
The drink policy!!! I’m sure everyone in NY/PA knows by now that drinks cannot be purchased without a food item due to covid. I was very curious how Splash Lagoon was going to handle this one since this literally went into effect 2 days before our trip.
The good news is, you can still get yourself a delicious drink at the bar located next to the wave pool. You can order two drinks with every food item. They offered pizza slices and hot pretzels.
The bad news, all those cute souvenir drink stands. Random beer spots?! Not there. I figured that would be the case, so when I didn’t spot my beloved coconut drink stand, I wasn’t heart broken since I was expecting it. I was just happy they did have a bar open!
Hooch & Blotto’s
Hooch & Blotto’s is the dining/bowling establishment attached to Splash Lagoon & the partner hotels. It’s always a must go place when we hit up Splash Lagoon. Love that there is a sit down dining option on property. Really gives you that vacation vibe since no driving necessary.
Like most restaurants, Hooch & Blotto’s is running at half capacity. Parties sit at every other table seemed to be their seating strategy.
We arrived for dinner and bowling a little after 5pm. While we were there, the restaurant was pretty empty. You can’t sit at the bar & only a few other families were dinning and bowling.
However, when we left, the place did start to fill up! I’m assuming the closer to 7pm (park closing) you get, the more people start piling in.
So if you plan on hitting up Hooch & Blotto’s for bowling during the evening, I would highly recommend making a reservation since they are operating at 50%. If you’re an early bird like us, you should be fine just showing up.
We had the pleasure of staying at the Holiday Inn Express which is connected the Splash Lagoon. When you first check in, there is a sign in the lobby that suggests only one member of each party check in for social distancing reasons. I was the only one checking in, so I’m not sure how strict this policy actually is, but my husband & daughter waited outside while I checked in.
Employees were also all wearing masks! You cannot enter the lobby without a mask on, so make sure you have one with you.
Elevators can only run with 3 people inside unless everyone is from the same household. From what I spotted, everyone was taking the stairs. Even us! We had a room right next to the stairs on the second floor, so it was the fast option for us. I’m assuming most other families took the stairs to avoid people. Not a bad idea if you ask me.
There were also hand sanitizer Stands throughout the hotel so you could randomly disinfect yourself.
The free Buffett breakfast that Holiday Inn Express is famous for however was a tad bit different. No buffet unfortunately, BUT you still get a hot breakfast. You wait in line and an employee hands you your food. Reminded me of a school cafeteria setup.
Unfortunately, this system was a tad bit chaotic for us. The line was pretty long, so we decided to skip the free breakfast and to just have an early lunch. HOWEVER, I do want to mention that this had nothing to do with us being scared of covid! The hotel did a great job handling the situation they were dealt with. It was just that long of a line and my daughter is not patient lol....
Did I fell covid safe at Splash Lagoon?!!! Absolutely!!! I honestly felt very safe once I was inside the park. Between the capacity limits and attraction limits, I never once felt uncomfortable. The only issue I can see anyone having is the long mask check line when you first enter the building since people were all over the place. I did however love that Splash Lagoon did hand out masks to people that did not wear one. No excuses not to follow rules and regulations.
Did I feel covid safe at Hooch & Blotto’s?!?! Yes! While we were there early & I can only speak for our experience, there was never a time we were even close to another party. Even bowling, they have it set up every other lane. You never come in contact with anyone outside of your party. You almost get VIP vibes since you’re so secluded from other people.
Did I feel covid safe at the Holiday Inn Express?!? Again, yes! Check in had social distancing rules in place. They enforce a mask policy. The only issue I can see anyone having is with the breakfast line. Then again, there probably isn’t any other way to handle such a thing, so the hotel is doing the best they can with the ever changing rules and regulations so I’m trying to be very understanding!
I would 100% recommend Splash Lagoon as a safe staycation spot for any families residing in New York & Pennsylvania. I honestly felt more safe at Splash Lagoon than I do at places like Walmart!
Have you taken a staycation lately?!? Where did you go?!
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