Zehnder's Splash village

 
frankenmuth, mi

For decades, The name "Zehnder" was synonymous with the legendary "Zehnder's Restaurant" and its addictively tasty Chicken dinners (which as of 2014 due to "Number of people served among all independent restaurants" was ranked #1 in the US!!  On average, serving over 900,000 lbs. of Chicken & 640 TONS of Cabbage!), but they would soon need to clear room on the mantle for another award.

After purchasing the "Bavarian Haus Motel" in 1988, a remodel took place in 1992, but it wasn't until 2005 when things started to really gain momentum with an indoor waterpark and 152 rooms added, Rebranding the Bavarian Haus "Zehnder's Splash Village".  At this point is where most establishments would go into cruise control, but like the Chicken dinners that made this family famous, they had to go bigger!

In 2014, the term "Going Big" gained a new meaning when new rooms, another food venue, outdoor pool and 30,000 sqft. of additional indoor waterpark madness under a retractable roof were added!

Splash Village

Then in 2018, US News awarded Splash Village the honor of being named one of the "Top 30 Indoor Waterparks In The World", yes that's not a typo, not in the US, but WORLD!  The Zehnder mantleplace is pretty awesome I should say!

And the 6 Kids Crew are here to see what all of the fuss is about!

Arrival & Check-In

 

We pulled up to the property via Bronner's Christmas Wonderland and Mj yelled "Guy's look at that!" and off in the distance about 100 yards away you could spot a two toned green tube twisting and curling from the top of a glass building and then disappearing behind a 2 story hotel block.

A collective gasp was had by all as we got closer and the magnitude of what was about to happen started to set in.  We pulled around the front and two more slides appeared out of the front of the building, This was about to be some serious fun!

The moment you step into the lobby you're cross into a land of wonder.  A floor to ceiling tree that Munchie said was "magical", Toadstools, Butterflies and fairies engulf the room.  While we checked-in the kids looked thru the lobby windows into the waterpark and couldn't wait to change and dive in!

 

Our Room

Splash Village has several room styles which is a big plus and selling point for large families like ours as we can keep everyone within one unit.  To underscore this benefit, we actually found two room styles that would work, the first being a Family Suite which had a big selling point of containing a window that would allow us to look directly into the Atrium portion of the waterpark and the second option being The Loft Suite, containing two Queen beds downstairs and a pullout sofa bed in the separate living room, a Queen bed upstairs, 3 Tv's, Fireplace, Microwave and Refrigerator.  We chose to settle for the latter as the sofabed and loft area would provide us with more space.  Splash Village also offers a Loft room with 2 bathrooms, we opted for the single, but next time will definitely go for the option.

We were highly impressed with our room! The kids loved the bed and their own seperate tv, while Vegas couldn't stop looking out of the window and pointing at the "Green Thingy".  The ole lady and I very much enjoyed our loft space as we could overlook the kids below, while still having our own area to ourselves.

 

The Waterpark (I mean waterparkS)

A common theme here is as Splash Village has 2 waterparks, 2 lazy rivers (a calm and relaxed one where you can float amongst oversized toadstools, butterflies, and other wildlife and gives the vibe that you have transported to Alice's Wonderland, and another located in the Atrium that is fast moving and sure to have your party trying to keep up should you get seperated). 2 Hot Tubs (one in each waterpark), 2 kids play areas, 2 Basketball areas and 2 Restaurants in the waterpark.

That's where the similarities end!  The main waterpark is fully themed and gives the aforementioned feeling that you've followed Alice into her Wonderland and the kids loved seeing the butterflies and pictures of various childrens characters on the walls.  This park contains Vegas's all time favorite waterpark feature, a huge play structure with water cannons, nets, slides and of course, the infamous huge water bucket that drenches everyone in its path once it tips!

The Atrium is the newest addition and contains a large watersports pool with basketball hoops and a volleyball net and several other fun things to do while splashing around!  However, the centerpiece of the whole complex we feel is located above your head, just a few steps above the main roofline.

Once you climb to the top of the steps, you have the option to ride one of 2 slides, the first being a drop slide called the "Super Loop Speed Slide" (They should've named this the "I Triple Dog Dare Ya" because that's all the kids did when they saw it), where you stand upright in a pod and the floor opens up under your feet, dropping you 4 stories straight down thru a 360 degree loop for 273 feet... O and its at what seems like Concorde esque speeds because its all over in 6.9 seconds!  Now do you understand why it should be called "I Triple Dog Dare Ya"?

Your second choice once you ascend the stairs is "The Green Thingy", known otherwise as the Tantrum Twist Slide.  This ride allows 4 people to ride together in a huge tube ride that sends you up the walls in which seems like you almost go vertical at times while waterfalls and sprays drench everyone riding along!  The cool thing about this ride aside from bordering on fun and terrifying, is that you can ride with your family (as long as they are 48 inches or over) allowing everyone to enjoy the thrill together!  Munchie isn't a fan of big enclosed slides and even she had a blast and wouldn't stop riding!

A few paragraphs honestly do this park a huge disservice as there is so much to do, there is no way the kids will get bored here.  Trust me, our kids get bored fast and we've been home now over 3 weeks and they are still talking about it!

Time To Eat

 

After our first day spent hitting all of the slides and attractions we were understandably famished and in search of something other than McDonald's for dinner and decided to give the Elf Hollow Cafe a try.  Located just off the lobby, the location was perfect so we changed and headed on down.

We got some pretty prime seats, right next to the windows for the Waterpark so the kids were stoked as they talked about their conquest on each slide while debating which they would tackle the following morning.  I was surprised while looking at the menu seeing the usual suspects of Pizza and Burgers, but there were several other items got our attention as they were unusual for Waterparks.

The kids ordered either Grilled Cheese or Pizza (both which came with a generous amount of fries for a kids meal), while Mj ordered the Nacho Supreme platter (served in what looked like a metal trough with enough toppings to make Costco proud), Charisse ordered the Street Tacos and I opted for the Chicken Wings.

Generally after spending a full day swimming, the kids will devour their food and search for something else to eat, but as a testament to the size of the kids meals, they filled up quickly and didn't ask for anything else!  Mj couldn't get enough of the Queso cheese & Charisse loved her tacos so much she ordered two of them To Go, not because she was still hungry, but incase the urge hit her for them in the middle of the night, which was smart because guess who was up at the microwave around 3 AM.... 😂🤣

Its also good to know that you can also order menu items via the Mushroom Grill and enjoy them in the Waterpark.  In what is one of the best deals we have seen at a resort, you can order 2 14 inch Cheese Pizza's for only $20!

 

Movie Time

After a full day in the waterpark and slamming down dinner at Elk Hollow, the kids were ready for bed BUT as we were leaving the restaurant the staff were setting up the lobby to show one of Munchies favorite movies, Sharktales!  So as the other kids made a B line back to the room, she and cousin Callie decided to hang around and check out the movie.  The fact that hot popcorn was being served also helped to cement their decision, in fact there were couches and seats available, But they ended up standing for most of the movie!

Movies are shown nightly in the lobby via projector just like a theater.  Make sure to check the schedule at the front desk to see what movie will be playing during your stay, bring some jammies and don't forget to grab some popcorn!

Regrets...

 

A few things for you to definitely put on your list to do during your trip to Splash Village that we regrettably didn't take advantage of:

  • Cabanas are available for rent in the Atrium Waterpark include everything you need to relax while the kids get waterlogged. With seating for upto 10 people and include a mini fridge, safe (no need to rent a locker) flat screen TV, lounge chairs, fan and food and beverage service.  This is a big perk you should consider, especially if you enjoy the waterpark during the day you checkout as you can keep all of your stuff with you and maximize your last day.

  • The arcade is huge and houses all of the coolest games your kids will want to play and rack up tickets on!  We unfortunately spent so much time doing other things, to the kids chagrin, we didn't make it into the arcade before our departure.

  • Take advantage of a package! The resort provides 2 optional packages, The Eat & Sleep, which includes an overnight stay, a Family Style Chicken Dinner at Zehnders restaurant and Breakfast at Elk Hollow the next morning or the Splashtastic 2 night getaway which includes Breakfast both mornings, A Pizza party pack Dinner one evening and a Family Style Chicken Dinner the next!  After we calculated how much we spent on breakfast and dinner for our 1 night stay, we could and should have upgraded to one of these packages and easily saved a heap of money!  Don't be like us!

  • "I Triple Dog Dare Ya" (aka the Super Loop Speed Slide), the kids have been talking about this slide since we got home as they were all too scared to ride and spent the whole time daring each other to.  They are now attempting to use this as leverage for us to go back.  So make sure you experience everything you can while you're there!

 

So Does The 6 Kids Crew Approve???

Uhhh.... HECK YEA!!!!

Splash Village definitely caters to all ages with fun!  Rather it be the wide range of comfortable lodging options to fit any size family, Free Movies at bedtime, Great food options that you generally won't find at these resorts and a waterpark that ensures fun for everyone from the thrill seeker down to the person that just wants to splash around!  Not pictured however is a huge outdoor swimming pool thats open seasonally right up under the "Green Thingy"!

 

We had a great time during this tour stop and will definitely make sure the tank swings back this way in the future!  After all, the kids still have to ride the "I Triple Dog Dare Ya" and I need to relax in one of those cabanas!

Tell us what you think and drop a comment below!!!

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