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Reader Review of Great Wolf Lodge (Part 2 of 2)

This is post is a continuation of this one here if you’d like to catch up. Coffee with Julie reader Sarah McCormack of Photos with Sarah is sharing her recent experience at Great Wolf Lodge with us!
The water park itself was incredible, lots of slides for all age groups. I would recommend it for children ages 3-13.   Although there are some big, thrilling slides, they may not be as thrilling for teenagers, although there were many enjoying them when we were there. I guess it really depends on your child.

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

The web site includes descriptions of all the slides, and also height guidelines which are good to check out before you go, so you won’t be disapointed.  Our (average height) boys were tall enough for all the slides without an adult or life-jacket, so they were very happy. The line-ups for the big slides were very short, the longest we waited was probably 10 minutes. Most often, there was no line-ups at all. We also really enjoyed the lazy river, activity pools, and lily pads (that you had to try to walk/run/ hop across the pool on).

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

They also had 2 hot tubs…one for adults only, which were nice and a pool area for little ones as well.  We found, for us, the water park was good for about 4 hours max, and then the warm temperatures started to make you feel a bit light headed and you needed to take a break for a while. Also, both our boys had very sore, red eyes in the evenings, so goggles may be a good idea if you children are sensitive to chlorine. There are many lifeguards around the park who were all very attentive and friendly. The entire hotel, including the pool area was very clean.
We had pre-purchased the breakfast package when we booked our room so we ate a buffet breakfast at the hotel in the “Loose Moose Cottage” each morning. We never had to wait for a table and the food was very good with lots of choices.  They also have a dinner buffet, but we chose instead to go into town (about 5 minutes drive) and eat outside the hotel, which was not only cheaper, but less food. Two buffets in one day is a lot!  They do have a pizza take-out in the hotel where you can get a large pizza and have it in your room and also a Pizza Hut Express which we enjoyed the first night.  They also have a Starbucks, by the hotel lobby, only steps from our room, a big a perk for me!  We did also have a fridge and microwave in our room, so you could bring your own food if that is your liking.

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

One of the things I really enjoyed were the wristbands they gave you at check-in. Not only are they your entry to the pool area, they also serve as your room key, and if you choose, as a charge-card for all your expenses throughout the hotel. I loved not ever having to worry about my room key or having to bring a wallet. They make it very easy to spend money, which is very smart of them, but also very convenient for you! I would really like one of those in real life, perhaps with my car key on it!
Let me be very clear… this is a hotel full of families, and a trip for the KIDS!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the water slides myself  (and for a break, you could visit the Spa or the 100 store Outlet Mall down the street),  but I also longed for our usual March break adventures in New York city. This trip was one for the boys, and they gave it a 10, and seeing them have so much fun was so much fun for us! Actually,  I really wished we had gone years ago so we could have returned many times.  They offer a lot of activities for young children, including crafts, bingo and story time by the fire (in your p.j.’s) every evening that my boys weren’t too interested in, but would have loved a few years ago. They did sit through one round of the “Great Clock Show” in the lobby, but it was more for the little ones too.
If you are considering a future trip, I would recommend booking for 2 nights, and doing so during the “winter” months. Although they do have some outdoor pool areas, they are nothing special. What is special is leaving behind your winter boots, driving a short distance and spending 3 days by the pool in flip flops! I think two nights is plenty of time to enjoy all the amenities, especially if you take advantage of their early check in and late check out. They also have a “one night, two days” offer if that better suits the budget. As far as cost, everyone has a different opinion (and different budget) regarding what is an affordable family holiday. This is not an inexpensive holiday, but I found it to be reasonable. They do occasionally offer discounts on the web site so it’s worth keeping an eye out for those. We are hoping to return next year for one more night of Great Wolf Lodge fun,  on our way back from New York hopefully!

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

What do you think? Sarah has convinced me that it’s worth a trip! Have you been before?


  1. Thanks for all of your helpful hints…your article will surely help me plan our visit to what sounds like a great next family vacation!

  2. Shauna Rae says:

    Had a family discussion about yesterday’s post at dinner last night.  Today’s reaffirms this is a definite addition to our must-do list.  Thanks for the excellent post.

  3. What an informative write up, you’ve captured all the GWL has to offer ! I am anticiapting another trip this summer with the kids :)

  4. Catherine says:

    I wish I had shared in this adventure!  My children are the perfect age for this trip.  Thanks Sarah for your report!

  5. Looks like so much fun! Looks like the kids had lots of fun!

  6. Thanks Sarah for sharing your adventure with us, after reading your article and looking at your pictures, this looks like the perfect vacation for our family!!!!!….

  7. Our twins just turned 3 and this is definitely on our list of things to do with them!  Sarah has provides us with a lot of information and good tips.  Everything sounds great and I think the girls would have a lot of fun……….I may also plan a shopping expedition and a trip to the spa and leave my princesses with Daddy for an afternoon!

  8. Sounds like a lot of fun.

  9. Katie Squires says:

    We went a few weeks ago (family of 4, kids 3 and 5) and had a BLAST!  Its our second time and we LOVE IT, great entertainment for the family.  The kids really love story time.  We really enjoyed playing Magic Quest! All though, next time I would not buy 4 wands and go with just two for the kids, we didn’t need 4 and it was quite expensive. 

  10. Looks like a fun place to bring the kids and awaken the kid within.  I want to try those lilly pads.  Very fun idea for future trips.

  11. Thanks Sarah, all good to know- How were the rooms? Clean and how big? Do you think that my only would be ok without a playmate?

    • Glynis-  the rooms were very large (ours slept 6) and i found it to be very clean. (however, we all have different standards with these things I suppose!)

      It’s a great place to go with other friends with kids if you are worried about playmates The hotel appeared to accomodate this well….. i always noticed multi-family (and extended family) groups at breakfast. 


  12. Alexandrag says:

    Sign me up!  Sounds like my kids would love it.  Thanks Sarah.

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