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“Great place.....with a few problems.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   10401 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, KS 66111   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 19 hotels in Kansas City
Coweta, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Great place.....with a few problems.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

We have been planning our trip to Great Wolf for quite sometime. We stayed in the Kid Cabin for 4 nights; $300.00 per night. Great Wolf is a very kid friend hotel, geared towards kids....lots of fun things to do. Other than the terrific water park, the kids absolutely loved MagiQuest!! I took the girls to the Scoops Spa. I highly recommend that! A little pricey, but fun. The food in the main restaurant was pretty good, the service was good. I thought the snack stand in the water park area was very pricey for what you got. $8.00 for a re-fillable cup of soda, $10.00 if you want it filled with Icee. They get you there because they do not allow ANY outside food or drinks. The cups are re-fillable for a price. Bear Paw Sweets and Treats was very appealing but very expensive. ONE of the items we bought was a caramel apple. When we got it back to our room, we could not even bite into it. One employee in the shop said "yes they are all like that". Another employee told us to pick out something different. We did have some problems. The outlet for the coffee pot did not work, the wall lamp by the bed did not work, and our bed was worse than terrible!! When I complained at the front desk about the bed I was told that was a common complaint and the beds were all going to be replaced. Let's hope so. Also, we had to ask for our room to be cleaned and for clean towels. The second day we had to ask 4 times...with the 4th time going to the front desk. Now....we had a major upset with one of the employees. This hotel is HIGHLY kid friendly, but an employee did something that was not acceptable at all....weather kid friendly or not. I will not go into detail because I have been assured by management that this was not acceptable and the employee was reprimanded. The staff was very complying on this situation. So, would I go back? Yes!! It is a great hotel if you are traveling with children. Our kids are already planning when we can go back!

Room Tip: If we go back we would get the same room that we got this time (Kid Cabin) except we would choose a...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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569 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

Booked a family stay-cation at GWL. Have heard so much about it, but never tried it. Let's just say that other than fun cousin time, this place is overrated! We only found one employee that seemed to enjoy her job and the rest were clearly not happy to be there. The story time for kids was appalling! I almost grabbed the book and took over. Definite waste of time - don't leave park early for this. Park itself is ok, sub par food and terrible locker rooms. My local city pool has better and more private accommodations. Overall, we were very disappointed considering what we paid to stay here.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Kansas City, Kansas
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Cute place, but not worth $200 + a night. The family suites are small, bathrooms very outdated. Beds are horrible. Didn't feel pampered and wanted to be for the price. There seems to be different packages but not enough information on them, we would find out the better deals after the fact. keep in mind the waterpark does come with the room but there are a lot of other waterpark resorts that are cheeper for what we got here.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Wichita, Kansas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

When we exited the highway and came within sight of the GWL, my 2 year old started pointing and yelling "Please, please, please!" from the back seat. We enjoyed our 1st Great Wolf experience and we will likely return for many years to come. The hotel was definitely kid-oriented and the staff was fantastic. The toddler area of the water park left my child a bit bored - we only stayed for about an hour and a half - but the older kids seemed to be enjoying everything. The life guards were very watchful and were quick to call out rule-breakers. The hotel room was just fine - the carpets were a little stained, but the whole place is aimed at kids, so I wasn't exactly surprised. The room could have been a bit more child-proofed, however. The phone was easily accessible on a bedside table and I was constantly taking it away from my toddler. The same for the room's thermostat, which was mounted on the AC unit - she spent a lot of time pressing the buttons, so we had a hard time keeping the room temperature comfortable (totally our fault since she played with the thermostat, but it could have been prevented if the thermostat had been wall-mounted). Pointing out those issues may make this seem like a negative review, but it is definitely not - they are just a few things to be aware of if you're planning a stay with a younger child. Overall, we had a great night, and we will be back!

Room Tip: Higher rooms will be further away from the water park and any associated noise, but that wasn't...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Belleville, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

I agree with most of the other reviews. Nice place, our room was clean etc. but very expensive for what it is. I think they could either throw in a free breakfast or MagicQuest or something when you are paying almost $300 for a room.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wenham, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We stayed for one night prior to joining up for a family reunion at another location. The Great Wolf Lodge was about $100 more than the hotel for our family reunion, but it came with two day admission for 4 people to a great water park, convenience, and a family friendly atmosphere.
We were delighted to learn the admission to the MagiQuest was only $12 for 4-full days (when you already own a wand...these will set you back another $12-20). This price was a bargain compared to the $12 for one hour we paid at a Tennessee location.
The pool side food service was very slow, but they could accommodate a gluten-free dinner with a hamburger/hot dog bun or pizza. And the superviser on duty at the pool-side bar was very, very friendly and helpful!
The regular queen-size room was comfortable and clean. They provide a "bathroom" sink in the room...convenient for groups getting ready, but makes a small bathroom. The deck only had one chair, but we only used it to dry our swim suits over night.
If you're staying a few days, there is a minor league baseball team, the KS T-Bones, within walking distance. Next-time we hope they're in town. Of course the Legends shopping area provides all the restaurants you could possibly need.
If you're traveling with girls, there is a girl focused spa. An adult pedicure was over $40, which I thought was a bit high...children's prices are more reasonable.

Room Tip: You don't want to be near the center elevators as people are playing MagiQuest right there from...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

First, let me say that I applaud this company for attempting to develop what I would call a "Disney"-grade product. The concept, theme, architecture -- all of it is well put together and implemented, in general. Although I am a bit biased towards Disney, this chain gets an A- from me in terms of "concept". Service is another issue. If you are going to charge a premium price, the guest experience better back it up.

After coming highly recommended by several family friends and despite the sticker shock, we took the plunge with our two kids and decided to make a weekend out of visiting Great Wolf KC. We paid over $300 w/tax for one night in a kid-themed upgraded room, about $50 more than the most basic room we could have gotten -- and that was after a 20% discount after finding an obscure online coupon. Keeping in mind, of course, the price includes water park admission for day of arrival after 1pm as well as checkout day all the way to closing, if you choose to stay that late. Either way, not exactly cheap.

My entire family was impressed by the place when we first arrived. We even filmed the kids opening the door to the kid-themed room which had a mock-canvas tent area and bunk beds. Kids were over the moon. That was unfortunately our highlight of the trip.

We arrived just after lunchtime and hadn't eaten yet. We went to the main restaurant on site to see if we could scavenge up some lunch. No dice -- no host/hostess, 1 waiter (likely the bartender) was scrambling to serve several tables all by themself. After standing around for a few minutes waiting to get acknowledged, we wrote the place off and went to the waterpark area.

Waterpark is definitely a big plus. Lots of fun for the kids -- even a kid-friendly hot tub (not exactly *hot*, but warm enough). Some of the water features were showing a little wear and tear. Hopefully refurbishment is on their to do list.

Eventually found some food at the water park snack counter. Wife ordered a grilled chicken ceasar salad which we were told had to be cooked -- okay, fair enough, nice that it wasn't under a heat lamp like the rest of the food. Went to look for seats (suggestion: get a table early in the morning, people claim tables early in the day and hoard them, near impossible to find mid-day) which we eventually found on the complete opposite side of the water park -- just so we could sit and eat! Wife made the long round trip back to the counter and returned with her salad, only to find out that the lettuce and croutons had been pre-made and left in the fridge. Everything was soggy and gross. She ended up munching on our kids' meals, not wanting to waste another long trip back to the counter.

Skipped dinner on site entirely -- not wanting to risk it -- went elsewhere to eat. Ironically, when we went to check out, however, we had a dinner bill charged to our room (!) -- which they quickly removed. Signs posted everywhere that "hibernation hours are from 11pm to 7am". Nice of them to post, but the structure was obviously built with wood -- like one other reviewer posted, you can hear every step from the floor above. As luck would have it, someone was having a junior gymnastics competition in the room upstars at 10pm at night while our kids were trying to go to sleep. We didn't bother to complain, but an annoyance at the least.

Beds are tiny. Who puts a full/double size bed in a hotel where people are paying $200-300/night? Water park or not, this place was billed as a premium experience. Sleeping on a tiny double-size bed (if it was even that big) was less than enjoyable. Queen or King!!

And when we thought we were just a little underwhelmed by the whole experience this far, breakfast the next morning was the last straw. We arrived at the main reastaurant area for the breakfast buffet in the morning and found the complete opposite of the previous day's experience. The line was 20+ people deep waiting to check in with the hostess, not counting hotel patrons everywhere waiting their turn for a table. We overheard the hostess apologize to people that she was the only hostess that day and was working as fast as she could.

Once seated, we realized the entire restaurant wasn't being fully utilized -- they just didn't have enough servers. For a buffet? On a weekend with a hotel full of people?? And when we thought it could not seem more ridiculous, they started to run out of food!! We went back for some additional breakfast items only to find that half the buffet had run out of food. We chose to get some cereal instead for our kids as they were still a little hungry and took the last two clean bowls in the entire buffet.

We joked about the experience, gave up on eating any more and I told my wife I'd round up some coffee from the hotel coffee shop/bakery if she would take the kids back to the room and get dressed for swimming again. After going to the coffee shop and ordering some drinks (Mochas, etc) -- you guessed it! -- the espresso machine was broken. They had regular coffee and whatever was bottled for retail in the fridge. I laughed and went to the room.

My wife convinced me to write a letter to the company, which I rarely do, but after $300+ for one night.. I was a little more than just disappointed. I found the CEO's email after doing a little homework online (sorry, not going to share) and sent an email that said all of the above, almost verbatim. I never got an email rejection notice so I assume it made it, but wasn't sure until today. Never heard from teh CEO or any reps. Over two and a half weeks after I sent my email, I get a random phone call from the food and beverage manager at Great Wolf Kansas City asking me to return his call and tell him what went wrong with our stay. If you've bothered to read this far, does that not sound like a silly question?

All in all a nice concept, but the actual experience did not justify the cost by any stretch of the imagination. Add to this the locaition in KC is starting to look a bit tired. Our room had the first "tube" television that I've seen in a hotel in the past few years. I've been in Best Westerns that had newer equipment!

Needless to say, I don't think we'll be returning to any of their properties. If you want a great experience, go to Disney World or Disneyland. You'll pay through the nose, but you'll at least get what you pay for.

Room Tip: Get a top floor room -- structure made of wood, you can hear every step of those above you.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Kansas City
Great Wolf Hotel
Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
Great Wolf Kansas City
Address: 10401 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, KS 66111
Location: United States > Kansas > Kansas City
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 19 hotels in Kansas City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
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