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“Great Weekend Trip at the GWL” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   20500 Old Highway 99, SW, Centralia, WA 98531   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 10 hotels in Centralia
Surrey, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great Weekend Trip at the GWL”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

This was our third trip to GWL (Grand Mound). I took my 2 daughters, ages 8 and 11, for a girls weekend away. It's about a 3.5 hour trip from the Lower Mainland, as long as you avoid Seattle rush hour traffic! I recommend taking the I405 around Seattle, and using the HOV lanes whenever possible.
We booked a trip from Sunday to Tuesday, as we had a professional day on Monday. To get the best rates try booking during slow seasons, during the week, and avoiding Fridays and Saturdays as well as major holidays. We booked a Family Suite (the cheapest room) for approx. $160/night. This is usually the cheapest rate you'll find. It was great being there on a Monday/Tuesday. Many guests were just leaving as we arrived, so it wasn't too crowded at all.
I requested a ground floor room with a patio (as recommended by another reviewer), and I was very happy with it. We never had to use the elevators to get to our room and it was a quick walk to the Waterpark, lobby, restaurants or MagiQuest shop.
You can park your car close to your room and just bring everything in the sliding door. Very convenient! The sliding door has a metal bar to lock it, so little kids couldn't open it too easily.
The ground floor rooms have wonderful high ceilings, so they are very bright and spacious-feeling. Even the kids commented on how big the room was compared to the usual Family Suites we've stayed in previously.
I was concerned that being on the ground floor, there might be noise from the parking lot, or people smoking outside, but there was no issue at all with either concern. The sliding door was pretty sound-proof, and I never smelled any cigarette smoke at all. (We were on the front side, not the highway side of the building)
The kids enjoy the waterpark, especially the wavepool with it's alternating regular waves and 'crazy' waves! It makes me queasy though...
Our favorite slide is River Canyon Run, especially at night when it has coloured lights and rocking music. Be sure to bring a cover up for when you are walking back to your room. There are small towels at the waterpark, but you can't take them out of the waterpark. I also recommend taking your swimsuits to the water extractor machines that are outside the change rooms. They will dry much more quickly.
We spent far more time with MagiQuest than the waterpark though. My kids have done all the wand quests, so the bought Compass Quest this time. The quests were a bit harder (all have a time limit), but the finished them all up before we left.
We enjoy the breakfast buffet, and it is more economical to add it to your booking when making your reservation ($10/person). There is a good selection of hot and cold foods.
I particularly noticed how helpful and pleasant all the staff member were on this trip. All the front desk staff would smile and ask how they could help when I approached them.
Special kudos to the lifeguards at the bottom of the waterslides. They would say "Did you have fun?" or "Have a Great Wolf day!" whenever they helped us at the end of our rides!
Also, the MagiQuest staff...wow...how they put up with kids pestering them with questions all day long is beyond me! Shout outs to Magi "Sandwich of Chaos" and Magi "Fluffysocks of Doom". They were really helpful and lots of fun. Huzzah!
The only reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is because there were some candy wrappers on the carpet of our room at check in, and there isn't a good selection of healthy foods on site (except for breakfast).

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms have high ceilings and are accessible from the parking lot.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (198)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
West Jordan, UT
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Me, my four girls and a family friend made the 2 1/2 hour trip just to check out this water park/hotel. Naturally it was fun, but I can't say I would go out of my way to spend as much as I did for the adventure. The hotel/waterpark can be pricey for one's budget. We enjoyed the waterpark and the comfortable water (82 degrees), and I'm glad we only stayed one night because you can get rather tired of doing the same water rides over and over again. The magiquest game was very fun. As a note to others wondering about the wands. You can buy used ones online because the data that's stored within each wand is easily erased after the cashier at the quest games' beginning asks you more than once, "Are you sure you want to erase the previous data?" This game is a lot of fun and I do recommend getting a couple of wands, if you have some older kids. We had a total of 3 wands for the 6 of us and it was perfect. My younger kids want 'Dad" next time but because I think the park is so overrated I don't think that it will happen all too soon. The hotel offers refrigerators so we brought our own food, just as so many other guests do. We found several restaurants nearby too.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
seattle, wa
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We went just for an overnight Sat-Sun, our family of 3 had a great time. This is a great place for family get togethers. It's very safe, all the kids are well looked after throughout the resort by resort staff, almost like a cruise ship. Grown ups can hang out and talk while kids go off and play. Very clean and well maintained with a large lobby area that looks out onto the waterpark. This would be a great winter getaway !!

Some helpful tips:

Check in:
Do this on-line to speed your arrival up
Everyone gets a wristband that acts as a door key and a debit card, so most kids can run
around freely (like Disney or a cruise ship) and get snacks and drinks without being tied to Mom
and Dad

Food:
The pizza is a popular things with teens, they can order, pay and pick up themselves. There
are a couple of bars for the grown-ups. The breakfast buffet is $13.99 for adults and had a
huge selection of food; make your own omelette, eggs your way, bacon sausage, potatoes
made a couple of different ways, fresh fruits, yogurts, hot and cold cereals, donuts, muffins,
breads.... it was worth the price. There is a burger place right next door too.

The Waterpark:
Plenty of play areas for all ages, a wave pool, a tiny tot play area, a water works with a large
bucket that spills over for a flood-like event and 2 smaller slides you don't need tubes for, a
pool area with large climb-on soft play areas and basketball court with super soft smaller
basketballs, 4 slides with 2 carry your own tube and 2 you get at the top, and an indoor/outdoor
hot tub. It's comfy inside the water area, like 82 degrees. There is a bar inside the pool area
too...Lots of places to sit and watch the kids play. Tons of towels there, no need to bring any.

Rooms:
Have a fridge, so feel free to brings drinks and snacks along. Try to get a room away from the
elevators, they get busy. There is a fitness center too.

MagiQuest:
Yes, it's spendy, but all kids have a great time. It's one of those things about a resort that's best
to plan a budget for than freak out about once you get there.

Local Area:
Centralia town center is 5 minutes up the road, with alternative dining choices, a large Safeway,
and an outlet mall to visit after a day of play in the water.

Room Tip: Try to stay away from the elevators
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Granite Falls, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We took our duaghter there for her 9th Birthday. I set up reservations online and when I set it up I realized that I had put it for the wrong weekend. In a panic I contacted the online help and they were quick and polite on getting it set for the actual date. (9/7 instead of 9/14). Kept me out of the dog house.

When we arrived about 1:30pm we knew that check-in was not until 4pm depending in room availability. BUt we were able to check-in. The lady at the check in was very polite and went over the rules of the resort. Rule #1 was kids should be loud and have as much fun as possible. She also explained to us should our daughter get lost where to go and that ALL staff has passed background checks. Put us at ease.

Got our daughter a "Paw Pass". Worth it for your child to get. $60 for almost $100 dollors in souviniers and projects.

The Magiquest game is an interactive game that has you and your child roaming over the resort using a wand to find objects to complete your quests. Seems that it is never ending. So easy to get lost in the game and before you know it, you've walked 10 miles and still want to play.

The water park is great!!! The wave pool, the slides and 1000 gallon bucket of water that dumps over a water area. Constantly 84 degrees.

We found the food to be resonably priced and very delicious.

I've seen some people complain of the noise at the resort. REALLY? A resort for kids with noise? WOW? Who would have thought? How can you be such a prude and complain about a kid themed resort.

Would I come back? ABSOLUTELY!!! This is such a great place to spend time with your family.

Rooms are a little pricey but that is the norm any more. Bed was so comfortable and slept so great.

Go with your kids and be a kid yourself. You don't get these chances when they grow up.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Fife, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

The Great Wolf Lodge was water park fun for the entire family.

Of course it's over priced, but so are other "resort" type hotels. Those wanting to save money should plan ahead and bring their own food and/or snacks as many rooms have a microwave and refrigerator.

I read several reviews warning that the food at the lodge was horrible. I found the food to be acceptable. We ate dinner at the Loose Moose Cottage and it was good. The breakfast buffet the next morning was excellent.

We stayed only one night and that was plenty. We checked in just after 1:00 p.m. and were going down our first slide by 2:00 p.m. After check out, guests are allowed to use the park until 9:00 p.m. So, for the price of one night you get almost two full days of water park fun.

We upgraded our room upon check in and ended up in the one bedroom suite. It very nice and had a gas fireplace. Our room also had a microwave and small refrigerator.

Overall, the Lodge provided fun for the entire family.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We just got back from spending two nights at The Great Wolf Lodge (9/1-9/3). It was Labor Day weekend and I must say that the staff did a great job keeping things flowing. We did the online check-in which did help us avoid a 30 minute line when we got there. Off to the far right there is a single line for online check-in and they had our welcome packet with our wristbands and room keys ready and waiting for us. EASY

Our room was ready early and was very clean. We got the basic room with an option to upgrade if there was space-which there wasn't as they were at capacity both nights we were there. The room was fine. Two queen beds and a pull out sofa sleeper. There were three adults and two kids (10 and 3) in our party and we were very comfortable.

The room had a microwave and a small refridgerator so we were able to make a stop a Costco on our way and avoid the hotel food for the most part. After arriving and reading the materials in the room I saw that it said we weren't supposed to bring in outside food...oops. Well I saw lots of people bringing coolers up to their rooms during check-in so I have to assume it isn't really enforced. (we had two coolers lol)

We did eat at the buffet one night...it was fine. On par with Royal Fork..I would say. Lots of food to keep the kids happy.

Storytime was fun for my 3 yr. old...my 10 yr. old wasn't interested and wanted to keep playing the magic quest game. There were enough fun animals around the hotel to keep little ones excited for awhile. It was a little crazy having so many kids running around waving plastic wands but they were really having a good time. I embraced the game as a good way to get some time with my son and get some exercise. I got both....don't be a wimp and take the elevators...sweat it out on the stairs. lol After my son finished the game his little sister had a great time playing with his wand (she was able to point it at the different game pieces and activate them/light them up). It was well worth the 30.00 for me.

We took my daughter to the Cub Club a few times so that she could play and color while her brother was playing his game. The staff was friendly, welcoming and helpful. She didn't do any of the crafts that cost extra...just colored and played in their play area. Good enough for her.

We didn't do the arcade...between the waterpark and the magic quest game we were busy and tired by the time bedtime came.

The waterpark was ok. I guess I wasn't hugely impressed. There are 5 "play zones"a wave pool, a small swim area, a toddler play area and a water tower you can climb and the waterslides. They make it look A LOT bigger online. There are two small slides for toddlers in the toddler play area, two medium slides for kids 4-9 coming off the water tower (my judgement for age) and four large slides off to the side.

We are big fans of Disney World and for the nightly cost of what we paid we get much more at Disney World. It was themed similar to what you would find at Disneyworld or Disneyland but just a little more run down. *a little rust here and there...chipped wood on the stairs...enough to notice but not enough to cause worry about safety or use. They kept closing the wave pool for long periods (no idea why) and then clearing out the kiddie play area for 10 or 15 minutes every 2 hours. The lifeguards would just stand there and keep people out..but not explain why. I thought it was a little strange. There were LOTS of little kids in the toddler play area and nowhere for them to go when the play area was closed except the wave pool...which was way too much for some of the little ones. Apart from that, the lifeguards were very attentive and helpful with the kids. The assistants helping with the waterslides were very friendly and helping the guests to have a good time.

Oh, and it was really nice having a Starbucks on site.

It was a fun weekend...nice that it only took us 3 hours to drive there. I don't think we will be back again though. We can fly our family of 4 to Disneyworld for 7 nights for less than 4K...or we can go to GreatWolf for 2 nights and spend 700...hmmm I think we will stick with Disneyworld.

Room Tip: Get rooms on the lower floors if possible so you can take the stairs. The elevators are extremely s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

This trip was all for the kids. We didn't have a chunk of time open for a long family vaca this year, so for the last summer hurrah we surprised our two boys with a trip here (age 9 and nearly 6). We paid a small fortune for our room - $400 with tax for a KidKamp suite. I know you can get a cheaper room, but it is SOOOO nice for the kids to have their own area and bunk beds. Worth it for us, but I can see why many skip it. This time we got a top floor room away from the stairwells - the room was quieter, however PARENTS: PLEASE TAKE NOTE - TELL YOUR KIDS NOT TO RUN IN THE HALLWAY. I 100% blame YOU for this. I was up until midnight listening to random kids running down the hall - it is really loud and so annoying because it is unnecessary if people follow basic common courtesy and manners. Ridiculous! Okay, I have vented. Moving on - our first trip the boys were 7 and 4. The 7 year old was too nervous to go on the larger slides, though he did try one. The 4 year old was too young. I ended up standing around in my bikini in 3 inches of water for much of that trip. The wave pool was a hit for both. We completed one Magic Quest on that trip and that was exhausting. This time we finished all quests and one adventure. It was fun! Food was decent in the restaurant, but the breakfast buffet is pretty awful. I had no appetite honestly anyway after watching scores of overweight children load their plates with doughnuts, chicken nuggets (at breakfast), and other fried delights. Even my 5 year old was disgusted - he ended up eating fruit and cereal (so not worth the price). Check in was decent - we checked in online so I thought it would be a breeze. We arrived at 1:30 and went to the online check in line. Unfortunately it took me longer to get checked in than those in the "normal" line though there were only 3 people ahead of me in mine. Why???? Because the normal check in line had 6 or 7 agents helping them, while my line had one. Oh well. It wasn't an insanely long wait either way. MagicQuest was a blast with my kids, the wave pool was a huge hit, and the big slides were a ton of fun. Great ages to be there with kids. It would have been great if the sleep had been better. I can't fault the hotel for that (though some added hallway insulation would have gone a long way). Parents - be parents!

Room Tip: Ask and you shall receive as long as it is available. Away from stairwells!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 20500 Old Highway 99, SW, Centralia, WA 98531
Location: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 hotels in Centralia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia

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