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“Fun for the kids and the parents”

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Great Wolf Lodge Concord
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fun for the kids and the parents”
Reviewed May 5, 2011

We went to GWL to celebrate our son’s 9th birthday. Check-in was fast and efficient. Our room was not ready, so we were given wristbands and directed to the swim area. The slides were great and there was something for every age. We have a 2 year old, so I was afraid he wouldn’t have much to do. I was wrong…very wrong. He LOVED everything. GWL has done a great job making sure every family member has fun.
After dinner, we played MagiQuest. We had a great time; running up and down the stairs will really tire your kids (and you) out. I would recommend getting the Paw Pass. We split one between the two children. It allowed my older child to play MagiQuest, go to the arcade and play a round of mini golf. My little one made a stuffed bear and colored a pillowcase in the craft area.
I have a few negatives, but they were small:
(1) The pool area smelled of chlorine – bad. I had a headache after about an hour. However, I understand that this can’t be helped.
(2) We stayed in a Kid’s Kamp suite and the bunk beds were very hard. Save your money and get a regular room. Also, I would only stay a day or two. This place wears you out. You’ll be too tired after day two. 
(3) The food was very expensive. We took snacks, drinks and dinner to save a little money. There were also plenty of places close by if you wanted to grab something outside the GWL.
All-in-all - a GREAT experience. Wonderful staff, plenty of lifeguards and very clean! We will be planning a second trip soon.

Room Tip: Get a regular room - the bunk beds are hard.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank kitt16201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2011

I always check tripadvisor reviews before we vacation anywhere, so I went in knowing what to expect for this trip. My husband and I travelled with two of our children ages 4 and 3, and two of our friends and their kids ages 5 and 3. Overall, our trip was excellent. The rooms were comfortable and the waterpark had enough slides and pools for the kids and the adults to enjoy.

We were contacted a couple of days before our trip was scheduled and told that there would be a power outage, possibly lasting up to 5 hrs, for Great Wolf to do maintenance on a main transformer. They offered to upgrade our room for free, so that we would have a balcony or patio to open the door for a breeze. They also provided glow sticks and flashlights. We originally booked a Luxury King Suite, but were upgraded to the Grizzly Bear Suite. We went into this trip hoping for the best, but not really knowing if we would be able to sleep without a/c at night. As it turned out, we were all so tired from playing at the waterpark that day, that if there was a power outage, none of us noticed. Although, I did wake up several times during the night wondering when the power might go out.

The rooms were very spacious and comfortable. Perfect for our family of 4, though the Grizzly Bear Suite could have slept up to 8 people. We were on the same floor as the waterpark, so it was convenient going back and forth with our young kids. There are multiple entrances to the hotel, so that you can park near your room to avoid walking so far. Your room key is your bracelet, so you just scan it to get in and out of the other entrances and your suite... very convenient. Loved them.

The waterpark was extremely clean, the bathrooms in the park were always clean, and the changing rooms were nice. I especially liked the water extractor machine that spins your wet swimsuits, so that you're not going home with dripping wet articles of clothing. We were very impressed with the lifeguards. They were very attentive and vigilant. We always felt safe having extra eyes on our children. The water in some of the rides is chilly, but you can warm up by going into the large pool or wave pool.

Overall, the waterpark was very nice for a small get-away. We wouldn't stay longer than one night because you can see and do it all in a one night stay. Also, the price is quite high. We were fortunate enough to have a discount through my husband's employer, as well as the free room upgrade, so it was affordable for us. Our kids also enjoyed the bedtime show and storytime. It's definitely more age appropriate for smaller kids. They also liked going to Cub Club to do arts and crafts and play. The arcade was large, the atmosphere was fun, and there were lots of games. We never did venture to any of the restaurants, MagiQuest (for older kids), or the gift shop, though those things are all there should you want them. We ate at or around the mall, which is a mile away... you can see it from the resort. Razzoo's Cajun Cafe was excellent for supper after spending an afternoon at the waterpark.

Hope that this review is helpful. We would definitely go again because it's perfect for a little get-away. But I would definitely make sure there's a special on the room, and that we can also get a discount through my husband's job.

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank MyRally123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2011

Took my 8 yr old here - he has been asking since he went with his Boy Scout troop last year. I was kind of dreading it, thinking that it would be a disappointment. Mixed reviews on tripadvisor also had me worried. Also, room rates are expensive. First of all, we were able to check in right away, hours before the appointed time of 4 pm. We were given a family suite which was very large and had all the appropriate amenities - nothing too fancy, but nice and comfortable. We did not spend too much time in the room anyway, but it really was nicer than I expected. The water park was perfect for my son. He ran around with his cousins for hours enjoying all the rides, slides, etc. Snack bar was expensive but convenient. I liked the fact that we could sit there and watch the kids run around. Staff was helpful and plentiful. Magic Quest was confusing and crowded - try to do it on off times, like early morning. We ate at the lobby restaurant and had terrible service - waited nearly 45 mins for simple order, but the buffet was not too bad. Kids thought story time was "lame" - maybe little kids would like it better.
Overall, great for a short visit. We will return.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank caymanfan2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

Bottom line: I'd recommend only because the water park is fun when you've been cooped up inside all winter and it's still too cold for the outdoor pool.

This is our second trip to a GWL. My big complaint is value...it just doesn't offer a good value at all. We traveled with three kids - 6, 9, & 12, so they were the perfect ages for this place. We chose their biggest suite, the Grizzly Bear, at roughly $650 (incl. taxes, etc.) for one night. Regarding value, I'd consider the water park a $40ish value (per person) and the room a $150 per night value only because of the theme and access to amenities, whether you use them or not. With 6 people, that works out to about $400 max that we should have paid for the room - in my mind.

The big rooms are as far from the lobby as possible, and it was a HIKE (parking was generally full near the closest building exit). The room layout worked well, and the counter space, micro & fridge were great. The beds felt like they had no support at all and were terrible. We never managed to get the shower temp warmer than lukewarm. Each bathroom had one light switch, which controlled the light and the jet-engine powered fan. It was, to say the least, a bit jarring when someone needed to use the bathroom during the night.

The water park is very similar to the one in Williamsburg, though it does not have a lazy river or wave rider. Lines to ride the river canyon ride were obscene both on arrival and early on departure day. They had ONE float. Yep, ONE. That caused lines for the ride to be 2 - 3 times longer than necessary at about an hour. They did get and start blowing up new tubes on the morning of our departure, but there is no excuse for not having extra tubes at the ready in case one pops. They also didn't mark shared stairways (no, "River Canyon keep left" and "Howlin' Tornado keep right") to allow individual lines to form from the bottom. So, if you hadn't made it to the top previously, you weren't sure which ride was which without asking someone who did know. Seriously, a line down the stairs with signs at the bottom would make things much easier. They did handle a pool closure due to feces very proactively, which I appreciated. The locker rooms worked well for us after we checked out. They were clean, had hooks, swim suit dryer, dry towel, etc.

MagiQuest is fun and the staff was helpful, but it's way, way, way overpriced and there is a lot of pressure from the kids to participated because it truly does seem like everyone else is doing it. The first day of game play should be included with wand purchase. We bought one for the three kids to share at a total additional cost of just under $30. Everyone abandoned the bedtime show/story as too boring within a couple of minutes. A balloon artist offered a fun daytime diversion.

We did not try the restaurants because they are overpriced and our previous experience led us to assume the food would be lousy. There are a wide variety of restaurants very near by, so eating there was really unnecessary.

GWL is fine for one day. If there are other things you'd like to do in the area, don't bother paying for a longer stay. Just change hotels for the rest of your visit.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KateWillTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2011

Wow! We got right in during check-in, even got our room an hour early. The wristband you get as your room key also has the ability to charge things to your room. This was so convenient and we didn't need our wallets once. In fact, one thing I loved about this vacation was that everyone was either coming or going to the water park and so there was never a need to "dress up" or "do hair/makeup"! The water park was great fun, a little smaller than we thought it would be, but really that was fine as it was easier to locate our older kids when we needed to. There certainly was no trouble "finding" your way around as another review said. The water was indeed a bit cold, but I think what made it so chilly was the large room not being warmer. But we survived and still loved it. I was surprised that my kids (and husband) had as much fun doing the MagicQuest game as they did at the water park! Be prepared to spend $$ on the wands and game.

One suggestion my husband had was for a staff member trained to be a "Quest Master." A staff member dressed like the main wizard in the "tree" videos and placed in that area, trained to help guests learn the MagiQuest Game, navigate clues, or at least get it working. We routinely noticed many parents frustrated trying to figure out the game, and many who had difficulties getting their wands to work. The quest store personnel seemed overwhelmed trying to complete purchases while also dealing with this. My own son had to return his wand after they attempted to fix it twice with no luck. It was getting difficult to see him so upset when it would work for two minutes then "give out." Thankfully the staff just replaced it. The game itself was great fun to play and to watch others playing. I was impressed that my kids (and husband) seemed to have as much fun doing the quests as they did at the waterpark!

The food in the Loose Moose that is ordered off menu was very good! I can't say enough about how tasty the Berry Good Salad, quesadilla, and burger was. However, the buffet the same every night was disappointing, and if you didn't come early then the food would be cold, or lukewarm at best. I also suggest you do not eat a pizza from this area. It was not good. A large pizza had all but two slices left after my family couldn't eat it. There was so much cheese it was like plastic.

The Pizza Hut Express was a great alternative to the restaurant, but there was often only one staff member out front, trying to serve the ice cream shop and the pizza customers. He said the other worker had to be in back preparing food or there would be nothing to buy later. He tried hard to keep up, but the parents at the ice cream shop were getting very disgruntled at the wait.

The room (Grizzly Bear Suite) was awesome. Little chilly due to the minimal covering on the beds, but we requested extra blankets and got them no problem. Most of the staff in the hotel/park were great. I was looking for "Disney-like" service that I had heard about, and for the most part we got that. The one place we didn't was in the "animal stuffing station" when my young kids went to pick out their animals. The young staff member was obviously not enjoying her job. Although she used the stock phrases like, "Give your animal a test hug," she did this in a monotone voice with no smile or enthusiasm. The experience could have been a very cute moment for the kids with just a little sunshine from her.

One final comment is regarding the child life vests offered in the water park. My daughter used the one for under 50 lbs. After one day of use, the strap that goes between her legs had rubbed her inner thigh so raw that she was in pain the next day. We had to use a different size than she needed because of the strap issue. I don't know if there is a solution to this, but even if the lifeguard at the door mentioned to beware of the rubbing we might have been able to stop it from getting so bad.

The Gr8 Space for teens and the Arcade were fantastic. Most games worked and the staff were attentive. The few times we lost tokens in a game or didn't receive the promised tickets, the staff immediately rectified the problem. What a relief as so many arcades are filled with non-working games. My older two kids enjoyed the Gr8Space and it was well tended by staff, making us comfortable leaving them there.

Well, I hope you are able to use this information. We loved the idea of the Great Wolf Lodge, and had a wonderful vacation. I liked it so much that I thought it was worth writing with feedback. I hope management responds to these reviews as I'd hate to see these very fixable things bring down others' reviews of a great place.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank sushishrink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynchburg, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2011

Recently, I stayed at the GWL and had a bad experience. The trip was meant for a relaxation getaway but it turned out not to be. The waterpark is good for young children(2-10) and pretty much that's it. For Adults, it is kind of lame, which is perfectly fine if that's not what the company is aiming for. There were not places to just relax in the water besides the overcrowded wave pool (kids and adults bumping into you constantly) and the overcrowded side pool ( basketball hopes). I have been to other waterparks where there was plenty to do. Everyone had a equal opportunity to enjoy everything at least once (i.e. even on a saturday). Kalahari Resorts and Splash Lagoon in Erie Pa are among the list. I was contemplating going to Kalahari or GWL Mason but the rise in gas prices kept me from going far, far away. At these resorts, a room runs around $200/per not $300++/night.
Besides the waterpark, the hotel did not seem like a luxurious hotel for the amount of money that I paid. The towels were not soft at all. We noticed that there was not a fitted sheet on the bed. My spouse thought the sheet protector was the fitted sheet until I pointed out a stain on the protector, Yuck! The walls are incredibly thin to which I could guess what the people next door/up stairs were doing. Cell phone signal and Wi-Fi signal is incredibly weak on the first floor. The air conditioner unit sounds like jet turbine engine. The rooms lack information about the area such as restraurants, shopping and attractions. Luckily, there was a huge mall with tons of restraurants nearby. The bed was a nightmare. There were lumps in the bed that made it impossible to sleep on and not to mention the pillows are hard as rock.

Here is a list of things I noticed or concerns I have:
1. Why is the price more at this location compared to northern locations? This waterpark has less to offer compared to the GWL waterparks up north.
2. The first time going through the doors in the waterpark, there was no one checking wrist bands.
3. Having people pay for Lockers when their rooms were not ready. If we dropped a lot of dough for a night, it would be nice to store our valuables in a security locker. Kalahari Resorts offer for you to store your stuff in a security locker.
4.The bathroom layouts not practical. Too liitle space between stalls and sinks.
5. The entrance to the waterpark is too enclosed for the amount of people entering the waterpark or going to the sweet shop.
6. Some Kids were running around without supervision. It is stated in the rules to watch your children all the time. Parents should be more watchful especially in a large crowded area. Who knows who enters the waterpark especially in a crowded parts? Going to the waterpark is a FAMILY Event not to abandoned your kid.
7. Nothing was posted around the waterpark to tell where everything is located at. No rules were posted in the waterpark. Kids were running around and cutting in line. I saw several kids and some adults get off their tube and went in the line again despite a line for tubes.
8. Lines were not clearly marked. Standed in line for 20 minutes wanting to ride the River Rapids and not knowing I was in the twister line.Other waterparks has a line in the middle of the steps to distinguished the lines.
9. Not enough Lifeguards for the rides. One lifeguard for two sets of rides not a good idea especially around little kids. The lifeguard would tell them to step up to the ride and then go to the other ride to assist those riders. During this time, a little kid could accidentally go on Red when people are still on the ride. The throughput was lacking. Hence, the lines were slow to move.
10. Why do you have to have the outside pool close until memorial day? It was 85 degrees and sunny.
11. During the whole time I was in the waterpark, I did not see lifequards check the water quality. At least, check the quality in the wave pool.

On a saturday, I knew the waterpark would be packed but I was expecting more stuff to do to avoid overcrowding. I just thought that the overall waterpark layout was poorly organized. Wave pools are fun but not when it is the only pool available to use.

My recommendation to others: Do you research before spending $$$ at this park? There are other GWL that are way cheaper and have more to do. This park is meant for families with young children (2-10).

Oh, watch out for the Resort Hidden Fee. The services that are complimentary are not complimentary! This is a money pit. Watch your spending carefully.

Room Tip: Do your research on other GWL waterparks!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Consumer16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

This place is all about the kids which is evident from the moment you enter the building. When we arrived, a show was taking place in the lobby for the kids. During my 24 hour stay, I saw three more shows in this same area. We stayed in a standard room which was actually very nice. It had great counter space which was ideal. There was also a refridgerator and microwave and the couch area was private from the bed area with a wall. The hotel was very clean and I noticed maintenace people working at all hours to maintain it. The waterpark was clean as well and had ample towels which were actually warm from the dryer. There were plenty of food options as well such as Dunkin Donuts and Pizza Hut. We went to the restaurant for dinner and had the buffet mostly out of convenience as the kids didn't want to leave the building. The buffet wasn't outstanding, but I would go back to it again. There is a gift shop right next to the waterpark that has all swim wear for those who might have forgotten something which is also convenient. There is a full blown arcade and also another area for video games. Note that the video game room is an extra charge as is the Magic Quest activity. The kids LOVED the Magic Quest so it was worth the extra cost. However, you might want to factor these extra costs in as this ends up not being a cheap outing. The water slides were fun despite some long lines during Spring Break. The outdoor pool however is very small and doesn't have any water slides. Had I gone in the summer, I would have been very disappointed by this as it's simply too small for the size of the resort and you expect a waterpark to have waterslides at all the pools. But overall, this trip exceeded my expectations and I would go back.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NittanyL
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 Concord

Property: Great Wolf Lodge Concord
Address: 10175 Weddington Road Ext, Concord, NC 28027-4413
Location: United States > North Carolina > Concord
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Concord
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge Concord 3*
Number of rooms: 402
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travelocity, Cancelon, Hotwire, Priceline, Cheap Tickets and getaroom.com so you can book your Great Wolf Lodge Concord reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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