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“Worth one trip”

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Great Wolf Lodge Concord
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 10, 2012

We visited GWL Concord for one night this past weekend for my daughter's birthday. We booked a family suite with two queen beds. It was spring break for us and Easter weekend, so I would imagine it would have been considered a peak time to visit.

I would say overall it was a fun trip and good value for the money, but I'm not real sure it's worth visiting again. As much as the water park had to offer, after a few hours it had a "been there done that" feel to it. The slides are the best part of it for older children and adults. The other hit was the wave pool. Once you've done those a few times, there's not much more to do in the park itself, although the lodge has lots of other activities -- none of which we took part in (story time, toy stuffing, spa, arcade, mini-golf, etc).

Because we did online check-in, I received a text around noon stating that our room was ready, so we were able to go right to our room upon getting our wristbands, which also serve as room keys, waterpark passes, and room charging privileges. Since you can use the waterpark as early as 1:00, the lobby was very crowded with people. Also the space allowed for Online Check-in was very small for the number of people waiting and some people were not clear that it was *not* for those with online reservations, even though staff members repeatedly told people that it was a different process. Perhaps calling it "Advanced Check-in" or "Email Check-in" would make it clearer.

The water park was fun. The water was a great temperature and there were plenty of chairs to choose from. It didn't smell strongly of chlorine, although if your child is prone to asthmatic symptoms, bring their inhaler or nebulizer with you. The indoor chorline aggravated my daughter's cough, which rarely flares up and we weren't prepared for it. While we had a good time, four hours was plenty for us to enjoy the various slides and pools and activities they had to offer. I'm not sure how we would have spent more time in the park. We noticed that lines for the water slides were significantly shorter durng the dinnertime hour than in the afternoon.

Hands down the best water slide is the Howling Tornado!

The lifeguards appeared to be vigilant. All staff members we encountered -- even at Dunkin' Donuts the next morning -- were friendly and courteous.

We played MagiQuest the next morning. We didn't realize that it was one price to activate our wands (which we already had from Myrtle Beach) and it was good for our entire trip. Had we known that, we would have activated them earlier and played here and there during our stay. The MagiQuest setup is fun and makes the trip more worth it than even the water park, although it's not as creative as the one in Myrtle Beach -- but it's also easier in a way. Seek out the stairs -- avoid using the elevators. You'll get way more done that way.

I do wish there were staff members on each floor to police the MQ players. So many kids were running with wands -- an accident waiting to happen. Yes, a parent should be watching, but for the safety of other guests and small children, I think it would help for more staff members to be around watching and reminding children to walk.

Our room was on the 4th floor right at the end of one of the MQ hallways, but we didn't notice any noise or problems from MQ players that other reviewers had complained about. There is absolutely no reason for any MQ players to be on the actual guest room hallways. Also, contrary to what other reviewers have said, we did not think it was a long walk from the guest room to the water park or any other part of the lodge.

The rooms were spacious and clean. But the pillows are hard as a rock and the bedding consists of a thin down comforter sandwiched between two flat sheets. I prefer more blankets and insulation than that. The room did come with one blanket for the sofa bed, but if we were to return, I'd order extra blankets and bring my own pillows from home.

Again, it's a good value for the money. I don't see a need to stay more than one night if you're coming mainly for the waterpark, but it's worth a visit at least once. If you want time to do lots of MagiQuest, the mini-golf, and other activities, or if you are arriving late in the day, then two nights might be better.

Room Tip: 4th floor was great. Activate your MagiQuest wands as soon as you arrive so you can play throughout...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank randmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 7, 2012

If going to the water park located within the hotel, the stay at the hotel is good. Lots of restaurants located nearby, close to I-85 for those driving in. I wish there has been a separate bedroom in the suites (there is just a dividing half wall between master bed and pullout couch) but otherwise the rooms were fine, service was great.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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Thank jbeste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2012

We took my son to the Great Wolf Lodge for his 6th birthday. There were six of us so we opted to stay in the Grand Bear Suite. This suite had two double beds with a fold out couch and a separate room with a double bed and bathroom. There was plenty of space for six people and the two bathrooms worked out very well. We spent most of our time in the waterpark. The waterpark is indoor so be prepared to smell lots of chlorine. The waterslides are much fun; however, the lines were extremely long at times. We waited over 45 minutes to ride the howlin tornado. Seemed like we wouldn't move in line for five minutes at a time, which seems long for about a 45 second ride that includes up to four people at a time. The wave pool was crowded but a lot of fun. The waves turn on for a little while then go off for a little while. The kids play area, Fort Mackenzie, was great and my son loved spending most of his time in there. The lodge has a MagiQuest, which we found to be a lot of fun. The only problem was there were lots of children running through the halls playing MagiQuest. We were almost knocked down a few times. The restaurant is pretty good but expensive so be prepared. I would recommend Great Wolf and plan to go back there again. Tip: Try to check in online before you go. The online check in line had only 2 people in it when we showed up at 1pm, but the main check in line was backed up with about 25 people waiting.

Room Tip: Check in online before you get there if you can. It will save you a lot of time.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank jetsettersb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

My initial contact with Great Wolf Lodge was through the reservations phone line. After making my reservation with them in February, I had to make some changes to the dates and accommodations. I again called the reservations line. However, despite several attempts, they did not clearly understand my request and attempted to talk me into keeping my original dates. I then decided to contact the Concord Lodge directly. I was connected with a staff member by the name of Diane Hobbs. I explained the situation and my disappointment with the reservations line. She clearly understood and promptly accommodated us exactly like we needed to be! She even went the extra mile and sent me a personal e-mail with direct instructions on how to check-in and that she looked forward to having us at the Lodge! Upon check-in, I was able to thank her in person for her wonderful customer service. Check-in was a breeze and she answered all of our questions about the Lodge. This wonderful personal touch has convinced me to visit the Lodge again later in the year!
Overall, the Lodge is great for short family getaways. The Waterpark and other activities are excellent. However, the lodging is very substandard. We resided in a Grizzly Bear Suite. This room should have been equipped to accommodate the eight people that were in our party. However, there were only five towel and washcloths in the entire suite! After attempting to contact someone at the front desk several times, a member of staff finally picked up the line. I asked for some additional washcloths, towels and blankets. After fifteen minutes of waiting, we still had yet to receive these items. I again called the front desk and was rudely told that the request had been put in and that someone should be their shortly. We did eventually receive the items, but housekeeping did not leave any additional towels or washcloths the next day, thus, resulting in a repeat of these actions on the second day of our stay. The toilet in the master bedroom would not flush and almost overflowed. Maintenance did arrive prompt to check out the problem, but on our last night, the same problem occurred. Because this was our last night, I just informed the front desk upon check-out.
I will visit the Lodge again, but probably will just use day passes to the waterpark and reside at one of the other hotels in the area.

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room on the fourth floor away from Magiquest. Some of the roo...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank unccrazygirl13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2012

My wife and I surprised my daughter with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge for her sweet 16 birthday. We were all excited about the trip and had heard good things about Great Wolf lodge from others. The cost of the room ($425.00 per night for a family suit) was a bit hard to swallow but considering it was for my daughters sweet 16 I looked past the price. I discovered that booking early is rewarded by cheaper rates and procrastinating as I did will cost you dearly. Book early and save money as I did not.

For the price point, I was expecting a room worthy of the cost but it was just a well decorated common hotel room and "suite" it was not. A "Suite" to me is a large room often with a separate bedroom and comfortable amenities and living area. This was far from that and for all intents and purposes was a run of the mill standard room. The room was well decorated and clean and tidy but the bathroom and room in general was small. In my point of view this room was NOT worth the cost. I have paid far less for a room at the Embassy Suites and actually got a real suite and a better overall experience.

The water park was nice and did offer the whole family good fun. The game room was populated with many games to keep the kids very busy but the highlight for my daughter was the MagicQuest quest through the hotel. Teenagers can be hard to please but this above all, including the waterpark, was enjoyed by my daughter the most.

Food quality was average to below average but with a high price tag. Service was very good and employees were all nice and responsive.

If you are looking for a well rounded hotel stay with the benefit of an indoor waterpark you will be somewhat disappointed as I was. If you can look over the overpriced room and dining experience, and just average food in favor of the waterpark this will serve your purpose.

Overall I do not think that this was a good value for what we paid and I would not think about paying what I did for this hotel stay again.

Room Tip: There are plenty of restaurants close by and a large outlet mall within a 5 minute drive that I woul...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank sqldatapro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2012

I have been wanting to go to the Great Wolf Lodge since it openend in Concord. The reviews made it more appealing. Finally we broke down and decided to go for a night. The water park is fun for kids, but the set up leads to a very crowded, and loud space. The lines for the slides moved pretty quickly. Be careful when standing in the lines that you don't step on the chewed up gum, and other sticky substances on the floor. The overall waterpark experience was good. The bowling is really fun and easy for kids. The arcade has a claw game that gives you four chances to win, two for toys and two for candy. My kids had a lot of fun.
Now the not so good. We stayed in the family den room. The beds are supposedly new, but the are lumpy and cave in towards the middle. I had the worst night sleep that caused me to take Tylenol in the morning because of how sore the bed made me. If you like firm beds you are okay. We ordered pizza from the Wolf Den, and even though there was an empty restaurant right next to it, we had to eat in the lobby. When we asked if we could use a table since we had small children we were told to go eat at the waterpark. It isn't worth the $300 a night that they charge.you are better off going to the Dunes Village Resort in Myrtle Beach. We have gone there for half the cost. There waterpark is broken up into two spaces which usually means one is less crowded.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ajnourie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge Concord, responded to this reviewResponded June 8, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review our lodge.

In regards to price, the room rate does include waterpark admission; we hear from our guests that they find a Great Wolf Lodge stay to be a good value. I apologize that this was not that case for your trip.

We also offer a variety of deals on our website or you can sign up for our ePack to receive regular emails with discounts and sales.

I hope that you and your family will visit us again in the future.

Best Wishes,
Phillip Cunningham

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

We went as a family of four (two kids ages 7 and 11.) After reading many negative reviews, we were a bit hesitant, but tried to go with our eyes open and were pleasantly surprised. If you want a fun, kid focused getaway, it is a fabulous place.

First the positives: The themeing is the best that I have ever seen other than at Disney World. Several characters, fixtures, decorations, and even furniture all focus on the forest theme. The rooms are clean and more than large enough for a family of four. The staff was consistently pleasant and helpful. The assortment of activities kept both children more than happy for our stay. And the bathing suit machine in the changing room did and excellent job dying our suits before we got back in the car!

Now for the very few disappointments: it is expensive, but we set limits that we were comfortable with, and was fine. The waterpark was smaller than we expected. It could definitely use a lazy river, simple area to just swim in, and a hot tub to relax very tired muscles. Once, a lifeguard was simply not paying attention: When we in the wave pool the first time, an older child (apprx 10) was tossed from her innertube and clearly could not swim. A nearby parent help her out, but not a single guard ever reacted.

Now for a few tips: if your children are younger or you are noise sensitive, take a noise machine or request a room far from the Magiquest area. It is loudest between 8 and 11 pm. Take goggles, the chemical is the waterpark can quickly irritate your eyes, do not worry about exercise - between the stairs to the larger slides and the stairs for Magiquest, we got a workout! Finally, if you need to purchase a wand, Magiquest is pricey, but entertained the kids for hours!!!

Room Tip: The lowest floor has the waterpark and no Magiquest!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank chasnative
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

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: $252 - $447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge Concord 3*
Number of rooms: 402
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Great Wolf Hotel Concord

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