After reading TONS of reviews about Great Wolf Lodge, I had really debated on deciding to give this trip to my 9 year old for her birthday. Most of the complaints seem to be centered around the really high cost of the rooms, meals, and extra activies and I just have a really hard time forking over bales of money to a place that is trying to squeeze every dime they can from me- Most of us just work too hard for our money to be squeezed like turnips just to have a good time. While looking at the suites, I initially got caught up in the kid cabin suite b/c of the bunk beds and extra TV. However, when I booked, I opted for the family suite for our family of 5 since this was our first trip and we were only staying for 1 night (and the kids didn't really know about the other rooms anyway). The room had 2 queen beds and then a half wall that divided the sleeping area from the sitting area, which contained a sleeper sofa. That turned out to be plenty of space. The TV was positioned in a way that it could be viewed from both areas, and as other reviewers have pointed out the rooms with 2 TVs have them placed so close together that they compete with each other for sound. So I was glad I made this decision. I didn't feel like our kids were missing anything. We did not spend any money on food at the lodge. I had read too many negative reviews about how bad the food is and how expensive it was. We had chic-fil-a for lunch before we arrived, checked in and hit the water park until 8. We skipped story time b/c our kids our older and from the reviews it appears quaint and cozy on the website but a lot of people see it as a waste of time. We headed out to five guys which is just across the street and had the best burgers and fries (we were stuffed- the servings are huge!) for $40 instead of spending the $75 at the lodge for a mediocre buffet. After we ate, we came back to the room where we had my daughter's birthday celebration with cake and gifts. The room has a refrigerator and microwave so I had brought sandwich and snack items, soda, juice etc. to keep in the room and this worked out great as a vending soda is $2.50 a drink. Check out is at 11:00 so we had breakfast in the room which consisted of PB&J's- something a little heavier than our nromal breakfast just to tide the kids over while they were playing hard in the park, then checked out and headed to the water park. We played until the kids got hungry (around 4) then showered and left, hitting a much cheaper restaurant after leaving the lodge. All in all, we were able to just enjoy spending time together and using the water park. Spending just 1 night, there really wasn't any time left to participate in other activities. Had my kids started getting bored with the water park, I might have chosen to let them play majiquest b/c they already have wands or visit the arcade, but there really wasn't any time so it's pointless to try to take advantage of everything they offer at the lodge and spend an astronomical amount doing so as long as the kids are happy doing the slides. I also packed a small lung bag type cooler with snacks, water and juice and stuck it in my swim bag with our towels. I was discreet with our snacks but I noticed a lot of other people doing the same thing. So as long as you don't come in sporting a big cooler or draw a lot of notice, you can get away with bringing in your own snacks to the park. I didn't check out the snack bar prices b/c we weren't buying from there-I'd much rather give my child a healthy banana than spend $6 on a chicken strip basket. Also, your credit card info. is contained on your water park bracelet so there is no need to bring wallets/purses into the waterpark, If you need to buy something, you can just scan your bracelet and that is your room key as well. I brought cheap beach towels and we wore old shorts and t shirts into the park b/c I didn't want to spend money on a locker rental ($9!!?) and one of us was usually with our bag anyway. I didn't really take anything in that would be horrible if it went missing but if you have expensive camera equipment, phones etc a locker is probably the better option.
Our room was clean and comfy- I brought my own pillow. We were on the 4th floor which was nice b/c it had high ceilings and no noise above us. There was only a small majiquest area there and it was near the lobby so I never heard any noise from kids playing games. The service was good, but I didn't have any issues that really required management. The elevators were a little slow with so many people using it, but we are a pretty active family so several times we opted for the stairs anyway, which wasn't a big deal to us. All in all, it was a great trip. I got out with spending only our room cost other than the in room snacks and our meals outside of the lodge - which we normally eat out 1 to 2 times anyway during the weekend. It was still expensive, but I came out much better than a lot of people and I was able to really enjoy my trip b/c I didn't have to think about $$ the entire time. I came away with no regrets-just a good time.
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- Also Known As:
- Great Wolf Hotel Concord