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Great Wolf Lodge
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Reviews (6,156)
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Reviewed June 26, 2013

When I first looked at the online pictures of the waterpark and the prices of the rooms, I had fairly low expectations of our stay.

Checking in was the only problem we encountered to note. The rooms aren't available for Check In until 4 PM (occasionally earlier), so they recommend coming before then to use the waterpark and put bags into storage. You can use the waterpark the day you check in and the day you check out. We got there at 3:15, and the room still wasn't available. We got to use the waterpark before the room was ready, and they texted us at 3:58 to say the room was finally ready. This was a minor inconvenience, but it set the bar for low expectations the rest of the stay.

The hotel is very nice. We had a 2 BR 2 Bath suite at the very end of the hall opposite the waterpark. It was on the first floor so it didn't have a balcony, but it did have a patio so we could walk right to the car from the room which was convenient. We didn't hear any hall noise, and the hall was clean enough I didn't feel yucky walking all the way back and forth to the park in my bare feet.

The ceilings are unnecessarily high - even in the bathroom - I think 14 ft. we also had an 'accessible' room so the 'roll in' shower made the bathroom even stranger. They had good care products and plenty of towels (they also freely hand out towels in the water park for use there)

Beds were comfortable as were the couches.

3 TV's (one in each bedroom and one in the living room) were great and the living room was plenty big enough for 2 families (3 kids and 4 adults) to hang out comfortably.

I think that the room wound up being almost four hundred bucks a night, but for two families in a big suite with 7 waterpark admissions (including the days you check in and out) it really is pretty reasonable.

We didn't eat in the restaurant, but I did get an overpriced scoop of ice cream, watched my son spend $25 in quarters to earn toys worth $1.50, and a few expensive poolside snacks which I easily charged to our room. This is a resort and they want to feed, clothe, and entertain you all with a signature to charge it to your room. I would probably recommend avoiding the spa, the mini golf, and the bowling, and especially the magic-wand tour and the stuffed animal shops. We did share a few pizzas one night from the hotel, and they were surprisingly good and not excessively overpriced.

We brought along cereal, sandwiches, fruit and other snacks and kept them in the refrigerator in the room (there were two). We ate out 3 times in two nights staying there, at Sonic, a chinese restaurant a few miles away, and at Friendlys down the road. We also spent about 3 hours wandering through all of the outlet stores in the mall about a mile away and dropped a few hundred bucks on clothes and shoes. If we had eaten all of our meals and snacks in the park and hotel, it would have easily cost us an extra $150 beyond what we spent outside (and we got to experience a few brands not in Alaska ... oh if there could be a Sonic in Anchorage...)

The real deal is the water park though. I wasn't expecting much, having been to a local similar park H2Oasis several times. I was wrong and this park was GREAT.

Before I go into the park details, I have to say that we were there in early June in the middle of the week, while the area schools were still in session. I think the park was at maybe 25% of capacity. There were rarely any lines (occasionally 5 minutes at the big rides) and I never felt crowded or had to look for a place to relax in or out of the water. If we had been there on a busy weekend, I may have felt differently since the place is clearly designed to accommodate more people than were there during our visit.

There were areas of the park for every age group, and I was surprised at the multiple offerings of slides and the huge shallow area for babies. Our 2 year old LOVED it and had many different opportunities. The big slides were all operating and very fun, but I don't like the twisting rides as much as the fast ones. I also wish there were more body slides as opposed to slides where you must ride on a tube.

The lifeguards were all SUPER ALERT and gave off a great 'vibe' of safety. At least 5 times during our 3 days in the park, I watched a supervisor sneak up and toss a mannekin into the pool. Every single time they noticed immediately - did their save - and were back out and watching immediately. They clearly have a pretty punitive system for their guards, with heavy supervision, and I admit that I felt sorry for them sometimes. They aren't paid enough for what they do and their senses are 'on' their entire shift in a way that must be utterly exhausting. But their attitude mad eme feel safe. Whatever they did at the park, I didn't feel the slightest bit worried about either of my kids having a problem. I asked when we left, and was told that there were around 47 guards on duty that day.

The park was very well kept and all of the rides were working (Perhaps I've become jaded from my times at H2Oasis where almost everything is rusty and dirty looking and every visit several of their limited attractions are broken) It was clean and the staff was all helpful.

We stayed there two nights, and to be honest one night would have been better. For one night, you get two days admission to the park, and the changing before and after using the park is difficult, spending two or more nights probably isn't a great idea. I don't think our kids would have been as happy when they left if they had been there for another night beyond 2.

This may be my longest review yet, but we had a great time there. I'll be back again - or to one of their other parks around the country sometime. Overall it is an expensive hotel, but you're not going for the hotel - you're going for the waterpark. And it's worth the price.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank SewardAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

If you dont have kids under 12 keep your money and sanity. For what they charge (and its out of control) I expected MORE. The waterpark is small. The "adult spa" was usually overrun with kids and parents who could not read the english sign "over 21". Kids ran around, even in the hallways, unsupervised and out of control. i had booked with late check out and couldn't get out of there fast enough on check out day. For what i spent for a weekend I could go away on a real vacation. Housekeeping - they dont change sheets daily -ok, but they didn't empty the garbage cans, they did not vacuum - so they were useless.

Room Tip: In a different hotel!
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank dmc42467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

My kids loved this place last year so we went back again for a second visit. Unfortunately, on the first morning we woke up to find bedbugs. Absolutely disgusting. It took numerous calls to the front desk to even get someone to the room to help us out. We were comped one night (not both) and though we wanted to leave, we stayed in another room the second night so as not to upset our kids (needless to say it was a restless night). I would advise that you thoroughly check out the beds before getting settled in. Looking for a new indoor waterpark for next year as I'm still traumatized by the experience. Yuck.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
7  Thank travelchick346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I took my 2 & 7 yr old & they loved it! The place was clean, great service & had plenty of stuff to keep the kids entertained. The pool outside was great to catch some sun. Check in was quick & to check out you dont need to do anything but leave your room by check out time. Definitely a good time away w/ the family.

    • Value
Thank rfana26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

This is our 7th trip to a GWL, the lodge was nice, water park amazing, everything was clean, we had a grizzly bear suite and it was wonderful, employees are nice, and helpful, food good, buffet is on the pricey side, magic quest is fun and so is the glow golf,lots of choices for water activities, grounds well kept and beautiful, scenery was mountains and beautiful as well, I have kids of all ages2-15 and they all found slides and areas they enjoyed, park and hotel feel safe and secure and life guards are excellent! Another amazing stay :)

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Aliason19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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