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“Great Wolf Lodge--anything but great for my kid with autism.”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 2, 2011

Because our trip to FLA was cancelled over the winter vacation we decided to take our three children to Great Wolf Lodge (ages 15, 13 and 7). WE went with some friends --none of us had been there before-but everyone had heard great things about it for what it is. My 13 year old is severely impaired with autism and loves nothing more than water/swimming so we figured it would be a good place to go for one night. Boy were we wrong!

The place was crowded and the lines for the slides were quite long. My son has trouble waiting for long periods of time. My son was getting antsy after a while so I went to the front desk to see if they had any special access pass for kids with special needs, as they do at Disney, Hershey and 6 Flags. Surprisingly they do not. But someone said that if I could find a manager on site I could probably get them to help me for the day.

By this time my 13 year old (who weighs 150 lbs) was having an all out temper tantrum. Crying scratching his neck and pulling on me. IT was not pretty. As this was happening I was explaining to the manager that my son was having a difficult time here-overwhelmed by the facility, the noise and the crowds and couldn't wait on the long lines. I asked nicely if he could help me out. It was obvious that my son was having trouble. But this man told me NO. HE said that his guests would not appreciate us cutting in front of them so he could avoid a line. When I explained to them that the guests at Disney, Hershey, etc. are only too happy to help, he told me that the GReat Wolf Lodge clientele was different. Huh?

While my son continued screaming and scratching both him and me, the manager was adamant that he couldn't help me. He finally in an angry manner said, "Fine. I can help you this one time and one time only....I will take him to the front of this line once." Of course, as I pointed out to him ....my son is having a huge fit right now, do you think now is a good time???!!

Bottom line. I was horrified at how I was treated by this person. First, I am extremely surprised that in this day and age, the Great Wolf Lodge does not have a special pass for person with special needs. Not to mention the fact that a place which is supposed to be all about the children/family , should be extra accomodating to a child with autism. What kind of example are they setting for others? Do they not have compassion for children like my son? Did this gentleman think I was having a great time while my teenage son had a huge tantrum in front of hundreds of people. Believe me, I would have loved nothing more than to sit on a chair relaxing but I cannot do that with my child.

We wound up spending most of the afternoon/evening in our room, which we spent a heck of a lot of money for. The food was absolutely disgusting and I couldn't wait to leave the next morning. I was very disappointed. I dont think the manager was very kind and he clearly had no empathy to our needs. I just hope that Great Wolf Lodge takes the time to review their policies and takes care of other children with needs better than they took care of mine.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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42  Thank dsgmarshall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2011

We appreciate that you have shared your experience with us and hope to connect with you directly to address your concerns in further detail.

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,832 - 4,838 of 5,376 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2011

This was our first time at this Great Wolf, but it was nearly identical to the one in Williamsburg, VA, that we've been to several times. Same layout, same rooms (free wireless Internet), same activities, same food choices, but I give the edge to this one for the waterpark. It has better water slides and just seemed easier to move around in. Like the others, tables are limited, but you can usually find one with a little hunting around.

I do have some complaints (if the staff is reading), but they are not significant enough to keep me from coming back. Sound proofing in the rooms is not good. You can hear every movement above you and noise carries in from the hallways. Maybe it was just our room, but it seemed like it was the nature of the construction. If I had to do it again, I'd probably request the top floor.

The bathrooms in the pool area are a disaster. They are small, and not kept up well. Since you often have to wait for your room to be ready and you have to checkout early the next morning, they should really have a locker room setup that makes it easier to change and secure your belongings while using the water park. The staff also needs to be in there much more frequently to keep them clean.

The food on property is pretty underhwelming. I don't care what you charge me, but improve the selection and the quality. Head to the Barley Creek Brewing Company five minutes away for dinner. Go early if it's on a weekend or you'll be waiting.

If you've been to a Great Wolf before, you know what you're getting. If you haven't, book with confidence. Your family will have a great time!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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Thank tmmnova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about Great Wolf Lodge; the management is reading! We are happy that you recommend us to others and your thoughts about the restrooms in the waterpark and food selections are being shared with the appropriate members of our staff.

We hope to see you again soon!

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2011

Long Lines, rooms not ready on time, dirty rope barriers in the waterpark to the ridiculous prices at the pizza hut. Some may say its to be expected especially with the high volume, maybe but at the very least give the parents a break with the arcade. You certainly make enough money elsewhere to lower all games down to 1 token.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank monairo1019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions about Great Wolf Lodge. I am disappointed that your last stay did not exceed your expecations, but glad that you would refer us to a friend.

As we look for ways to improve the resort, your comments will be taken into consideration.

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2011

Our family just returned from GWL (celebrating my daughter's birthday) and we can't wait to return. Yes, it is for kids and you shouldn't go not expecting that....there are many kids all around. The staff was extremely friendly and accomodating, from the phone organizers, to the front desk, the activity coordinators, lifeguards to the gift shop attendants and the security guards. Everyone! I was amazed. No one was grumpy in the least. My daughter's friend needed Children's Motrin and a security guard opened the gift shop past midnite for me so that I could purchase some....the swim area was nice and warm (of course you always have to get used to the water!).....the blue slide did break down but they got it moving very quickly. I am a little amazed that the younger kids (3 and under) cannot lapride on a tube. I would think it best them not ride at all instead of being able to ride in their own tube which is allowed. (at very young ages)....the nice attendant did help show my husband how best to help my 3 year old on the age appropriate slide so that it wouldn't be scary. Towels are abundant and we found seats just fine. The rooms are huge and cozy...perfect for families. We really enjoyed the Kids Cabin- beds aren't huge but they don't need to be. I think the lodge should have some type of drying rack or drying line for suits because you line them up in the tub area and then need to move them every time someone showers. Just a suggestion. I also need to add that the servers and chef in the restaurant were fabulous. The food was fine, nothing fancy and we got the $10 brunch that you pay prior to check-in over the phone. Worth it for brunch....the chef came out to speak to me about my daughter's tree nut allergy and couldn't have been nicer....the kids really enjoyed the arcade and it was reasonable and clean. They had cookie decorating in the lobby both days and the kids enjoyed it! The girl working there was so friendly. My one complaint would be trying to sleep at night with hearing every noise overhead. The halls weren't noisy but you could hear a baby crying and kids jumping off the bunks or running above us. I'd try the top floor next time. We didn't splurge on the Maji wands and no one pushes them and makes you feel badly for not getting them- we didn't even hear much about them. Last time I went, the facial I got in the spa was the best one I've ever had. Ok, I guess you can tell we liked our time here. I would say not to come if you don't have children unless you just love water slides.

One thing to note: it is a little of a pain to pack up at 11am on checkout day and go to the slides. The locker rooms aren't huge to change in. But I'd suggest moving your car as close as possible to the nearest door (it's cold in the winter! but summer would be ok) and then bringing out anything you won't need. You can have the bellman hold your coats/shoes for you so bring a big bag to put them in maybe. We got a locker for our valuables (a little pricier than I'd think it should be) and we put clothes in a bag near the wave pool. No one bothers your stuff.

One more thing...I left a couple things in the dresser drawer and the head security guard (Tom) called me right back and is sending it to me overnite! I didn't even get a charge which is so nice. He couldn't have been nicer about it.

My kids are ready to go back! It is pricey but worth it especially for a birthday because you do get 6 admissions to the park with the Kids Cabin and only pay $40 for an extra guest!
Good job GWL!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank henny3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2011

We really appreciate that you took the time to write about your positive experience at Great Wolf Lodge. It is great to hear that our pack members exceeded your expectations and were able to make your stay enjoyable.

Thank you also for your feedback about smaller amenities such as drying racks in the rooms. This is something that we can definitely consider as we make improvements to the resort.

We look forward to having your family join us again soon!

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2011

Returned from a two night stay at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. We went with myself, my husband and our two children 5, and 10 years old. We had a wonderful time! Check in was easy, about 10 minutes. Our room was not ready so we went to the waterpark. Let me first say, how beautiful and cozy the main lobby is. Huge fireplace with warm fire going. Plenty of seating to sit and relax with a cup of coffee (Starbucks right in the lobby!). We requested the 3rd or 4th floor which tends to be away from the noise. Tip: the further away from the elevators the better. We had a Kid Kamp Suite. The room was lovely, large and clean. Beds were comfy, there were six pillows in our room not including the pillows on the bunk beds for the kids. The kids LOVED the bunk beds and their little room with their own flat screen TV. Coffee maker, microwave and small refridgerator was a plus in the room. We were in room 3020 and it was very quite and we slept fine. We never heard kids jumping or running in the hallways.
Now to the waterpark....WOW! Just amazing. Not sure what others are talking about but it was very warm in there. As soon as we walked in we needed to quickily change into our bathing suits. Water was warm and comfortable. My husband and I spent time in the wave pool and the water was very comfortable. The water was also very comfortable and warm in the Beaver pool and the slides. We were able to find seat without a problem. As far as people leaving their stuff on chairs, well, I saw a worker that went around removing wet towels from chairs that were unused, freeing them up for guests. Every ride was operational and fun, we had no lines and got on every ride very quickly. I did not find one thing I did not enjoy about the water park.
Storytime in the main lobby is not to be missed! Just adorable. I loved the whole feel of the lodge. It was warm and cozy and all the little kids running around in their PJ's was just too cute. I know there have been some bad reviews about the food so we did not eat there as we found the prices too expensive. We drove 5 miles down the road to Long Horns for a wonderful dinner. Let me also talk about the staff at Great Wolf Lodge. Every resort employee was wonderful to us! Even the sweet lady at the door to the water park checking wrist bands. She was kind enough to find us extra chairs one day while we were having lunch at Pizza Hut. The lifeguards were all wonderful, the front desk staff was helpfull and even the bell-hop that came to carry our bag to our car at check-out was cheerful and a load of laughs with our kids. Oh and we got WiFi Internet no problem and were not charged for it so not sure what the other reviewer is talking about. My son used his laptop in our room a few times with no problem.
All in all we had a wonderful stay at Great Wolf Lodge. We are planning to return in March with a larger group of friends.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank momof4101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2011

Thank you for sharing your positive comments about Great Wolf Lodge. We are so happy that you had a wonderful time, and that our staff exceeded your expectations.

Looking forward to hosting you again in March,

Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

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Reviewed January 19, 2011

We spent the holiday weekend at Great Wolf and simply had a fantastic time. After reading several of the negative reviews, we were a little skeptical but all that went away the minite we got there. The place was jsut great! You have to take into context what this place is, it's a place for kids! If kids running around the halls at 11 pm concerns you, then maybe this isn't the place for you. The front desk was about 1/2 an hour, not bad and was very thorough. Our room was spotless, beds good, pillows good etc. The water park was enormous, with something to do for everyone, including the adults. All the rides worked and I really noticed very little wear on the park, as stated by previous ratings. Everything was just excellent! My only gripe, and I'm getting picky, is the food. Everything was very overpriced and choices limited. We brought breakfast and snacks so that wasn't a big deal but with Pizza Hut and a $25 buffet, $11 for kids, we decided to get food delivered from two local Italian places, both were fast, and both were more than reasonable, and the food was very good. If I would make one suggestion, step the food service. We did eat lunch one day in the park, burgers and stuff, but the line around lunch time is crazy and they were severely understaffed and overwhelmed. Overall however, the kids had a memorable time (and the adults) so this is a trip that will be a yearly trek!!! Oh and one more thing, having to pay for internet is a little crazy for the price of the room. Not a big deal but internet should be free when I'm paying over $500 a night!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank DeanCooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2011

Thank you for sharing your comments about your recent stay at Great Wolf Lodge. We really appreciate that you took the time. We are so glad that you had a good experience and that your kids enjoyed it, too! We hear your comments about the food choices and will use your feedback as we consider improvements to the resort.

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2011

Second time at this Great Wolf Lodge - my husband, myself, 15 yo and 11 yo sons. We booked a Wolf Den Suite with bunkbeds in a "separate" room with a TV , a bed in the other room and sofa bed. My 15 yo was way too big for the bunk beds. These are definitely minis. In fact the "regular" bed also looked small ... I think it was supposed to be a queen. My son ended up sleeping on the sofa bed. The beds were very uncomfortable as were the sheets. If we go again I might actually bring my own and definitely my own pillows. Another problem with sleep quality is the noise. This is the second time at this hotel where I could not sleep due to noise overhead. The insulation must be very poor between floors. I have never encountered this at another hotel. It's odd since it sounds like kids are jumping off the bed all night long ..I kept waiting for them to conk out but it went late into the night. The first time I complained to the front desk but the noise continued. This time I did not even bother complaining. Not to pick on the rooms but they seem to be lacking something...they seem bare almost cold but not temperature wise. It's hard to explain. The furnishings are a bit cheap looking so maybe that is it. Bathroom was very tiny. Overall the kids had a good time at the water park..it's very hard to find a table and lots of people just plunk their stuff down and never come back. I don't know how they can solve this problem but it is annoying. It did seem colder this time in the water park and the water was chilly. They played magiquest and they each spent $15 at the arcade. We went offsite to Red Robin to eat dinner which was very good! Employees were very friendly and accomodating. In summary I would say its a nice getaway for a night for the kids. Don't expect to sleep though! My kids are getting a bit old for this place so this may have been our last visit..

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank jkpemay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2011

We appreciate that you shared your comments about your recent trip to Great Wolf Lodge. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the waterpark, MagiQuest and the arcade! I'm sorry that for a second time night noise was an issue. We do our best to enforce hibernation time between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. but we will reinforce the importance of responding effectively to guest noise complaints with our pack members.

We hope very much that this isn't your last visit! Did you older child check out g8_space?

Best,
Patrick Alvarez - General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355-9000
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Scotrun
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Price Range: $245 - $527 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 401
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Scotrun
Great Wolf Resort

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