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Great Wolf Lodge
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Reviewed January 12, 2014

The reviews I'd read for Great Wolf Lodge ran the full gamut from wonderful to horrible, so I was very curious to experience it for myself. My family--encompassing three generations and including a 2-year old and a 15-year old--spent this past weekend there, and had a great time!

First of all--it was teeming with kids, running in packs, squealing, and excited. It's not going to be quiet. It's huge and really quite beautiful, but don't expect to sit and relax with a book....

Our rooms were standard family suites. Very large, capable of sleeping up to 6 people. We had plenty of space for our "stuff," lots of places to sit, and a nice big flat-screen TV for the Seahawks game. Very clean, and recently painted. The bathroom is very small, budget-motel sized, but beautifully tiled, and the sink/vanity is in the main room. Beds were comfy--firm mattresses overlaid with a pillow-top--but we all agreed that pillows need to be replaced with less firm, more "squishable" ones.

The waterpark is great. Clean, well-supervised, with fun activities for all ages. It was jam-packed and steamy, but that really didn't matter. Our two-year old grandson LOVED the tots' sprayground area, the more daring of our family raved about the Tornado (in spite of a long wait in line...) and this grandmother enjoyed the mid-level red and yellow slides. We all enjoyed the wave pool. Advertisements stress that the waterpark is constantly at 84 degrees--but that's the room air temp, not the water. But it wasn't too cold for any of us.

Restaurants have gotten a bad rap in these reviews. Because of them, we had originally planned to eat off-site. But horrible weather outside, and our overall exhaustion, we changed our plans, eating twice at the Bar and Grill. The food was great, with lots of choices (Recommended is the Seared Scallop Salad), and we didn't find the prices to be any higher than at other resort restaurants. We also had great service (Thanks Tracey!).

All in all, it was lots of fun, and we're already planning a return trip for next winter.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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7  Thank agoneil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

I read some recent and pretty discouraging reviews on yelp after booking this trip. Here are my thoughts...
I read a bunch of the recent reviews and, to be honest, after our stay, I found most of them to be a bit harsh. Maybe the staff had been overworked or they had some short-time temps in for the holiday season. Our stay was great and everyone was pleasant to us and our daughter. We got here early (11:00) and we're told our room probably wouldn't be ready until four. Check in was very polite ( good job, Maria The Supervisor sorry I couldn't see your last name). We had opted for a slightly discounted upgraded room on the website and, sure enough, we got it! Our room ended up being ready at 1:00...the day of the hawks vs saints game, so my husband was excited to take our infant and check in.

We were in room 2017 which is a kids cabin room and my 5 yo was in LOVE with the bunk beds. The room was comfortable foe all four of us, temperature regulated well, the bed was good enough (I'm picky about hotel beds) and on the firm side. Lots of pillows in the room, so you could add one if the pillows were too soft for you (which my husband and I both did).

She played at the water park for 3 hours and then we went to dinner at the camp critter grille. It's probably the nicest restaurant on the premise. Our food was great--we ordered burgers, but everything was cooked nicely and the service was pleasant. We ate the next morning at the loose moose buffet and it was good too. We went early (8:00) and the food was all fresh & warm. I should say my husband and I are both on paleo and could easily find food here that was ok.

I only have four small complaints:
1. We were sad we couldn't get a cabana---you guys need to make a few more!
2. No conditioner in the rooms after a day in the pool was rough.
3. We have an infant and a 5 year old who go to sleep at 7:30. The noise from kids running, jumping on beds (do people still let kids do this?!?), and doors being slammed carried on until about 11pm. More hotel patrolling for safety And noise between 8-10 would've great.
4. Just put king beds in all if the rooms already!

With that said, I scoped out the floor plan and I'd say if a quiet stay was important to you, get a room I the 2900 block...there's no upstairs and you're close to the day spa. If you have loud teenagers, don't get a room over there!!!

I liked the extra little things to watch like the clocktower and the idea of the little dance party for kids at 9. I liked that radio Disney was piped around the facility and my 5 yo was dancing to the music all over. I liked that at 44" I she could ride all but one of the biggest rides (not the howlin tornado) and felt like it was an amazing experience.

Based on the previous reviews I expected to have a serious complaint about something (and I'm not shy to speak up), but this was a good stay. We will definitely be back and make sure to opt for an upgrade again as we'll as reserve a cabana for next time. And we'll bring friends:). Lastly, I typed this on my iPad, so excuse my typos:)

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
8  Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We spent 2 nights at Great Wolf Lodge, the second night being New Year's Eve and my son's 9th birthday. What a fantastic experience! We drove down from Canada in the morning and arrived just before 1:00pm, having eaten on the way. We received a room within 10 minutes (I wasn't even back from Starbucks 20 steps away yet and my husband was being helped) even though check in isn't really until 4. We were thrilled! Our room was on the second floor which we love: same level as most of the action, but down the hall far enough to be peaceful. Sure, you can hear kids sometimes, but there were teenagers all around us this time ON NEW YEAR'S EVE and we heard very little. The festivities for the 31st were exciting for us. We went to the New Year's Eve banquet held from 4-9pm. Our reservation was for 5pm and thank goodness: when we walked out at 6:30, the line was clear down the hall to get in!

We hope they keep adding Magiquest series of games as we've done Magiquest and Shadowquest now, so there's only Compassquest left to conquer! Our kids like the waterpark but are not as crazy about all day in the water as some (especially the 4 year old). We come to GWL at least 50% for Magiquest! I think my husband is as into it as the 9 year old. :) Buying the wand and game is a total no-brainer value for hours of fun and the wands are used year round at my house for pretend play. This year we played a "team game" where we bought one game and there were 3 wands connected to it so whether it was my younger son or older son who did the "wanding," it counted. This was great so that my husband could take either one out for a little to advance the game (earn a rune) and bond as well as keep things going while still feeling like we were all in it together. The guys in the magic shop are AMAZING and so into what they're doing. Truly they make it a magical experience.

We enjoy the food at the lodge but prefer our own yogurt and bagels for breakfast. We've often planned to leave the lodge for lunch but never manage to: between pizza and the restaurant, it's too yummy and handy not to just dine in. The burgers are awesome, loved the salad, the kids eat well...I'm not complaining! My boys also have serious allergies to peanuts and tree nuts and all staff know what this is and take it seriously. We were very relieved and impressed by this!

We also took advantage of late check out for an extra $50: this allowed us until 2pm, which meant we could finish our Shadowquest, hit the waterpark and eat pizza for lunch before packing up!

We have already booked our next visit. This is a great family getaway!

Room Tip: We have been twice and stayed on the second floor both times, once on the highway side and once not and the highway didn't bother us either time. The rooms up to around 2015 are close-ish to elevators and noise. We prefer around the mid-20s but this time we were in the 40s and felt it was a bit far. We stayed once in a wolf den and once in a family suite and the family suite was roomier and more comfortable. Kids didn't mention the themed suite so it must not have been that big of a deal!
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Bender222222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

No complaints. Our room was spacious, clean and the beds comfortable. Surprisingly quiet. Staff was friendly and helpful. Our three grandchildren, under age six LOVED the place. We had read about the food being expensive and mediocre so brought our own food. Our room had a frig and microwave. One night made a run to a local bar and brought back chicken wings. The thing that impressed me most was how how good the lifeguards were. They constantly scanned the pool areas, and there was no groups of teenage guards hanging out as I have seen at other waterparks. Also the heat control in the room was very effective, easy to use and immediate. We had a small balcony which had it been warmer would have been nice to sit on after the kids had gone to sleep. Really have only good things to say about the place and I hate waterpark hotels.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Harryryan2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We just returned from spending the night here for my son's 8th birthday. We were lucky it was a weeknight and not crowded. From ther reviews, the weekends are way to busy. Check in was quick and we went right to our room. I was surprised at how small the room was for the price. The kids did like the themed bunk bed room but my daughter got no sleep on the sleeper sofa. My bed was fine. The waterpark was fun and I lied being able to charge drinks to my room. Against my better judgement we ate on site. Ridiculous prices for the food we got. None of us really liked our meal. Too bad for a celebration meal. My son begged me for a wand....every other kid had one and I felt guilty. I did not get the game though as it took 4-6 hours and over 10 miles of walking. No thanks. For $18 they could point it at things and make them light up. Maybe I can sell t on Craigslist now!! We put our thins on the car, checked out and then stayed until 3 pm. We all had a good time but spent too much money.

Room Tip: Get away from first two floors.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank bananatraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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