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“Water park and Magiquest”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Reviewed September 13, 2008

The resort is immense...and the waterpark perfect even for our youngest....and what are all those kids doing running around with wands...well...we found out it was magiquest. So...we bought out wands and four hours latter we were still running around the hotels flashing our wands and opening chest. Next morning. Mom...can we play more magiquest... As a team..even the grumpy husband we ran...co-operative and killed a red dragon. Clean resort, warm waterpark fun, and a quest to kill a dragon...where else could you have a more perfect family vacation.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank gldfinch68wa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 10, 2008

We saw the waterpark from I5 and on our way back from Portland decided to stay here.

We didn't check in until nearly 8, and with the waterpark closing at 9, we decided to stay an extra day. It was well worth it. It is totally geared towards kids with the arcade, and wonderful water park . I think that we may have been the eldest guests with no kids, but my god... did we have fun. :-) The water slides were great and we really enjoyed our little arm bands where we could charge our snacks, Starbucks and everything else.

Our room size was generous and comfortable. I thought the cupcake / fudge / candy bar was so geared to kids, but my man is a big kid, so it was absolutely perfect. If we had kids.... WOW!!!!. I love the wrist-band concept.

I have to admit that I was a little jealous of the kids who had wands to wave at the numerous treasure chests, crystals and animals so they could activate them.

The food was good for a pub-like atmosphere.

We love waterparks and would gladly stay at another one of these again.

The only criticism I have of the property is getting into it... there should be a direct link off of I-5. We took a couple runs at it before we got in.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Gwen2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2008

We stayed at the Great Wolf lodge on a Friday and Saturday night in early September. The facility is very nice, with an impressive facade in the front, and a lobby that is reminiscent of Disney's beautiful Grand Californian hotel in Anaheim.

The indoor water park itself, is also quite nice. There is a variety of things to do, from a wave pool, to different sizes and shapes of water slides, and water game areas. That being said, after two nights, my family felt like we had exhausted most of our interest in the possible activities.

Gripes:
* The water isn't freezing, but it isn't that warm either. The water feels a bit too cold to be wading in it all day long.
* Not a great value: Grand Mound is a bit of a ghost town. The town seems to consist of a Dairy Queen, a McDonald's/gas station, and small strip mall, and that is it. The isolation means that the $200 or more a night you are paying for a family of four (which includes water park admission) is simply for the water park. That is like spending $50/day per person to get into the water park. Not a great value in my mind. Not only that, but the food is expensive ($10 burgers), but not as good as what you'd get at the Dairy Queen. Also, the hotel has many other ways to extricate your money (kids spa, wand adventure game ($30+), video game center, etc.).

Happy surprise:
* About five miles south of Grand Mound, off of I-5 in Centralia, we found an authentic Mexican restaurant, La Tarasca, that is out-of-this-world good. Not a perfect spot for kids, given the spicy dishes, but it is wonderful for adults who like real Mexican food.

Back to the Great Wolf Lodge...the frank truth is my daughter and her friend had a great time, but after two nights of staying and playing, our hotel bill was over $700, and we didn't partake in an elaborate room, or all of the bells and whistles. If you are okay with that kind of expense, then it is a good spot for a family vacation.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank punkinpapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2008

Check in is at 4pm but you're able to check in as early as 1pm to get your bracelet to use for the waterpark. We arrived at 1pm and the line wasn't bad at all. It was about a 10 minute wait and we got our room immediately which was great.

We booked a family suite for 3 adults, 2 kids. Room had 2 queen beds, a sofa bed, TV, fridge and microwave. Bathroom is only the toilet and shower while the sink is outside in the main room area. Our room was all the way down at the end of the hotel and seemed like a far walk at first, but was thankful when we realized that if we were closer to the main elevators, the kids that were playing the Magiquest would have annoyed us the whole time we were there.

The waterpark is pretty small when you look at it. I was expecting it to be much bigger. There were a few slides, the Tornado, a wave pool, kiddie area and a hot tub. There needs to be a separate pool area. There wasn't a place where you could just swim. The wave pool got very crowded. Tipping bucket was lots of fun. The tornado was great too but bad for the person who's back was facing the front (like me haha). It sucks trying to turn your head around to see what's in front of you.

The waterpark is very warm and humid once you enter. Kind of feels musty. There are two bathrooms, one on the upper level and one on the lower level. The bathrooms are huge, with about 15 stalls in each the lower and upper level ones. So I'm not sure why the other reviews on here say there were only 3 stalls. I didn't see any showers. They maybe were around the lockers but I didn't go over to that part.

There are plenty of chairs in the waterpark so that you can put your flipflops under it or hang your clothes on them.

There is a Starbucks, Pizza Hut, buffet, American restaurant and a pastries shop. Food is expensive here so be sure to bring your own food, snacks and drinks. There's also a McDonald's about half a mile down the street. There's also a gift shop and a store in the waterpark that sells swimwear, beach towels, etc.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank JANICE S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2008

The best two things about the lodge are the people, and the MagiQuest. When my kids got tired of the waterpark we bought a MagiQuest game and it was a blast.

If you have multiple kids, I don't recommend buying separate wands and games for all of them. The kids will end up all running together anyways, and we were fine with one wand shared between our two kids.

Also note that you don't have to buy all of the extra accessories for the wand - the basic $14.99 stock wand is all you need.

The game takes 4-5 hours, and it has the kids getting lots of exercise climbing stairs. I was amazed it kept their interest - in hindsight, paying $25 to get them to climb stairs for 4 hours and get all of that exercise was worth it!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank RunningFaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

Okay, the kids had fun. They were worn out after 4 hours in the water park.

BUT, the door slamming on the rooms DROVE US FREAKING CRAZY! I think it has less to do with the lodge and more to do with the rude, thoughtless people. BUT, some sort of "white noise" in the room (like a fan) would have been nice. You hear every word outside your room and the doors don't close, they SLAM and shake the walls.

Hordes of people on a slow day, I can't imagine it on a weekend.

Of course, as expected, everything is UBER-expensive and they nickle and dime you to death- even cleaverly offering to let your kids' wrist bands be unlimited money machines - all charged to your credit card.

And, I can't BELIEVE how many people ponied up the $25 so their kids could wave a plastic stick at a mirror that spoke to them. Even our kids said that was ridiculous.

We can say we've done it, though. But, chances are, we won't be back. We'd rather drive to Silverwood.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank MarkandKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2008

Just came back from GWL after spending Thursday evening there and most of Friday. First impression? Beautiful resort, cleaner than one would expect...and very, very young staff in need of training, acting lessons(to at least pretend to be having fun at a fun place) or replacing with real customer oriented people. Know it sounds bad, but ...did they pick out whoever wanted a job out there in the boonies? Even their phone etiquette needs help.....I called to ask questions and the same monotone voice came from a male and female staff member. No "Welcome....Good Evening...Morning...:" We got to the resort late to check in due to traffic from Snohomish County...and I simply called to ask if an extension of 1-2 hours would be possible. Check out is 11 am, and my family packed in an hour of water activity before the 10pmn closing and was exhausted. I was instructed to call the morning staff since late check out requests were "not evening staff's responsibility"....I called early morning and was told flat out...that extensions were not done, click.. The only lifelike human that interacted with us was the housekeeping lady, who was very cheerful and sweet. We gave her a $7 tip because she was so nice and telling us to enjoy our stay. This should have been the theme of any hotel staff person at GWL! The waterpark staff was okay...they would actually react and joke once in a while. We ate at the buffet. We were led to our table and was told a waitperson would be coming to take drink orders. She never showed up. The people at the next table arrived after us and were accommodated immediately. Our two kids went and got their own drinks and were told by other staff it was not the process. Still, no one came to our table. We had to ask someone, who brought them and explaiend that the person assigned to us was extremely busy. Oh well, we never saw her .

The park was a blast, the hotel very well maintained in cleanliness, but the this place needs a staff makeover!! .

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank ClassyCritic
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

Address: 20500 Old Highway 99 SW, Centralia, WA 98531-9708
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range: $247 - $441 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 398
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia

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