We had such a fantastic time at the GWL in the Dells!
The water park is private, so you don't have to worry about overcrowding. We rented a cabana before going and it was not necessary. That was $100 I could have saved, because there was never a time that we had difficulty finding a table and chairs. The lifeguards were extremely attentive - pacing and keeping a watchful eye.
We felt extremely secure in this area. There didn't seem to be any sort of bad element, so when the kids wanted to go off by themselves (they are 9 and 12 and are very well-behaved) we were not concerned and did not feel like we had to constantly keep an eye on them.
The room was fantastic and, most importantly, the beds were VERY comfortable. We stayed in the Kid Cabin suite and LOVED IT! It gave the kids their own area and them having their own TV spared us from having to watch Disney Channel the whole time. ;) We had plenty of room and enough privacy for a family of four. The room came with two extra pillows already there and 8 towels, so we weren't fighting over towels (with three girls in the room, that's saying something!). The kids also got some of the body wash from the Scoops Spa that comes with the room and they just loved it.
GET THE PAW PASS!!! It is *such* an excellent value. With it the kids get to basically get one of every unique activity there. THey got to stuff their own stuffed animal, a free drink w/ souvenir cup at the sweet shop, some tokens at the arcade, a wand for magiquest (we purchased toppers separately), the magiquest game, and a craft at the kids club.
Magiquest is SO fun! I had done Magiquest at a different location before this trip and knew that both I and the kids would love it. This particular location is geared very much to children, but I had a good time with it. I found that walking the kids through the first couple of quests and then sending them off to figure the rest out worked perfectly. Even though it's 4 stories, it's small enough around that you could typically have an eye on them whenever they were off on their own quests. If it's not your thing, but you still want to be present, there is a nice area for parents to wait that has vending. We did the quests in the hotel (there are 2) together, because it's quite a large facility and I didn't want anyone getting lost.
I had read from previous posters to request a room away from the highway. I would echo this recommendation, because we were put away from the interstate and did not hear road noise.
There was a LARGE group of high school pompon squads there for some type of local competition. These kids were horribly disrespectful and loud...the first day. I imagine that there were many complaints, because after that first day management really took hold of the situation and advised those groups something that I can only imagine went like this: you cannot be loud, obnoxious, and practice in the hallways while others are trying to enjoy their stay. Whatever it was they said, it worked. Shame on the chaperones, because we received attitude from them while we were simply walking a hallway, as though we needed to not use it. Good on GWL for handling what could have ruined our trip (and sleep!).
Prepay for breakfast! You get a 25% discount on the price and it is SO worth it. It's a fantastic breakfast buffet that also allows you to order made-to-order waffles or omelets. We were very satisfied with breakfast.
The sweet shop was loaded with all sorts of goodies. We did make one trip to get an item for the kids (and stepmom!). We made a concerted effort to be healthy with most of our meals, allowing for the occasional vacation-inspired treat.
Not so positives (I can't say negative, because we didn't really have a negative experience):
We ate at the Loose Moose Bar and Grille a couple of times and I really wish they had some healthier options. The food, however, was great and I would highly recommend the Moose Melt. DELISH! If you're looking for healthier food, you may want to steer clear of any of the on-site places.
The temp in the indoor water park was a balmy 84, constantly. If you're swimming, it's great. If you're just down there to supervise, bring something that will cool you off (like a hand fan) and stay hydrated!
The lazy river is too generous a term: the lazy river was more like a lazy stream. It was probably 50 foot or so around, if that. VERY small, so don't count on being able to just float in the lazy river all day - it's such a small circle that you may get dizzy. Haha.
They do not have every area activity listed on their 'menu' of things to do in the area in terms of the discounts they offer. If you're venturing out and about, be sure to call the front desk to see if they offer discounts for your destination - you may be pleasantly surprised like we were (we did Wizard Quest and it was also very fun!).
All in all, we were all SO very pleased with our experience that the girls are already asking when we can visit another GWL location. If you're looking for a one-stop getaway, I cannot recommend this place highly enough.
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- Also Known As:
- Great Wolf Lodge Hotel
- Wisconsin Dells Hotel Great Wolf Lodge
- Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
- Great Wolf Hotel Wisconsin Dells
- Black Wolf Lodge
- Great Wolf Hotel Wi Dells
- Great Wolf Wi Dells
- Great Wolf Resort