"Great Wolf Lodge": Anyone Been There, Done That?

The McDeath family is taking a little trip to Washington State in the summer and we were thinking of staying a couple of nights at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Has anyone been there?

They have a 20% discount right now and it’s still ~$189/night. Is it worth it?

Once you’re in, is it a money pit? Or are there lots of free things to do?

Is the waterpark covered with your room or extra?

Will our 5.5 year old daughter enjoy it?

Has anybody actually gone to the Washington State one (as opposed to the 10 other Wolf Lodges spread across the country)?

Any input would be swell.



Man, all I can say is by all means go. Great Choice… lots of fun.

Of course, I haven’t been to the Washington Branch, YMMV. But if my Sandusky experience is any indication, this is one of the last family Hotels out there. Lots for your daughter to do. In the Top 5 of the Waterparks I have been to. They have an arcade at the Sandusky one, too.

My wife and I have been twice with our daughter and a couple of her friends. The one in Washington is about 45 minutes from where we live. The waterpark is included in the price but the food isn’t. Your child will love it–you, well it depends! The do have adult drinks for sale there though so that will help.

I think overall the ‘theme’ is a little cheesy but that is because they didn’t take things far enough, so the Great room doesn’t feel as Great as it should, the scale is just a little off. The food is okay, nothing to write home about but will keep you fed. The one thing I remember is that the young kids can buy this wand and shake it at different things and those objects move and talk. That got old after awhile.

Your child will see and feel NONE of this stuff–she will have a blast and frankly that is all that is important isn’t it? My daughter and her friends loved it and my wife and I had a good time because they did.

funny you should post this as we might go sometime over the next week. My colleague assures me that it was pretty fun for 1 night/2 days. In his words: We went there a few weeks ago. It’s ok for a day. Get there in the early afternoon and then stay through the 2nd afternoon and come home. It’s not a very big place but it is nice to get warm and run around in a swimsuit. The food is absolutely terrible. That’s the toughest thing about going there.

If I go over spring break, will give you an update.

Funny thing- that’s about five minutes from my house, but I’ve never actually been inside. I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun, but the food is terribly overpriced.

You know it really reminded me of the “Disney Experience”, like on their cruiseship, or having experienced “Disney” and Epcot through the Disney Hilton in my own experience.

Super expensive food is certainly a Disney idea. I got a survey from Disney World after my visit there - they asked me a lot about the costs of various items - except the food. They already knew the food was priced way too high.

…we had a whole strip of reasonable and very good restaurants to dine at off-property. Considering these seem to be near or parasitic of major attractions like Wisconsin Dells and Cedar Point.

Charlotte NC has one which is no tourist area except for Carowinds amusement park. But the lodge is nowhere near the park.

Really good and cheap authentic Mexican food, Casa Bonita style, near the Sandusky location.

You’re daughter will love it. If she takes to water like most kids she’ll never want to leave.
You’ll be ready to leave after a day or 2.

I’ve only been to the one in Wisconsin but they have a huge game room there. I try to avoid this though my kids always want to spend time in there, but you’ve already paid for the water park (so why not use it) and you can dump a good amount of cash in there really quickly - not a good cost/benefit (enjoyment) ratio. The waterpark closes at 10:00 (in WI anyway) and the kids are still keyed up so I usually cave and let the them have an hour or so a night in the arcade.

But as noted above I think we planned on a least $50-$75 per day per person for grub. Part of this is because you end up eating more frequently - at least we always do. Lots of in-between-meal snacks. Pizza, ice cream, chicken fingers ect. - it adds up quick and when they’re running around all day they seem to always be hungry.

Give it a shot - even if you hate it your daughter will love it.

Oh and if see a BIG bucket on top of some on the jungle-gym type thing in the water playground area…
If you hear a bell start to ring get out of the way of that thing, at least the first time.

We have gone to the one in Niagara Falls for the last two years. My kids love it, my wife and I hate it, but go because the kids love it. In no particular order -

The food is overpriced and not particularly good.

The entire swim area is chlorinated based on a pool full of incontinent children. If you have any kind of sensitive skin, you will itch for days afterwards.

The waterslides/waterpark area is included in the room price. There are all sorts of extras that are in your face - the games arcade, the gift shop, the photos of you on the two biggest waterslides, etc. Worse, they are in your kids’ faces, so be prepared to get a lot of Daddy, Mummy, may I have …

There’s something really disturbing about the First Nations theme of the place. It’s all the sanitized, Hollywood, white folks version and it’s really jarring. I see your location is Kamloops, BC. There are a couple of hundred places where you can go to experience First Nations’ culture. This is not remotely one of them, and I found it upsetting that the people on real reserves can’t even get clean drinking water, but someone can make a lot of money with a First Nations waterslide park as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of First Nations’ peoples.

We bring our own groceries and our own booze. Like I say, it’s not my thing at all, but my kids love it.

Missed the edit window - Holy thumpin’ diddly, is it LOUD in there. If you have any kind of hearing loss, you need to bring earplugs so as to not make it worse. If you didn’t have hearing loss before you went in, you’ll have it before you go. Count on not understanding a thing anyone says to you in the waterslide area.

True, it’s about a 45 minute drive from Carowinds, but it’s about two miles from the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Zmax Dragstrip. I suspect a lot of families split up with Mom and the kids going to Great Wolf and Dad and the teenage boys going to the races. And, if you get tired of the water park, they’re just across the freeway from a large shopping mall with movie theaters and restaurants.

I am going to the one in Dallas in three weeks with my daughters. My mother took them last year and they loved so they get to go again. I hope it is good for my sake but they already gave it personal good reviews.

Yeah the fact that it is “First Nations” themed has absolutly no bearing on our decision to go.

I was pretty sure the natives didn’t have water parks 200 years ago (not like they had casinos! ;))


I didn’t find it “First Nations Themed” so much as “PNW, Yukon Gold, and well Washington State Kitschy”, but no worse than Disney’s Fort Wilderness or something along those lines. I imagine it’s a little refractive or weird to be at the one in actual Washington State, though. Kind of like if they built a Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Beijing.

Count me in with **ChinaGuy and Le Ministre **- it’s the very definition of “taking one for the team” to go, if you are not *really *into water parks. The noise, the chlorine, the kids run amok, the fried food - not my cuppa, but my 6 and 8 year olds enjoyed it.