Monday, February 18, 2013

The Great Wolf Lodge - A Howling Experience!

Great Wolf Lodge is as great as you might imagine! For us, it was closer, quicker and more convenient experience than heading down to Disney World - but the same "Wow" factor for the kids.

We do have little ones, so I have to say, the trip probably would have been a little easier if we had ages 8-13. Since only one of ours can swim, we had to be hands-on the entire time. But everyone had a blast and slept great because we played so hard!

Tips & Need To Know:
1. If you know someone who has been recently, see if you can borrow their "Magic Wands" ...what you don't know is that a Quest will be the coolest thing you do while there. You need a "Wand" to participate, and it is not included in your hotel accomodations. $20 a wand can get expensive if you have numerous kids. Then there is a approximate $20 activation fee. I would happily let someone borrow our two wands!

2. Does your child have sensory issues? My daughter typically is oversensitive to sound. The water park is very LOUD! Thankfully, she was having too much fun to be bothered by it. We eased her into the situation which helped. But, you might want to consider this if you are aware of your child having sensory issues.

3. Pack a cooler and keep in your room. Maybe you don't mind eating each meal out. But we brought cereal and milk, fruit and snacks. Not only does it save money, but you want to be the first person at the water park which opens at 9 a.m.!

4. If you are trying to avoid lines in the water slides arrive when the park is open (9 a.m.) and take an afternoon break returning late in the day, maybe even after dinner so that you catch the last few hours before the park closes (9 p.m.). Those are the quietest and least crowded hours.

5. If you want to plan a trip and have the park to yourself - the lifeguards told me the entire park is empty on Wednesdays. Just like DisneyWorld, if you can manage a weekday trip - the crowds will be a lot less...just be careful of Spring Break season.

6. Just a heads up one looks good in a swim suit in the indoors lighting.

7. Bring a ponytail - don't dress up...and spend the trip getting soaked right beside your kids.

8. If you have little ones (under 8) don't forget to attend storytime in the lobby at either 8 p.m or 9 p.m. - my daughter still talks about the show. And it is a good way to calm everyone down for the night.

9. Bring as little as possible. We dressed our kids in swim suits, they did wear coverups - but we let them go without shoes to the park. I suggest bringing as little as possible to the park, there's really just no point. You go from your hotel room to the water and there's not much in between.

10. Niffty idea: You don't have to worry about carrying your wallet or room key the entire trip. So, lock your valuables in the room safe. Then you use your arm band to buy everything, and you even scan your arm band to get into your room. I was amazed and couldn't get over that the entire time - so cool and convenient.

11. Just so you know - they have life jackets for all sizes and towels (okay...the towels are so very small, but you can grab as many as you want).

12. The resort will send you an email before going. On that email will be interactive games and activities for your kids to do before going or in the car there - DO IT! Build the excitement and let them get to know the characters that they will see there.

...and have fun! We would love to hear your "insider" resort tricks...especially if it is a money saving idea. Please post comments for our readers.