AKA, “Great Wolf Lodge” in Anaheim, California was where we chose to spend our summer 2018 family vacation. My Daughter now calls it the Great GREAT Wolf Lodge. It lives up to the double great and If you’re looking at it as a trip for your family this summer, we highly recommend! Prepare to read this article and be in awe, it’s amazing how many fun activities they’ve packed into this indoor waterpark and lodge.
Along Came 7
It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I will remind you that we are a family of 6, and for this trip we allowed the boys to take along 1 friend. I know what you’re thinking, how in the world did you pull this off with so many kids, and how could you afford it?
The beauty of staying at the Great Wolf Lodge is that the waterpark passes are included in your stay. The amount of passes included depends on the size of room you book. We chose the Kid Cabin, up to 6 tickets and Macy and Molly were free. On the last day, Grandma and Grandpa came along and were able to purchase day passes at a reasonable rate!
The coupon codes they provide through email or on their website are killer! We booked a few months ahead of time, did a 2 night deal and took advantage of 50% off. They required only a deposit at booking, and we paid the rest when we checked out. They also offer a “Howling Heroes” discount for Active, Retired and Military Veterans.
We Came Packin’
I know what you’re thinking next… How did you afford to feed all of those mouths? Well, we took food with us! We loaded up our cooler with milk, drinks and refrigerated items to hold us over until we got to the Lodge. I also took along my skillet/crockpot combo. We Brought donuts and cereal for breakfast, ingredients for grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, buns and chili beans for chili dogs (I had the beans warming up in our room while we were playing at the park) and Chips. Then of course lots of snacks for the kids; goldfish, graham crackers, granola bars etc. We also took a case of water and juice boxes. Paper plates, bowls and cups. Plastic knives, spoons and forks and a couple dollar tree spatulas we didn’t mind tossing. The more we could toss and leave behind, the less we had to take back AND the less this momma had to clean up!
*TIP- Invest in a big beach bag that can fit waters, snacks, towels, etc to bring down to the waterpark!
We allowed ourselves 2 purchased meals. Our first night we ate dinner at the buffet. The buffet was the best buffet we had ever been to! The meals are chef prepared, allergy conscious, fresh and delicious. On the last day we wanted to stay and play even after we had checked out so we enjoyed their pizza for lunch. The “Hungry as a Wolf” pizza joint is inside next to the big arcade! The name fits perfect, especially for kids who’ve been playing all day long and starving.
*TIP- For the Buffet- Get there as soon as they open to avoid a large crowd! It gets packed QUICK! We are typically not fans of buffets so we like to be the first ones in.
Now for the FUN!
We had been watching commercials for the Great Wolf Lodge since before it opened, not only were the kiddos excited but Leo and I were too! Parents, you seriously cannot go wrong with this vacation!
The Cabin Suites- since we booked in advance and received a tremendous amount of savings, we went ahead and splurged on the Kid Cabin Suite. As you walk into the Mountain Lodge Themed Room you see a small cabin complete with a bunkbed, twin bed and TV. But it get’s better. The room interacts with you, especially if you purchase a MagiQuest Wand. We stuck the boys in there, they loved it! The rest of the suite was very spacious and complete with everything we needed for our large tribe. There was a queen size bed for Leo and I, a pull-out Sofa for Macy-Jane and we had requested a Pack and Play for Molly at no additional cost. In the mornings we converted our suite into a dining area and came back for naps in the afternoon.
The best part!!! This is the place to be I’m tellin’ ya! They have friendly staff in every corner, a First Aid station as you walk in, also security. Bathrooms a plenty and kept clean, and tables and chairs EVERYWHERE! There are also Cabanas to rent for a fee. We decided not to go with the extra expense and just made sure to make it down as soon as they opened to claim a table and chairs. The atmosphere is safe, everyone is there to genuinely have a great Family time!
For the Little Ones– The Cub Paw Pool, this is where we spent the majority of our time with Macy-Jane (3) and Molly (1.) It was the perfect little play area for babies, toddlers and preschool age children. Lots of water play, squirters, mini slides, fun characters and the deep end is only 24″ “deep.” SWIM DIAPERS REQUIRED! They also check the water for “bacterias” on the half hour I believe. If anything shows up, they will shut down the kiddie area until it is clean and the levels are back to normal. We really appreciated that!
For the Whole Family– Fort Mackenzie! This place was the best, complete with 4 water slides for preschool age and up. Tons of activities and a giant 500 gallon bucket that dumps water on everyone ever few minutes. Macy didn’t warm up to this place until the last few hours we were there, but once she did we couldn’t get her off the slides!
The REAL fun!– I’m only going to fill you in on a few, otherwise I would be naming them all and leave no room for surprise. Let me tell you, every water ride there is a BLAST! There are 2 rides that can fit multiple people at once. One is the Howling Tornado which is visible from the outside of the Lodge. The other is the River Canyon, the kids and I took my mother in law on that one! Mine and Leo’s most favorite was the Wolf Tail, where you stay standing and the ground comes out from under you and down you go. Such a thrill! My father in law even got on that one. SO MUCH FUN!
Outdoor Play– The inside of the waterpark is kept at 80 degrees all day long. It’s nice, you dry quick, you don’t get cold and the kids won’t get sick. However, sometimes you feel like you need a little fresh air. Yup, they’ve also taken that into consideration and have an outdoor water play area called the Raccoon Lagoon. There are cabanas surrounding the area and a restaurant.
More Fun and Activities
The Lodge is full of fun things to do other than just the water rides. They have their own band of Characters who make appearances all day long. Here’s just a few of our favorite activities they offer.
- Character Breakfast Buffet– Eat Breakfast with all of your favorite Great Wolf Lodge Friends
- Pajama Party – Dancing and Fun with the Great Wolf Staff
- Wake Up with Wiley– Early Morning fun including Yoga
- Story Time with Great Wolf Lodge Characters – Settle down with a story before bed time
- Build your own Great Wolf Kids Character– Located inside the Great Wolf Kids Store. Oh boy did we love this one!! Macy-Jane still sleeps and carries around the “Violet” character that she made. It’s similar to a build a bear workshop, just a lot more affordable. It was actually included with the Pup Pass we purchased.
- Arcade– The boys had a blast at the arcade while the girls napped, lots of fun games to keep the older kids busy and it’s open after the water park closes.
Activities We Didn’t Get to Check Out
Magiquest– Explore the lodge and take part in the adventure of a lifetime! MagiQuest turns Great Wolf Lodge into a live-action game where you’re the star. You’ll choose a special magic wand, top it with extra powers, and set off on a quest. Play for a few minutes or all day. This must be a really fun thing, we saw tons of kids running around with the wands.
Bowling– Enjoy bowling for toddlers, teens and tall ones alike! Shorter lanes and smaller bowling balls make this a perfect way to spend time together as a family whether you’re trying for a perfect 300-game or simply playing for fun. No special shoes required.
Glow Golf– Bring your whole pack to play Howl at the Moon Glow Golf and enjoy an immersive black light experience that brings a nature-themed forest to vibrant life. Nine creatively designed holes will challenge and entertain players of all ages.
Lazer Frenzy– Prepare to skip, hop, bend, reach, jump and dodge the colored beams of light as you navigate this fantastical maze! Your mission: get the highest score without letting the lights touch you. Exciting music and thrilling special effects make Lazer Frenzy a fast-paced adventure for the whole family.
Might I Suggest…
They have these passes that are available for purchase that include a bundle of attractions and deals. There are 3 different types at different prices. They end up being quite a savings especially if you plan on doing the fun activities on the inside of the Lodge. They even include a scoop of Ice Cream and a trip the Candy Shop! The one we purchased for Macy-Jane was the, “Pup Pass.”
Other Fun Facts
The Water Park opens at 9 AM and closes between 8:30 and 9 PM. It’s located near Disneyland and all of the other fun Theme Parks in that area.
Instead of having to carry a wallet around, they provide you with a bracelet electronically linked to your room. You can use this bracelet to purchase food and drinks, and I believe you must be 21 and older to wear one because there is alcohol also for sale.
The staff is super friendly and very helpful.
We found that the food prices were actually pretty reasonable, even for the Dinner Buffet!
Towels are available at the water park.
We LOVED IT! So much so that we’ve chose it over any other destination for this years summer trip. It was safe, fun, as affordable as a theme park can get, the whole family had a GREAT Time. We cannot wait to visit again in a few weeks!
P.S. The kids don’t know it yet so please don’t let the cat out of the bag, or the wolf 🙂
So Happy to finally get back on here and connect with the world, if you have any questions about the “Great Great Wolf Lodge” leave them in the comments below!!