Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Insider Tips: Great Wolf Lodge

After having the weekend of our life at Great Wolf Lodge, I feel compelled to share some of our travel tips with my readers. (Good times my friends, good times.) Since many of my readers are thrifty as well as have families these tips may be of interest.

The actual water park (located in Grand Mound, WA...approximately 1 1/2 hours from Seattle) is a dream come true for kids of all ages. Heated to a very warm 83 degrees, there is no chance for shivering between activities including: water slides, wave pool, water play grounds and everything you could ever imagine that might be fun with water. (Seriously, you are going to have a wet weekend!) The life guards are plentiful, attentive and life jackets are available in a variety of sizes for your little ones. (However, lifeguards and life jackets can never replace parent supervision when it comes to the safety of our children!)

Though the water attractions are absolutely out of this world...wet, wild and wacky; I have to warn you that the inside food establishments are pricey. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying over $18 for an All-American meal once in awhile if the atmosphere is right. However, we were there to play! The quick alternatives included...$18/adult or $9/child for buffet style meal or $15 for a medium Pizza Hut pizza. (Ouch...especially when we all know that in that environment kids will only eat a piece of cheese and two bites of a dinner roll.) Needless to say, we chose the pizza and supplemented with our snacks we brought from home. Oh...and, of course, there was an in-house Starbucks. (If you are a regular blog reader...I don't even think I need to explain myself here when I say Mom and I enjoyed the complimentary coffee in our hotel room.) Enough said.

There was opportunity to eat "outside the box", but you had to be prepared. Hence, the reason for this post. Each room is equipped with a dorm size refrigerator and microwave for guests to use. If we had to do it over again (which we will!) we'd bring meals we could microwave, more snacks as well as cereal and milk for the morning. Thankfully, we had more snacks then we needed which substituted for many of our meals during our 24 hour stay and everyone was happy, including our pocket books. Not only did eating in the room save us money, but valuable WATER TIME since we could eat in our swimming suits in the privacy of our room.

Our family was blessed with this amazing weekend experience from Grandma Bonnie as a Christmas gift so our cost was nothing. (Thank you Grandma!) The neatest part is she accompanied us on the trip and enjoyed the fun with our family. The kids loved having Grandma there and Drew and I were grateful for the extra set of eyes and hands during the adventure. We visited during a holiday which meant bigger crowds and weekend hotel prices. But, if your family is able to get away during the weekday you'll save even more on your room and the crowds will be smaller. If you book a stay during Sunday through Thursday you'll save $100 a night off your room. Now that is some savings!

In addition to the water park is a multitude of arcades, a fantasy wizard game that takes you on an interactive journey all over the lodge, a kid's(yes...I just wrote that) and adult spa as well as gift high shops. If these are your things...then be prepared to bring your VISA. I'm not saying these things are worthy and warrant attention, I just have a hard time equating experience with overpriced merchandising. For example...paying $5.99 for a 16 oz Icee in a Wolf Lodge plastic cup. But, hey, you can get refills for $2.58. Get my point?

Despite dodging some expensive merchandising, our weekend was PRICELESS. Spending most of our time in a state of "wetness" at the water park we are looking forward to our encore adventure. Ah...I forgot to even mention the story time at night around the lodge fire place. So much to tell. If you and your family are planning a trip soon please don't hesitate to contact me directly. I'll be sure to give you my two cents worth. :)

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for choosing Great Wolf Lodge as your vacation destination. I am glad you and your family had a great time!

Warm Regards,
Derrek Kinzel,
General Manager
Great Wolf Lodge - Grand Mound