My son Walt is a water baby. He could spend all day, every day in the water and would never get bored. So why did we wait so long to finally check out Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim? A good friend of mine has been going to other Great Wolf Lodges across the country for years and talks about it all the time. Over the holidays we finally booked a room and this might be our new favorite family vacation destination!
Before you read on I want to upfront that this was a trip I paid for myself. I wasn’t offered any freebies from Great Wolf Lodge nor was I asked to review the destination. All views are based on what we experienced during our stay.
There Is So Much To Do!
Yes, I’ve seen the commercials. I know there is a lot to do at Great Wolf Lodge, but I was not prepared for how much there was once I got there. The waterpark really is large with a ton of slides and different things to do. I was really surprised by the amount of just simple pool areas. For a son like mine with sensory issues, the wave pool can get too much. But with so many great pool areas there were plenty of places he was comfortable in. Besides the waterpark, there is bowling, mini golf, a massive arcade and an on-site quest that takes you through the hotel. Now everything outside the waterpark is an extra charge. To be honest, we never needed to do the extras. Just spending time in the waterpark was more than enough for our family.
You Can Stay All Day After Checkout
I wasn’t really sure what the policy was on how long you can stay at the waterpark on your check out or check in day. Like most hotels, check out is at 11am and I assumed that meant that at 11am your waterpark privileges are done. Turns out, you can stay in the waterpark ALL DAY after you have checked out if you like. Their bathrooms in the waterpark have full showers if you want to get rinsed off before leaving. Now I didn’t see this in the women’s because I didn’t look, but my husband said he saw a device that dried off your bathing suits so you didn’t have to put them back in your luggage all wet! Kind of genius! You can also get into the waterpark long before your hotel room is ready which is amazing.
No Bell Service – But It’s Okay
I have never seen a hotel without a bell service. Motel yes, but not a hotel. Great Wolf Lodge does not have a bell service, but it kind of makes sense. I can only imagine the kind of headache it would be to run a bell service at that hotel. Since you can stay at the waterpark all day after checking out, people would constantly be checking in their luggage and checking it out. It would kind of be a nightmare. However, they do make up for it in a way. They have luggage carts EVERYWHERE! When we got in the parking structure, there was a row of them waiting. There were carts waiting on every floor. There were carts in the lobby. It was kind of wild to see carts readily available wherever you go. After checkout and before check in, a lot of those carts were lined up by the exit to the parking structure filled with luggage where families had left them while they played in the water park. It was an unusual sight to see but it made total sense.
The Service Was Exceptional
Great Wolf Lodge is Anaheim is just down the street from Disneyland, where the service is legendary. I was surprised to see the service matched if not surpassed in some areas. Every employee we encountered was kind and smiling, even in the LONG check in line! (Btw, skip that check-in line if you can. We did it all through the touch screen check in and then was able to go to the information desk right near the entrance that had one person in line and get our wristbands. It took all of 5 minutes total.) It was the little touches that really made a difference. For example, we went to the in-house buffet for breakfast. The food is fine. Basic buffet food with an omelet station. But what made it great were the servers. They interacted and made sure you had everything you needed. When we left, our server asked if we wanted some coffee to go, which was obviously very necessary. He gave us a giant to-go cup filled with fresh coffee! It looked like that was standard practice and was really a nice touch.
You Can Find Great Deals
I’ve seen a lot of people online complain about the prices. Look, if you go during the weekend and want the suits with the bunk beds, yes it is going to get pricey. But if you shop their deals, it’s not too bad. I got our room on a Black Friday deal. We did one night for 3 of us in a standard room and it was $158. Now the resort fees added another $100 on top of that. But honestly, $258 for two days at a waterpark and a night at a hotel for 3 people isn’t too terrible. There are hotels down the way that cost more than that just for a night at the room! We also got the standard room, which was way nicer than I thought it would be. The room itself was MASSIVE, like surprisingly massive! It had two queen beds and queen pull-out and still plenty more room. We were shocked at the size and super beyond happy with the quality of the room. One of my best friends booked a room last minute for her family of 5 on New Year’s Eve and only paid a little over $500 dollars. It’s really not a bad price when you think of what you get value wise at the hotel.
Also, the exhaustion level from my kid after we left… That should be the advertisement. “Here’s how tired your kid will be after a night at Great Wolf!”