Sunday, September 13, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge Review

My sister and I took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine as a belated birthday/end of summer vacation.

The kids were good on the long drive there. We stopped in Waco at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco on the way so that cut up the drive.

Caleb brought out his Boy Scout instincts and was "searching" for the lodge the closer we got.

This place is huge. It was easy to find and there wasn't a line when we got there. The kids were so excited when they stepped in they ran up to me and hugged me and thanked me.

The lobby has a huge window that allows you to see into the waterpark. There is also the big tree house and the area were they tell bedtime stories. It is all a great wilderness vibe.

Registration was a breeze and I was blown away by the wristbands they have you wear. This allows you entrance into the waterpark, is your room key and your credit card. It is genius! You don't have to take anything to the waterpark as you just show them your wristband and the charges are put on your room. No more looking for your room key or trying to remember where you put it. I wish all hotels had this.

We took advantage of their offer of a free night with two nights stay. With that offer we weren't able to pick one of their fun rooms but this one was fine. It had two beds and a sofabed as well. Next time though we will definitely get the one with the cave theme. They don't have room service but they have places to eat in the waterpark and within the hotel. To save money we brought some snacks and sandwich fixins. This was great as we were so exhausted from doing everything that we didn't want to go out.

We did get food in the snack huts and the kids loved the corn dogs, and the chicken, and the french fries and the dippin dots--they liked it all. Diane and I split a steak from one of the restaurants and it was more than enough food for us both. We did eat at one restaurant for lunch because the boys had a coupon for a shot glass at this one. They had fun doing that and the food was great.

They sell these pup passes where for like $49 you get free stuff (stuffed animal, t-shirt or pillow case, tumbler, coins for the arcade and the aforementioned shot glass). The boys got that since Sydni was able to spend time at Scoops.

Scoops is a spa for little girls. It is much smaller than I thought it would be but it was absolutely precious. Sydni got a manicure and facial. They let her pick out her colors, lotion and smells for both. For the pedicure you sit on a banana split. They forgot to offer Sydni the robe until I asked about it. They did let her wear a tiara during the whole thing. For her facial she sat at a bar and was given a chocolate facial. She really enjoyed her time and loved the stuffed animal I bought her which also has a robe. It is a parent-free zone so I had to stay outside but I would sneak in to take pics.

MagiQuest - well this is a marketing genius because all the kids want the wands that allow you to play the game and you have to go up and down all eight floors finding the clues. It is not as much fun for parents as it is for kids. And it is tiring --my poor sister had to do this with the kids as my hip would not allow me to go up and down the stairs. It seems as if all the kids were having trouble defeating the dragon. Lot of upset kids so the parents had to help out.

The waterpark is great. Not too big and a variety of different things to keep the kids excited. They also were good about not letting kids go in without an adult. Caleb lost his goggles and luckily they were turned in at the front desk so I had a very happy boy. We never even made it outside to that portion of the waterpark -- next time hopefully.

I thought the elevators would be a nightmare because that is what I had read but we didn't have any complaints. I've stayed in hotels where you had to wait 20 mins. so 5 wasn't bad.

The registration staff was wonderful. We had to ask the cleaning crew to come clean the room because Jacob had put out the "Do not disturb" sign out when we left and didn't notice. They came right away.

The negatives:

The staff at the MagiQuest and the boy at the stuffed animal shop have no business working at a place for kids. They had no personality and were very short with the kids. It really irked me. If you don't enjoy your job then quit and stop messing up little nine-year-olds vacation.

The fire alarm went off THREE times within 24 hrs. Once while I was taking a shower and Sydni came running in that there was a fire -- freaked me out. Another time it was lightly raining and we had to stand outside.

Our last night we were rudely kept up by a bunch of squealing teenagers who had the three rooms surrounding us. I kid you not when I tell you that they were trying to have a sleepover in the hallway. One room got locked out so they ALL decided to hang out in the hallway until after midnight. Very bad parenting from their chaperones.

All in all we had a great time and tried to let the negatives roll off our backs. The kids can't wait to go back.

It is very pricey so budget and plan your time wisely. Take food because that does help and the kids munched and were able to eat breakfast in the room before heading out.

You can see photos on my post in the kids blog about our trip here.

August 2009

-- Posted from my iPhone

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