February 20, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Review and Tips (Williamsburg, VA)

A couple weeks ago I took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park in Williamsburg, VA.  It was just an overnight trip that was a combination of a good-report-card treat, early Valentine's gift, and Mommy-got-a-good-deal-on-a-Groupon!.  The kids and I (plus their grandma) really enjoyed our little mini-vacation.  Since there are several Great Wolf Lodges around the U.S. and Canada, I thought I'd share our experiences and pass along a few tips in case you're thinking of planning a trip to one.  

(NOTE: This isn't a sponsored post and I wasn't reimbursed in any way.  I just think it's helpful to get some extra info before spending lots of hard-earned money and wanted to pass along our thoughts)

Check out our stay (list of tips at the end of the post) ...

The main feature of the lodge is the large indoor waterpark and that's where we spent the majority of our time.  The passes for the waterpark are included in your room costs and it's only available for use by guests staying at the hotel.  (which helps to control the size of the crowds).  However, guests are free to use the facilities starting at 1pm on the day they check in and the full rest of the day after their 11am checkout.

When you enter the waterpark there's a large climbing structure in the center.  There are all sorts of nets, tunnels, slides and ways to dump and squirt water on those around you.  There's also a huge bucket of water that dumps out 1,000 gallons of water on the people below every 5 minutes.  (My kids LOVED the pouring water and would run over to stand under it when the warning bell went off)

Great Wolf Lodge reviews

The large wave pool was also a big hit with my kids.  They liked floating on a raft in the middle or being at the edge where the waves were breaking.  It was nice to have that beach experience without any sharp shells poking your feet or sand getting in your suit!

great wolf lodge reviews

There were lots of other fun attractions too ~ floating logs to hop across, a surfing simulator, shallow kids' pool and slides, hot tubs (one for adults and another for kids), and a lazy river.

There were also several large waterslides that I don't have pictures of, although I did ride them each several times!  (You can see the resort photos of them HERE.) My son declared the Howling Tornado, with its big drop into a huge funnel, his "favorite ride ever, anywhere!" and I have to agree it was really cool.  We also liked the River Canyon Run with its darkened tunnel and flashing lights and the Alberta Falls where you twist and turn down one of two large slides.  Even the two smaller water slides off the central climbing area were lots of fun.

 While the cost for our whole little trip, even with a Groupon, was a few hundred dollars, it was definitely a fun and memorable trip for the kids and a really special treat.  I couldn't afford to go back often, but we'd love to return again at some point.

Now for the tips and a few things worth mentioning...

  • If you can arrange it, try to go on a weekday.  We stayed Sunday into Monday and the crowds were manageable.  The longest lines (approx. 20-30 minutes at times) were for the Howling Tornado, River Canyon Run, and Flow Rider surfing ride.  Most of the other areas you could go right into.  I've heard it can be much more crowded on weekends.
  • Take advantage of the online check in.  I didn't and had to wait in a really long line to check in on Sunday afternoon.  I noticed that people who had done the online check in were able to go into a much, much shorter line.  (info should be in the reservation email). 
  • Instead of a traditional room key, the plastic wristband you get at check in is somehow electronically coded to give you access to your room.  (It's pretty cool, you just pass it in front of your door and it unlocks.)  You can also set up your wristband to allow purchases to be charged to your room.  It was really nice not to have to worry about keeping track of your wallet or room key while in the water.
  • Plan for some of your meals to be outside the lodge.  There are several eateries inside but you'll pay amusement park premium prices for your meals.  We grabbed lunch before we checked in at one of the restaurants close to the lodge and ate dinner at another restaurant on our 2nd day when we left.
  • Pack some snacks for your room.  I packed breakfast foods and some snacks so I could keep costs down.  You're not supposed to bring outside food into the waterpark area (there is a snack bar), but I did notice several families around us who brought in small snacks and drinks in their bags.
  • Try to have someone get down to the waterpark right when it opens to claim a table.  My son and I were at the doors right at 9am and were able to stake out a good table to serve as our "homebase" for the day.  By 10am, nearly all the tables had been staked out.
  • The lodge does provide free towels for use in the waterpark area.  They were perfect for the kids, but a little small for an adult. You might one to bring a beach towel of your own if you want to be able to wrap it all the way around you.
  • I thought there was plenty to do in the waterpark area for kids of all ages.  Because that was the main reason we went, we didn't do many of the other activities in the lodge.  However, I noticed lots of kids playing a Magic Quest game with a special wand (costs extra) and that could be a fun alternative to a whole day in the water, especially if you stay for more than one night.  There was also an arcade, spa, art room, storytimes and activities in the lobby, and more.  I can imagine it would get extremely pricy if you let your kids do all the extras, though.
  • I found the place to be clean and well maintained and the staff we dealt with were usually quite friendly and helpful.  (I often expect the worst after reading online reviews, but we had no problems.)  However, I will admit that the pizza we got at the lodge for dinner was pretty gross, especially considering it cost close to $20.
  • The lifeguards in the waterpark were very attentive and I felt comfortable letting my kids (ages 7, 9 and 10)  buddy up and go on some waterslides or attractions without me right by their side.
  • We stayed in the Loft Fireplace Suite and it was HUGE!  It had two double beds, a separate seating area with a pull out couch, a small balcony, a fireplace and stairs leading up to a loft with another double bed and a half bath. 
  • Since we were planning on staying at the park after checkout at 11, I took most of our belongings out to the car.  I rented a locker in the waterpark for $10 to hold our change of clothes, my purse and camera so I'd have quick access to them until we left the resort around 5pm.

I hope you've found this post helpful if you're planning your own trip to a Great Wolf Lodge.


  1. Right down the street from us "literally". I'm glad you had a good time. When you come back and I hope you do, check out Pierce's BBQ for a lunch or even a BBQ dinner, quite good, Jungle Jim's I've noticed isn't open as much as they use to be but that is a fun place for a splurge. In town there are several places to go and pick up bagel at Manhattan Deli, NY Deli is a GREAT family place to go that has anything and everything that you would want for an entire family with diverse eating.

    Since we live here we never have stayed at GW Lodge but it was fun to read your review. I often recommend it to out of town guests but have no information to really offer them on staying there. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the tips! We'll definitely be back. I know the kids would love to go to GWL again and I'd really like to see some of the other historical sites in Williamsburg.

  2. I did find this review helpful. Our family has been saving all our dimes with the hopes of one day making a trip to Great Wolf Lodge. We'd probably go to the Williamsburg location, too. Thanks for the tips!

  3. We have been twice a year, for several years until moving to China. We got to spend 3 nights there when we were back visiting last summer (we go to the GWL in the Wisconsin Dells). My sister and her kids joined, and we got a large suite with a kitchen and living room... so we had lots of room. It is nice becuase we can cook and eat there, rather than having to go to the expense of eating out for each meal. The GWL at the Dells is awesome! We all love going.

    We once had a chance to stay at the GWL in Niagara Falls (Canada), and though we had a good time, we had to admit it wasn't as great as the one in Wisconsin. It wasn't as large, and the waterpark portion was contained to one very large room, whereas the Dells is split into several rooms. With younger kids it made it hard to keep them all where you could keep a good watch over them... they all wanted to head in different directions.

    It is a perfect place for a family get away!!!

  4. My kids love Great Wolf Lodge. We've often spent a long weekend there in January and we always have a good time. In addition to the amazing waterpark, they have Paw Passes and Wolf Passes that will bundle several of the resort activities for a 25% discount. Sometimes we'd just get one pass and let our two girls share the activities like MagicQuest game and the arcade credits. The kids love the suites with the special kids' alcove. It's not as private as a 2 room suite, but it's a fun place for them to sleep and hang out during our downtime. And if you forget to pack anything, there's a huge Walmart just down the street.

    1. Thank you for your reviews of the Williamsburg GWL! It was helpful to read some positive input after reading some of the scathing reviews on some of the trip websites :0 So overall, would you say the rooms are very clean? I am a bit nervous about booking a room based on some of the comments about the rooms being run down and uncleanly. Thank you for humoring my pre-booking travel phobia (LOL)! We just had a terrible travel experience w/a hotel in NC so I am super sensitive.

    2. Hi Robin, yes I can say that our room was very clean. Obviously, we only stayed in one room out of the hundreds there, so I can't say positively that every other room was perfect, but everything I saw in the hotel looked fine as far as cleanliness and upkeep. ( I was nervous after reading all the reviews too). As I mentioned in the tips above, the one thing that was accurate in the reviews was that the food was pricy and not that good. My kids and I will eat just about anything and even we thought the pizza was pretty gross. However, there are several restaurants near the hotel and the rooms have little fridges and microwaves, so you do have options. Hope this helps!


  5. This app is great it gives you those moments of relaxation and incredibly wonderful
    age of war 2 | tank trouble | gold miner | tank trouble 3
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!my weblog:
    age of war 3 |earn to die 3 | earn to die 2 | red ball
    Stick war 2 | Apple Shooter

  6. I am so grateful for your blog article.Really thank you! Cool.
    Resorts in Jaipur

  7. Really appreciate you sharing this article post.Thanks. Much obliged.
    5 star resorts near delhi

  8. New Year Packages 2017 near Delhi NCR. New Year 2017 is an

    occasion of delights. So let's celebrate it together with

    enjoyable and a wonderful seasoning


  9. I found lots of interesting information here.Great work
    Thanks for the share loved reading the article, please do share more like this wiht us .
    juegos gratis | juegos de futbol

  10. In the event that you need to sort out huge social or business occasions then there can be no preferred place over tradition focuses. In Delhi NCR, one can discover a lot of inns with tradition focus office to organize occasions like conferences, get-togethers, displays, arrange appears and other vital events.visit:
    Confrence Vanues Near Delhi

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.


  12. New Year 2017 is an event of pleasures. So we should praise it together with charming and a brilliant flavoring of move gathering, boundless beverages, mixed drink, barkeeps, bucketful of snacks, commencement to be the most energizing one and exquisite scrumptious food stuff with New Year bundles close Delhi.
    visit: New Year Packages 2017


  13. At Club Mahindra, our steady concentration is to accept each open door to make a positive affair for you - We do this by attempting to foresee your necessities, learning through the worries you may have, and resolved to offer a best in class client bolster who are enthusiastically holding up to help you.
    visit: Club Mahindra Resorts

  14. The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas of the future as this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.
    animal jam | five nights at freddy's | hotmail login

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Thanks for your sharing! The information your share is very useful to me and many people are looking for them just like me! Thank you so much!
    fb login

  18. You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.
    Facebook Lite

  19. Just a smart thought! Awesome wolf resorts is a chain of indoor water parks. The organization owns and works its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand. Online Jackets Store

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Such a nice blog and i appreciate your all efforts about your thoughts. it's really good work. well done. I would like to share something really helpful for education.
    Assignment Help Sydney

  22. IT Experts Agency has rapidly recognized and implemented IT solutions with an incredible reputation of getting results for our clients. Our units empower us to offer full Technical Support to our customers. it solutions

  23. Thanks for sharing these useful information! This is really interesting information for me.
    skype login

  24. your general health.In a recent study, the high light weight aluminum WaterPeek Your plumbing will certainly last much longer therefore will certainly

  25. Great List! I would however add OneDayTop to this list, which is an all-in-one social travel site that lets you and your friends plan vacations, weekends and evenings in one place. Not only that, you can get the cheapest fares from multiple sites and calculate trip expenses and make bookings from a single site, instead of wasting time comparing pricing across multiple sites. Check out the site on Travel and share your feedback.

    OneDayTop has recently posted for Travel : Three Peaceful Greenest Towns Around the World

  26. prices, and also monitoring associated details to have a full review of USPS media mail. UPS Tracking to track your media mail, ensure you have a monitoring number.

  27. 7 Deadly Sins can without a doubt be your financial plan New Year festivity. With DJ Harry presenting to you some exceptional remixes from Bollywood, Sufi, retro and house music throughout the night. Not just music, atomic beverages and smorgasbord will likewise be there for your pleasure.
    Namah Resort

  28. Happy New Year 2018 images New Year season is on. The new year parties, resolutions began. Send latest New Year Wishes, Quotes with HD Images to your Friend , Family , Relative if you want to Download Hapoy new Year images , quotes please Visit our wevsite , Thank U

    Happy New Year 2018 Quotes

  29. شركة تنظيف بابها
    غالبا ما يحاول العديد من العملاء البحث عن الشركات ذات ثقة، وخبرة كبيرة في مجال تنظيف، وتتمتع شركة تنظيف بأم الساهك بالخبرة الثقة التي يستطيع العميل وضع منزله بين أيديهم، حيث تقدم شركة تنظيف بأم الساهك جميع خدمات التنظيف للمنزل والمؤسسات بجودة عالية ومستوي راقي يليق بالعميل
    شركة تنظيف مجالس بابها
    شركة تنظيف موكيت بابها
    شركة تنظيف كنب بابها
    شركة تنظيف سجاد بابها

  30. For the very best individual experience therefore regarding guarantee macysinsite.co you could go to "My Advantages" web page on Macy's Insite Website.

  31. Thanks for your post! I think there are many other people who are interested in them just like me! How long does it take to complete this article? I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share!
    vex 3

  32. The open tube well pool concept is one of the most unique water sources that you shall experience in any resort around delhi ncr. The rooftop provides an Ariel view of the vicinity and the next day tractor ride to the Ganges was a remembrance of the lifetime. Riding through the villages was an ultimate experience depicting the traditional village cultures.
    Resorts Near Delhi NCR

  33. Well nice work was such a great an unique topic. This is a completely interesting to read this blog. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this amazing blog. Keep it up the extremely good writing. I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for the information. I appropriate to your work please visit us Best Online Business Listing Website. I will be sure to come back here.
    Many thanks!

  34. Nice Post! It is really interesting to read from the beginning & I would like to share your blog to my circles, keep your blog as updated.
    Check out digital marketing courses in jaipur & seo courses in jaipur

  35. Hi buddy, your blog' s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts about Online Dissertation Help are superb. Please keep them coming. Greets!!

  36. Having a lien put on your vehicle-Once you have marked your advance papers, the bank will require that you hand over the "pink slip" or title to the car. auto title loans chicago

  37. . I believe in the honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
    חבילות נופש לכרתים

  38. thank you for sharing information, i like your blog

  39. Remember that the offer goes out 30 days after billing day Webnode Go and also obtain your totally free food currently. customer satisfaction survey Customer Satisfaction Survey as customer survey To begin the survey, go into the info from your McDonald's invoice enter survey to win Kroger Employees as well as their family participants.

  40. I am so happy to see this Great Wolf Lodge Review here and i am sure that children will really love this place.
    Business plan writing service

  41. Zong Call Packages Daily, Weekly, Monthly, 2018-19.Zong offers affordable call packages to its customers. In this article, we will look at the Zong Call Packages Daily, Weekly, Monthly, 2018-19. Zong is the leading 3G/4G mobile internet provider in Pakistan and a growing telecom company. Let us look at Zong call packages in this article.

    Zong Student Bundle Offer

    Price: Rs 3
    Free On-Net Minutes: 120
    Validity: 1 day
    To subscribe dial: *3000#

    Zong Super Student Package

    Price: Rs 5
    Free On-Net Minutes: 10000
    Free MBs: 30
    Validity: 1 day
    To subscribe dial: *5555#

    Zong Full Gup Package

    Price: Rs 5
    Free On-Net Minutes: 75
    Free SMS: 100
    Free MBs: 30
    Validity: 1 day
    To subscribe dial: *118*1#

    Zong Shandaar Daily Package

    Price: Rs 8
    Free On-Net Minutes: Unlimited
    Free SMS: 800
    Free MBs: 50
    Validity: 1 day
    To subscribe dial: *999#


  42. You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.
    Car StereoDouble Din Android Player
    Hyepersonic Double Din Player
    Hyundai Creta Double Din Player
    Hyundai Xcent OEM Double Din Player

  43. This is so wonderful! Such great information, and I've often wished there was a resource or someone willing to share these items. Thank you for being so generous and sharing this useful information!

  44. I like to read your article because it really helps me. Thank you for sharing this post with us.
    Togel Online
    Syair Togel Singapore

  45. Java Assignment help
    You should try to keep your article short. If you want to finish in lessen time. Make sure worlds limit should not exceed more than 500 words. Try to add only relevant data and information. If you feel that you are stuck, you can take assignment help online to get a proper idea. There are several web services which can help you to find out a suitable solution to your problems.

  46. Welcome to the Best writers Reviews, Here you can get the best All Assignment Help reviews sites. We strongly urge you to check our entire website once and we will assure you will find this review website very useful. Our hard work will be rewarded if students like you will appreciate our effort and spread the message about this site with your class-fellows and friends.

  47. Thank you for sharing this useful information with us.
    Please notify us like this :https://loginhotmail4.blogspot.com/

  48. you can go through Allassignmenthelp.com reviews. It will help you to know about the services, and it will help you to know whether that site is reliable or not. This is a way of understanding the opinion of users, and it helps the website to maintain its functionality and reliability.Assignment Help reviews

  49. I am happy with your article, Fajartoto think your website is pretty good. Many articles are very useful for everyone. I am sure your website will grow in the future. Fajartoto will always support your website, hopefully more advanced. keep the spirit... thanks

    togel online
    bandar togel terpercaya
    bandar togel sgp
    situs togel resmi
    togel online terpercaya
    agen togel
    agen togel terpercaya
    prediksi sgp
    syair togel hk

  50. Regardless of whether you are searching for a sentimental end of the week with your adored one, a family trip in a fun area or an occasion that gives you a chance to appreciate climbing, cycling or other outside exercises, a lodge occasion is the perfect alternative.pet friendly hotels in pittsburg ks

  51. Webroot.com/safe is a protection software solution that communicates with the cloud avoiding the hassle to manage the signature updates to deploy. for office setup visit office.com/setup

  52. That's so nice and interesting blog. Thanks for sharing it

  53. AllAssignmenthelp reviews is best reviews site in USA. Welcome to the review of AllAssignmenthelp reviews, a writing service in Britain aimed at USA, Australia students.

  54. Not only in Solidworks, but also in other software related assignments, our experts can be extremely helpful. Our experts specialize in 3D mechanical design applications of Solidworks . When it comes to doing an assignment and you get stuck, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Online Assignment Expert for English assignment help. If you are a university student and looking for assignment writing help then Online Assignment Expert is one stop solution. Our assignment writing experts in Australia serve the best assignment help Australia to students in order to solve their queries.

  55. This article is great. I like it very much. Thank you.
    เว็บไซต์คาสิโนออนไลน์ที่ได้คุณภาพอับดับ 1 ของประเทศ
    เป็นเว็บไซต์การพนันออนไลน์ที่มีคนมา Gclub Royal1688
    และยังมีหวยให้คุณได้เล่น สมัครหวยออนไลน์ ได้เลย
    สมัครสล็อตออนไลน์ได้ที่นี่ >>> Golden slot
    ร่วมลงทุนสมัครเอเย่น Gclubกับทีมงานของเราได้เลย

  56. Thank you for making me realize this. It's great.
    โปรโมชั่นGclub ของทางทีมงานตอนนี้แจกฟรีโบนัส 50%
    เพียงแค่คุณสมัคร Sclub กับทางทีมงานของเราเพียงเท่านั้น
    สมัครสล็อตออนไลน์ >>> goldenslot
    สนใจร่วมลงทุนกับเรา สมัครเอเย่น Gclub คลิ๊กได้เลย

  57. Our best persuasive speeches services are meant to transform the academic profile of any student from a downward trend to an upward trend in their grades.

  58. Students should ensure that quality of essays offered match their prices. All quality custom essay should ensure that customers’ private details are kept in privacy. This also applies when one needs pre written research papers.

  59. A straightforward logo configuration maintains a strategic distance from mess and underscores on the thoughts being conveyed appropriately. logo design service

  60. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  61. We provide extreme quality My Assignment Help services for all students from universities of Singapore. Our writers are experts who have good command on completing Singapore University based assignments.

  62. \While I was going through this blog, I realised about the lives of students is really tough,however, with our Nursing assignment help services, you can turn a lot of toughassignments on your side. The academic experts at My Assignment Services always ensure you beat out the odds by providing assistance through their nursing essay writing help services. We provide 100% original quality assignments which surpasses the highest of thequality. Our nursing leadership essay help services are distributed across the world including Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada, Malaysia, and many other countries. The assignments written by our nursing assignment help experts passes through a rigorous quality check which follow every university guidelines. Students are free to contact our assignment experts by visiting our website at My Assignment Services Experience the best academic help that you have ever got with My Assignment Services.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...