Great Wolf Lodge is a very popular destination with families. That explains why there are locations scattered across the United States and one in Canada, near Niagara Falls. When we decided to do some exploration in the area, I decided that now was the time to take our kids. We also got an amazing deal thanks to a homeschoolers discount!
I may have come in with my expectations too high, but I wasn’t as blown away by Great Wolf Lodge as I thought I’d be. As always, I want to give you my honest thoughts. The fact is, Great Wolf Lodge (in my opinion) is just a water park with a themed hotel attached.
There are some things that Great Wolf Lodge does awesome! The water park was a blast for my oldest! It’s included in the cost of your stay and they had a ton of different slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a splash zone, a large hot tub and other water games. The lifeguards were phenomenal and you can tell that safety is extremely important to them. Kudos to them for that!
The wilderness theme is fun and extends through the entire hotel. When you walk into reception there’s a giant brick fireplace with howling wolves perched on little cliffs. There’s a talking Moose and Bear that help with story time in the evening, and there was a bubble dance party that my kids thoroughly enjoyed. Other then that, everything is extra.
MagiQuest looked cool, but it was $30+ to participate in per kid. There is an arcade with games, but it cost us $20 for about 15 minutes of fun. There is also bowling, a build your own stuffy centre, and mini golf. Again, that is all extra. You really need to factor in these extras if you plan to stay for more than a day. We found we couldn’t spent all day in the pool because it was too tiring. You can get a Pup Pass that includes much of these extras at a special rate if interested.
We only ate on-site once for dinner and the buffet was excellent, but it cost us $65.00 for three people. You can buy a meal plan for $50.00 a day (a much better deal) but we simply drove to Tim Hortons five minutes down the road. I found the food options limited and pricey, but we aren’t big eaters.
It’s entirely possible that I’m a Disney snob, and the fact is, no one does entertainment like Disney! Or perhaps our kids were too young to really get into this place. I’m still glad we went and experienced Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara, but in the future I think I would simply take my kids to a water park for the day.