When it comes to indoor water park hotel options – I don’t think you can do better than the Great Wolf Lodge. Because I recently took my family for an overnight stay and we had a blast.
Moreover, while we hit the one in Anaheim, California, the Great Wolf Lodge runs at least 18 of these massive complexes throughout the US. Click here to find your closest location.
So it’s understandable that they’ve pretty much thought of everything. In fact, this could be your family’s ultimate stay-cation – or vacation.
✅ PRO TIP: You can do it all in a one-night stay, but you will be on the go non-stop and exhausted at the end. Staying two nights greatly slows the pace. And staying three nights will actually allow parents to relax a bit. ;0)
And thinking of everything is one thing. But they execute well too! So family time runs smoothly for both parents and kids!
Great Wolf Lodge – Indoor Water Park Hotel
So, you can think of the lodge as kind of a wet, indoor Disney. Another way to think of it is a Vegas hotel on the strip where time evaporates without ever leaving a single building. But family and kid-focused for sure. :0)
Because there’s wholesome fun to be had in countless ways. And it’s way more than just water slides – although those are awesome!
There’s a kids’ miniature bowling alley, an ice cream shop, a candy store, and an arcade. Plus, they include guided arts and crafts, storytime, an evening dance party, and more.
Of course, there’s the entire water park. Including a lazy river and, wave pool. Additionally, there are seemingly countless different waterslides. And all of them are logically grouped, keeping the littles, middles and, big kids/adults safely separated. But it’s all family inclusive.
And remember I said parents are kept entertained too. For instance, moms and dads can get a little breather during arts and crafts and storytime. Or while watching bowling.
But also they can just chill at one of the Vegas-style cabanas in different areas of the water park. Yes, even adult beverages are available if you so chose.
Booking Your Indoor Water Park Hotel
My wife handles all our travel plans. But booking any location for Great Wolf Lodge is easy. In fact, we loved our stay so much that I partnered with them.
Arrival, Parking, And Check-In
Arrival and check-in were a breeze too. While they offer valet parking – I prefer parking myself. So we found a spot and went in we were about an hour-ish early for our official check-in time.
But being early was no problem as they got us checked in right away.
Get Your Ears On
And in a very Disney-like move, with check-in comes your wolf-ears. Which my son, my wife, and I all rocked with pride.
Also, the staff must be instructed to chat up the folks with suitcases and ears. Because everyone we came across welcomed us and was super-helpful. (Same goes for when they see you leaving with suitcases.)
Cool Optional Upgrades
Wolf-ears aside, there are cool upgrade packages at Great Wolf too.
They can include various extras like a trip to the ice cream or candy shops, a game of bowling and arcade credits. Plus there’s an option to add goggles and pool-related gear.
But also, a cool upgrade is the Magic Wand. It’s totally interactive and can provide hours of educational fun all by itself.
First, we took our son to pick out and customize his wand. Then we followed clues all over the hotel – like an electronic scavenger hunt.
Throughout the hotel, we’d wave our wand with different outcomes. Sometimes we’d add to our Maji-score. And other times something mechanical would activate to entertain us.
Getting Settled At Your Indoor Water Park Hotel
In fact, we selected a themed room for our stay. So, it included a log cabin with bunk beds and its own TV for the kido. And the magic wand even activated some surprises in the room too!
There are lots of themed rooms to pick from and it definitely enhances the stay. At the same time, there’s so much to do outside of your room that the themed rooms are at all necessary. Just an extra cool option. :0)
Indoor Water Park – Huge. Fun!
So we threw on our swimsuits and headed to the water park.
And the entrance to the water park is a gift shop that focuses on pool stuff. And that’s where we picked up the kids-sized goggles included in our package. (Decent quality – not extravagant.)
Once in the water park first stop is the towel station. That’s where the person staffing the towel station informed me the wristband my wife made sure I was wearing doubled as a room key!
So, that’s brilliant. Because I got towels, hit the snack bar, and got in and out of our room – all with my wrist band.
Slides At The Indoor Water Park
Now, the water slides range for all ages. And everyone’s safety is clearly paramount.
But there’s a closed-off play-area for the really littles. And that includes slides and water just deep enough for their smaller bodies.
Then there’s the picture at the very top of this article – that’s medium slides and a play area for bigger kids. Adults can make use of that too.
Finally, there are the monster slides – pictured just below.
These range from family-style for small kids to adults all the way up to adrenaline-thumping crazy-slides for the adventurous! And let’s not forget the lazy river that wraps around the big slides.
In addition to all of that, the water park also includes a wave pool! Plus there’s a boogie board ride but that was out of order during our visit.
Great Wolf Howls! Indoor Water Park Nightlife!
After many hours of water park fun, daddy was tired. And my son looked like he was ready to fall asleep standing up. Of course, that’s when he stood still for more than 3-seconds. :0)
So we went up to our room to get ready for dinner. We ate at the restaurant in the lobby. American fare, I had a salmon caesar salad, my wife had a gourmet burger and our son had spaghetti and meatballs.
While I waited for our meal to be served my wife and son went to storytime in the lobby. And after dinner, we hit the ice cream shop for dessert!
Kids Dance Party!
Then what might have been the coolest part of the night was a dance party especially for the kids!
Our son loved dancing with mom and got down on his own after a bit. And the Great Wolf Lodge staff were awesome – keeping the partying going until the end!
The Day After
That night everybody slept like logs – we were all exhausted. My wife said I snored especially loud… but I think she was just kidding because I didn’t hear any of it.
A special morning bonus for me was a Dunkin’ Donuts right inside the Anaheim location! Being originally from the Chicago area I LOVE Dunkin!
And I needed that extra boost because my son insisted we get right back to the water park fun until check out.
Checking Out And Coming Back
So we were at the Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park Hotel for just about 24-hours all-in. And we were all exhausted.
It was awesome overall. My son was so tired that he didn’t even have the energy go argue that much when it was time to leave. :0)
And as we were heading out with our luggage all of the staff were fantastic. From housekeeping to the maintenance crew and lobby greeters – everyone was thanking us for coming and just being super-friendly.
And of course, there was something happening in the lobby. When we were heading out we caught a photo-op with Violet, one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters.
We’ll definitely be back. Because it was probably the best organized, most fun, 24-hour hotel stay we’ve experienced. We never left the building!
Book Here And Get 30% Off Your Indoor Water Park Stay
Again, we had so much fun that I begged the Great Wolf Lodge to partner with iDriveSoCal. And it worked! So when you book through this link you get up to 30% off your stay!
Have fun, your kids – and you – will LOVE IT!
More road trips HERE.