Great Wolf Lodge Delivers Water Park Fun with 0% Chance of Weather
The first and the best thing about the indoor new waterpark at the new Great Wolf Lodge near Disneyland is the constant 84°F temperature. No fear of sunburn or need for sunscreen. No use for a towel either because the water is also 84°F. You'd only get a chill if you stepped out into the late winter air. Located at the new Garden Grove Hotel a mile from Disneyland the Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark celebrated its grand opening. Does sunny Southern California really need an indoor waterpark? Great Wolf operates waterpark hotels across North America, mostly in the Frost Belt. It is completely understandable that Michigan or Kansas might want to slip into a man-made tropical paradise for a weekend but why would they ever build a water park hotel in sunny Southern California?
The answer became clear as one stands in the water parks climate controlled perfection. Even though Southern California is blessed with wonderful year-round temperatures typically one would never go to an outdoor water park in early March or at 9 AM or 9 PM. The sun never sets at the Great Wolf Lodge. There are no heat waves, thunderstorms, windy days or cloudy skies under the massive roof. Mother Nature can be uncooperative but the weather is always perfect indoors.
One would expect the 2 1/2 acre indoor waterpark to be cramped and crowded with the snake's nest waterslides in the space of two football fields. However it was just the opposite and is expansive and comfortable layout leaves you feeling there is plenty of room for lounging and circulation. The relatively short lines for the waterslides and attractions are in addition. Great Wolf limits access to hotel guests and the water park never feels crowded. Check out the six-story tower bristling with 10 waterslides, several of which punch through the walls of the building and jut out along Harbor Boulevard. The four-lane map racer sent riders down separate tunnels before emerging side-by-side for the splashdown finish. Daylight shines through the tube slides and family raft ride as the tunnels briefly exit and enter the building. The spiral flame spun my inner tube around before plunging me backward down the toilet bowl finale.
The most exciting ride is the Wolf Tail slide that starts with the pulse quickening trapdoor floor release before descending into a 360° flat loop. You might have second thoughts if you watch the riders in the glass coffin like launch capsule suddenly disappear before your eyes. Ultimately the anticipation can possibly exceed the experience.
The favorite slide on the tower was Howlin Tornado funnel; this is Great Wolf Lodges signature attraction. It hovers along Harbor Boulevard and is a near-vertical plunge into the funnel that is thrilling. It even descends backward on the hurtling inner tube. It is the water parks most popular ride.
The tower is divided into two levels, with seven slides at the four-story level in three at the six-story level. There is only one single line for each level and can lead to confusion and wasted time. But the delays mattered little, as one never waits more than 10 minutes for any of the slides. The hotel was about 60% capacity so it can be a bit longer on a busier day.
Crooked Creek lazy River is short as a ride by outdoor water park standards. But do you really need a lazy river to be long? You can continue to go around several times 'til you've had your fill. The lazy river only had about 20 inner tubes, a calculated decision to cut down on traffic jams. You can float on inner tubes or on a raft.
The Slap Tail Pond wave pool was the biggest disappointment of the day. The wave pool is naturally smaller than the ones found at outdoor water parks. The water level only comes up to one's waist and is clearly built for a preteen crowd. Families typically fill the hotel with kids from 4 to 12 years old. There is even a kiddie area cater to the youngest kids with miniature slides and a shallow splash zone pool.
The Wolf Rider Wipeout is a surf stimulator with ocean like waves. This ride had the longest line of the day because only one person rides at a time. It looks like an exciting boogie board experience. A constant flow of rushing water forms a thin layer for writers to skim along. The actual experience didn't amount to any more than laying on a boogie board as water rushes beneath you.
There is a corner of the water park filled with an activity pool. A quartet of basketball hoops just out of dunking range and 20 squishy, bouncy basketballs that won't hurt you in the head are soaring through the air from the three-point range. A pair of lily pad courses arranged beneath cargo nets can be simple for agile six-year-olds and frustrating for middle-aged adults.
The marquee Fort McKenzie water play tower has a massive tipping bucket in the middle of the waterpark. A countdown from every four minutes brings kids running for the gushing 100-gallon splashdown. Suspension bridges and cargo nets lead to four body slides. One can spend time firing a water cannon with a stunning 50-foot range at those around you. Great wolf lodge has a great marketing team and partnered with many deal sites to promote newest offers. They offer Great Wolf Lodge Coupons as a part of a upcoming holiday deals.
The project had been first announced in 2010 and this 300 million woodsy themed Great Wolf Lodge is California's first indoor waterpark and the largest property in the hotel chain. The Garden Grove Hotel 600 suites run from 250 to 600 per night depending on the season. They have a cozy log cabin design with wilderness and outdoor themes. The place is like a kids casino with video arcades, miniature golf, live-action adventure games, thrill rides, pint-size bowling, scavenger hunts, bedtime stories and a massive hundred and 105,000 square-foot waterpark.