Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim-Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Visit.
For Alexia's birthday we wanted to take her for a family getaway while still staying local. The weather can't make up its mind lately and we wanted a tropical feel to our weekend. After talking about a couple options Alexia opted for Great Wolf Lodge and it was just what we were looking for.
It's a fun family friendly indoor waterpark but it's so much more than that. There's so much to do! I want to share with you a little of what we did with the time we had and some tips to make the most out of your time.
Planning Your Visit Ahead Of Time
Check in is at 4pm however you can start enjoying the water park as early as 1pm. We arrived at 12:00pm and the lobby was practically empty and made things much easier and quicker, so I definitely suggest arriving before 1pm. What do you do with your luggage you ask? They will store it for you at the Bell desk for no additional charge while you start exploring the hotel and waterpark, or you can leave it in the car. We wore our swimsuits under our clothes and brought a beach bag with things we would need before being able to get to our luggage.
Additional Packages Available To Save You Money
Once you book your stay you will have the option to add some packages to your stay online or at check in. First ask yourself, what are some of the must activities my kid(s) will want to do? These packages are meant to save you money if you plan to do any additional activities inside the hotel that are not included in your stay. Do I recommend it? I most certainly do. They have 3 packages available but I'll talk about the one we purchased and what it came with. This was the perfect additional package for a short stay.
Pup Pass - This is the most affordable package. At just a little under $50 it includes lots of extras and was perfect for the time we spent at Great Wolf Lodge. The pass included:
1 Furry Friend from Build-A-Bear Workshop (outfit not included)
20 Paw Points at Northern Lights Arcade
1 serving of select bulk candy from Great Wolf Candy Company
1 single scoop of ice cream from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats
1 Glitz Glitter Tattoo
Alexia loved every single one of the items included in this pass and I will elaborate on each one further down below.
Rooms are spacious and clean. We booked a Family Suite with 2 queen beds that sleeps up to 5. The room came with a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Very convenient to have all these things in the rooms when staying with kids.
Let's talk about the main attraction, the indoor waterpark. The waterpark is big and has something for everyone. For starters the temperature inside the waterpark is 84 degrees and the water is 82 degrees making the transition to and from the water comfortable. Water park access is included with your hotel stay and towels and life jackets are also provided for free. You will need to check them out and check them back in before the day is over. Waterpark is open to enjoy from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Sunday - Thursday and 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Waterpark can get crowded. To avoid crowds come as soon as they open or come back an hour before they close to enjoy the park almost to yourself.
Coolers and outside food are not permitted in the water park but they have plenty of food available inside the waterpark and in the hotel.
Lockers are available at a nominal fee on a first-come, first-served basis or you can just leave your items on a chair like we did as long as you don't leave anything of high value out in the open.
You are welcome to bring your own life jacket but Great Wolf provides Coast Guard-approved life jackets on a first-come, first-served basis. We used the ones they provided and worked out just fine.
After room checkout you still have access to waterpark all day until water park closes. You can take advantage of the water park one more day just remember to keep a bag with a change of clothes for the drive home. Showers are available in the bathrooms inside the waterpark.
Things To Do Inside Waterpark
Slides both big and small
Water fort tree house
Outdoor activity pool with fountains and water basketball
Float your way around Crooked Creek
Challenge yourself to cross large floating lily pads using only cargo nets for help
Theres this and so much more! To see a complete list head on over to this link https://www.greatwolf.com/southern-california/waterpark-attractions/swim-splash-slide
HUNGRY AS A WOLF
After a couple of hours of lots of fun in the water we decided to feed our little hungry wolfs at Hungry As A Wolf restaurant located right next to the water park. They have salads, pastas, wings, and pizza. We were all in the mood for pizza and it was delicious. Loved that they freshly make your pizza once you order. This was our second time eating here and we returned because we remembered how yummy the pizza was and it did not disappoint. We also got wings which we were not huge fans of. They come with the sauce on the side but I guess it's helpful if sharing with those who don't like spicy food. Probably would not order them again but will definitely be back for the pizza. They are open Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday–Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Pizza is made to order so there will be a wait time but the arcade is right next door! To save some time and avoid the kids from getting bored one parent can take the kiddos to play some games while the other parents waits for the order.
Northern Lights Arcade
We put our Pup Pass to use and played some arcade games. It's a good size arcade with lots of different game options. Alexia and her little buddy enjoyed the games and trading in their tickets for prizes.
Bear Paw Sweets & Eats
Of course after some playing the kiddos were ready for some yummy treats from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats before heading to the waterpark again. The kiddos had some Dippin Dots while the big kids (mom and dad) shared some ice cream. The shop has some seating area that was colorful, fun, and perfect to take some pictures.
Keeping in mind that the workshop closed at 9pm we made sure to leave the waterpark early enough to have time for Alexia to build her new friend. The special things about this Build-A-Bear Workshop is that the Great Wolf Lodge characters are available to make and take home. Alexia opted for Violet! This was her first time building a friend so it was extra special. Building Violet was included with our Pup Pass and only took about 5 minutes. The only thing we chose to purchase extra was her outfit at $15.
LODGE WOOD FIRE GRILL
For Dinner we decided to eat at Lodge Wood Fire Grill since we had our best friends and my sister and niece meeting us for dinner. It is a full service sit down restaurant serving lunch and dinner. We made reservations ahead of time so there was no wait but it wasn't very crowded so I don't think there would have been a long wait even if we didn't have reservations. The food was good and the atmosphere and service were great for a big group with loud kids lol. Our friends even brought a cake for Alexia and our waiter was kind enough to supply us with a knife, extra silverware, and dessert plates. Great Wolf Lodge also provides birthday party packages with all the fixings but that's not the route we decided to go with this time year.
Quick Breakfast Options
The following morning we had a plan for a quick breakfast...coffee and donuts. Well, that idea quickly crashed and burned when we saw the lines at Dunkin Donuts at 9am. Instead we walked right in front of Lodge Wood Fire Grill where they had this Grab and Go set up. We got some fruit, cereal, coffee and muffins in less than 5 minutes versus the 30 + minutes we would have waited in line for donuts.
Dunkin Donuts opens at 6:30. If you have your mind set on donuts, have one parent go pick some up as soon as they open to avoid long lines or come back at around 10am when the crowd seemed to die down.
Other option is enjoy a quick breakfast from the Grab and Go like we did. Keep in mind it's only available Saturdays and Sundays.
For coffee and a quick breakfast there is also Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. They have coffee, parfaits, oatmeal, bagels and croissants. Breakfast is from 7:30 am to 11:00 am (daily).