Just Howl Great Is The Wolf?
Stomp stomp clap, HOWLLLL! This became a little too familiar on the resort and is still repeating in my head.
We veered from our normal beach vacation as a family this year seeking adventure at the Great Wolf Lodge in Georgia and we’re so glad we did.
Now, here’s what you need to know before you go.
Ages. My recommendation is 4-11yo swimmers. Not that littles don’t enjoy because my 3yo had a great time, but it was a lot of work for the adults.
Length of stay. 2 nights max. The resort isn’t cheap so maximize your time/money by booking 2 nights in one of their themed suites. You have access to the waterpark and amenities all day for check-in & check-out days so plan to arrive early and stay late. If driving, dress in your swimsuit or have it easily accessible to change in the restroom when you arrive. Walk around, see what’s there and enjoy the water park until your 4p check in. Same for the flip side on the day you leave. (PS, there’s a Home2 Suites by Hilton across the parking lot from GWL)
Safety. A+ for the water patrol. Appropriate # of guards on deck and they’re not allowed to sit or take their eyes off the pool. They seemed very well trained and ready to go at all times. Personal item safety wasn’t a concern either; I never felt the need to rent a locker but they’re available. Although we were always within arms reach (mostly) of our children throughout the resort, I never felt the need to protect them from any harm outside of the water.
Do the free stuff, duh. Dance parties, story time, arts & crafts, yoga, family game time, meet the characters, do it all! Warning – there is a $30 bubble wand that lights up sold at the dance parties, my kids begged and begged but I just couldn’t. Instead, stock up on glow sticks / necklaces / etc. at the Dollar Tree beforehand and they’ll stand out in the crowd!
Download the app to see what’s going on, and keep tabs on your bill (you can set up your wristband for room charges) & get reminders for upcoming events.
Food. Bring all the snacks, they don’t check bags or even care if you bring in outside food/drinks, even though the signs say otherwise. GET the $20 bucket of popcorn, seriously. Free refills throughout your stay, stop by every time it’s empty to get your money’s worth. It was a great go-to snack to combat hangry moments. For meals, there’s pizza by the slice, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc. typical kid food. For adults, there’s salad and sandwiches, but we didn’t care for them. The “fancy” restaurant has good food but get your wallet ready because it’s not cheap. We ate the brisket nachos multiple times and highly recommend.
Donuts. Pick one morning for Dunkin’ and get there early. The line is obnoxious and for some reason, it doesn’t move very fast. If you’re lucky, the satellite donut kiosk will be open and you can grab a dozen quickly but we were never lucky enough to catch it open (except the day we left).
Offsite food. There is a Waffle House across the parking lot where we ate breakfast every morning (we sent Dad to pick up and ate in our room). Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and a gas station are all within short driving distance.
Alcohol. As you would imagine, there are plenty of adult beverages on site but they’re pricey. The bar serves fun mixed drinks in souvenir cups garnished with fruit and candies, and yummy non-alcoholic bevies for the kids – we used these to bribe our kids to behave. Those were fun for a day but for the following days, I set up a Drizly account (alcohol delivery service, genius) and had a delivery made to the front door of the resort. We took drinks into the pool & waterpark area despite the signage, and no one seemed to care.
Beach towels are provided and easily accessible, but you must check them out with your wristband and return them before you leave the pool area or incur a fee. Bring a coverup to leave the water areas so you don’t freeze!
Activity passes. I’m on the fence with this one. We got the Wolf passes for all 4 of us despite that my 3yo couldn’t do a couple of the activities and mom & dad would likely not do everything as well. I’d say it depends on length of stay and ability/desire of your kids. Mine loved the arcade more than anything else so we probably could have skipped the pass and just bought more tokens!
MagiQuest. The wands look neat but apparently, we aren’t cool enough to understand the object of the game. If your kids are into Harry Potter, I’d imagine this would be really fun. Ours were too young to play it to the fullest but they enjoyed walking around with their wands and magically lighting up crystals and opening treasure chests.
Don’t forget the H20! Bring a case of bottled water and Gatorade to stock your in-room mini fridge so your pack stays hydrated throughout your adventures.
Overall, this was a great break from the beach, and we made lots of memories
But it’s probably a one-and-done vacation for our family. Stomp stomp clap, stomp stomp clap clap <insert loud howl sound>.