We took a group of 8 people (4 adults, 3 kids aged 4-7, and a newborn) to Great Wolf Lodge Niagara for a Monday night.
We were very impressed by the large and themed hotel. It has 3-4 floors. It looks very fun and exciting outside. The lobby was packed with things to see and kept the kids distracted. There were moose, deer, bear, log cabin and other country motifs everywhere.
We got in at 12 pm, got our waterpark passes (it is a light blue RFID wrist band that allows you to make purchases in the hotel if you so choose, and also is a hotel key (so no one gets locked out), and the kids joyously played and played for almost 5 hours. Our room number was texted to us at 3 pm.
Inside, the waterpark is very large, heated, moist and smells of chlorine. Initially, the chlorine smell burned after a few hours, so we went to the outside pool and hot tubs for a few hours, and after that, we were alright inside the waterpark. We were able to wear outside shoes and bring the stroller inside the waterpark.
There were many windows, so there was lots of sunlight. There are also outdoor pools/hot tubs. There were several hot tubs (outdoor, indoor family, indoor adult only), pools (wave pool, big pool, kiddie pool, etc.), many, many water slides, splashpads and even a lazy river. Each child is measured in height and issued a corresponding colour coded bracelet (so the kids will be wearing two bracelets). This determines what rides they can go on. There are lifeguards all over the place.
Free PDF (lifejackets) are provided on a first come, first serve basis. You can also bring your own water wings, swimming devices, lifejackets, etc. Most kids had something on to help them float. There are tables, chairs, loungers, all over the place.
There were scary fun rides (like the tallest blue slide), easy kiddie slides, and everything in between. The kids and adults all loved the waterpark.
In the waterpark itself, there are several restaurants. You can take your order and eat it at your table next to the water features. The food, of course, is more expensive than outside, but outside food is not allowed in the waterpark.
I drank a lot of water in the waterpark as I found it very warm (if you are in a wet swimsuite, the temperature is just perfect), so I drank a lot of water. After, I had a strong salt craving, which someone explained was due to my drinking pure water, as opposed to water with electrolytes.
Worst part: The lockers are expensive to rent. The family changeroom has no showers. The women's changeroom only had THREE private showers, same as the men's. You are supposed to shower with soap and water before entering the waterpark. As a result, the women line up in very long lines to use the THREE private showers. As each shower takes about 6-10 minutes, and there are people also waiting to shower to leave, there is a a very, very long lineup. If people followed the waterpark rules, that means that only THREE women can leave/enter the waterpark every 6-10 minutes! If you have kids, the showering time takes even longer, and the subsequent line up is much longer. My husband said there was no lineup in the men's shower, but he didn't want to take our daughters in there because there were naked men.
Towel service is free, but you can't bring them back to your room. The hotel hallways are air conditioned. You should dry and change into dry clothes before leaving the water
The hotel is shaped like a "C", with only a few floors. There is an open staircase next to the elevator if you don't want to wait for the elevator. We had a newborn in a stroller bassinet, so we had to wait for the elevator. The quiestest rooms are at the ends, so it was a long walk.
We had a KidKabin and it was awesome. The kids had their private area. The 4 adults were on the bed and sofa bed. There was a fridge, microwave, and an ice bucket for the ice machine down the hall. The sofa bed was extremely creaky, so the person who sleeps the soundest without moving should be on there. The person who tosses and turns should sleep on the regular bed.There are extra pillows and blankets on top of the closet. The balcony has two chairs and a small table (good for drying swimsuits!).
The toiletries are minimal. There is a single large dispenser of body wash/shampoo/conditioner in the bathtub, and a small body lotion on the bathroom counter. You should bring your own toiletries.
The room felt clean and new. It actually looks a lot better than in the pictures, contrary to what some reviewers have sad
For us, the biggest issue was food. The food onsite is pretty expensive. During our first 5 hour waterpark play, we grabbed the easily obtainable but expensive food from the waterpark restaurants. At night we drove out to the Mandarin buffet (a far drive with sleepy kids). We had the breakfast buffet package the next morning, and the lineup was a bit long, but the food was good once we got in.
You can easily drive out to a Niagara Falls restaurant or get takeout or even get delivery if you want to wait in the lobby for it. However, with so many kids playing so joyfully, it would have been easiest to have gone back to our hotel room to eat. In hindsight, we should have send a person to get takeout for everyone else to eat in the room, or brought food in a cooler (and keep it overnight in the fridge, or in an ice bucket) to make our own meals.
The next day, our check out was at 11 am. By then, we had stowed our stuff in the car and returned to the waterpark to play as long as we could. The lineup for the shower was much shorter, perhaps because it was no longer the long weekend. There is a swimsuit spinner (to remove water) and free plastic bags to carry your wet items home.
In very small print on the other side of the welcoming kiosk, there is a description of the different height bands and what rides they allow. It was only by reading the description that I realized that my 4 year old could go on the family boat, the Woolly Mammoth, with an adult.
At night, there is a storytime in the lobby at 8 pm. at 9 pm, we walked into a loud singalong party in the lobby.
The souvenir shop is very nice. They had some reasonably priced items.
I had no wifi in the waterpark (you were allowed to take pictures in the waterpark but not in the changerooms), but the wifi was fine in the room.
I would strongly recommend the Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls for any family with kids over 4 years old. Younger kids would enjoy it too, but it's harder on the parents. We could easily have stayed several days.
It's a short 10 minute drive to the other side of Niagara Falls where the Lundy's Lane stores and restaurants are. It's an even shorter 5 minute drive to the touristy areas and the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls has a new tourist information building, and the view was beautiful at the Falls.
The Great Wolf Lodge is great fun for the kids and adults, a short 1.5 hour drive from Toronto, it's in Canada, and since the waterpark is indoor, it's good year round.
I do wish it were cheaper, or that they had more umbrellas to provide shade outdoors, which is why it's only 4 out of 5 stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the moment you arrive at the Great Wolf Lodge, expect to be amazed and amused. Situated close to awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, the entire Lodge is designed to capture the spirit of adventure and the atmosphere of the great Northwood's. The Northern theme inspires everything from the spectacular stone fireplace and timber in the five-story Grand Lobby to the cabin-like comfort and decor of our all-suite guest rooms. The Lodge features an indoor/outdoor waterpark of over 100,000 square-feet; an 18-hole interactive miniature golf course; Ten Paw Bowling Alley; our 7,000 sq. Ft. Northern Lights Arcade, including a ticket redemption center; MagiQuest, interactive adventure game; Elements Spa & Salon and Scoops Kid Spa. Five themed restaurants, including a confectionary cafe and Northwood's Pizza. We assure your stay will be a howling great time! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelbag, Travel Republic (UK), TravelUp, Southall Travel, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Great Wolf Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Great Wolf Hotel Niagara Falls
- Great Wolf Niagara Falls
- Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls