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“A little dirty.”

Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Ranked #6 of 38 things to do in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Our kids had fun in the water park . Teens probably won't have as much fun as the kalahari down the street. It is a tad bit dirty rooms, carpet, changing just worn out. It's a little less expensive than the kalahari but probably worth the expense for what you get. Food is sub-par and pricey. Go out. Story time was neat but if you are visiting cedar point consider other places.

1  Thank Diamo73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 May 2014

We brought our son to GWL (Sandusky) for his 4th birthday. We arrived on the Tuesday following Memorial Day, about 3:50 PM, and check-in was simple and fast. The agents at the front desk were warm, friendly and asked questions about our family to offer suggestions for activities. It was a wonderful welcome. The check-in process was one of the easiest I've ever experienced, just our names, and off we went with our room keys!

The staff in the waterpark itself are mostly kids ... well, teenagers. I've read through some of the reviews and, perhaps we were just extremely lucky but, ALL of the staff we interacted with were polite, friendly, and professional. Our son is 42" tall and just on the line for some attractions' minimum heights. The staff member that gave him his wristband pulled us aside to point out the areas where the water may be too deep for him. She knew those rides well, she pointed to one slide and said, "Now on that slide he may go underwater at the bottom; that slide over there he won't ..etc". For people who had never been there before, that was welcomed and appreciated information since he wanted to go on everything ... and did ... and she was absolutely right, he did go underwater right where she pointed out. (It was fine, he's a good swimmer) He loved everything about the waterpark - everything. It was clean and warm and all the workers smiled and helped whenever they were needed. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

We got a Loft Fireplace Suite on the 4th floor (parking lot view). The room was VERY clean. If someone wanted to knit-pick, some of the chairs did have holes and there are stains on the carpets. Updates are certainly needed; but it was clean and that is enough for us. One thing my GF and son did have an issue with were the 20-30 quarter-sized carpenter bees swarming outside on our patio. You can see them burrowing into the eves that are overhead. GWL seems to be trying to control them, there were about a dozen dead ones on the patio floor, so they've obviously done some spraying or something? I had to wipe down all of the patio furniture because there was some yellow powder/pollen substance all over them. We would have preferred not to see so many dead bees lying around and we weren't happy they were dive bombing our son whenever he stepped onto the patio but we don't really hold that against the hotel - it's outside and bugs live outside. It was just gross and inconvenient.

Now, if you'd like to take a completely wonderful time and totally ruin it, eat at the Gitchigoomie Grill. We think this would work pretty well for large family reunions, when a distant uncle or obnoxious cousin is getting on your nerves so badly you just want to punch them ... don't ... just take a deep breath and say, "You know what you'd love? Gitchigoomie Grill!" The prices are reasonable. I've read people say it's "expensive". No, it isn't. It's exactly what you'd pay if you went out to dinner anywhere. Appetizers, Entrees, Souvenir cups later ... we walked out for slightly under $70. That's very typical for three people. The food was good too. Where this place falls off the rails is service. We got there around 6:00 PM. Our waiter was so soft spoken it was difficult to hear; so slow, we assumed we had absolutely been forgotten about. LOL, we ordered two appetizers. One came out ... twenty seven minutes later, the other showed up. The menu is a simple menu, there was NO ACCEPTABLE reason for that to happen, it was soup and a quesadilla. Further, for every table that had customers - five were empty. They weren't busy. Our son wanted a "fancy drink", so we tried to order him a strawberry lemonade. The server literally sighed at me and asked to see the menu, then said, "Is that with alcohol?" I had just said, "Could he (pointed to our 4-year old) get a strawberry lemonade in a souvenir cup?" AND the drink is listed under non-alcoholic drinks next to "Kids Favorites." So my GF and I, in unison, "No, no alcohol!!" A half hour later, while we were still waiting for the drink (and our meals) my GF said, "You have to test that lemonade when it gets here." We didn't have any confidence that it wouldn't have liquor in it. Thankfully, our server never returned, instead a little food angel named Stephanie showed up with our entrees. We asked for refills, we asked for the missing virgin drink, we asked for BBQ sauce for our son's chicken fingers, we asked for all the things we would have asked our server had we ever seen him again. We told Stephanie we had been waiting over a half hour for things, she saw the state of our table and our moods at this point and just seemed sorry. We had everything we needed in about 3 minutes. Still, I think she probably should have addressed the issue somehow, with some words or recognition of the problems, but we appreciated her help and didn't feel like unloading on her would have been fair. We spent about 5 minutes eating and decided to leave. At this point, we had been there over an hour with a 4-year old who just wanted to play in the park and didn't want to sit there anymore. We asked for boxes. Original server reappeared and had to make a few trips because apparently there was great confusion over how many boxes it would take to box up three dinners. We're engineers, perhaps that's why "three uneaten dinners = three boxes" just came naturally to us? Anyway, when all was said and done, it took about an hour and a half to essentially take our food back to our room.

Which kind of brings me to my next, pretty disappointing, aspect of our visit. The waterpark closed at 8:00. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week the park closes at 8:00 PM. We weren't ever notified of this. Every other day, the park closes at 9:00. Listen, I TOTALLY understand being cost effective, but we assume that Memorial Day is pretty much the beginning of the summer season and, per the website, the park is open until 9:00 PM. Yep, there is a disclaimer that reads: "Times subject to change", but typically you assume you can count on "hours of operation" to be pretty consistent in the summer. DON'T make this mistake with GWL. Knowing that we'd lose an hour, we would have made a different choice of dates. Perhaps, if time had not stood still at the Gitchigoomie Grill, we wouldn't have minded losing the hour that much? As it stands, we went down for dinner and to swim at 5:50 PM. We ended up with take-out and 35 minutes to swim. That sucks. It just does. Additionally, the arcade closed two hours early (9 vs 11). Our one night here, everything to do was shut down at 9:00 PM. Had we been aware of ANY of this, we would have most certainly booked a different date.

So, in summation, this is a great, fun, clean hotel and waterpark. The staff, by and large, are friendly, helpful and professional. AVOID table service (unless you're plotting revenge) and call ahead for specific hours of operation. With that, we think you'll have a great time. Oh, and we also agree, this place is best for the pre-teen crowd. I think kids 14+ would find all the cute and adorable things about this place lame.

2  Thank Bachsoffice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Came across a good deal 2 nights for $109/ngt

3yr old enjoyed herself
1.6yr - enjoyed himself except at the water park

Family suite was on 2nd floor (main floor) had 2 queen beds + pullout sofa, patio doors looking out to the parking lot out to the baseball diamonds. Room was more than adequate for my family, plenty of space for kids to thump around. Overall the room was clean, the walls were stained and evident wear and tear throughout the resort.
Bathroom was tiny, sink and vanity is actually IN the room. Govt issued micro and fridge always good. Halls are lengthy and the ice machine is at the end of the hall.

Waterpark was good, lots to do, but mainly stayed in the toddler area. Very disappointed the toddler tree pool was closed for whole 1 day. Lots of PFDs and lifeguards watching.

We went to story time on the lobby, robo-aminated trees, people, and animals singing something reminiscent of Lion KIng's 'Circle of Life'. All the kids were enthralled at the spectacle and 1 of the 3 GWL characters wraps up story time for a meet and read.

We ate off site, plenty of places.
Other things to note - Meijer next door, Starbucks turn left , Bigby Coffee turn right on Milan Rd. Sandusky Mall can be seen from the hotel, Menards was a treat for me - GWL is conveniently located.

May go back when the kids are older, but for now I'd need something really good to entice me to return since we have a newer and similar water park in our area.
new water park in our area.

Thank Theoryguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

My family and I have had never visited an indoor water park before and thought we would check this place out since it was geared for younger children. We had a blast! We stayed during the week when it was less crowded which made our stay even better. We stayed in the 2 level fireplace suite and it was gorgeous. My kids slept comfortably in 2 double beds and the pull out sofa was very comfy as well. They enjoyed the flat screen TV's with gaming system while my husband and I enjoyed the upstairs loft bedroom with our own bathroom. The water park was very clean, although my kids would have liked to have more water slides, we had fun playing basketball in the pool as a family. We stayed in January, so we were unable to enjoy the outside pool. We ate at the restaurant that is in the hotel which had a great selection, although a little pricey, the food was very good. We also played the MagiQuest game which took hours but was so fun! Great Wolf Lodge is great if you have young children, my pre-teens and 16 year old would much rather go down the street to Kalahari next time though.

Thank Jaime306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 April 2014 via mobile

We knew that there would be some challenges bringing a 1 year old, but we needed a get-away and decided to chance it. We're very glad we did. Everything was clean and everyone was very helpful. They clearly pride themselves in excellent customer service. Breakfast was fun but I'd only do it once for the experience and then plan other less expensive alternatives. We'll be back for sure

Thank The S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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