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“Clean and nice for a close getaway.”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Centralia
Attraction details
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We took our 3 yr old for a one night stay and it was a nice quick trip. The lobby is nice and open and fun for kids to look at all the woodsy type scenery. Check in was quick and we were able to get into our room 2 hours early which was very convenient so we could head right to the park. Our room was spacious and had a nice couch, table for two, fridge, and all the other amenities we would need. The water park was decent. There were quite a few rides our little one couldn't do because of height restrictions but still plenty things to do. They have a wave pool and kiddie area. Would be nice to have a pool or lazy river type area to just "float" around. There was no little kid pool either. The water wasn't as warm as I would have hoped. It seemed pretty crowded for a Monday afternoon and there were a lot of kids just running around seemingly unattended to. We ate dinner at the little bar and grille inside the hotel and it was great. Would definitely recommend it as the service was good and the food excellent. We attended the story time at night and it was a nice option that didn't cost extra. Most everything else inside was extra and not included in your stay (arcade, magi quest type game, spa, etc) Bed was comfy and even though we were right next to the spa and water park entrance area it was very quiet. We ate at the buffet downstairs for breakfast and it was okay. nothing extraordinary but fine. We had to check out by 11am but were allowed to stay all day for the park. Overall it was a nice trip and we got a good deal. I wouldn't pay the regular price as that is very expensive for a one night stay. I would go back again but wait until our kids were tall enough to do all the rides and probably go with friends so they had someone to play with.

2  Thank Melinda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 June 2014

We recently took our two girls (2 & 4) to the GWL for an overnight stay. The water park was great fun for them, and we had to drag our 4 year old out of the place each day. We stayed in a Family Suite, which was adequate, and not unlike a double room you would get at Best Western, or other chain type hotels. The room had a blow dryer, small refer, small coffee pot, microwave, and a nice in wall safe that you program yourself. We had a nice large flat screen TV in our room, but we were too busy to be watching tv, so I can't comment on what programming they offer. They offer free wifi, but I was not getting a signal on the 5th floor, so I resorted to my portable Verizon hot spot, which worked perfectly. I noticed a nice work out room on the first floor. The elevator situation was terrible, and I have now vowed to ONLY go again if we can get a 1st or 2nd floor room. They simply don't have enough elevators, and I was there on weekdays. I can't imagine it on a weekend (yikes!!) The stairwells are nice and wide, so I recommend taking them whenever possible. The water park entrance is on the 2nd floor, with a set of stairs going down into the park. All the stairs we encountered were very grippy, even with wet soles. The water park had a great mixture of simple safe areas for the little ones, and fast and furious tube slides for the older kids and adults. Most of the water park staff were teenagers or young adults, and we found them to be very patient, and friendly. The wave pool has a very regimented staff of lifeguards standing watch, and it was clear that they have everything under control in there.

A few things to note about the water park:

1. There is a large structure in the center of the park that offers lots of different water spouts, sprayers, etc, and it also is the platform for two large slides. On top is a 1000 gallon bucket that dumps about every 3 minutes. It dumps down on the structure mostly, but there is an area where you can stand and get pummeled by tons of water if you choose. Keep an eye on smaller toddlers there, as that water would surely pound them to the ground if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luckily there is a bell that dings exactly 34 times before the water dumps.

2. There are lockers everywhere. Each day you can pay $10.00 for a key (really...? $10.00? c'mon. They should be free). This allows you to secure your valuables while you are off enjoying the park.

3. The bathrooms have showers and semi private dressing areas. They also have centrifuges that you can use for free to spin your wet suits in. They work really well.

4. Certain slides require you to be a certain height. You can have your child measured at the park entrance and then they will be given a colored wrist band to show the staff at a glance they are tall enough. This speeds up the lines at the tube slides, which ranged from 1 minute to 10 depending on what time of the day it was.

5. There is no real security in the water park, which is kind of surprising to me. I was expecting some sort of entry exit system for the younger kids, but one can simply walk right in or out.

A few things to note about the hotel, etc.

1. Forget about paying for the late checkout. That has to be the biggest scam known to man. There are so many lockers available and huge dressing rooms that you can simply check out at 11am on your departure day, take your clothes to your car, and then head to the water park with your essentials in a bag. The $10.00 lockers will hold two large bags stuffed full of items. Your park pass is good until 9pm on check out day.

2. They have a few restaurants, including a breakfast buffet. We brought our own breakfast food. There are a couple of eateries outside of GWL within walking distance, and Centraila is about 10 minutes away with a full range of restaurants, fast food, and grocery stores. They don't allow you to take outside food into the water park itself. There is a pizza place at the park's entrance, and another burger/hotdog/french fry joint down in the park, so there are plenty of options for food while you spend your time in the park. It's perfectly fine to consume those items in the park, and there are tons of tables and chairs spread out around the place to sit down for a while and recharge. They also have souvenir cups for an ungodly amount (like $13.00 I believe) that allow you free soft drink refills during your stay. We bought 1 for the family and shared. There is a small adult beverage area in the park as well.

3. The GWL is NOT firearm friendly. There are signs posted at the entrance saying concealed carry is not allowed. Keep this in mind if you carry. The wall safe in the room is plenty large enough to hold a handgun in a soft case. Just saying.

4. There is a Starbucks in the lobby.

5. There is a nice arcade that I wanted to visit, but the girls kept us busy with the water park.

6. As with any theme resort, everything is geared around extracting as much of your money as they can. They place the arcade, pizza, ice cream parlor, etc at the entrance of the water park so you have to "walk the gauntlet" with your kids to go in or out of the park. I saw more than one tantrum in the area if you know what I mean.

Summary:
If your kids love the water, this place will be a hit. My advice is to either take a suitcase of cash, or take as much of your own food as possible. Simple foods and items that can be stored in the small refer. Arrive as close to 1pm as possible. If your room is available, they'll give it to you then. If not, there are plenty of things to do, including the water park. Everyone gets a wrist band, but the adults get one that doubles as the room key. Flip flops, aqua socks, etc are recommended for your venture into the water park. Oh, and the water park is ONLY for those staying at the hotel. There is no "day use" option.

5  Thank sdhyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Just experienced "The Wolf" for this first time this past weekend. Oldest daughter (8) had a girl scout event. More like - we got a discount on our room, and 4000 girl scouts also went that same weekend!

We arrived at 2:45 pm and to our delight our room was ready. We had a King Suite located on the 2nd floor near the Kid and Adult spa. The room was adequate. I will mention that I booked the room for 2 adults and 2 children but ended up having 3 kids go. Rather than upcharge me for the 3rd child - the kindly gave us an additional band for her to wear as well as deliver us a roll away bed. This being of course because they couldn't put us in a larger room as they were sold out. So kudos to Great Wolf staff for making that happen (and not getting more of the money they would soon get anyways!)

Cons on the room: They left 2 tissues in the box and did not provide a backup. So all runny noses had to run to the restroom. Speaking of restroom - don't expect anything BUT a toilet and shower. That's ALL they crammed into what is more the size of a coat closet. Not a big deal. No remote! They had to bring one. AC works until 8pm. Room was at 76 degrees from 8 - 3am. Then woke up to a 64 degree room.

Pro's on the Wolf: This place is fantastic for kids ages 6 - 13. They magic quests are really a lot of fun and was glad my daughter wanted me to help her complete them! Bring your running shoes! Staff told me that the average person will walk 10 - 15 miles once all the quests are completed. We walked at least 6 flights of stairs AT LEAST 20 times each! 24 hour arcade! Water fun for all ages (3-13). Fun and thrilling slide attractions for the young and old. Friendly and very helpful staff.

Con's on the Wolf: The waterpark itself is quite small. Don't expect 12 slides, 8 tube slides or a mondo wave pool. I was shocked at seeing just how small this park is. Again - for the kids, it's terrific. But for those of you expecting large and in charge water attractions - you won't get Slide Waters or Wild Waves size here! 86 degree's ALL the time in the waterpark. I know some people like this - but the sting of the chlorine in your eyes and 200% humidity was not for me! Spend $300 - $500 on the room?? Expect to double that once you've bought all the goodies:

Wolf Pass - $92.64. For this you get the Wand and generic topper. 1 round of Mini Golf. 1 soda and themed cup. 1 shimmer tattoo. 1 game of 4D shooting. 1 scoop of ice cream. 1 Magic Quest Game.

Arcade pass: $52.89 236 credits. (Pricey - yes, but did last us the entire stay for 4 people to use) Average game cost was 6 credits.

Spa: $58.23 for a 55 minute massage. Pretty decent going rate. Wife enjoyed. Said Ben did a good job.

Restaurant/Bar: Got the hot wings, not terrible but far from great. The beer/liquor prices at Camp Critter Bar & Grille were surprisingly good! Almost cheaper than at home! A beer and shot set me back $11.00

So to recap, would I go again? Yes. In 3-4 years and NEVER on a Friday/Saturday. Monday or Tuesday.....absolutely!

2  Thank noahc17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I have to be honest. The idea of a night at Great Wolf Lodge with my sister, her children, my 7 year old and my mother did not sound like the best of times. I envisioned a Chuck E. Cheese-meets-water kind of nightmare. Lots of loud, screaming, unsupervised children running amidst poorly supervised and dirty water play facilities were sure to be my reality for two days, I thought. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the accommodations were better than I had expected, though not luxurious in the least, and the supervision and cleanliness of the water park was hugely better than anticipated. I enjoyed the 80 plus degree water along with my daughter. I relaxed knowing that the lifeguarding was alert and competent, life vests were available for the little ones who wanted to go down the big slides and climb the rope bridge, and that we could have a kid-friendly get away and still be speaking the next day. We brought in all of our own food, making use of the microwave and fridge provided in the room. We were not lured at all by the fast food for sale or marginal offerings of the restaurant. I did hear that recently they made improvements to their restaurants, so hopefully this is much better. Still, there is nothing fabulous there, but Centralia has some decent offerings. Save the $$ that you would spend on food, bring your own, and hit the arcade instead.

Thank Kristen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

We've been wanting to take our children here for a couple years they are 8 and 5. I saw there was a Groupon and decided to go for it. First off after reading the info on the website it says you can arrive at 1 but check in time is 4. We got there about 12 and I went to the customer service desk and they had a room available so we were able to do early check in at no extra cost which was awesome! We got to our room and we had a kids cabin room. There was a cute little log cabin in the room that had a bunk bed and a day bed for the kids to sleep in they loved it. The water park was fun for a couple hours at a time. We took breaks in between and the kids played the MagiQuest game which they totally loved! We didn't really do a ton of extra stuff because that could get kinda spendy but we all enjoyed ice cream cones at the sweets shop. The "lil cone" was actually pretty good size definitely big enough for adults and a great size for the kids and they are only $1.99 each which was awesome. Didn't really eat very much more there except we of course visited the on site Starbucks. Overall our family had a great time and will definitely be going back!

1  Thank Alicia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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