The Great Wolf Lodge is a family-friendly resort that offers a lot more than just being an indoor water park, so we wanted to show y’all what you can expect from a visit and an overnight stay at their SoCal location in Garden Grove, CA. Here’s our Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review.
See The Full Detailed Video Below
Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review Visiting Information
Main Visitor Info
- 12681 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840
- Reservations: 888-960-9653
- Resort Direct: 714-530-9653
- Dates & Hours:
- Water Park 9 or 10 am to 8 pm
- Dates and hours of operations may change. We recommend calling them or checking their website beforehand to confirm their business hours.
- Water Park Day Passes
- Half Day Pass (4pm to close): $54-112.50
- Full Day Pass (open to close): $60-125
- Ages 2 and under are free.
- Book a Stay
- Suites starts at $199.99 a night
- Water Park Day Passes
- Book for the fall and winter for better deals.
- Chase Credit Card offers 10% cash back.
- Join Great Wolf Lodge emailing list
- How much we spent during our visit:
- Total: $536.21
- Room rate $249.99
- Self parking: $29.99
- Resort fee: $39.99
- Extra fees and taxes: $45.50
- Snack bar and dining at the resort: $170.74
- Total: $536.21
- $29 per car per night
- Water Park
- Kids Activities
- Additional cost:
- Ten Paw Alley (bowling)
- Northern Lights Arcade
- Howl at the Moon Glow Golf
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Time spent:
- 2 days at the water park with a one night stay
- You can book online or by phone. If you reserve early in advance, you can call to request a room to see the Disneyland fireworks.
- Where we ate/Food/Places to eat:
- Great Wolf Lodge’s dining options
- McDonalds – 12542 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840 – 0.3 miles away – walkable
- Twin Panda Bowl – 13576 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843 – 1.1 miles away
- Young Juice – 12012 Chapman Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92840 – 1.4 miles away – Juice and Smoothies
- Apollo Burgers – 12012 Chapman Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92840 – 1.7 miles away
- Pet allowed:
- Stroller friendly:
- Yes, flushable toilets.
- What we observed:
- Water park passes are included with your stay. You are welcome to play in the water park as early as it opens the day you check in and stay until it closes on the day of your departure.
- You don’t have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the water park. You can purchase a day pass.
- We arrived right when they opened to reserve a seating area with a table.
- Life jackets and towels are provided at the water park.
- Locker prices
- Standard: $12
- Large: $15
- Jumbo: $17
- Check-in early and the resort will text you when your room is ready. Our room was available at 1pm. Normal check-in time is at 4 pm.
- There is a sign that says no outside food is allowed in the water park but we saw families that had brought their own food and snacks.
- Check the kid’s activity schedule and set an alarm on your phone. It was nice to get little breaks from the waterpark.
- During our stay, the kids’ activities were yoga, arts & crafts, dance pool party, shows, games, storytime, night dance party and character appearances.
- When you participate, the kids are given a lanyard trailblazer card and can earn a sticker after each activity. Our girls had so much fun and enjoyed earning badges.
- The floor level where the entrance of the water park is located and the water park restrooms are freezing. Bring a cover up, towel, or Nomadix changing poncho to stay warm.
- With your parking ticket, you are able to leave and return throughout the day with no additional fee.
- For future visits, we plan to pack more food and snacks since the hotel had a mini frig and dine outside of the hotel. There were plenty of food options nearby.
THINGS TO BRING
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing and closed toe shoes are recommended.
- What we packed:
- Swimsuits, swim goggles, slip resistant sandals, sunscreen, lip sunscreen, Suds2go cap, waterproof bandaids, external battery charger, waterproof phone case, water bottle, and snacks.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Ways to save money:
- Pack food, snacks and water for your hotel stay.
- Dine or order food outside of the resort.
- Event party rentals:
- Gift Certificates:
- Other places to visit in the county:
- Recommended itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrive when the water park opens.
- Check in and the hotel will text you when your room is ready.
- Spend the night.
- Day 2: Arrive when the water park opens.
- Before 11 am: Check out of your room and put your stuff in the car.
- Spend the rest of the day at the water park.
- Shower and change the kids into pjs before the park closes.
- Pick up food/McDonalds for the drive home.
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review Video
The Lodge’s main attraction is a hundred and five thousand square feet of 84-degree water fun. With 14 different slides and 4 pools, the parks are sectioned off into a few different areas that cater to different activities. Those areas are the main play structure, the large water slide tower, a wave pool, a lazy river, a wave rider, a large pool, and a toddler area. The park also has an attached outside pool called Raccoon Lagoon if you want to play under the sun.
Breaking down the areas a little bit, In the center, you’ll see its main play structure called Fort Mackenzie. At the top is every water park’s giant water bucket dumper. Directly under that are the structure’s two longest slides called Totem Towers which are great for kids that aren’t ready for Great Wolf Lodge’s main slides. They aren’t too fast, and the kids love it. Moving down, the structure has even smaller slides for the younglings and a bunch of additional water features to enjoy.
The Different Waterpark Areas
The main tower for the slides has some great rides to choose from. With seven different slides, there are multiple ways to come down. Height requirements for most of these rides range from 42 to 48 inches, with some also requiring you to bring up your own tubes or mats. While the large group tubes and green drop do not. Trang and I thoroughly enjoyed all the rides. The green drop tube was the fastest and most intense since the floor drops out from under you. The large group slides are fun to bring the kids on, and the single and duo tubes are really exciting. As adults, we would have stayed there the entire time, but our kids are currently at the age where they liked other sections more.
For instance, our kids loved getting tossed around in the wave pool called Slap Tail Pond. We were in there long enough, trang even started to feel seasick. Because if it’s added risk, the entrance attendant measures all the kids before coming in and gives them a wristband to verify their height and let you know if a life jack is required.
If we weren’t at the wave pool, we were in a crooked creek, which isn’t the lazy river most parents dream about relaxing on. Our kids, along with almost everyone else’s kids, use it as a race track to bounce around. We spent ⅔ of our time in that river walking after our kids, so think of it more like a crazy river as you awkwardly bound after them.
We were in the toddler Cub Paw Pool area a lot, and it’s about a foot and a half deep in its deepest section near the toddler slides. Outside of that, the area is pretty sparse. With a few small structures, a mini slide, and an area they can walk onto as they avoid small buckets of falling water. It’s fun for 10 minutes. But not the hours I spent there with our youngest. Thankfully the area does have a fair amount of lifeguards that are constantly checking the pool to keep the little ones safe.
The park also has a giant pool in one of the corners that have basketball hoops and balancing activities. It felt like it was the least busy area inside the park, and we spent the least amount of time there.
Near the exit to the outside pool was the wave-riding attraction Called Wolf Rider Wipeout. While we didn’t ride it for fear of getting wrecked, it was fun to watch other guests try their luck on the man-made waves.
Nonwater attractions inside the lodge included a mini bowling alley which looked fun. A MagiQuest wand adventure that you can play at stations spread all throughout the building. A large ticket arcade that houses some of the most vibrant, eye-catching games we’ve seen in a long time. And many scheduled kids’ events spread throughout the day in the lodge’s main lobby extra. All these activities are a nice respite from the water park because staying in there can be exhausting. Even great will lodges encourage guests to take breaks and give their bodies some time outside the water.
Outside of activities, great wolf lodge has a couple of shops. A general shop, a candy shop, and even a build-a-bear workshop.
Food-wise, you have a couple of options. Inside on the main floor, you’ll find a Dunkin Donuts, a buffet called the Loose Moose, and its highest-end food being served inside the “lodge Wood Fired Grill. On the bottom floor, near the entrance to the water park, you can eat at their pizza parlor and beat paw ice cream and pasty shop. Inside the water park, you can order from their bar and grill. Eating there does add up quickly, and if you’re looking for something cheap and fast, Mcdonald’s is just across the street with a crosswalk nearby for easy access.
Staying At The Hotel
If you’re looking to stay a night or two, the hotel part of the lodge isn’t bad at all. We got the family suite which comes with an additional fold-out bed and all the amenities you would expect from any hotel. The sheets were clean, and the room was nicer than we expected. They offer themed kids’ rooms as well, but we were passed on that since we planned to stay inside the water park as much as possible.
We weren’t sure what to expect staying the night at great wolf lodge but ended up really liking it because it’s a kid’s hotel. Where everyone’s kids are running around having fun, so you don’t have to shush them or worry that they’re annoying anybody. All the parents there are in the same boat as you, trying to let their kids be kids and make some lasting memories. They even ended the night with a late-night dance party in the lobby that the girls loved.
All that excitement aside, it’s also important to note that the great wolf lodge is exhausting. With the kids having the times of their lives, it’s hard to stay active with them and present the whole time, especially if they aren’t swimming yet and you’re in a heightened helicopter state. After two full days inside the water park Tang and I were beat up. Our ears were strained from the constant sound of water, the high humidity takes a toll if you aren’t used to it.
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