In mid-January, we traveled to Concord, NC to enjoy an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge.
We’ve been going annually for Gabe’s birthday (and sometimes for Asher’s) since 2016, so here’s a throwback of the wonderful memories there 🙂
With COVID, there are still restrictions in place–leaving 6 feet of space in line, wearing a mask everywhere but in the water park, and certain activities (mainly in the arcade–high touch things like mini basketball-throw games) were closed. However, we still managed to have a great time!
I thought I would share a few tips, and of course, photos and videos.
- Arrive early / stay late. You can enter the water park at 1 PM, and the next day, you can stay ALL DAY (though we’ve never done this). I did online check-in, and we arrived around 1:15, got our wristbands, and our room was ready, so we brought it our bags. We already had our suits on, just in case the room wasn’t ready, but there are changing rooms and lockers available as well. The next day, we stayed until lunch time, but in the future, we might stay all day (meaning, until 8 PM when the water park closes).
- BYOF. Bring your own food and drinks! We didn’t bring any snacks or drinks (doh!) and of course, they are super duper over-priced from the gift shop. I believe I spent $50 on snacks/beverages that would have cost less than $10 from a gas station or grocery store–ouch. So plan ahead!
- Double check the water park hours. I had the previous hours in my head of 9 AM to 9 PM, but the water park was actually open from 10 AM to 8 PM. Thankfully this didn’t derail our plans much, but we could have slept in longer 😛 We ended up going to the arcade a second time…
- Set a budget for the arcade in advance. My boys LOVE playing games at the arcade–and it is super fun, I’ll admit–but man, that place is a money pit! I told them they got $20 each, and when that was gone… play time was over.
- Safeguard (and charge!) your electronics. And if you want peace of mind while you swim, leave the electronics in your room, or bring your credit card so you can rent a locker. Last year when we went, my husband caught some kids snooping around our stuff (where my $1,000 camera + $600 lens were under our towels). Thankfully, we haven’t had an incident yet, but definitely protect your valuables while at the water park!
- Bring several swimsuits each! It’s no fun putting a cold/damp swimsuit back on–we like to go to the water park at least twice per visit, so I brought 2-3 swimsuits each.
- Prepare to walk… A LOT. I keep thinking I’ll buy some water shoes/sandals, because the bottoms of my feet usually hurt after hours walking on concrete and up wooden steps at the water park, but I haven’t yet. Also, if your kids are into Magic Quest (a sort of scavenger hunt game that takes place throughout the lodge) you will get tons of steps in, so bring comfy shoes! This is the first year in several years that Gabe didn’t want to do Magic Quest, and I was grateful!! (saved money, and meant more time at the water park!)
That night, we went back to the water park, and I brought my GoPro along. We had such a great time, and didn’t want it to end! I thought the park closed at 9 PM, but it was actually 8 PM, so I’m glad we went back at 7–plus the lines were SUPER short.
One of our favorite things was “racing” each other on the orange and blue slides, aka the “Mountain Edge Raceway.” It was Asher’s first time going down all the big slides, since he just learned to swim last year, so that made it extra special and fun 🙂
Here’s me & the boys going down these slides at night:
The next day, we had breakfast down the road at Cracker Barrel, then got back in time for the water park to open at 9… only they actually opened at 10. Womp womp. Goodness, I botched the hours on both ends! Not to worry though, the arcade was open, so we
wasted a bunch of money had a blast there! Gabe kindly donated his tickets to Asher so that Asher could pick out a stuffed animal toy as a prize.
The water park opened at 10, and we were amongst the first inside. I sadly discovered my GoPro battery was dead, so I wasn’t able to get any of the videos I had been looking forward to in the daylight (next time!) Instead of beating myself up about the dead battery, I enjoyed being hands-free (not having to carry it around), and electronic-free. We had such an amazing time together!
Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What are your tips?