Spring Break Getaway to the Great Wolf Lodge

Wolves and Water and Bears … ‘Oh My’! Spring break time in the Carolinas, and while the weather isn’t quite warm enough to hit the beach, its always warm in the Great Wolf Lodge. I decided to take Sophia on a fun overnight trip with a few friends, so I could write about our local Theme Park and get some fresh material for Plan Cool Trips.

The Lodge has a rustic, woodsy theme, 12 different water features, including a thrill ride called the Howlin’ Tornado, a kids spa/salon, various Quest games, an arcade, an XD theatre, mini golf, and bowling.  Its an ideal playground for 4 twelve year olds who have boundless energy (well not at 8:00 AM on day two quite yet, but by 10 AM they were ready to slide some more!).

Rooms come complete with mini fridges and microwaves, so I packed up some snacks and the girls packed suits,  jammies, goggles, and of course cell phones (selfies and Instagram required I guess) and headed over to spend the night at the resort.  I figured we would bring our own breakfast, but order pizza from the deli for dinner.  A large pie with 8 slices is $12.00, and for additional money plus discounts you can add on a second pizza or liters of soda.

Other dining options within the resort in Concord include Dunkin’ Donuts and a bakery and ice cream shop.  There is a nightly dinner buffet, breakfast buffet, an ala carte grill serving lunch and dinner, and a burgers and dogs snack shack (that even serves beer) in the water park.  The resort is located amidst numerous restaurants and shopping, so if you are there for more than one night you can scoot out for a variety of dining options.  If you like to shop on vacation, the resort is located near the Concord Mills Outlet Mall.

The Great Wolf Water Park is exclusive to guests of the hotel.  So guests book a hotel room, and the water park passes are included for those staying in the rooms.  Rooms do have guest limits, and additional guests and passes can incur extra charges.  During holidays like Halloween and the 4th of July, there are special activities like trick or treating and fireworks.

There are plenty of chairs surrounding the water park, but if you want to lounge in style, you can rent cabanas that include wait service, tvs and mini fridges.  Cool tip:  yes, you can bring your own snacks and drinks via cooler into the water park!

I booked the Majestic Bear Suite, which had a private master bedroom and can sleep up to 8 guests.  I knew I’d need a quiet place to work and rest apart from the tweens — their area of the room included two queen beds, a sleeper sofa, and kitchenette.  The Great Wolf permits arrival as early as 1:00 PM on check in day, although your room may not be ready until 4:00 PM.  The pool area comes complete with changing rooms and showers, so PCT recommends you bring a ‘beach bag’ with your pool things if you go early.  You can also stay as late as you want the day you check out.  On a previous visit we arrived right at actual check in time 4:00 PM and it was chaotic.  I guess we weren’t the only folks unaware of the early arrival policy!  So this time, we arrived at 2 PM well before check in time.  We only had a short wait for check in, but as I expected our room wasn’t ready yet.  No problem, the girls were prepared with beach bags so off to the pool we went!

Great Wolf is geared toward all families, but I think mainly those with children and tweens (those not quite kids, not quite teens yet). At times the hotel halls can be very noisy with all the excited young guests running around.  But our girls had a ball, and were completely worn out by day 2.  The water park was open until 10:00 at night, so there was plenty of time to ride all of our favorite water slides multiple times.  In addition to the slides, wave pool and arcade, each afternoon and evening there was a story time with some of the furry characters who entertain the kids at the resort.

There are also outdoor water features at Great Wolf Lodge but since we visited before Memorial Day, they weren’t open yet.  It looked like a great place to soak up some sun and let the kiddos run amok.  Both indoors and out, there is also a shallow water kiddie pool, and smaller slides for the younger ones.

So my cool tips for this vacation getaway are to check in before or after the prime hour, and to bring along some of your own food and drink.  One final cool tip — if you do decide to dine at the breakfast buffet, make sure to ask the waffle station attendant to put a wolf image in your waffle!  Its by request only :o)

Special 25% Promotion select nights for stays April 13 through June 18 2015!  Contact Us for the promo code and booking assistance.

Want more information about Great Wolf Lodge and other Charlotte attractions, contact us via our Contact Us Page or visit our CruisePlanners site –!

~ Amy

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