Bloomington, MN is home to the country’s newest Great Wolf Lodge. This spacious, kid-friendly, brand-new indoor waterpark and hotel is now open and Fun 4 Kids already got to go! It has many amenities, many activities and your family will make many memories. This newly refurbished hotel features a variety of hotel rooms that are sure to fit every family. Great Wolf Lodge is also home to family friendly guest services with friendly hotel staff and family activities.
Fun 4 Kids was invited by the new Great Wolf Lodge to attend a family friendly media weekend. We happily accepted this invitation so we could pass our experiences on to our amazing audience! Here are 8 things we experienced at this new hotel and indoor waterpark.
1) Effective Guest Services
The staff of MN Great Wolf Lodge is ready and waiting to serve you & your family. Fun 4 Kids had some issues with a couple of our experiences during the weekend. We had issues with the cleanliness of our hotel room right off the bat. The sales manager was able to make new room accommodations for us and we were happy with the outcome. It was a bit of a hassle having to make this switch and we were grateful that it was media weekend and the hotel waterpark wasn’t full!
The indoor waterpark and hotel staff were nothing if not accommodating. If something was not to our liking, if we were unsure of anything or if things were vague - most of the staff at Great Wolf Lodge and indoor waterpark worked to make our stay more comfortable, satisfying and made sure we had some family friendly fun.
2) Family Friendly Food, Fast Food, Fresh Food
The dining possibilities are practically endless at Great Wolf Lodge, MN. There are tons of dining options at this new MN hotel & indoor waterpark. We had a tough experience at the Campfire Kitchen buffet, however. We had the buffet at our own expense. We thought the price was a bit on the spendy side, especially since they served what tasted like boxed potatoes. They also had one of us drinking from a broken glass.
The restaurant manager initially corrected the problem by discounting the meal 25%. When we spoke to the management of the hotel, they actually ended up covering the entire cost of our meal.
They have tons of dining options, from sit down restaurants, quick bites and places for adult friendly refreshments. Some of the great dining choices you will have are Dunkin’ Donuts, Ben & Jerry’s, Hungry As A Wolf (pizza, pasta & more).
There’s also Buckets Incredible Craveables (snacks, hot dogs, hamburgers & fries) and The Watering Hole (drinks- pop, iced tea, mixed drinks & beer). Both of these options are conveniently located right in the waterpark. We enjoyed the fact that we didn’t have to dry off to get food and drinks. These restaurants were reasonably priced and the food was good.
Some other options are the Barnwood (beer, libations, sharable plates) and the Outpost (adult friendly refreshments). Depending on your food budget, there are some good meal choices right on the resort grounds.
3) Shopping That Will Please All Shopaholics
Shopping is spectacular at Great Wolf Lodge MN. You can find great deals on Great Wolf Lodge apparel and merchandise in a convenient and family friendly gift shop - they even have online shopping. You will never forget your family friendly fun filled trip to MN’s greatest waterpark with these insane souvenirs.
You can also find sweet treats for the entire family in the Great Wolf Candy Company. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Check out the many other shopping options this hotel has.
Fun 4 Kids did not indulge in many of the shopping options. We were really there to experience and report on hotel guest services, kids activities, and indoor waterpark adventures, so we could pass it on to our amazing audience.
4) Interactive MagiQuest Awaits
This indoor waterpark and hotel also has the magical world of MagiQuest as part of your family friendly adventure. This is a live action game that has kids exploring all areas of this new MN waterpark. The hotel provided Fun 4 Kids with the magic wands this time and we aren’t really sure we would have purchased them ourselves if they hadn’t done that.
We felt that there were many other more family friendly activities to be had throughout the waterpark that made this an unnecessary expense. If you do choose to participate in this activity, just know that the wands you buy can be brought back time and time again. You can continue to play the game each time you go there and MagiQuest gear can be purchased in the special MagiQuest store.
5) New Stay-Dry Family Friendly Attractions
Great Wolf Lodge MN has so much more than splish-splashy fun. They have family friendly activities for everyone without their sea legs too! You can try your luck in the Northern Lights Arcade. There are games of skill and games of chance that will challenge your family. The arcade was a fun addition to this hotel that Fun 4 Kids did have the opportunity to experience during our stay.
Try out your dry-sea-legs on the rope course or rock wall or pan for treasure in Olivier’s Mining Co. We really enjoyed the rope course, it was a fun and challenging adventure. The rock wall was fun too, but the rope course took the top spot for dry family fun because it was unique.
There’s also dry fun to be had in Scoops Boutique. They have all the glam and glitter your little one can imagine right in one spot! If you’re looking for a more physical activity, try out Ten Paw Alley. This is a fun-sized bowling alley. They have 5 pound balls and half length alleys.
Both of these dry land options were enjoyable activities for us during our stay.
6) Amazing Indoor Waterpark Fun
The massive indoor waterpark provided hours and hours of wet & wild fun for Fun 4 Kids. The family friendly hotel waterpark features things like giant waterslides, wave pools and a lazy river. We really loved the fact that they had a small kiddie area for the really little ones AND a smaller waterslide for the in-between kiddos. This gave kids of all ages and sizes some water-filled fun.
They have a one of a kind River Canyon Run featuring Splash Cinema. This was a bit of a disappointment. We were really geared up to try this new waterslide concept, but all it did was blast loud music and show a few pictures in the slide as we were going down.
The lazy river was nice, but some of the other guests made it a rough experience. They were rude and rowdy, which didn’t make for a great lazy river experience for little kids. We felt that the Great Wolf Lodge staff could have been more present. This possibly wouldn’t have happened if there were better staff supervision - even adults need better supervision apparently.
Overall, the wet & wild fun was our very favorite part of the weekend we spent at Great Wolf Lodge. We spent most of our time in the waterpark and had a blast! The adults had a great time, the big kids had a ton of fun and the little kids loved it. Awesomely, Insane Family Fun in the waterpark for the whole family!
And just in case you forgot to pack something for swimming, the waterpark has you coverd with Paddle Bay Outfitters.
FYI: access to the waterpark is reserved to hotel guests only.
7) Family Friendly Hotel Suite Accommodations
Even though our original room needed some improvement as far as cleanliness goes, the rooms are pretty cool. Each hotel room at the Great Wolf Lodge MN has a unique Northwoods theme. There are many options for hotel suites. There are standard suites to choose from, themed suites and premium suites for every group size.
All hotel rooms have indoor waterpark passes included and have the option to add more participants at an additional cost. The hotel suites include a mini fridge and a microwave oven and some even have fireplaces and bunk beds! We really liked the room with the bunk beds that gave everyone some privacy, these rooms are really family friendly.
Cabana rentals are also available for a relaxing hotel-room-like experience right near the action.
8) Examples of Daily Kids’ Activities
In addition to the dry-land activities that the hotel and waterpark offers, they also have a set schedule of daily kids activities. Kids activities include arts & crafts and visits from Great Wolf Characters. These activities seemed fine and were family friendly - maybe they just weren’t for older kids.
Little toddlers might enjoy visits from the Great Wolf characters, but it wasn’t for us. These kids activities took place in the lobby and seemed like more of an inconvenience than engaging kids events.
Family Friendly Filled Fun for Everyone
We are happy we had the opportunity to experience Minnesota’s newest indoor waterpark. We thank Great Wolf Lodge for the invitation. We are thrilled to be able to pass our experiences on to our audience - you are who we do this for. There is tons of potential for Great Wolf Lodge MN to become a family friendly vacation destination. At this time, we think they need some more practice at looking out for their guests’ best interests.
Our kids had a great time in the waterpark, it was the best part of the trip. The staff was friendly, accommodating and willing to help whenever we asked. The entire place was clean and inviting. There were more than enough family friendly activities to keep us busy and entertained for the entire weekend.
A few areas of improvement could be to double check that the hotel room is actually ready for guests from top to bottom before turning it over to them. They also might want to reconsider the cost of the buffet compared to the offerings on the buffet - while they’re at it, make sure the dishes are in proper working order too. Another area of improvement might be the extra fees for the dry-land activities, we don’t think they will be very successful at selling these extras for the prices they are charging.
We like to compare the Great Wolf Lodge a little bit to a family trip to Walt Disney World ® - without the airfare. There is no need to even step foot outside when you visit for the weekend. Everything you need is within the walls of the hotel and waterpark, it is very convenient. Just be prepared to pay the prices for the convenience.
Our overall impression with this indoor waterpark and hotel is that it is a pretty okay place for family friendly activities, they just have some kinks to work out.
STAR RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ropes Course image courtsey of Great Wolf Lodge