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  • Writer's picturePaul and Teresa Lowe

Howlin' Family Fun - Great Wolf Lodge by Paul and Teresa Lowe

Howlin' Family Fun - Great Wolf Lodge by Paul and Teresa Lowe

Few things in this world can perhaps bring a wide smile to your face quite like the sound of a child's laughter. As you walk inside Great Wolf Lodge-southern California's newest resort and only indoor water park-pure family themed fun will surround and embrace you.

Walking about the massive grounds and speaking with General Manager Phillip Cunningham it becomes easy to understand the concept of this property. He says “it's a total family destination experience under one roof.” Local visitors, such as Russ and Marie Brown and kids say it's sort of like their “getaway utopia.” He shares that this visit is his first family vacation in a few years.

Wet and Interactive Cool Things To Do

Spend a day or so at this resort and you'll discover so many fun things to do for every member of the family. There are the popular Wolf Tail and the Howlin’ Tornado thrill slides. Parents and their little 'wolf cubs' can try wave riding with Wolf Rider Wipeout surf simulator.

When the bells and noise-makers sound in the water park families gather under the massive water fort tree house that has a gigantic tipping bucket. Even if you're not in the water at that moment just watching and waiting from the big spill over is rather spectacular.

Located just below the check-in grand lobby, which is decorated to showcase the seasons of the year, is Great Wolf Lodge's Main Street. Guests enjoy wild arcade games, glow in the dark mini-golf games, the Kid Spa, complete with ice-cream-sundae pedicure chairs, laser tag games, a 3D plus motion theater and lots of fun foods. Walking about the lodge you'll see families playing electronic scavenger hunt games. 'Magic Quest' is the lodge's interactive game and is played with special 'magic wands' that connect with game stations throughout the resort. When the day winds down younger guests are treated to Great Wolf Lodge Story Time. Many kids and their parents come dressed in pajamas and costumes. (“Howlin Halloween Time is so adorable!)

Where To Eat

The lodge has several full service meal or snack options that including everything from a donuts shop, pastries, burgers, a large family style buffet and upscale specialty cuisine. In charge of the restaurants is Executive Chef Hany Ali. He is a real charming gentleman. Hany has traveled the globe embracing its many cultures and recipes. Hany sometimes mingles with guests to make certain every meal experience is pleasurably and over the top delicious. Chef Hany and his talented assistant chefs can even tailor some meals to meet special dietary needs. (gluten or allergies)

It was a thrill to watch Chef Hany prepare one of his delectable specialty dishes- mushroom risotto. The mix of fresh asparagus, mushrooms, cream, savory cheese and Hany's know-how makes for a truly awesome symphony of flavor in your mouth...yumm!

The Places To Stay

Guests rooms are spacious. Some rooms, such as the Wolf Den Suites, offer fantasy characters themes, bunk beds and interactive 'magic wand' games for the little ones. Guests wear electronic wrist bands that are used to enter rooms, (no keys) charge goods and services and to enjoy the water park all day. The technology also helps parents track the whereabouts of their little ones.

This resort is located in the heart of the community of Garden Grove. Great Wolf Lodge has positioned its resort about 3 miles from Disneyland and other popular Orange County theme parks. Operators hope to be a compliment to the community. Shuttle buses are offered.

Why Southern California?

Initially some locals questioned why would anyone build such a gigantic indoor place along the 12-thousand block of Harbor Boulevard. After all, southern California is known for sunny warm days much of the year, nearby ocean waves and calm gently breezes, mountain vistas and a lot of cool places to enjoy fun and healthy foods.

So why an indoor amusement park? Operators, who've been running Great Wolf Lodges since 1998, say why not. Talking with a few parents about their visits it's easy to have a sense that they believe this property just might be, for them, the best wet and dry land entertainment anywhere.” ($$-$$$$)

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