Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky, Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge is a fantastic family resort that packs every square foot with fun. The staff is overflowing with kindness from check-in through check-out. Disney spoils us with excellent customer service and magical vacation experiences.
However, Great Wolf Lodge did not disappoint.
Great Wolf Lodge Check-in
This visit was just my husband, myself, and our 10-month-old baby. Check-in time was 4 o’clock, but you could check-in as early as 1 o’clock and access the water park.
We checked in to Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky at 2 p.m. on a Thursday. The drive towards the lake is peaceful. The front desk clerk was incredibly friendly, chipper, and wore wolf ears. Furthermore, she offered us wolf ears! What’s not to love?
We were lucky, and our room was ready. If the resort is on the empty side, the front desk may give you the option of which level you would like. However, we did check in early. We chose the fourth floor because it is the furthest away from the ruckus and ideal for little wolf pups who still take naps.
We were each given a band for the water park. She also explained how to charge items to the room. We are ready to rock and roll and splash with our baby cub!
Our suite came with two double beds with a fold-out sofa. Always a fan of the great outdoors, the balcony was a welcome addition. The room was not up to my standards for hotel hygiene, with some suspect dust bunnies under the bed and a misplaced toy from a prior guest. The bathroom was clean, but the wallpaper appeared to be peeling. It seems like some renovations may be due.
When you walk into the room, there was a mini-fridge and sink area to the left. The mini bar area also had snacks. Great Wolf Lodge provided coffee, a coffee maker, and small bites. The area had enough room to stash suitcases and coats.
The room was wide open but had a half-wall divider between two double beds and the fold-out sofa. All six of us could easily fit in this room between the three sleeping surfaces. A large television was in front of the couch- a perfect retreat for my children to have some space after a long family-filled day.
The Water Park
Our trip was in the winter, and we went with a baby to Great Wolf Lodge. We were concerned about what would be available. Rightfully so, the outside attractions were inaccessible.
The following areas were available:
- Soakin’ Oak Springs: A perfect baby and small toddler playland. There is a little slide, water spouts, and a slightly deeper area that is still relatively shallow.
- Fort Mackenzie: Climb this water-themed treehouse. Ride down the Totem Tower water slides– three-story water slides with a gentle slope, twists, and a dip into the landing pool.
- Whooping Hollow: A play pool for children under 52 inches with a variety of smaller water slides.
- Caribou Creek: Lazy River with one and two-person rafts.
- Big Foot Pass: This was a kiddie water obstacle course. There was a cargo net above giant floating lily pads that were surprisingly hard to cross.
- Chinook Cove: Here you can play water basketball in the pool or hop on various pool floats
- Alberta Falls: A thrilling, four-story raft water slide with whipping turns with a slide track that takes you outside and back inside. Also, you can choose between one and two-person rafts for a family experience
- Manitoba Tubs: Hot tubs for the whole family. However, there was a giant family hot pool, and then a smaller one on an upper level. The upper-level staircase had a sign pointing to the tub that said “Adults Only Past This Point.” There were small children in each of the unenforced jacuzzis.
Best for Baby
The water slides that we were best able to go on with our baby daughter were Soakin Oak Springs (which was the best for a baby) and Caribou Creek lazy river. I was able to lay down on a raft on the lazy river and hold her on my tummy.
We also were able to wander through Fort Mackenzie (except the slide) and Whooping Hollow. The caveat with Fort Mackenzie is that children are pretty boisterous and it gets a little wild inside. We have two older children and expect that kids want to have a great time and burn energy at a water park. Whopping Hollow is a bit calmer. While obviously, the water slides are too big for a baby, this is optimal for smaller children.
Great Wolf lodge activities
Upon check-in, we were given an activity schedule for the weekend.
During the day, most kids are in the water park. However, on the weekend mornings, there is “Yoga Tails,” a yoga event for small children. The clock tower show occurs twice during the day. There is a wolf walk on the property, a craft project, and face painting in the cub club.
The evenings are full of fun for children. We were able to meet the Great Wolf Lodge Kids in the lobby. In the evening, there is game time, a dancing selfie-taking PJ party called a “Jammie Jamboree,” a dedicated storytime and even a dance party called Hustle & Howl.
The Great Clock Tower show is offered twice in the evening and was a half-hour each time. It was entertaining for preschool-aged children.
Dining at Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky
For hungry little folks, there are several restaurants at the resort. The food is nothing special, but it gets the job done! There is a poolside counter-service restaurant called Buckets Incredible Craveables which serves lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
The lobby floor features a couple of dining options. The sit-down restaurant is Gitchigoomie Grill and is open all day long for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the lobby, there is a limited hour Dunkin Donuts.
Across from the grill, is Bear Paw Sweet & Eats and Hungry as a Wolf. Bear Paw Sweet & Eats features desserts and coffee. Hungry as a Wolf provided full meals. If you’re looking to pick up dinner and take it back to the room, you can order a salad, sandwich, pizza, or cheesy bread.
Realistically, I would probably just hit the Meijer across the street to save money. A couple of prepared food items and some breakfast sandwiches will also buy you more time in the waterpark. You can also order food from Amazon Prime to the hotel itself or to your home before the trip. We stock up on snacks to stave off hunger.
Check-out was at eleven o’clock. However, you have access to the water park until it closes. Because the water park closes at nine o’clock in the evening, it’s not a bad deal. They offered a special on Friday morning where if you checked out by 9:30 AM, you could get a free pizza, and a family-sized locker.
Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky
After snagging some Dunkin Donuts and one final ride on the slide, it was time to go. We can’t wait for our next trip to Great Wolf Lodge and will bring the entire family back for a long weekend or spring break destination.
We hope you enjoyed our Great Wolf Lodge Review Sandusky with our family.
See our review of the Gitchigoomie Grill and gluten-free menu.