21 May 2018

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, Ohio Review

Thank you to Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky for inviting us to play for a day.  I was not compensated for this post.  

Friends, it has been a long school year.  This was David's first year of college.  Although we were confident that he would do well, starting college at 15 isn't easy.  Caleb has had a lot of school work to do plus therapy three times a week, so it makes for some long days.  Dakota has worked hard to get all of her work done, but she's needed more help as 5th grade focuses more on writing and harder math concepts.


To say that we needed a break was an understatement.  Normally, we celebrate our last day with a trip to get ice cream at a local dairy farm and then do something small but fun the next week.  This year, we were invited to spend the day at Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio.  Even though we won't be done with school work until Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, it was a great reward for working hard all year!

GREAT WOLF LODGE SANDUSKY


Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky is a hotel resort with an indoor water park geared towards families.  In addition to the water park, they also have several dry activities for children.  The Sandusky location is their smallest one, but that was nice because we got to park very close to the building, and it wasn't crazy busy that day.  


DRY ACTIVITIES


When we arrived at the resort, my kids got Paw Passes.   Paw Passes, and their counterpart for the littles Pup Passes, are a great deal to enjoy the dry activities at the park.



Paw Passes are available for $79.99 per child and include:

  • MagiQuest Game and Wand.  This is a fun game where the kids explore the hotel area of the resort on a quest to find treasures.   They wave their wand at the picture and to find things for their quest and earn points.  
  • Great Wolf Kids Character.  They pick their own fun animal character and watch it get stuffed.  
  • Arcade Pass.   They have a decent sized arcade with a lot of fun games for kids and adults.  My husband and I enjoyed the arcade too.
  • Serving of Bulk Candy.  The kids got to choose their favorite flavors of Jelly Beans to fill a container.  I think this may have been Caleb's favorite part of the dry activities.
  • Great Wolf Googles.  This was nice because two of my three forgot goggles.  Guess which one remembered? 
  • Glitz Glitter Tattoo.  They have several designs to choose from, and the kids can get a glittery tattoo that lasts about a week.  The boys didn't want theirs, but Dakota loved getting three of them.
  • Leathery Treaty Name Bracelet.  They got to choose their own bracelet and get it engraved with their names.

Caleb and Dakota, 12 and 10 respectively, really enjoyed the Paw Pass and activities.  At 16, David was too old for mort of it, but he did like the arcade and the MagiQuest.  We were told that there are two versions of the MagiQuest so younger kids will still enjoy it. 



We had a nice lunch provided by the hotel and got to meet some staff members and the manager and learn more about the resort.  


Since we weren't staying in rooms, we got to tour two rooms.  They have different sizes of rooms with different accommodations.  We saw two styles of rooms, and both looked very comfortable for our family of five.  

WATER PARK ACTIVITIES


After we saw the rooms, we were able to enjoy the water park. There was a small play area with shallow water for the littles.  I saw crawling babies and toddlers there with their parents, but my kids were too old for that part. 

My kids went straight to Fort Mackenzie, a large tree house full of fun water activities.  It has slides and lots of fun ways for the kids to play.  At the top, there was a large bucket that filled up and dumped water on everyone standing in front of it every 5 minutes or so.  Caleb and Dakota really like this area, and David even did the slide a few times.


There are some smaller slides for older kids and then some even bigger slides.  Dakota was the only one brave enough to do the big slides in our group.  

We spent a lot of time in the Raccoon Lagoon, which is a shallow pool that you can swim and play in or play basketball in.  

There are also two hot tubs: a warm one for families and a hot one for adults only.  Since David is 16 and old enough to watch his siblings, my husband and I got to enjoy the adult hot tub.  That may have been my favorite part of the trip.  

We had a very fun day.  The resort is really family friendly, and it's a great place to go if you have littles.  At 10, 12, and 16, my kids still had a lot of fun and can't wait to go back this summer.  

One thing that really stood out was how friendly the staff was to everyone.  Every person from the management to the clerks in the store, they were all nice to the kids and very helpful.

The lifeguards also did a great job.  There were some sitting in their lifeguard stands keeping watch, but then there were several that stood beside the pools walking back and forth, never taking their eyes off of the water.  

IS GREAT WOLF LODGE AUTISM FRIENDLY?


I would say yes,  Since they limit the number of guests to those who are staying in the resort and don't sell day passes, it limits the number of guests.  Yes, it's busy, but we were there on a busy Saturday and had plenty of room to move through the resort and the water park.

Since there are wet and dry activities, there are other things to do if one activity becomes too overwhelming.  While we didn't have a room, they are spacious enough to go there for a break if needed.  

The arcade was very loud both in the noise level and the colors  But it's an arcade, and that's really to be expected.  Caleb wanted to do the arcade first, but we had to leave and come back later after some quieter activities.  

They don't have an autism pass like an amusement park does, but we didn't need one anyway.  There was a short line for the slides, but it wasn't terrible.  I think the longest the kids waited was about three minutes.  

Overall, it was a great day, and we all can't wait to go back!

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Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky review.



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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.