When we left Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls, we had to literally peel my son’s fingers off of the door as he kicked and screamed. Needless, to say, he LOVED every minute and never wanted to leave. This was our first visit, and I want to share with you what we learned, what we loved and why we’ll be returning again as soon as possible!
To Paw Pass or Not to Paw Pass?
For first-timers I highly recommend the Paw Pass! For $64.99 plus tax per kid, you get:
- One MagiQuest game
- One MagiQuest classic wand or classic topper
- One quarter pound of fudge
- One animal from our Great Wolf Stuffing Station (outfit not included)
- One 5×7 Paw Prints water park action photo
- 20 Paw Points and game card for Northern Lights Arcade
- One gift at Scooops Kid Spa
- Two games of bowling at Ten Paw Alley or one game at Wacky Wilderness Mini Golf
- Two Great Wolf Kids activities in Cub Club
- One pair of wolf ears
We did everything on the list except for the activities at the Cub Club. The kids loved getting their wolf ears, their stuffed wolf (just like at Build-A-Bear), and their wands for the MagiQuest. I upgraded the Paw Prints photo for about $6 we got a printed picture of our family going over the Falls in a barrel. We have very few family pictures and I appreciate the kitsch of this souvenir.
Meal Plan or Bring Your Own?
Our package included the meal plan and I loved the breakfast and dinner buffets. There were lots of choices and my picky eaters were all happy. Niagara Wine samples came to the table (SCORE!) and as it was my daughter’s birthday, she received a special dessert and a birthday song from wait staff ending with a wolf howl! So fun!
Check out the video of the birthday song: Great Wolf Lodge Birthday Surprise
Lunch choices were ‘okay’. We could choose from a pizza slice, chips and pop; or a hot dog or burger w/fries and a pop. Not as awesome as the buffet, but it was quick enough and let us get back to the more important task of enjoying the water park.
Next time I will consider bringing more food and possibly not getting the meal plan, it is certainly possible to make do without it, but I also really enjoyed the buffets!
The room had a mini-fridge and microwave oven, coffee maker and sink, so we could definitely have made do while in our room. No microwave popcorn is allowed to be popped in the hotel rooms – there are big warning labels on the microwave ovens. I brought snacks, chips, candy, and bottled water for the room.
Standard, Themed, or Premium Room?
Our room was a themed KidCabin Suite. The kids enjoyed the bunk bed room of their own. My son loved sleeping in the top bunk. My daughter turned 13 on the trip and found the beds very uncomfortable. Next time I would double a mattress for her (they were thinner than a standard mattress) and there were three beds in the suite and only two kids.
We would have been just as happy in a standard “Family Fireplace Suite” as we all really enjoyed the fireplace and would pay a little more for that perk (we visited in January and it was so nice to warm up by the fire and also to dry our towels). My daughter would’ve been more comfortable in a regular bed and would happily share with her brother.
If you have no budget, consider a premium suite. I’d love to try the loft fireplace suite. This would be great to book at Christmas as the room holds up to 8 people and Santa can bring presents to the fireplace! Some of the premium rooms come with dedicated parking right outside your suite so it is easier to load/unload.
We have been to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark in Niagara Falls twice thanks to Autism Ontario attending in the Winter and were rather disappointed both times. My kids are not thrill seekers and they only enjoyed the wave pool there and unfortunately as the day progresses the water park gets colder and colder as patrons go outside to the heated outdoor space letting cold air continually blast into the water park.
We were pleasantly surprised with Great Wolf Lodge as the temperature was nice and warm and stayed warm the whole time we were there. The water park had smaller water slides for young kids or ‘chickens’ like my two. They loved the lazy river (I think half of our day was spent in the lazy river)! The wave pool was a hit and they also loved the smaller swimming pool with basketball nets around the sides. It was easy to access self serve life vests. Heated towels were available and there were lockers for rent. On our second day, we remained at the water park after checking out from our hotel room, so we rented a locker. The locker was about $20 and when we returned our key we had the option to receive the key back or pick a wolf stuffed animal (my daughter chose the wolf).
One night or more?
For the budget conscious, you can get a lot of fun out of a one night stay. If your room is not ready at your 1pm check in time, you can access the water park already! And you have water park privileges for your check out day as well, so you can stay as long as the water park is open! My hope next time is that we book at least 2 nights as there is so much fun to be had and it would have been a more relaxed pace for squeezing in all of the fun activities.
The Happiest Place in Canada?
We used to save up for Disney, the happiest place on earth for me and so many others – but now, in less than 2 hours with no border crossing, our family has found our new ‘happiest place’ and it’s IN CANADA. To celebrate #Canada150 a lot of bloggers are urging Canadians to make Canadian destinations a priority this year, so we will definitely be spending our vacation dollars in Canada and as often as possible, at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Check out all of my Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls videos on YouTube here:
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This Review is not an #Ad. It is my own opinion based on a stay my partner WON from CHYM-FM in Kitchener (Thank you for making me the #BestMomEver ).