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Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park Resorts - Signature Features

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Great Wolf Lodge is the biggest brand of resorts with indoor water parks. The original's in Wisconsin Dells, water park capital of the world, and Great Wolf Lodge has led the pack in building new properties in other states. Indoor waterworks are only part of the fun at Great Wolf Lodge resorts.

COMING SOON: The twelfth property in the chain, Great Wolf Lodge New England is slated to open in late spring 2014.

Click on the photos to see large-sized.

1. Indoor Water Park

Great Wolf Lodge - photo, indoor water park, overview
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
What it's all about. Sizes of the indoor water parks vary: the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, for instance, has a massive 100,000 sq. feet of indoor water park area. Newer resorts may start off smaller, with plans for expansion.

2. Fort MacKenzie

Great Wolf Lodge  - Fort MacKenzie - photo ©  Teresa Plowright
Photos © Teresa Plowright
Fort MacKenzie is prominent in the indoor water park: a multi-story "treehouse" fort with many waterplay features (squirters, soaker buckets, etc.), suspension bridges, and the biggest feature of them all, the 1000-gallon tipping bucket on the top - see below.

3. 1000-Gallon Dunking Bucket

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - 1000 gallon dunking bucket
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
Every few minutes, in the midst of the excited noise in the water park, an insistent sound starts up: the warning bell clangs, brave souls take up positions below the 1000-gallon dunking bucket atop Fort MacKenzie, the bucket starts to tip -- then comes the crash and splash.

4. Waterslides

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - easy waterslides  - photo ©  Teresa Plowright
This picture shows two of the tamer style of waterslides: lots of fun, but plenty more awaits. Guests can also try raft rides, tube rides, and the signature ride Howlin' Tornado (below)... Lifeguards oversee the waterslides throughout the water park.

5. Howlin' Tornado

Great Wolf Lodge signature features  - Howlin' Tornado
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
Most of this terrific funnel-type slide is outside the building, as you can see. the Howlin' Tornado is screaming-good fun, and is unlike any regular down-we-go waterslide: riders (in a raft that seats four) are sloshed wildly up and down the sides of the giant funnel. Highly recommended!

6. Wave Pool, Kiddie Pool, and Other Pools

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound - wave pool -  photo ©  Teresa Plowright
A giant wave pool is fun for all ages. Expect to find other pools, too, in the indoor water park: Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, for instance, has a Recreational Pool for sports and for some built-in fun activities (such as the Frog Bog Log Walk, where kids -- and grownups too -swing themselves from lily-pad to lily pad, hanging onto a rope.) The indoor water parks also have a Kiddie Pool and water play area.

7. Outdoor Water Parks

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - outdoor water park
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
Some Great Wolf Lodges have outdoor water parks in summer months. Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, for instance, gets 60,000 additional square feet in summer, with its Thunder Bay outdoor water park: giant pool with geysers; waterslides; miniature version of Fort MacKenzie play zone; kiddie bumper boats; cabanas for rent.

8. Grand Lobby with Animated Clock Tower, Storytelling

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - animated Clock Tower
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
The Grand Lobby is several stories high and features a giant fireplace and an Animated Clock Tower where a nightly show and story-telling take place. The Lobby is big enough for activities such as Howl-O-Ween trick-or-treating or a disco at night. During December, it transforms into Snowland.

9. MagiQuest Interactive Fantasy Game

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - MagiQuest - photo ©  Teresa Plowright
A popular activity at many Great Wolf Lodges is MagiQuest. Kids and parents roam the resort, seeking the next item in their quest, pointing with their Wands to activate magic crystals or open boxes of treasure. Players can progress through different adventures and different levels of the game.

 

Players buy a Wand in the MagiQuest shop, which has costumes and paraphernalia, too; once activated, the Wand is good for several days of play. Many players are return visitors and simply have their Wands reactivated.

10. Cub Club

Great Wolf Lodge signature features - Cub Club
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Resorts.
Kids, accompanied by parent, can do crafts -- -- such as Wood Bear Photo Frame, or Paint A Ceramic Bank-- and other activities. Some activities, such as family games, are free.

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