The Great Wolf Lodge is the country’s largest family of indoor water park resorts, with 16 water park and lodge offerings spread across the U.S. The year-old Garden Grove resort, located about three miles from Disneyland, is the chain’s first California venture. You can certainly stay at the resort during your next Disney excursion, but keep in mind that Great Wolf is a giant amusement destination all on its own, so make sure you allow enough time to check out the resort’s Northern Lights Arcade, Ten Paw Bowling Alley and Howly Wood XD Theater.
There’s another 105,000-square feet of indoor water park action, too, including a Wolf Rider Wipeout surf simulator, the Howlin’ Tornado thrill slide and Wolf Tail, a vertical launch pod that drops you 20-feet into a watery, high-speed loop. Your children may be so enthralled with MagiQuest, the lodge’s live-action game that uses magic wands to protect the secret realm portals, that they may never want to leave.
Zzz’s: Standard family suites offer two queen beds, a full-sized sofa sleeper, 39-inch flat screen HDTV, small dining table, mini fridge and microwave and full bathroom. Themed suites include cave or log cabin sleeping areas with bunk beds for the kids.
Bathrooms are standard with an average-sized shower and no frilly tile work or decor. But wolf and bear touches abound in the rest of your room, from the stylized lamps to the art on the walls. You almost expect the alarm clocks to howl.
Extras: Executive Chef Hany Ali (formerly of The Four Seasons Newport Beach) oversees seven on-site eateries, including Lodge Wood Fired Grill for steaks, seafood and lodge-smoked ribs and the Loose Moose Kitchen, which features family-friendly buffets throughout the day. There’s also a Dunkin’ Donuts located on the lobby level by the elevators. Convenient? Very.
Details: Rooms start at $250 per night, including water park admission. 12681 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove; www.greatwolf.com
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