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Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Birthday Weekend Getaway Review in Southern California

Posted by San Luis Obispo Mom on Monday, February 13, 2023 Under: Birthday Party
We drove 4 hours south to Orange County in Southern California to do a Great Wolf Lodge Getaway for our son's birthday celebration this month! Instead of having a party, we decided to take a road trip and spend the weekend at their kid-friendly waterpark. Great Wolf Lodge has an indoor waterpark with slides, toddler area, lazy river and more. It's a perfect place for kids who want to play in the water during wintery weather. Best yet, we didn't have to really leave the resort because they also had a few restaurants inside.
Great wolf Lodge Indoor Waterpark Pictures
When you book a room at the Great Wolf Lodge, it includes entry to the waterpark so there is an added convenience and it's located within the property. This made it a very pleasant experience for adults too as it made the trip so easy to plan. Scroll down to see more pictures from our waterpark stay below with our thoughts about our entire Great Wolf Lodge Getaway.

Wolf Den Suite

There were many rooms to choose from when I researched online on the Great Wolf Lodge's website. We decided to reserve the Wolf Den Suite, which was just a bit more expensive than their standard double bed room type. Sometimes they run seasonal deals with a promo code, which you'd have to manually enter to see the discounted deal. That was what we did.
Bunk Beds Room at Great Wolf Lodge
We're so happy that we chose the Wolf Den Suite for our stay. The Wolf Den Suite has bunk beds (that's perfect for our two sons), 1 queen bed and a full sleeper sofa. You can sleep up to 6 people in this room but we're a family of four and felt that if we had 2 more adults, it might seem uncomfortable. However, I think if you had 2 adults and 4 non-teen kids in your family, selecting this room type makes a lot of sense.

Wolf Den Suite Review Pictures
We loved the cave theme of our room and additionally we also added on the Birthday Fun Package to our room which included: a birthday banner on the door of our room, a set of balloons inside, a voucher for a cake and birthday theme napkins, plates and utensils. I thought this made our stay much more eventful and my birthday boy looked really happy when he saw all of this already set-up when we've arrived to our room. It was an additional cost but it was worth it to us. One thing to note is that the birthday cake that came with the Birthday Fun package was way too big for our party of 4. I think this package would be great for a bigger group. Here's a picture of our birthday cake below.
Birthday Cake from Great Wolf Lodge Package
It's a 1/4 sheet sized cake, which I think is big enough to feed 10 - 15 people for dessert. We had to redeem our birthday cake voucher and pick the cake up at the Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, which is on L1 level. 

Bear Track Waterpark

Bear Track Landng Waterpark Picture
When we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge on a Friday evening, we didn't make it to the waterpark as it was too late. However, the next morning, we beelined to the waterpark right before it opened. The waterpark, which is called Bear Track Landing Waterpark inside of Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim, is located on L1 (one level below the Lobby level). You can take the elevator to get there from any room floor. While we were there during the weekend, the waterpark was open between 9AM - 8PM. There were many chairs and tables but the tables get claimed very quickly. So, the sooner you get there, the better if you're looking for a table for your group. Each morning, we got in line 15 minutes before 9AM so that we could maximize our experience there.
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Chairs
My kids really enjoyed the waterpark and the many things we could do there together. The birthday boy's favorite waterpark feature was the Howlin' Tornado for bigger kids. The raft of the Howlin' Tornado fits 2 - 4 riders at a time. It was so exciting for us! He is over 48 inches now so he was able to go on that with me. We bonded over how scary certain parts were and got off the raft with big smiles!

There were also a couple of sections that were better for the little kids with less-scary slides like Fort MacKenzie. Even adults like me enjoyed them.

Breakfast at Loose Moose

Another awesome convenience with staying at the Great Wolf Lodge is that there were a few restaurants on property inside of the Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim to choose from. We ordered pizza from Hungry As A Wolf by the arcade (also on L1 floor) for both evenings while we were there and enjoyed breakfast at the Loose Moose in the mornings because it was a buffet and this made breakfast a breeze for our family. After the server at the Loose Moose found out it was my son's birthday at our first breakfast, without having to request it, they came by with a cupcake later on to sing a unique Great Wolf Lodge birthday song to him that ended with a howl! 
Loose Moose Family Kitchen Buffet Picture
I prepaid for a breakfast package for both mornings, thinking that it would save us money and time as the package also included non-alcoholic drinks and tip as well. In retrospect, it might have been cheaper if I hadn't done the pre-paid breakfast package. My husband typically drinks water with his meals and one of my sons didn't feel like eating one morning because he was still so tired. You can only redeem the breakfast slip once per day so the whole party had to be there for breakfast at the restaurant to redeem it so we couldn't stagger our visits where two of us could eat before the other two.

Lobby Area and Other Resort Activities

I really liked the high ceilings of the Great Wolf Lodge as I entered the property. We self-parked in their parking structure instead of valet parked because it was significantly more expensive to valet park. We used the elevators from the parking structure to get to the L1 level to head to the lobby. Once entering the lobby, the check-in desk would be to the left after passing the Loose Moose restaurant on the right-hand side and the candy shop on the left-hand side. Checking in was a smooth process. However, if you are self-parking, you'll need to alert them to exchange your white ticket, that you received from the parking structure machine when you entered the parking structure, with their blue parking pass, which you'd then scan on your way in and out of the parking structure in order to open the gate each time.

It was nice roaming around Great Wolf Lodge. Every day, there were resort activities in the lobby for kids. Activities included: bingo, arts & crafts, yoga and more.
Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Lobby
Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim in Garden Grove Review
Great Wolf Lodge Animatronic

There was a lot of room on the lobby level to just sit around and hang out.

During our trip, we used the waterpark, played in their arcade, did the MagiQuest scavenger hunt and relaxed. We had a very fun weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim. To my surprise, my sons actually preferred coming here over Disneyland!

Things I would do differently next time:
  • Get a waterproof pouch for my phone so I could take more pictures in the waterpark without fear of ruining my phone. I didn't take any pictures while I was in the water and wish I had been able to take some.
  • Not get the Pre-paid Breakfast Package so we had more flexibility on what we wanted to do for breakfast on a whim.
  • There was no microwave in our room. We had leftover pizza that we could store because our room had a mini-fridge, but we couldn't it heat up. Our thought is since we drove to the Great Wolf Lodge with our car, bringing a mini air fryer with us to the room would have been an easy solution. However, it might set off smoke detectors in our room and get us in trouble if we use it. I don't know if they have a hard rule about not bringing in your own kitchen appliances, but I may need to do some research on a solution to heat up leftovers for a future visit. I read online afterwards that there is a community microwave on each floor by the ice machine. We didn't make our way to the ice machine during our stay so didn't know. However, I'll make sure to locate the microwave by the ice machine next time!
My Other Family Getaway Reviews:

Major Attractions in Southern California

Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California is between 20 minutes to an hour drive from nearby major attractions. Here are ticket offerings for attractions online.

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm is only a 20 minute drive from Great Wolf Lodge Southern California (if no traffic).
Knott's Scary Farm 2023 Gate price is $99.99 but you can secure Knott's Berry Farm tickets online for $57.99 from arestravel.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a 57 minute drive from Great Wolf Lodge Southern California (if no traffic).
Haunted House Universal Studios See Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket Offerings

In : Birthday Party 

Tags: great wolf lodge anaheim review  great wolf lodge family vacation  indoor waterpark pictures of great wolf lodge  southern california indoor waterpark  garden grove greatwolf 

About Me

San Luis Obispo Mom Originally from San Diego, California, I'm a San Diego State University alumna, veteran's wife and mom of two kids who were born two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, we now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here, the exploration continues.
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