Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Great Adventure to Great Wolf Lodge: Part One

Being new to Review Blogging it has not been below me to seek out companies and products to review. I send them an e-mail introducing myself and rarely do I hear back from them. However, when I sent one to Great Wolf Lodge they replied back. Yes, I was just as surprised as you are. After all, I've just been killin' time with these blogs right? Yeah, that's what the Professor thought too. So they invited me and my family to a VIF (very important families) event for the grand opening of the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina. I was stoked. Given the fact that I would have to don a swimsuit and I still wanted to go says a lot about this place.

It took us about two hours to get there from the upstate of South Carolina. As we drove up to the lodge we were stopped by security. They needed to verify that we were staying at the hotel because it was officially closed to the public for the Mitchel Musso (best know for his role as Oliver Oken on Disney's Hanna Montana series)concert later that evening. I found myself feeling a little anxious, thinking 'oh my god, what if I'm not on the list?' type of thoughts. Once we gave my name and we were waved on through I found myself feeling a little excited, thinking 'oh my god, I am on that list!" type of thoughts. Just driving into the parking lot told us we were going to be treated as the VIF we had always aspired to be (uh, still waiting on that mom of the year award). I wish I had taken some pictures of the parking lot that day but thanks to Melissa of Spoiled Mommy you can see how fabulous it looked and there's even a picture of the security stop point.

The lodge itself is impressive. As you enter the atrium the outside it is flanked by two enormous sculptures. On one side it is the momma wolf and her cubs and on the other side it is the daddy wolf keeping watch.

The impressive three story grand atrium was full of families excited as we were and lots of staff to help us begin our Great Wolf Lodge adventure. It was gorgeous and the staff very friendly and attentive. Checking in we received our itinerary, room assignments, and wristbands. Who knew jewelry was part of this event? Actually, Great Wolf Lodge uses a technology known as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). These bracelets or wristbands are encoded with your room information and credit card information. They act as your room key and wallet. When you check in a staff member securely attaches it to your wrist; it can't be taken off without ruining it. Obviously it can get're at a water park. I did feel a bit like cattle when I went to bed with it on but it was great when I went to get some coffee early the next morning.

All rooms in the Great Wolf Lodge are suites, with 9 different suite configurations. We stayed in one of the Wolf Den Suites. The kids about wet their pants when they walked into the room!
The suite has a faux-cabin that houses a bunk bed and their own 20” flat screen TV. In the main room, adults have a queen bed and full-size sleeper sofa and their own flat screen TV. The kid's cabin really makes it possible for the adults to stay up later than the kids which makes it feel more like a vacation and less like parent prison. This media picture shows the cabin. Thank god they included it because I could barely get my kids to sit still long enough to get a picture. They were literally climbing the wall like it was an in-room rock wall and popping in and out of the window. Finally I convinced them to climb up on the top bunk to get a photo.DSC05018gwl7

We went to a fabulous feast hosted by Radio Disney. All the glorious yummy food you could eat, child size buffets where they could serve themselves and a delicious BBQ buffet for the grown ups. The center pieces on the tables were stacks of various colored cotton candy which Gavin promptly claimed as his. Local Radio Disney personalities were on hand to liven things up. It was too loud for Gavin who tends to have some sensory issues and he spent most of the time with his ears plugged. Anna on the other hand was getting into it. Waving her complimentary Great Wolf towel and howling like a wolf with all the other crazy folks in there! Dippin' Dots and face painting ended that extravaganza. Anna decided to be a magical wolf which in her mind required lots of glitter. She was the first kid to ask for glitter on her face in addition to the wolf face paint. Leave it to my little drama queen.

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We went back to the room to get our swim suits on (ugh -only for the love of my two children would I do this) because the kids were chompin' at the bit to get to the water park. Here's our magical wolf and her daddy in the wolf's be continued...

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