Phoenix With Kids

Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale, Fun For the Whole Family

We have a fun update for everyone interested in Great Wolf Lodge! Phoenix with Kids contributor Liz and her family visited GWL for the first time since the pandemic shut downs. The indoor water park and entertainment facility has since reopened with enhanced sanitation and social distancing measures in place. Here is how your family weekend at GWL might look for now in 2021.

Liz Haveman

Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale, Fun For the Whole Family

We have an update for everyone interested in Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale which offers fun for the whole family! Phoenix with Kids contributor Liz and her family visited GWL for the first time since the pandemic shutdowns. The indoor water park and entertainment facility have since reopened with enhanced sanitation and social distancing measures in place. Here is how your family weekend at GWL might look for now. A general blog post with more details about the rooms, waterpark, activities, and ways to save can be found here

Calling all water fans! Great Wolf Lodge is open for business and waiting to welcome you and your family for a truly epic getaway! Our family of five stayed for one night in a Wolf Den room, and I can tell you that my kids absolutely loved the bunk bed and camp theme. We also met our cousins there and made some great memories.

Things have changed a bit since they reopened on June 9th last year, after being closed for 3 months. Enhanced sanitation measures and social distancing requirements have been implemented for guest and staff safety, however, they have not impeded the fun.

Mary Burkhardt, the senior publicist with GWL public relations, stated that the facility is now open to full operating capacity. “Since Great Wolf Lodge Arizona reopened in June 2020 after a temporary closure, guests have been excited to return and safely enjoy the family-friendly resort. Great Wolf Lodge ensures all guests feel comfortable and safe with our Paw Pledge. We have also implemented exciting new programming for families to enjoy this summer such as Summer CampIn.” (Additional details regarding the summer CampIn are below.)

Fully vaccinated guests are not required to wear masks inside the facility, but everyone is required to do their best to social distance at least 6 feet from other parties. Children will still be required to wear masks outside of the water facilities since they are currently ineligible for any vaccine.

My kids weren’t thrilled about the masks, but they ended up really only needing to wear masks walking from our room down to the water park area, so it wasn’t that bad.

Guests can check-in as early as 1 p.m. and use the water park right away, but room check-in is not until 4 p.m. We were so excited to get started and were there right at 1, and in the water by 1:30.

Once we were inside the water park and grabbed a few chairs to use as our base, it was easy to let go of all the worries of the world and just have fun! The wave pool was the decided favorite of two of my kids, but the third says the best part was the churros dipped in chocolate sauce from the Timbers snack stand.

My (Liz’s) favorite part was definitely the water slides! I loved grabbing a double tube and riding the Alberta Falls over and over again with my kids. It was so much fun from start to splashdown, I didn’t even mind climbing up those stairs over and over when my five-year-old repeatedly squealed, “Again, again!” The River Canyon Run was another special adventure since those huge tubes can seat up to 5 people, perfect for my entire family to ride together!

An experience that really touched my heart was when my 8-year-old was telling her grandma about the trip later. She said she had been the most excited about spending some one-on-one time with mommy and getting to do several rides, “Just the two of us.” Be still my heart!

As a guest in the hotel, we had a mini-fridge in our room that we used to bring in lunch meat and cheese to make sandwiches. Our first afternoon in the park, we ate sandwiches and snacks I had brought, along with juice boxes and chips. For an afternoon snack, we had churros, then ordered pizza for dinner from Hungry As A Wolf. The pizza wasn’t amazing, but it was hot and fresh, and the kids had no complaints. The garlic cheese bread was really tasty.

We had left-over pizza and some pastries we brought ourselves for breakfast. Then again sandwiches for lunch, and for an afternoon snack, Dip N Dots from Timbers. I love special treats, and being a budget-conscious person, I wanted to spend our money on yummy snacks instead of meals.

Since room check-out is at 11 a.m., I brought a soft cooler and ice packs so we could keep our cold food with us in the water park. When we were ready for our sandwiches, we went to the outside pool and warmed up in the sunshine for our picnic.

I suggest getting up early to snag some chairs inside the water park for your family. They fill up fast, and it makes the day easier having a sort of home base for your kids to know where to go if you get separated or they need to find you. I was in the park by 9:30 a.m. the second morning of our trip and only managed to reserve two chairs for our party of 9 people. But it still helped a lot having a place we all could at least take turns sitting.

Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale, Fun For the Whole Family

A really fun surprise for me was that all guests get free wolf ears on check-in. That took care of our souvenirs for the trip! Plus, they made for some really cute pictures.

Since you can stay in the water park until closing on the day of check out, I appreciate how easy the facility makes it to still have access to private changing rooms. When we checked out, we loaded all of our luggage back into the car but kept a change of clothes for everyone. When the kids finally tired out, we changed into the room just to the right of the wave pool. There are showers and changing rooms there.

Overall, Great Wolf Lodge was a wonderful experience. The staff all wore masks, and I saw high-touch surfaces being cleaned all around the facility several times each day. All of the other guests we encountered were polite and respectful about space. The room was very clean. It was a wonderful getaway, and my family will definitely be returning.


Great Wolf Lodge Summer CampIn

Families looking for a safe, convenient and fun getaway this summer can enjoy the nostalgic fun of summer camp without tents, bugs or the risk of rainouts during Great Wolf Lodge’s Summer CampIn celebration. Guests can rekindle the spirit of simpler times through the quintessential summer tradition of camping with a completely weatherproof celebration.

Additionally a “Trailblazer Challenge” allows guests to earn badges by participating in different interactive games like family trivia and corn hole challenge, fitness activities like Wolfercise or YogaTails, DIY Bug Jars and more. Camp-themed programming makes way for an endless summer experience, and activity highlights include:

Character appearances. Enjoy special appearances from Great Wolf Lodge’s very own Wiley the Wolf, Oliver Raccoon, Sammy the Squirrel and other characters throughout the day. Be prepared to ask for autographs and photo-ops!

Trailblazer Challenge. Campers up for a challenge can sign up for select activities and earn a badge for everyone they complete. To win bragging rights, collect 10 badges and earn the ultimate honor – the title of Trailblazer.

Pool Party. Nothing says summer like the water wonderland built for year-round fun at Great Wolf Resorts. Sun’s out, the party goes outside. Looking rainy, overcast or a little cool, the party comes inside. Either way, guests can jump in and have a splash-tastic time with games, music and refreshments all poolside. Activities include, how low can you go in the limbo, rubber duck races, corn hole toss and a conga dance to cap it all off.

Arts & Crafts. Get creative with special arts & crafts activities including create your own button making, letters from camp postcards, friendship bracelet making, DIY bug jars and designing your own dream catcher.

YogaTails + Wolfercise. Stay fit with fun, family-friendly fitness programming like yoga for kids and choreographed exercise classes.

S’mores. Enjoy a quintessential camp treat with s’mores by the lodges’ own “s’moreliers”.

Campfire Ceremony. End the day as guests gather in the lobby for a sing-along to a Summer Camp-In themed song. The evening is celebrated with a special show, competitions, crafts, a dance party, sweet treats and the time-honored Great Wolf Lodge tradition, Storytime.

Information provided by Great Wolf Lodge representative Mary Burkhardt.

Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale, Fun For the Whole Family

Also by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phoenix With Kids

Join our weekly email newsletter

Phoenix With Kids