Disclosure: This post is part of a hosted stay. All opinions are my own.
The Great Wolf Lodge officially opened on June 5th, 2014, and we had the opportunity to check it out this past weekend. Located at the former location of the Fitchburg, MA Coco Key resort, the Great Wolf Lodge New England is about an hour drive from my home west of Boston. The resort features most of the same fun activities and amenities as the other locations, as well as some brand new things.
Rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge New England
The new resort offers 400+ rooms/suites, including premium suites (Wolf Den and KidCabin suites), family suites, and regular hotel rooms. The room we had was a double queen suite, featuring two queen beds, a couch, refrigerator, and television. Guests to the resort also enjoy complimentary WiFi. The beds were extremely comfortable and the room was surprisingly quiet. Rooms with the cabins and dens are in a new building by the Howlin’ Timbers playpark, past the water parks.
Amenities at the Great Wolf Lodge New England
Like other Great Wolf Lodge Resorts, the water park is the highlight of the resort. Admission to the water park is included in the room rate. In this resort, there are two separate water parks that are across the hall from one another. One is the original structure from Coco Key, and the other is new construction. As kids enter the water park, they are measured by a staff member who will provide them with a red, yellow, or green wristband, depending on their height. Each ride features a sign that shows what the guidelines are for each band. In some cases, the red and/or yellow bands are not permitted – in other cases, they are allowed with specific restrictions (i.e., they must ride with an adult, or use a life vest). Complimentary life vests and towels are available to guests. Admission to the water park is free with your stay, and only registered guests are permitted to use it. Guests are able to use the water park starting at 1pm on their check-in day, and all day on their check-out day. Lockets are available for rent, and the water park offers changing rooms and showers.
We started out in the original Coco Key section, which features a sports pool, traditional water slide, Fort Mackenzie (a large tree house featuring a Great Wolf Lodge bucket), Alberta Falls (for one or two riders), jacuzzi, and lazy river. My kids loved Alberta Falls, and it was a challenge for us to get them to move over to the newer section of the water park. They really liked riding together.
The new section (built especially for the Great Wolf Lodge New England) includes a wave pool, Tadpole Pond (for little ones), the River Canyon Run (a family water slide that accommodates up to four riders), the Howlin’ Tornado (a six-story funnel where you glide up and down the sides of the ‘tornado’), and the Wolf Tail (brand-new, and just at theGreat Wolf Lodge New England – a thrill water slide where you drop directly into a dark enclosed tunnel). My daredevil daughter tried all of the slides, and deemed the Howlin’ Tornado THE BEST WATER SLIDE EVER. She did love the Wolf Tail, but only chose to ride it once. My son, who’s a bit more timid, preferred the River Canyon Run.
The Great Wolf Lodge New England also features the first ever ropes course in a Great Wolf Lodge. It’s free for resort guests (note – a reader has told us that it’s now offered at an additional fee to guests), and open to day guests for an additional fee. My kids were thrilled to try it out, and really enjoyed it. Keep in mind that closed-toed shoes are required – since I live in sandals all summer, I wasn’t able to try it. Be sure to pack sneakers if you want to try the course. There’s also a mini ropes course perfect for younger kids.
In addition to the water park and the ropes course, the Great Wolf Lodge New England offers loads of other fun family-friendly activities. The Northern Lights arcade offers fun traditional arcade games, as well as laser and XD movie experiences. Guest load up a card with their “tokens” and “tickets” are collected directly on the card. The Howlin’ Timbers play area also includes a few amusement rides great for little kids, as well as an indoor mini golf course, and several bowling lanes (both for an additional fee).
Like other Great Wolf Lodge locations, MagiQuest is a huge part of the experience at the Great Wolf Lodge New England. Purchase and activate your wands at the MagiQuest shop, then head to the monitors to get your various missions. We still had the wands we purchased in the Poconos, and activated them for this stay. My kids love this game – they had so much fun running up and down the halls searching for their clues. There are lots of other fun features that can be activated with the wand too – be sure to have your kids explore the lobby. It’s nice that the wands can be used at different Great Wolf Lodge locations.
The Great Wolf Lodge New England also offers Scooops kids spa, which provides manicures, pedicures, facials, and other treatments for kids. My daughter got a manicure, and while it was more expensive than traditional manicures, it was a fun experience for her. It’s a nice, special treat for kids. While my daughter got her manicure, my son visited the kids’ gift shop where he was able to stuff his own toy dragon.
For younger kids, there’s a Cub Club on Wheels, where staff members offer activities and crafts for kids. The Great Wolf Lodge’s characters make regular appearances in the lobby, and there’s a story time in the evenings.
For adults, the resort offers a workout room and conference facilities.
Food at the Great Wolf Lodge New England
The resort offers a few dining locations, including a Dunkin’ Donuts in the lobby, Bear Paw Sweets & Eats (offering ice cream and fudge), Buckets Incredible Craveables (located in the water park), Hungry as a Wolf (offering pizza, salads, and pasta), and the Lodge Wood Fired Grill. There’s also the Spirit Island Snack Shop in Howlin’ Timbers. It was closed when we were there, so I’m assuming it’s more of a seasonal location.
On our first night, there was a wait for the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, so we chose to get take out at Hungry as a Wolf and ate in our room. We loved the pizza and salad – it’s the perfect lunch or dinner for a family. We dined at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill on our second night and loved it. My husband got the filet, while I got the lobster and shrimp pasta.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Great Wolf Lodge New England and really look forward to visiting again.
Reservations can be made online at greatwolf.com or by calling 866.670.9653.
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