Our Visit to Great Wolf Lodge - Fitchburg, MA
As I posted and promised on Facebook, (follow me @yourwishtravelco on IG), here is my review and some extra information on our New Year's Eve weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge - New England. Just to warn everyone - I write the same exact way as I speak and since it's a blog post and I'm not a journalist, I'm sure there will be some grammar mistakes. My apologies, in advance. Please, don't hold it against me. :)
About a week before New Year's we decided to get away for a few days, but stay semi-close to home. Great Wolf Lodge was the perfect destination for us. Now, which resort should we go to, was the question - the one in the Poconos or Massachusetts. After comparing the room rates, we opted for GWL New England and so very happy we did. We had been to the one in the Poconos about 8 1/2 years ago with a two year old boy we were fostering and found the pool to not be so "toddler friendly," which was disappointing, so I was initially worried about taking our now two year old, for this reason. This wasn't the case for GWL New England.
Let me start by letting you know we checked in on December 30th and stayed until January 1st, 2018 - during the busiest week of the year. The resort was at full capacity! Even so, check in was pretty smooth, although the girl at the front desk seemed like she was still in training, so I was listening to everything the representative to her left was telling her guest, because it was filled with much more details. Upon check in, you get these cool room key activating, food and gift purchasing bracelets that also allow you to get into the pool areas. It's kind of like Disney's bracelets - the parents get the gold bracelets and can open the room door or purchase items on it and the kids get the silver bracelets and cannot do any of those things. You also receive a lovely wine menu, (see pics for examples), along with your activity sheets that outlines hour by hour all of the activities that are happening in a given day/day by day with a map of the resort - all super helpful for your stay.
Now, when you first walk into the lobby, it's exactly what one would expect from GWL - very rustic, large, warm feel to it, (besides the doors opening and shutting in 8 degree weather outside!), but very nice. As you head to your left towards the elevators there's a cool little wine bar set up. You can grab a glass and head to your room. Hundreds of kids, yes, please!
We arrived much later than expected, due to snow the entire way, but normally, if you would like, you can come and enjoy the resort and pool starting at 1pm, but check in is officially at 4pm. If your room is ready earlier, they will most certainly get you in your room as soon as possible.
GWL New England seemed to have different packages when I booked online, so I thought it would be cute for our boys, Jaxon age 4 and Carter age 2, to have the Snowflake Package, which included a white lit up Christmas tree, fresh baked cookies and milk each night, a Snowflake book and blanket and it was actually the same cost as the regular rate, so completely worth it. When we opened the room door we walked into a dim room with just the Christmas tree lit and it was super cute. The boys expression was the best and worth it all.
Our room had snow flakes hanging from the ceilings, too. We were pleasantly surprised. I was also happy to see that the room seemed pretty well kept up, considering young kids were in and out of here every single day of the year. Our rug towards the door needed a little tlc, but I definitely expected worse. The bathroom was very clean and so was the room. They even had a garbage AND recycle bin, which I loved. We didn't hear much of anything from either room on each side of us, which was nice. Another nice surprise was on the first night when our cookies were delivered, (they send up cookies for the adults too, YUM), Violet, one of the characters of GWL dropped off the cookies and we got to take a picture as a family, in front of the Christmas tree, in our room and received a free photo. (They came to visit at 9:45pm, because we weren't in our room at 9pm, hence the PJ's). Jaxon and Carter loved every second and still look at the picture each day and reminisce about our stay.
So, our room category was the "standard" room, because we needed two queen beds, where as the higher level rooms only offered bunk beds, which I knew my kids wouldn't be crazy about. The resort offers bed rails, if available, as well as pack and plays, if you need them. Our sofa also turned into a sofa-bed. I would say our room was a little bigger than the average hotel room. For just the four of us, we had plenty of room. I think even if you had 5 people, you would still fit comfortably. One thing I was disappointed in was the lack of children's channels/movies available on the TV. While we were not in our room much, when we were and needed some down time, it would have been nice to have, for the kids.
Let's rewind a little bit and talk about after check in. We got into our room, threw on our bathing suits and hit the water park! This is sort of the big difference I remember between the Poconos and New England GWL. Poconos only offered one water park, while New England's had two totally separate sides and I learned why during my tour with the general manager.
To get to everything in the resort is pretty fool proof - there's only one main direction to go in. From the elevator you just start walking straight through the lobby and continue on and hit a nice, decent size arcade that we spent about 2 hours in later on that day.
Keep going through the arcade and you run into one water park on the left and the other on the right. On our first day we started on the right side. When I first walked in I thought it was a little chilly. I definitely thought it would have been warmer. Then, I stepped in the water and was like, "what in the world?" The water was also chilly. The boys played for a little bit, but everything seemed to be a little
too big for them and more of the bigger kids were running around. So, we went to the next section of the pool where you could grab a tube and go down the lazy river, which was pretty cool. In that same pool were about three or four basketball nets that everyone was playing on; we had fun at this pool. I definitely think this side of the water park is for a little bit older kids, maybe 5 and up