Over time, I am sure you will notice that I don’t post things on yelp, or google reviews, or any of that other kind of stuff. In time, I’m sure all of this data will get sucked into a search engine and hopefully provide some much needed information for those looking for it. So, on with the… well not a review, just a few tips I guess.
We headed down to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA for some winter time hydro slide fun. Immediately upon arrival I was impressed with the technology. From a nerd perspective, I thought it was pretty cool that the guest bracelets are RFID enabled. Meaning that you open your room, pay for your meals, and get into the water park with them. Since I’m an adult, I can charge whatever I want. If I had kids, I could assign cash to their bands, so they could get an allowance to spend.
What would they spend it on? Ice cream from a robot. So it seems there are two things I’m a sucker for, Dippin Dots and robots. While this doesn’t combine them, it is still pretty cool. You buy a card for $7 (yeah not cheap) and put that in the machine.
You then get to program the robot to dispense chocolate, vanilla or swirl. But first you choose your bottom “topping”. M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles (on Ice cream?) and a few others.
So, first a topping, then an ice cream, then another topping, then some more ice cream, then a final topping. You do get a fair amount of ice cream. It is soft serve, and the lady said it was “Edy’s” ice cream, but I don’t totally believe it. After the robot makes your ice cream, he puts it in a little window, and you grab and go. Pretty cool.
Other tips for the water park, you will get dehydrated. Bring bottles of water. The lines seem to go down around lunch time, but at all other times are reasonably consistent. The tornado is scary (and awesome at the same time). It is LOUD. Understandable as you have A LOT of water moving around. Not loud from people, loud from water splashing. WOW that was surprising. Oh, and seriously. Get some escalators. (Just kidding, but you will get a pretty good work out hiking up all those stairs).
They have free WiFi, so that is cool. They also have this Magic Quest game. First I ever heard of it. You can buy yourself a wand and shake it at a few things in the hotel to make stuff light up or move. Pay extra to actually play the game, and more stuff will move. It was entertaining to see all the kids having a fun time playing it. I guess at other Magic Quest installations grown adults will show up in full costume & regalia to play the game. Well, at least they aren’t on drugs…. are they?
The breakfast buffet was nice, the milk was cold, the dough-nuts were home-made happiness.
Two things creeped me out while I was here. First was a group of 50+ year old guys that I kept seeing around the property. They were guests, but didn’t seem to be associated with any kids. I can’t imagine any reason on Earth you would stay here without kids.
The other thing was a convention that was here called American Girl. Hey, I think people having conventions or organizations for whatever they want is cool. But from what I’ve been able to tell by walking past the area where this is going on (while also trying to refrain from getting REALLY creeped out) was the fact that all these girls are showing up with these dolls. Yeah, OK, not too bad. But then there is some kind of doll make-up and hair dressing area, and a photo area, and some kind of modeling area. I think they are going to have a fashion show or something with these dolls.
Granted they aren’t out doing awful things, but it just seems to me to all be a bit overboard and excessive. Just my opinion though.
Side note on this topic. A few weeks later, I noticed a new store in Tyson’s Corner mall opened up. It is a two story retail space dedicated to all things American Girl. Wow, now that’s an enterprise.
Anyway, GWF seems like a great property who thought of just about everything needed to make a great stay. I’d rank them right up there with Disney in that regards.
Oh, and I guess there are a few reviews about the rooms or the pool area not being clean, well so far, everything has been pretty well clean. I have no reason to complain.
Cheers & happy travels from the road.
P.S. One note afterwards is that some of the items on the breakfast buffet do contain MSG and Sodium Nitrate. Specifically the potatoes seem to be laced with MSG as I had one of the WORST migraines ever.