The first thing I noticed when I walked into the indoor water park at the new Great Wolf Lodge near Disneyland was the temperature: a constant 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
No fear of sunburn or need for sunscreen. No use for a towel either — because the water was also a constant 84 degrees Fahrenheit. And I’d never get a chill — unless I stepped outside into the late-winter air where there was a small water play area for visitors from colder climes who thought 72 degrees was a hot summer day.
Over the weekend, I spent the day at the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park as the new Garden Grove hotel located about a mile from Disneyland celebrated its grand opening.
Upon arrival, I had one central question: Why here? Great Wolf operates water park hotels across North America, mostly in the frost belt. I can understand why someone in Michigan or Kansas might want to slip away to a man-made tropical paradise for a weekend, but why would Great Wolf ever build a water park hotel in sunny Southern California?
The answer became clear as soon as I stood inside the indoor water park’s climate controlled perfection.
While Southern California is blessed with wonderful year-round temperatures, even we would never go to an outdoor water park in early March. Or at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m. But the sun never sets at the Great Wolf Lodge. There are no heat waves, thunderstorms, windy days or cloudy skies under the massive pitched roof. No matter how uncooperative Mother Nature is acting outside, the weather is always perfect indoors.
I expected the 2 1/2-acre indoor water park to be cramped and crowded with a snake’s nest of water slides in the space of about two football fields. It was just the opposite. The expansive and comfortable layout pushed all the water activities to the four corners of the 75-foot-tall hangar-like structure while leaving plenty of room in the middle of the soaring space for lounging and circulation.
The other revelation was the relatively short lines for the water slides and attractions. Because Great Wolf limits access to hotel guests, the water park never felt crowded.
Click here, to read Brady MacDonald’s full report.