Back in March I met Bridgette from Double Duty Divas at the Seabest Seafood Blogger Event. We got to talking and she asked me if I would be interested in being the photographer for Reviewer’s Retreat at The Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC. I said yes, and the first weekend in June off we went. It is about a 15 hour drive from here to Charlotte so we broke it up into two days arriving at the lodge on Sunday, June 3rd.
Upon arrival we were given our waterpark passes, which you can get as early as 1pm on the day of check end and told to check back about our room. Instead of waterpark bands, the kids were given special “I have Food Allergies” bands so that resort staff would be aware. The kids where hungry so we went and ordered lunch. We tried Hungry as a Wolf and they were unsure about the peanut free status of their dough, so we went to Pizza Hut which was peanut free. By the time lunch was ready so was our room. We ate, and the kids got ready to hit the water park with grandma while I went to some conference events.
I was nervous about dinner that night, having children with food allergies, eating out is not easy. We tend to stick to known places on the road like Burger King, Cracker Barrel, etc. Of course this was before we were gluten free. At dinner I notified our waitress of C’s peanut allergy and K’s possible tree nut allergy (she had a reaction and we weren’t sure at the time but were avoiding nuts for her). The chef came out and talked to us about their food options. Come to find out everything on the kids menu except for desserts is nut free. So the kids could choose whatever they wanted and eat safely. For dessert they had a choice between special allergy free, yummy cookies or brownies. We had the same service at breakfast, K was even given a cup of soy milk for her to drink.
The only issue we had with food was lunch. The meal plan we were on allowed for a combo meal at the food place inside the waterpark. It is not nut free in any possible shape or form. The person preparing the food, did not understand the concept of cross contamination and I had to ask to speak to a manager. Once I had the manager, she got everything situated and we were sent to the restaurant upstairs for lunch, where the food was safe. So while the situation was fixed, it had me a tad aggravated because I was on a tight time schedule and left us with no time to play in the waterpark during my lunch break.
Oh, before I forget, even the Dunkin Donuts in the lodge is peanut free.
K’s favorite part of the lodge was the waterpark. She loved the little kids area that had toys and slides just her size and the wavepool. She also loved making her very own Violet and meeting the one and only Violet.
C’s favorite part of the lodge was the Magi Quest game. He played that game from Sunday after dinner, until 11pm when it shut off and almost all day one Monday. He liked that he could explore the lodge on his own and didn’t have to wait for his sister.
My favorite part was that I didn’t’ have to worry about what the kids where going to eat, I didn’t have to worry about what they were going to do while I was busy with the conference. Not having to worry on vacation is the best feeling. I also love that you can play in the waterpark until close on the day of check out.
I can’t wait to get back and be able to relax and enjoy the lodge a bit more. The kids are already trying to convince us to go to the lodge instead of Disney for our next vacation. So I guess you can say the lodge was a hit with out family and we will definitely be visiting it again.
Disclaimer – I was given a 2 nights stay at The Great Wolf Lodge as part of my compensation for being the photographer for Reviewer’s Retreat 2012. I was not given anything for writing this review on the lodge and all opinions are my own.