It’s finally here! The NEW Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington is now open.
I attended their Grand Opening Celebration & Lunch event for the media on December 12th and got to tour the resort. Wow! It has so much for everyone and I’m thrilled to share my tour with you.
As many of you know, the Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington replaced the Water Park of America, which closed in January 2017 (I reviewed it last year here). Then the site went through a $30 million renovation which added a ton of new features specifically for children and families including:
- Great Wolf Adventure Park, a full service family entertainment center featuring the Howlers Peak Ropes Course, Ten Paw mini bowling, Northern Lights Arcade, and a multi-story rock wall.
- MaqiQuest, the Great Wolf Lodge’s exclusive live-action adventure game where guests scour the resort using magic wands to uncover relics and runes needed to defeat dragons and goblins.
- Scooops Kids Spa, where kids can get ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures.
Many features still remain – the water park is still 75,000 square feet and has mostly the same features like the slides, tubes, lazy river and wave pool. The most central feature is probably Fort Mackenzie, the water tree fort with a huge tipping bucket.
Hard Hat Preview Tour – November
In November I also went on a hard hat tour a few weeks before the grand opening and saw everything nearing completion (which was very exciting!).
Here’s the first big splash of the water bucket at Fort Mackenzie on November 10th:
The Great Wolf Lodge Minnesota Opening Ceremony – December
The opening ceremony in December included the following speakers: Angela Reed, General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Minnesota; Gene Winstead, Mayor of Bloomington, and Rubén Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer for Great Wolf Resorts.
“Our purpose is to bring joy to families, not just kids. We have a number of ways for parents to have fun too,” said Rodriguez as he highlighted many of the features just for parents, including several bars around the resort.
We also heard about many other features of this 404-guest suite facility which we then got to see.
Here’s the Grand Opening, led by Rodriguez (and Wiley the Wolf!):
Then the tour began!
We walked through the water park which I couldn’t wait to jump into! Though the Water Park of America offered day passes to anyone, one big change is that the Great Wolf Lodge only offers water park access to hotel guests. They did this though to avoid overcrowding (the park is built for hotel guest capacity) and provide a more elite experience for hotel guests.
However, it’s worth noting that anyone can buy passes for the Great Wolf Adventure Park (all the “dry land” activities). But if it gets too busy, hotel guests will get priority.
Activities & Shopping
The Great Wolf Candy Company is by the entrance of the Great Wolf Adventure Park, where you can find pre-packaged and bulk candy options galore.
Get started with MagiQuest, located near the candy store, where you can choose a wand and set off on a quest. There are interactive activities throughout the hotel. Each quest takes about 15-30 minutes to complete and you can even take your wand home and use it again during a future visit.
Across from MagiQuest is the Northern Lights Arcade with bright lights and fun games for all.
The Howlers Peak Ropes Course entry is on the second level (much more up there too). There’s even a smaller course for younger kids. Cost is $12.99 for a single climb. On the lower level there’s Oliver’s Mining Company, where you can pan and sift for gemstones that you can take home.
On the upper level by the ropes course, adults can enjoy the Outpost for craft beers and cocktails, with a view of the water park.
There’s also Hungry as a Wolf for pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Right next door is Ten Paw Alley, where the lanes are half the length of traditional bowling lanes, and balls are only 5 pounds, so everyone can play!
Walk a little ways and you’ll feel like you’re walking in a forest where there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop!
And just for kids, Scooops Kid Spa is ice cream-themed and a fun place to for kids to get pampered and glittered up! I tried the hair scents (and smelled like a cupcake the rest of the day)!
To get access to many of the activities, you’ll want to buy a Paw Pass, Pup Pass or a Wolf Pass, which includes a variety of the activities for less than if you bought them separately.
The lobby of the hotel is beautiful and was all decked out for Christmas (Santa even comes to visit during the holidays!). There’s also a storytime show in the lobby, which lasts about 7 minutes.
They have two alternating story time shows and have themed shows (seasonal) – here’s one of them (they last about 7 minutes):
The Great Wolf staff are so fun!
The Great Wolf Lodge offers many hotel suite options.
Here’s the Family Suite which includes 1-2 queen beds, and bunk beds for the kids. All rooms have a mini fridge and microwave.
The Queen Cabin Suite is really cool – up to 4 kids can sleep in their own “cabin” within the hotel room. The kids even get their own TV.
There are larger suites including the Royal Family Suite and Northwoods Suite (below). You can fit as many as 12 people in a suite.
There are many dining options at Great Wolf Lodge – 8 in total! From convenience foods you can just pick up (below) to a buffet to a more upscale sit-down restaurant option, there is everything here.
And all of the food they serve is completely peanut and nut free, so they’re very allergy-friendly!
My visit included a delicious lunch at the Campfire Kitchen with many options including:
- Dry Rubbed Brisket with Roasted Pineapple
- Minnesota Hot Dish (with Beef, Vegetable, Mushrooms and Tots)
- Battered Fish
- Barnwood Eggs (pickled with Mustard Yolk and Root Chip)
- Margarita Pizza
- Desserts like Smores and Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream
I wanted to taste more than I possibly could. It was all amazing, and the service was great! For more about the Great Wolf Lodge cuisine, read my Sneak Peak review after my dining preview dinner!
Had to get pics outside the hotel entrance:
Some additional things to know:
- The hotel offers room service including a “Wine Down” service where adults can get wine, cheeses and desserts delivered to their room!
- Kids can do morning yoga and families can do an aerobics class together
- There are projects and games for families – check out their events calendar when you go!
- Wondering what your kids can do at the Great Wolf Lodge? They have a list of activities by age from toddlers to adults and families.
The Great Wolf Lodge of Minnesota is located at 1700 American Boulevard East, Bloomington, MN 55425.
Yes – you can save on your visit to the Great Wolf Lodge (you know I love a good deal!). They’ve been offering a great 30% deal but now I’m seeing a 40% off your stay deal if you book at least 2 months in advance (they are filling up quick).
What a great option for a family staycation in Minnesota. Way cheaper than a trip to Florida or even the Wisconsin Dells (where the first Great Wolf Lodge opened) but with the same inclusive, resort feel.
For more information visit their website!