A Day of Play at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

A  Day of Play at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

By Donna Biroczky

Last week, I got to fulfill a dream for my kids: visit Great Wolf Lodge here in Southern California! The state’s largest indoor water park, Great Wolf is a resort like no other. Fitting for kids of all ages, including us adults that love water slides, once you park your car – or leave it with the valet – you’re good to go for your entire stay, without ever leaving the property!

Great Wolf Lodge opened in Anaheim in February 2016, joining a double-digit list of other GWL water parks scattered throughout the United States and Canada. Once you walk through the distinctive entry, you’re in a new world. The entire property is themed after an enormous lodge, from the massive fireplace to your left when you enter the lobby to the decor in the rooms. And then the rooms themselves have to be seen to be believed. Rooms are designed with families in mind, and with the latest addition of 18 new Deluxe Wolf Den King Suites, larger families can now all stay in one suite together.

Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Deluxe Wolf Den King Suites include a built-in wolf’s den with bunk beds for the kids and special animations that respond to MagiQuest wands (available downstairs for purchase when you enroll in a game of MagiQuest), a king-size bed in a private room for mom and dad, and a queen-size bed and sofa sleeper in the main suite area. Each of the two rooms has its own full bathroom, so no sharing or going between rooms in the middle of the night. There are also other levels of rooms available, extending your lodge experience all the way through your visit. Bunk beds, in-room refrigerators, wi-fi, murals, TVs and more, it’s no wonder this is a very popular family destination!

Speaking of middle of the night — Great Wolf Lodge is like a city in itself, with activities and things to do 24/7. The Northern Lights Arcade is open overnight, and the MagiQuest activities are also available around the clock. If you’ve never played the game, you’re in for a treat. It’s an interactive role-playing game, where players assign themselves a name, pick a wand and topper, and head off around the property to fulfill certain tasks. A full game can take 6-8 hours to complete, but it’s a fun game even if you don’t complete all the levels. Great Wolf Lodge has added on a new knighting ceremony that takes place twice a day (2pm and 7pm) for those who have defeated Charlock, the evil dragon, so be sure to keep room in your schedule to attend if you do play all the way through!

New to Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim is the Wine Down Service, designed solely for the adults in the group. The signature wine, cheese and dessert pairing program allows parents to “wine down” after a full day of busy activities once the children are asleep. Pairings include Kids Snoring, More Pinot Noir-ing (chocolate truffles and a velvety Pinor Noir) and Rekindle the Bonfire (dark chocolate-covered strawberries with a bottle of Chloe Prosecco) are sure to make your night more special once you’re in your room for the night. Even better, they don’t knock on your door so the kiddos aren’t woken up; you will receive a text to your phone announcing its delivery, so you can sneak out and grab it without any surprise visitors for your “wine down” enjoyment!

General Manager Phil Cunningham has listened to guest feedback throughout his tenure at the lodge to provide guest enhancements and new activities. The day we visited was his last day at the Anaheim lodge, but he leaves the location in good hands. My son went over to thank him for all he did, and he had an engaging conversation for several minutes. My heart always melts a little when an adult, particularly one so busy and in-demand, takes the time to speak to a child or teen and listen to his or her gratitude and joy. Thank you, Mr. Cunningham! You left an impression on my son!

Chef Hany Ali also does an amazing job of ensuring all guests do not go hungry. The Lodge Grill restaurant served us all lunch during our visit and wow, did we all eat well. The children had a buffet available, including everyone’s favorite, gourmet mac and cheese, finishing off with small jars full of candy, like gummy bears and mini M & M’s. My son ate off the adult menu but he’s still a kid inside and that jar of candy was the perfect end to his meal.

The adult food was beyond compare. We started with a butternut squash soup served inside of an acorn squash. Seasoned perfectly, with a velvety consistency, this soup was a wonderful way to start our five-course meal. Next on the menu was an arugula salad with a bread stick, goat cheese, roasted peach slices and a small personal jar of salad dressing. We were all ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the presentation of all the courses — every piece of serving ware seems purposeful yet appealing to the eye.

Our main course was grilled sea bass, which literally melted in my mouth, over risotto, and veal with microgreen topping served over buttery grits. An array of roasted vegetables, such as heirloom carrots and shiseito peppers, sat in between the two protein courses. It got really quiet for a while as everyone enjoyed the food. Dessert was a beautifully plated roasted apple tart and house-made strawberry ice cream. We were so full by then but who wants to send back a dessert plate with anything on it?

One very big deal to know about meals at the Great Wolf Lodge is that they keep everyone’s dietary and medical needs in mind. If you have a child with food allergies, please advise the staff when you book. You will be provided your own special chef to ensure all your child’s food is completely safe and meets their needs and preferences. Isn’t that amazing?

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Rock Your Disney Side! A 24 Hour Disney Day!

Rock Your Disney Side! A 24 Hour Disney Day!

By Erin

I was so bummed when I found out I was not going to be able to Rock My Disney Side and make it to the 24 hour Disney Day today at the Disneyland Resort.  As I am writing this, I am in a Starbucks in Minnesota, there is no way I’d be able to get there now! So I can only dream of what it would be like to be there! I hope many of you though will be attending and I can live through all of you! I will be following on Social Media and enjoying that way! For those of you going make sure to check these out, or if you are unable to go like myself then here are some of the highlights that I am bummed to be missing out on! Be sure to check out the Disney Parks Blog for all the latest info!

Walt Disney Storyteller

The FOOD! 

Oh my gosh! If you have been following me here, or anywhere else on social media, then you know I am a total foodie! At Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Disney Day, they are offering some Special Eats for the occasion! Chicken and Waffles at the Plaza Inn? Their Fried Chicken is AMAZING if you have not tried it. It’s up there with Mrs. Knott’s Fried Chicken. Now they are going to have it served with Waffles and I won’t be there to enjoy it? Bummed!!

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

 The totally awesome Fried Chicken at the Plaza Inn!

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Disney California Adventure: Great Times & First Times

Disney California Adventure: Great Times & First Times

By: Erin

Going to Disney California Adventure or to Disneyland, you can always expect to have a great time. However, when you go with someone who has never been to Disney CA Adventure, AND you go with a fun group of bloggers, you will have the time of your life! Good friends and fellow bloggers Jamie from Minnesota Girl in the World, Mindy from Budget Fairy Tale and Jaime from Polka Dots on Parade all decided to head on over after the conference was done with for the day that we were here for. We were in the area attending the first ever Entertainment New Media Network Conference and we were just a hop, skip and jump away from the happiest place on earth, so how could we NOT make a trip or two or three to this magical place? It was Jamie’s first time to Disney California Adventure, which made this trip extra special.

Disney California Adventure ENMN14

 We were excited to spot an Entertainment New Media Network vehicle in the parking structure at Disneyland! At the entrance to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. How I love Ariel! One of my favorite Disney Princesses.

Disney's California Adventure Balloons

 Whether it is your first time to DCA or your millionth time, it is always fun to get your picture taken with all the balloons! Just ask a cast member and they will be happy to let you get this magical shot with all the super shiny and colorful Mickey balloons! =) Then you need to swing on by to Soaring Over California. That is a not to miss ride for any newbie to the DCA side. You will love all the sights, smells and delights of this ride! *Keep an eye out for a special “Hidden Mickey” on a golf ball at one point during the ride* 😉

Disney's California Adventure

 One of the best places to take photos at is here in front of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.  Mickey’s Fun Wheel is a 160-foot tall Ferris wheel that was inspired by Coney Island’s 1927 Wonder Wheel at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

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