Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review: Waterpark Near Disneyland

Great Wolf Lodge is a well-known indoor waterpark and hotel with an Anaheim location just 10 minutes from Disneyland. Great Wolf Lodge offers a large indoor waterpark with a water playground, water slides, and a wave pool that anyone can access by purchasing a day pass. Aside from the waterpark, there are also multiple dining locations, an arcade, indoor mini golf, and bowling, plus a unique scavenger hunt. Keep reading our Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim review to see why this is the perfect way to spend a day off from Disneyland!

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Resort ReviewGreat Wolf Lodge Review

We did not stay at the Great Wolf Lodge as hotel guests but this hotel offers a large variety of family suites, standard rooms plus themed suites for families. One of the things that sets this hotel apart is the incredible size of its family suites with its largest fitting up to eight guests with its own private bedroom and living area.

Resort guests get full access to all the amenities at Great Wolf Lodge but most notably the large indoor waterpark. While the waterpark is the main attraction here (more on this later) the kids’ events that are included really transform your resort stay into a full experience. This includes the scavenger hunt (items purchased separately though!) along with character experiences, arts and crafts, and dinner shows.

Great Wolf Lodge Review

The price for a standard room in the summer season starts at $329 per night. Great Wolf Lodge is known for having special sales throughout the year and if you get on your email list you can be one of the first ones to take advantage. Often their discount sales are limited to a small amount of guest rooms so they sell out fast.

Since we cannot speak to the experience of a resort guest, let’s skip to our experience as a family visiting Great Wolf Lodge with a day pass on our day off from our Disneyland Resort vacation!

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Great Wolf Lodge Day PassGreat Wolf Lodge Review

The Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim day pass offers two options: a full day pass and a partial day pass from 4PM to close. Prices will vary by date with higher pricing for Saturdays and Sundays and lower prices on weekdays. In fact, the prices for the waterpark seem to greatly fluctuate so your best bet is to check the Great Wolf Lodge website in advance of your vacation to see which day would be most affordable to go.

On average, Saturdays appear to be the most costly day with passes averaging $100 per person. Sundays come in second with the highest cost at around $85 per person. This makes sense as the day pass is likely a popular activity to take advantage of for local Anaheim families. But if you look at weekdays, the cost of the pass can drop to as low as $40 per person depending on the season.

Is the price worth it? Well, that always depends on the family. But I have yet to meet a kid that did not love Great Wolf Lodge. My son still talks about this waterpark and is already asking when we will return! I am fortunate to have a Great Wolf Lodge in my state so many of my son’s friends have been there and the kids always rave about it. It’s like the Disneyland of waterparks!

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review Indoor WaterparkGreat Wolf Lodge Review

The Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park is massive and includes something for everyone like a large lazy river, giant water raft sides, individual water slides, a water playground, wave pool, toddler area, and more! There is so much to do in this indoor water park that you can easily spend a full day here.

Fort Mackenzie

This four-story water fort includes interactive water features, a giant water bucket on top and slides.

Slap Tail Pond

This five-foot deep end wave pool is great for kids of all ages. You can further in the wave pool for a more intense experience or sit on the edge for more calm waters.

Great Wolf Lodge Review

Crooked Creek

This lazy river winds around the area with all the water slides and attractions making it a great spot for parents to keep an eye on their kids while floating around.

River Canyon Run

This river raft ride is perfect for all ages as the thrill is not too intense but it’s still fun as you wind down the enclosed slide. This ride requires a minimum of two people and a maximum of four. This is one of the most popular attractions at Great Wolf Lodge.

Howlin Tornado

Howlin’ Tornado 

This is the raft ride that Great Wolf Lodge is famous for! This is the most thrilling water raft attraction as it drops you into a six-story funnel that you will spin around before going into the final tunnel before you splash into the pool. This ride requires a minimum of two people and a maximum of four. This is the most popular attraction at Great Wolf Lodge and will have the longest lines.

Indoor water park near Disneyland

Alberta Falls

This four-story slide takes place in a tandem-style tube ride for two and takes you outside the building before you splash into the plunge pool.

Wolf Tail

The Wolf Tail is a thrilling water slide older kids will love. You essentially stand on top of the slide and the floor comes out from under you and down you go!

Great Wolf Lodge Review

Coyote Cannon

This 40-foot drop slide allows up to two guests to spin around the funnel before you drop into the plunge pool. This is a great starter ride for someone hesitant about Howlin’ Tornado as this is essentially a miniature version.

Mountain Edge Raceway 

This toboggan-style water slide takes you down on your stomach on the water park mat as you race others going down slides right next to you.

Great Wolf Lodge Review

Wolf Rider Wipeout

This is essentially the smaller version of Mountain Edge Raceway as kids can ride this endless wave while bodyboarding.

Chinook Cove

This water playground area features basketball you can play in the pool and access the Big Foot Pass agility course as kids can jump from different stepping stones across the pool.

Toddler Area

Younger Kids

There is so much to do for toddlers and younger kids at Great Wolf Lodge which is a nice touch so there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Height Requirements

  • Raccoon Lagoon– this outdoor splash pad features kiddie sized water slides, fountains, and water basketball
  • Cub Paw Pool– kiddie swimming pool
  • Whooping Hollow- play pool with perfectly sized water slides for toddlers. Maximum 48 inches in this area.

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim WaterPark ReviewGreat Wolf Lodge Review

My son is thirteen so he has aged out of the water playground and smaller slides around the water park so his primary focus was on all the water slides!

Parents, be aware! If you have an only child, be prepared to jump on those big raft slides with them as there is a minimum of two guests to ride. This is how I ended up, against my better judgment, flying down the Howlin’ Tornado ride as I screamed my prayers! The things we do for our kids. My son loved the Howlin’ Tornado and it is something I would do again although it was one of the most intense water park attractions I’ve been on and that includes everything over at Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach water park.

We also loved River Canyon Run which was a perfect water raft experience, in my opinion, as it was thrilling but not necessarily Howlin’ Tornado level of heart racing. This was something I would do again and again, no problem.

My son is a thrill seeker and he also loved the Wolf Tail. He said this was actually the scariest ride for him as the floor just disappears to plummet you down the water slide. Despite saying that, he still rode it over and over and over.

I always enjoy a good lazy river but do not expect a relaxing float around the water park in this one. Great Wolf Lodge is for kids and well, you will find a lot of splashing kids having a good time in that lazy river. That just comes with the territory!

My son spent most of his time repeating his favorite water slides and only briefly took a dip in the wave pool. He was much more concerned with those attractions which seemed to be the common response for kids enjoying Great Wolf Lodge. Because of this, lines for the two most popular raft rides increased as the day went on. Part of the reason for the long waits was that the employees have to wait for the machine to bring up the rafts so the next group could ride. There was quite a delay for this for Howlin’ Tornado so this increased that wait time a bit more.

River Raft Run

My advice to beat the rides for both Howlin’ Tornado and River Canyon Run is to get to the water park right when it opens and head straight to these two attractions. We did not see lines build for those raft rides until about noon so we were able to ride with a low wait. The same applies for the water slides, my son saw no wait for these until later in the day but even then the line moves fast since they’re not usually waiting on rafts to be brought back to the top!

There are plenty of lounge chairs all over the water park making it easy to see your kids wherever you want to sit. If you do not want to worry about your valuables while you experience the water park, you can also lock everything up in a locker inside the water park so you can be totally hands-free. If you want to bring your phone around with you to take pictures, grab a waterproof phone case before your trip. They sell them in the gift shop but they’re about $30 there when you can find one for less than $10 on Amazon.

Plus there is easy access to food options in the water park area which was surprisingly affordable. I expected theme park prices but the food pricing seemed average here. Adults can also order cocktails and beer.

There is so much to do in the water park that you could easily spend an entire day here!

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review ArcadeArcade

My son is always a sucker for a good arcade and the arcade at Great Wolf Lodge was impressive with every game you can think of plus claw machines and other prize-style games. It is located on the same floor as the water park and will instantly draw the attention of your kids.

The thing worth noting about the Great Wolf Lodge arcade games is the claw machines were actually winnable! Parents know the agony nowadays of claw machines, so many are rigged and it’s not often you actually win anything. Despite that, we pony up the funds for our kids to try anyways. I’m usually trying to hide my wallet the instant I see my son spot one. Well, this was a whole different experience because these claw machines actually allowed kids to win! My son was able to win every single time he played any of the claw machine games here. This absolutely blew his mind and after that, he was hooked. We left with a bag stuffed full of Squishmallows, miniature stuffed animals, and all sorts of random claw machine goodies.

I mean, it is a brilliant concept. Let’s make the claw machines actually work! We ended up spending more time (and money!) in this area than anticipated because he was so thrilled to be winning so much on the games. For that, I give Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim a gold star in this Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim review.

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim Review Entertainment

There is so much to do at Great Wolf Lodge aside from the giant water park! While we only focused on the indoor water park and arcade other options included:

MagicQuestGreat Wolf Lodge Review

This wizard-themed scavenger hunt takes kids all over the lodge on a quest to battle evil dragons and become the Master Magi.

Kids can pick a special magic wand, choose add-ons to give it extra powers, and set off on the quest. You will need to purchase all the accessories for this separately and it can get quite pricey depending on far down the rabbit hole your kids will want to go with it!

Howl at the Moon Glow GolfGreat Wolf Lodge Review

This indoor glow in the dark mini golf features glowing creatures surrounding the course.

Ten Paw Alley Bowling AlleyGreat Wolf Lodge bowling

This small indoor bowling alley features shorter lanes and is great for younger kids to enjoy.

Build-A-Bear WorkshopBuild a Bear

And of course, Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim features its own Build-A-Bear center where kids can make their own Great Wolf Lodge characters.


All of these options are on the same level as the waterpark allowing for easy access to all the entertainment. There is also a wide variety of dining and shopping options on both levels including an over-the-top candy store and a full restaurant with character experiences.

Overall, we loved our experience at the Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim water park. This was a great way to spend our off day from Disneyland. We will definitely be back to do this again and this would be a perfect activity to do during a holiday visit to Disneyland when the temperature might be a bit too cool for a beach near Disneyland.

Planning Your Disneyland Vacation!

There is a ton of information to read up on before planning a Disneyland vacation. Once you’ve decided on your hotel and ticket options, you can shift your focus to planning for crowds, constant activity, food, and souvenir buying. Familiarizing yourself with everything the Disneyland Resort has to offer can definitely make your Disney experience unforgettable for you and your family. Don’t forget to subscribe to our FREE Deals Newsletter to stay on top of the current planning tips, strategies, and Disney deals!

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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