Great Wolf Resorts buys land near WDW

RichOBJ

Rookie
Jan 26, 2016
108
Bright, Sunny O-Town
Hey guys, long time reader, first time thread poster. I know a lot of you guys on Twitter, too!

Anyways, so found in a deed on Orange County that Great Wolf finally bought 50 acres of land close to WDW. When they shared with O.C. the plans they said it would be for an 800-room resort/water park and a bunch of other amenities they throw into those things.

I've never been to a GWL, but the pics look fun. And since I have a 2-yr-old now it looks like something she would enjoy.

Anyways, I wrote a story on it and figured if you want any other info on it.

(Sorry Mods if this is self-promoting, but figured I wanted to be more active in the forums since it helps me on a regular basis.)
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,222
Thanks for posting. Not sure if I'd give up staying on-site for it but it may be worth a look when it opens.
 

maxairmike

Veteran Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,366
In the thick of it
Been saying since I arrived in Orlando that this place would be ideal for an indoor water park resort, and it looks like GWL is finally making the first move. I would not be shocked if Kalahari decided to enter the market in a few years as well if GWL shows good early numbers.

@RichOBJ, while I've not stayed at a Kalahari or GWL, I have visited Kalahari's water park many times, been to Cedar Point's Castaway Bay a few, and checked out the Sandusky GWL. All three have great parks (Kalahari had the FlowRider which is why I went there often), so I feel safe saying the Orlando GWL park will be worth a visit. From what I understand of GWL in general they have done a great job of attracting families with younger kids with their integration of the MagiQuest tech and other programs that the younger set seem to love. Their water parks also seem a little more kid friendly than Kalahari, which seem to skew more towards the bigger slides and attractions like the FlowRider. The only downside is that GWL doesn't usually offer day passes, you have to stay to play, which is why I hope Kalahari comes down as well (they usually do offer day passes).
 

Disneyhead

Legendary Member
Jul 24, 2008
10,390
Orlando, FL
We have stayed at GWL Sandusky, Kalahari Sandusky, and GWL Williamsburg. When my kids were younger (8-14) they LOVED these kinds of places. They loved MagiQuest also. I have said for years that Orlando needs one of these.
 
Jan 24, 2015
542
Thanks for posting. Not sure if I'd give up staying on-site for it but it may be worth a look when it opens.
If it's anything like the prices the Dallas area location greats at peak times, staying on resort may be cheaper.

I suppose them staying out if the market for so long is that 9 months of the year, there is zero need for an indoor park. I wonder if this will be an indoor and outdoor type
 
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UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,222
We have stayed at GWL Sandusky, Kalahari Sandusky, and GWL Williamsburg. When my kids were younger (8-14) they LOVED these kinds of places. They loved MagiQuest also. I have said for years that Orlando needs one of these.
Is the GWL Williamsburg new? I don't remember there being one a few years back when I visited BGW and KD.
 
Jan 24, 2015
542
Is the GWL Williamsburg new? I don't remember there being one a few years back when I visited BGW and KD.
Opened in 2005.

They bought an unfinished hotel in Colorado Springs and converting it to a GWL and it'll open this fall. That was a smooth move. And they'll open one up in the LA area this year as well.
 

maxairmike

Veteran Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,366
In the thick of it
If it's anything like the prices the Dallas area location greats at peak times, staying on resort may be cheaper.

I suppose them staying out if the market for so long is that 9 months of the year, there is zero need for an indoor park. I wonder if this will be an indoor and outdoor type
All the resorts have a small outdoor section, even in the Dells, Sandusky, and Niagara, but the main attraction is the indoor park. And there is definitely a role for indoor water parks to fill here in Orlando. It rains nearly every day in summer in the afternoon, sometimes for a while with a nasty storm or two, usually chasing a lot of people out of the water parks a few hours before they close. That's not a concern for an indoor park. The indoor parks are usually open later, as well. The Sandusky Kalahari would be open until 10pm during the summer, and I think GWL was 9 or 10 as well, so people who leave the parks in the evening can still go back to the hotel and enjoy the water park for a few hours. In the summer there are a lot of days where I wouldn't even want to go to a water park with how nasty and hot it is out, but an indoor water park is a nice, consistent temperature every day. Kids want to go back to the hotel for a nap, and you can continue having fun down at the water park. No need to buy a water park and more ticket add on, there's a (really good) water park included in your hotel, where you can come and go to your room as you please, and leaving for a meal isn't as much of a hassle.

There's a lot of upside to the indoor model, and I think guests will pick up on that quickly. Just wish GWL sold day passes.
 
Jan 24, 2015
542
All the resorts have a small outdoor section, even in the Dells, Sandusky, and Niagara, but the main attraction is the indoor park. And there is definitely a role for indoor water parks to fill here in Orlando. It rains nearly every day in summer in the afternoon, sometimes for a while with a nasty storm or two, usually chasing a lot of people out of the water parks a few hours before they close. That's not a concern for an indoor park. The indoor parks are usually open later, as well. The Sandusky Kalahari would be open until 10pm during the summer, and I think GWL was 9 or 10 as well, so people who leave the parks in the evening can still go back to the hotel and enjoy the water park for a few hours. In the summer there are a lot of days where I wouldn't even want to go to a water park with how nasty and hot it is out, but an indoor water park is a nice, consistent temperature every day. Kids want to go back to the hotel for a nap, and you can continue having fun down at the water park. No need to buy a water park and more ticket add on, there's a (really good) water park included in your hotel, where you can come and go to your room as you please, and leaving for a meal isn't as much of a hassle.

There's a lot of upside to the indoor model, and I think guests will pick up on that quickly. Just wish GWL sold day passes.
I've stayed at the KC and Dallas area GWL. We liked them and we used them for chasing the Feb blues away.
 

IzzyB

Premium Member
May 23, 2010
3,996
Orlando, FL
I think it is a good addition. I thought we already had a thread about this and I said it then I thought it was a good idea. An indoor park could do really well especially between the months of Nov and Feb when the other water parks are a little too cold.
 

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,619
Orlando
The GWL thread over at that MAGICal site is pretty humorous. Disney fans HATE anything that isn't Disney, it seems.
Honest question, tho, since GWL is after my time: are those suites at that price? Is it just water park admission included. anything else? Mid $300s seems pricey for a family hotel.
 
Jan 24, 2015
542
Honest question, tho, since GWL is after my time: are those suites at that price? Is it just water park admission included. anything else? Mid $300s seems pricey for a family hotel.
That's at peak times., I get email offers all the time for slack times from the KC location for 149 to 179 for a room for 4. A lot of the stuff is add on and they pitch bundled room packages. The weekends often require two night minimums. Not all of them are the same. Dallas has a small wave pool whereas KC does not. Their goal is to get you for 500 bucks for a weekend and hopefully more. Just go and choose the Grapenvine location and look at the rates for springs break dates and then look at the third week in Feb.
 
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IzzyB

Premium Member
May 23, 2010
3,996
Orlando, FL
Yeah probably only tourist are going to go. Likely the reason they are building so far away from the city. Good luck to them.
You don't think locals will go? Depending on the price for the water park I could see myself taking my kids out there on a weekend day when it is nasty and raining and cold. Like last weekend. I hated being stuck in the house last weekend and this would have been perfect.
 

maxairmike

Veteran Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,366
In the thick of it
You don't think locals will go? Depending on the price for the water park I could see myself taking my kids out there on a weekend day when it is nasty and raining and cold. Like last weekend. I hated being stuck in the house last weekend and this would have been perfect.
Well, if you plan on staying there, sure, but GWL doesn't sell day passes at any of their current properties. But I imagine if GWL does well its first few years that Kalahari (which does sell day passes) will be coming in to build soon as well.
 

IzzyB

Premium Member
May 23, 2010
3,996
Orlando, FL
Well, if you plan on staying there, sure, but GWL doesn't sell day passes at any of their current properties. But I imagine if GWL does well its first few years that Kalahari (which does sell day passes) will be coming in to build soon as well.
Oh, I didn't realize that. I always thought they did. Never mind then. OK, then I guess their popularity will be guests and they ironically will probably do better in the winter months than the summer months lol