Monday, April 16, 2012

Midwest Atttractions - Great Wolf Lodge

We spent a couple days at the Traverse City, Michigan version of the Great Wolf Lodge over our spring break. Why Traverse City, you might ask? (Or maybe you won't ask, but I'll tell you anyway.) Because of the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas and their wineries, and because of the restaurants in Traverse City, and because Saugatauk was on the way home and a convenient spot for a couple nights' additional stay. That's why we drove 6 some hours to that waterpark instead of going to the closer Wisconsin Dells park, or one of the Illinois indoor waterparks like Grand Bear Lodge near Utica, IL, or Key Lime Cove Resort and Waterpark in Gurnee, IL.

Why Great Wolf Lodge? Because they do a wonderful job with their facilities, in my estimation. It is what it is - a facility for kids to enjoy pools and water features, and just nominally for adults. The Dells in Wisconsin are a huge tourist trap, really gauged to families with children from toddlers to teenagers. The Lodge is the same, but they don't necessarily allow anyone but hotel guests in their park (unlike so many other water parks in the Dells), and they have fun activities for the kids besides the pools. My kids love MagiQuest and most of the Great Wolf Lodges have this available. Nice sized rooms (even if the beds leave something to be desired), and on-site dining and shopping facilities.

What does this have to do with Disney? I posted last summer that I thought that Disney should open a DVC resort in the Dells; they could do it really right, and it would be a hit with the many midwestern DVC members who might not want to fly to Florida, or Hawaii or California, to take advantage of their time share points. I think such a place would be jammed to capacity year around.

Disney could do these types of themed resorts as good or better than anyone, I think. They already do. While Great Wolf Lodge does a good job, it isn't up to Disney standards, as low as they may have become over the years.

Anyone from Disney listening? This might be a real opportunity for expansion, and for making even more money, which is, after all, your real motivator!


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