Back in the summer of 2005, my family stumbled upon a brand new resort in Williamsburg Virginia, called “The Great Wolf Lodge”. As we walked through the spacious lobby, mesmerized by the realistic wolves that surrounded us, we had no idea what we would encounter as the 4 of us made our way to the back of the hotel. When we came to a large window, which looked over a humungous indoor water park, I think all of our jaws dropped open. It’s a pretty amazing site for a first timer. The kids went wild, and needless to say, we cancelled our reservation at some “other” hotel, and quickly booked a “Wolf Den” room at The Great Wolf Lodge. We had a blast that week, and immediately began a new family, summer tradition!
Fast forward to the Summer of 2010, and our 5th stay at The Great Wolf Lodge (we skipped 2006 after our daughter was born). We are are still loving our waterpark resort…. but things are a little more tricky now! This is our 2nd year as a “Vegan Family” and Great Wolf Lodge is not exactly known for their “Veganism”.
The resort offers one sit down restaurant, and a couple counter service restaurants. Believe it or not, the food service by the pool was the most “Vegan Friendly”!! The menu offered veggie summer rolls, filled with fresh raw veggies, wrapped in rice paper. VERY YUMMY & highly recommended! They also served a wonderful fruit salad and they “specially” made the kids lettuce & tomato sandwiches. A pretty nice lunch, I must say!
The kids were also able to buy rainbow ice “Dippin Dots” from a machine. I was thankful for this, because there is not any sorbet in the ice-cream counter.
The main restaurant serves a Buffet every night, and lets just say that it is not a Vegan’s dream dinner!!! Lots of meat & egg noodles!! They do however have a salad bar and baked potato station. We informed the chefs about our “dietary restrictions”, I hate referring to our Vegan diet as restrictive, but when talking to people in the food service industry, that is how they view it. Thankfully, the chefs were absolutely wonderful, and they prepared us a delicious family style plate of sauteed veggies. We were very appreciative of their hospitality!
Outside of the waterpark is a small shop which sells ice-cream, fudge, coffee, candy, cereals, fruit and such. They do offer soy milk and Vegan popcorn. And each morning we would enjoy cereal & bananas for breakfast.
There is a partially Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant in Williamsburg called “Food For Thought” and I would highly recommend dining there. They make a Vegan version of Pad Thai that is amazing!!
Over all, The Great Wolf Lodge is an amazing family vacation destination!! My children love it, and over the years we have made countless wonderful memories there! This is not a true “Vegan Friendly” resort, and you will have to think outside of the box when staying there. Thankfully, the rooms include a fridge, so stock it up if possible!
I won’t lie, I LOVE GWL, and we will continue to visit each summer, but I REALLY WISH that they would offer more options to their Vegan guests. They are considered a “Green” resort, which is very impressive! But what is more “Green” than “Veganism”??