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Manteca once again the waterslides mecca of Northern California with 500-room resort with 95,000-square-foot indoor waterpark
GW open
Celebrating the grand opening of the Great Wolf Lodge Tuesday were, from left, general manager Alana Ostrowski, Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu, Wiley the Wolf, and Great Wolf CEO Murray Hennessy.

The Family City now has the ultimate Northern California self-contained resort for families.

Great Wolf opened Tuesday ushering in a new era for Manteca. The city is seeking to position itself as the go-to place for family-style entertainment not just in the immediate 25-mile radius with 1.1 million consumers but a 150-mile circle that taps into the potential economic benefits of a mega-market of 18 million people.

But as much as Great Wolf is a game changer for the Manteca economy, it will be as much of a game changer for how in excess of 500,000 plus people a year will enjoy family fun.

The $180 million private sector investment includes:

*the temperature controlled water park that is always 84 degrees even during triple digit heat waves or bone chilling winter days when the valley is under a blanket of Tule fog.

*no worries about sun burn or the brisk Delta winds that used to make frolicking at the former outdoor Manteca Waterslides miserable at times.

*16 waterslides including the multi-person Sequoia Splash, a multi-person raft slide debuting at Manteca that starts by sending riders down a step drop into a giant funnel where the raft’s momentum sends it careening up one side of the funnel to the next.

*numerous water play areas and features such as a wave pool and a  1,000-gallon bucket that tips water on squealing kids every three minutes or so.

*an expansive outdoor water pool with chairs galore that will offer the “coolest” place in Manteca on the Fourth of July to view aerial fireworks being shot off just north of the Big League Dreams sports complex.

*complimentary family events and activities in the spacious main lobby including Yoga Tails — a program that combines tales of the Northwoods creatures with yoga poses — and the resort’s signature story time plus things as the Great Wolf dance party.

*the 45,000-square-foot family entertainment center known as the Great Wolf Adventure Park that includes amusements such as an arcade with 100 games, the Ten Paw bowling alley, miniature golf, a multi-level ropes course and more.

*MagiQuest — Great Wolf’s exclusive live-action adventure game — that employs an interactive magic wand to uncover relics and runes needed to complete a quest. More than 55 percent of resort guests end up playing the game.

*Nine dining options ranging from traditional waterpark fare — think burgers, fries and hot dogs — to Great Wolf’s own ice cream parlor dubbed the Wood’s End Creamery. Other options include Dunkin’ Donuts, buffet service, and Freshwoods Market designed for grab and go foods and late night snacks.

*One of those nine dining options is The Barnwood, a full-service elevated dining experience that emphasis meals offering  with fresh, local items  as well as a variety of craft cocktails all served in a modern rustic setting complete with a bar area.

*Nine different suite options that includes two days of waterpark access starting at $199 per night for a traditional standard style room to themed suites with separate sleeping quarters complete with bunk beds and Great Wolf character theming that can sleep up to 13 guests for large families.
*10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space with separate rooms that can accommodate from 10 to 400 people depending upon the use.

The general public can access the dining options. For everything else — except booked conference center events — you have to be a hotel guest.

Day passes for the indoor waterpark aren’t currently available due to the fact they are still gearing up toward full occupancy as well as the pandemic. Great Wolf opened at 30 percent capacity on Tuesday. They expect to soon be up to 100 percent capacity

Rooms start as low as $199

a night but go down to $139.99

during promo period ending Dec. 16

A stay at Great Wolf might strike some as a tad pricey for a waterpark.

But keep in mind this is not just a water park, it is a self-contained resort.

That said, compared to various waterparks in the region such as Sunsplash in Roseville, Great Wolf comes across as a bargain based on a family of four.

To access Splashland for a day it is $47.99 per person or $199.95 for four people.

The lowest price room available at Great Wolf is $199 for four, or 95 cents less before you add room taxes.

But with Great Wolf you get two full days of waterpark access plus a room which brings the per day cost down to $25 per person.

Not only do you have the resort amenities but you can also retire to your room during the day and then return later to the waterpark.

Food is extra as well as other amusements. But that is also the case at Sunsplash and other outdoor waterparks.

Nothing prevents you from going off the premises to eat or seek other amusements. It is not unusual for guests to opt to drop by other local attractions such as bowling alleys and such during their stay.

And given Great Wolf is celebrating its grand opening, that are offer 30 percent discounts for rooms booked before July 2 for a say before Dec. 16. That brings the $199 room down to $139.99 per night.

All rooms have touches such as digital temperature controls plus charging stations for multiple devices.

The largest suites that accommodate up to 13 persons have two bathrooms.


Manteca back on the

waterslides map

For much of its 30-year run, Manteca Waterslides that was located a mile to the west across the 120 Bypass where the gated lakeside Oakwood Shores gated community is now was known throughout Northern California for its namesake waterpark that closed down in 2004.

Great Wolf with its high profile location along the 120 Bypass along with a sizeable multi-media advertising budget is expected to restore Manteca’s status as the waterpark mecca on Northern California and the San Francisco Bay region.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email