Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wands, and Magic and Dragons - Oh My!

S choosing her wand
Great Wolf Lodge  is a family experience which allows you to step into a far away land just miles from Charlotte, in Concord, NC. In addition to an amazing water park they also offer MagiQuest - an enchanting scavenger hunt around the sprawling lodge where you can open magical chests, battle dragons and collect runes.

Exploring magic is what being a kids is all about - and MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge left our our daughter S (4 years old) and her cousin J (6 years old) spellbound.

Magic Up
Her quest began by visiting the kingdom store where they displayed wall to wall magical items, costumes and trinkets. She selected a wand to use during her play as a "Magi", and a created a special magic name. She chose Princess Aleata (no clue where she gets these names from) and her wand was activated by placing it in a stone and saying some magical phrases. Game play for 2 days is included with the purchase of a wand which range from $15.99-$21.99. She can re-use the wand which will remember all of the quests she's completed so she can start where she left off on future visits or different locations at an additional cost.

Getting Our Quest On
My wand-wielding girl
Once we watched the 7 minute informational video in the forest  it was time for some wand-wielding adventures, and S didn't miss a beat as she struck her sorceress pose. I won't lie - there are several degrees between all the adults and initially it had us a little bewildered. We weren't the only ones who were a little confused, luckily there were other parents to talk to and ask questions of as we walked through the mystical floors. We went to the trees with touch screens to choose her quest for a rune (a magical trophy). She (we) followed the 'Ancient Book of Wisdom' (directions) and searched for specific pictures, gems and statues around the lodge. When she found an item she shook her wand at it and music, talking and excitement ensued.  Along the way we stopped back at the kingdom store for some guidance on our quest, but eventually the adults caught on (or became obsessed.. right papa?) and we really began to enjoy ourselves. There is a lot of up and down the stairs - the second floor hosts the Forgotten Hall, the third floor the Whispering and Enchanted Woods and the fourth floor Piney Path and Tangled Woods. So wear some comfy shoes because you will be running after the wee-Magi.

Crystal Rune Attained!
We're Off to Slay the Dragon! Or not...   
We followed 'The Ancient Book of Wisdom' to navigate the forest/woods. The book includes 10 quests, which would take hours to complete. We adventured for about 3 hours and finished 4 quests, but the girls weren't going very fast. Some objects are trickier to find than others, but if you start at the beginning it advances in difficulty. Our kids (4 yrs and 6 years) loved it, but needed a lot of adult help - the adults needed adult help at times! I think this experience is ideal for kids ages 8-13 when they would be able to read and select their own quests without as much adult involvement. The dragon lair with a large, loud video dragon was a little intense for the kids, even the fearless 6 year old was too afraid to try and slay it, but for the most part the rest of the quest is age appropriate for kids 4+. This experience has left a big impression on the kids, and we will be back to MagiQuest again. You don't need to be staying at the Great Wolf Lodge to use the MagiQuest facility, so it's a perfect any time activity.


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