How the new big wolf compares to Manteca waterslides



It was – and still ranks – like the ultimate waterslide ever built in California.

The 80ft tall V-Max at Manteca Waterslides was a thrill.

But for those who yearn for the 1974-2004 reign of Manteca Waterslides and see its successor at Manteca – the 500-room Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park that just opened – as an overpriced replacement that somehow blocks the public, you live in an alternate universe.

For starters, it’s 2021, not 1981. A day pass to places like Raging Water in Sacramento, billed as California’s largest water park and Sunsplash in Roseville, goes for $ 47.99 at $ 49.99. They are no longer at $ 8.

Great Wolf – which is clearly a seaside resort as opposed to a place where parents drop their kids off for a day – on base room prices per person basically match current outdoor water prices for a day and beat them high hand over two days since the price of your room covers one night’s accommodation and two days of access to the water park.

Of course, you have to add the city tax and service charge which increases the price by around $ 10 per person. Great Wolf obviously rakes in its profit on food service, extras such as private cabanas, and the family fun center where a bare bear doing a bare bear costs $ 34.99 with extra clothing.

And – as more than a few people have figured out – to get the $ 199 rate that cuts the cost of a typical outdoor water park, you have to look to book mid-week during the off-season.

Unlike traditional waterslides, you can’t get the $ 50 full-day adventure all the time. You have to pick the off-peak hours – mid-week and off-season – and then resist the idea of ​​becoming all the pig. And honestly, even when Great Wolf offers day passes, based on their prices at their other 18 locations before they were suspended due to the pandemic that has reduced their resort capacities, it’s cheaper by bring together four people. Look for the days when regular prices and peak demand prices give way to “we need to fill some rooms,” and you get a resort-style experience at practically an outdoor waterpark price.

It is a resort for families

much like the Calistoga mud bath

spas are a retreat for couples

To avoid the add-ons that add up, you can always come home during your hotel night with two-day access to access or hit the nearby Taco Bell. The late checkout fee of $ 59.99 on the second day is completely avoidable. Simply put your things in your car or take them home, then come back for fun on the slides until they close on the evening of your second day of access.

And if you’re not spending pennies per se, there are still times in the summer – mostly mid-week – and weekends throughout the year when the basic standard room that starts at $ 199 n It’s not the maximum price in the stratosphere, which means you can reasonably priced mini-vacations without leaving Manteca.

It’s a bit like living in Calistoga in the Napa Valley wine country and indulging in a spa complete with a mud treatment that serves as a couples retreat for the people of Northern California. It is a seaside resort.

Great Wolf is also a seaside resort, but it’s more of a family retreat where happy screaming kids have fun and not be pampered are the draw.

And depending on where you are in 209, this family-friendly resort is just down the road or a short drive from Manteca.

As for those on social media who still criticize that just anyone can’t get off the streets and pay $ 8 to participate in the same water park features as hotel guests, try to see if you can. access the pool at a Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay and not be a hotel guest.

Speaking of pools, Great Wolf’s outdoor one is almost on the same playing field as those at luxury resort-style hotels with cabanas for hire and poolside service.

Enough about the cost. Great Wolf is clearly not just an updated version of your great-grandfather’s water park.

Wolf’s Tail is not a V-Max:

But don’t be fooled;

it’s a compact thrill

Let’s go back to the V-Max and the old Manteca water slide experience versus the new Manteca water slide experience that Great Wolf offers.

I got off the V-Max.

If I remember correctly, it was a chest-tight climb that hammered eight flights of stairs on a beautiful hot day in mid-August. The light winds were a nice refreshing touch. The views at the top were those of the Manteca of the 1990s: dusty fields, industrialized segments of Lathrop before it became a distribution center, the Manteca sewage treatment plant, orchards, railroad tracks and two highways.

They made you climb into a narrow fiberglass tube, fold your arms, then open the door.

You went down the tube with a pleasant feeling of freshness before finding yourself in a hollow of water that stops with dozens of people hurrying. You got out and walked on nice warm asphalt with a palm tree in need of a bit of TLC swaying slightly nearby.

It was over in about 10 seconds.

It was a thrill.

And while I’ve never done the Wolf’s Tail – Great Wolf’s exclusive ride – it clearly feels more like a thrill and a half than a thrill. And it comes with an ambiance galore in a lovely temperate 84 degree setting with no wind or sun.

It’s a 20 foot drop instead of 80 feet. Mom and dad or even grandpa and grandma – if they try it – won’t be wheezing to make it happen.

Instead of lying down, they ask you to stand over a door trapped in the ground in a transparent tube, fold your arms across your chest, and then close the door.

When the gate gives way, you drop 20 feet and immediately enter a 360 degree high speed loop.

The V-Max was a calm thrill as I felt much more serene and relaxed than on any other Budge Brown slide created on the old Manteca slides. The Wolf Tail appears to be more in the Cyclone Thrill League on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk I’ve been on, but luckily much shorter so as not to poison the thrill with borderline terror.

Maximum Speed ​​Cyclone lets you feel a centrifugal force three times gravity during a four or five minute spin. Wolf Tail gives you a quick thrill without moving into the apprehension-anxiety zone because it happens so fast and it’s over.

An added bonus: unlike the V-Max where you had to queue in a long way, especially on ‘rush days’, the queues at Wolf’s Tail are short thanks to limited access to those who are there. for the resort experience.

My first toboggan existence

at the Manteca slides:

‘Hey sir, you are bleeding’

Great Wolf has 16 waterslides as well as other water features such as a wave pool and a gigantic bucket that pours 1,000 gallons of water every three minutes or so making the kids scream with the heart kids underneath .

I honestly don’t remember the number of slides at Manteca Waterslides but I do remember my first run.

It was on one of the original concretes that were still in use. You lay down on a carpet then you continued your little man on the road.

Did I mention this is my very first waterslide? For some reason, the person I was with and the attendant didn’t notice that I was in the wrong position because I wasn’t fully on the mat.

When I landed in the pool of water below it was an exhilarating feeling.

This was less the case when a child of about 7 said to me as I was shaking the water, “Hey sir, you are bleeding.

I had managed to scratch my elbows on the concrete.

After this little incident, I managed to have fun going down other slides.

What I didn’t like was the relentless sun; the only option we had for lunch was a “typical waterslide fare” like burgers, soft drinks, fries, and hot dogs; and the older kids threw themselves for the day in a sort of bundle that got a little rambunctious without a parent.

In fairness to the Brown family who have done a top-notch job managing water slides for 30 years, they quickly brought such behavior under control and fired repeat offenders. I just can’t believe this would be a problem at Great Wolf as four 16 year old boys won’t book a room on their own.

You can get some traditional water park food at Great Wolf, but that’s only a part of the options.

Their various restaurants cover the gamut from artisanal pizzas and a buffet to “elevated dinners” offering sit-down meals made with fresh local ingredients.

It sounds a bit wacky, but when it comes to dining and food experience, the Barnwood is destined to be # 2 on the list in Manteca. Of course, no one will come near Ernie’s Fine Food & Spirits which is known to draw San Francisco diners and has a bar that is platinum standard for North San Joaquin Valley with a chic vibe. and service to match.

Then there are the

fun and the

Conference center

Great Wolf’s ancillary entertainment is way above what outdoor water parks often offer.

Yes, there is a mini golf course but there is also a tree climbing course, a bowling alley, etc. Did I mention the largest arcade in the north of the San Joaquin Valley with 100 games?

While Manteca Waterslides owned the Oakwood Amphitheater which sometimes hosted large-scale concerts and hosted the Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair for several years, Great Wolf has 10,000 square feet of divisible event space.

Given that Manteca is equidistant from San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento, it’s likely that there are plenty of midweek commercial uses in addition to weekend gatherings such as United Cheer having a relationship. longtime with Great Wolf.

There’s even an outdoor pavilion designed for organizations like United Cheer who want to host competitions as part of their gatherings.

The fact that the Great Wolf with 500 rooms means that Manteca now has the largest hotel in the entire Great Central Valley, from Bakersfield to Redding, is quite impressive. But it also easily ranks in the top 10 largest hotels in all of Northern California and Central California.

And more importantly, for guests, there are 13 suite options.

Do not mistake yourself. The Manteca slides were great. But their glory belonged to another era.

Great Wolf is a water slide game reimagined as a family experience.

And if you still want to see the regular outdoor slides reappear someday in Manteca, in other places where indoor water slides do appear, it is not unusual for the old-school water slide experience to end up being overwhelming. locate nearby.

Chances are, Manteca will catch one as they proceed with the development of a 100-acre family entertainment area now reserved by the Great Wolf Sports Complex and Big League Dreams which, between them, is expected to attract a million. visitors to Manteca each. year to indulge in family fun.


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