Great Wolf Lodge MagiQuest: Step by step guide for parents!

Great Wolf Lodge MagiQuest, the resort’s signature live-action adventure game, is one of the best things about the fun of Great Wolf, but first you have to figure out how to play. Tweens and teens can usually figure it out on their own, but for younger kids, adult participation is required…at least at first. Anyone who’s ever stepped into the controlled chaos of a MagiQuest shop with an over-excited kid in tow knows what I’m talking about, and if you don’t…well, I hope to make it a bit easier for you when your time comes.

First off, what is Great Wolf Lodge MagiQuest?

MagiQuest is one part video game, one part scavenger hunt, and one part imaginative play. It can also be considered homework writing help at some point. The purchase of one game and one wand grants your quester unlimited play for the duration of your Great Wolf visit. And what exactly are you playing? MagiQuest is a series of quests throughout the public areas of the first five floors of the resort, with your final goal being to slay a dragon in its lair. Along the way, you’ll find interactive computer screen stations, ‘enchanted’ paintings, talking animals, and riddling fairies, who, when your wand is pointed at them, will offer clues to help you to this end. (Notice how I keep saying ‘you’? At this point, your child is basically just tagging along, eyes big as saucers.)

How do you get started?

In MagiQuest headquarters (the wand shop located on the ground floor of all Great Wolf Lodges), your game is activated (after your child picks his or her wizard name, of course), and you’re sent off to begin your quest with your brand new wand, probably with a special magic wand top, which can come home as a souvenir. The MagiQuest staff is amazing, and the expert ‘Magi’ really do try to explain the game to everyone, but it’s at this point that most parents stumble out the MagiQuest shop doors in abject confusion. Allow me to save you some time:

  1. First, find a tree. Yes, you read that correctly. Depending on your Great Wolf location, these fake trees will be located on the first or second floor, and they’ll have a computer screen embedded in the trunk.
  2. Point your wand (er, I mean your kid’s wand) at the screen and follow the first set of instructions. You’ll have been given a booklet back in the shop: get that back out of your pocket where you stuffed it…you’ll need it.
  3. Pick a quest at the tree (you’ll need to hit ‘accept quest’ for the computer system to ‘know’ which one you’re doing), find the same quest in your booklet, and get going.

Once you’ve completed all the quests (this can take days, depending on how often you play the game during your stay), you’ll be deemed worthy to fight the dragon (featured on a large, interactive video screen). But don’t worry, no matter how long you stay, you’ll get your money’s worth: fighting the dragon unlocks an entire new series of ‘adventure’ quests, and after that, they can try their hand at Great Wolf’s new CompassQuest.

How to wean yourself from the game:

After running up and down five flights of stairs two or three dozen times and fighting your way through mobs of kids in swimsuits waving wands in your face, you might be ready for a well-deserved break. Your child probably isn’t. If he or she is young (under age eight or so), you may need to tag-team it with your spouse or a energetic grandparent, but we felt comfortable allowing our older kids to continue playing in pairs (and judging by the amount of kids swarming the halls, other parents felt the same way). Once kids understand how the game is organized, they can continue working their way through the quests on their own. (Being able to read helps, but isn’t crucial…the clues are spoken as well as typed on the screen.) Remind them that if they get confused, they can ‘check their status’ at any time at any tree to see what they’ve accomplished and what they still need to find for any given quest, and MagiQuest staff are always on-hand to help in the shop. See? Now you don’t need any MagiQuest online cheats!

For more tips and an overview from a QuestMaster, check out the Pit Stops for Kids’ Kid Cam:

But wait, there’s more: Final tips to get you through the game!

  1. If in doubt, ask! Down in the MagiQuest shop, staffers can field any questions, from general inquiries to specifics (i.e. ‘I can’t find the pixie watching the stars by night’), and are happy to give answers (‘Third floor landing, past the elevator to the right’). Other kids are also very helpful. They are occasionally rewarded for helping fellow Magi with extra points added to their scores down in the Magi shop, so feel free to ask a staffer for a ‘guide’ as needed.
  2. Always ‘accept’ quests before taking off to find clues.
  3. The MagiQuest game ‘activates’ at a set time each morning and turns off at a set time each night. These times vary slightly by season and lodge, but are generally posted as 9 am and 10 pm. The evening shutdown seems strictly adhered to, but often, however, the game is turned on earlier than posted in the mornings. If you have an anxious gamer, they may be able to play as early as 8 am.
  4. When fighting the dragon, only one player at a time is allowed in the lair. This is because additional wands can mess up the game settings. Be prepared to wait as long as 15 minutes in line when the lodge is full, and use your time waiting wisely: study how the other kids get into the lair…I won’t ruin the fun for you, but it involves a series of wand waving at various fixed points in the doorway.
  5. Check your standings on TV at night! Kids love seeing their Magi names listed each night on the lodge’s information channel. My kids always check how much gold they have before climbing into their KidCabin beds. Sweet dreams!
  6. MagiQuest seems to be busiest in the evenings after dinner. If the lodge is near or at capacity at the time of your visit, yoMagiQuestu’re much better off visiting the water park at this time and playing MagiQuest during or near mealtimes or in the morning.
  7. Keep your wand for next time. You can use the again and again! After our first Great Wolf visit, my kids brought their wands hom
    e and played with them (roughly) for almost two years before we went back. When we presented their wands for approval at the wand shop, they worked perfectly! And their games were still stored in the computer chip, allowing them to continue where they left off as long as we purchased the game again for $9.99. Remembering to bring wands back is a major money saver.

CompassQuest: CompassQuest is Great Wolf’s newest addition to the MagiQuest game. Players need to purchase another tool (a plastic compass that attaches to their wand with a clip). The challenges are timed, which adds an element of excitement for older players, but keep in mind that when the resort is full, this will mean longer lines at the ‘trees’ and lairs. Kids can get frustrated watching their time run out while they wait! Be sure to play at off-peak times (right when MagiQuest activates in the morning or during mealtimes.)

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